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Rossi reaches another milestone with Aussie win

Rossi reaches another milestone with Aussie win

Rossi reaches another milestone with Aussie win

In Phillip Island, where was held the Skyy Vodka Australian Grand Prix last weekend, Valentino Rossi took a landmark win : after beating Alex Barros, he clinched his 50th win on his 107th GP appearance.

After his 125cc Grand Prix debut in 1996 on the Shah Alam track in Malaysia, Rossi quickly made his way to the first step of the podium : he took his first win on his rookie year, in Brno, his 11th 125cc GP. One year later, Rossi collected his tenth win in Donington Park. In 1999, he recorded his 20th GP win in the 250cc race in Catalunya, and his 30th win was celebrated last year in Welkom, in the 500cc class.

This year, the new reigning 500cc World Champion relished the challenge offered by the new MotoGP class, and topped the podium of the opening race in Suzuka. This first MotoGP victory was also the 40th of his GP career. $$$ This 50th GP win allows the Italian to close on Phil Read (52 wins) among the all-time GP winners in all-classes. The british is the fifth winningest rider behind Mick Doohan (54 wins), Mike Hailwood (76 wins), Angel Nieto (90 wins) and Giacomo Agostini (122 wins). Only one rider still in activity other than Rossi is in the top 10 of the GP winners : Max Biaggi, with 39 GP wins.

In the blue riband class, Agostini´s 68 wins record will be tough to catch ; by winning in Australia, Rossi equalled Wayne Rainey, with a 24 wins in the MotoGP/500cc class. However, the young Italian is the most efficient rider by far : after 47 GP starts in MotoGP/500cc class, his win rate is 51% ; Mick Doohan´s win rate is 39.4% (54 wins for 137 races).

In Valencia, for the last race of the 2002 season, Valentino Rossi will try to catch another record of the five times World Champion Australian, the highest number of wins in a season. If Rossi wins next week on the Ricardo Tormo track, he would equal the 12 wins taken by Doohan in 1997.

MotoGP, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi

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