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Mick Doohan hails a fantastic first victory for Ducati

Mick Doohan hails a fantastic first victory for Ducati

Mick Doohan hails a fantastic first victory for Ducati

I headed straight out to America after the MotoGP race at Catalunya and I have only just had chance to think back. The racing on Sunday was top class, with a great win for Loris Capirossi after an uncharacteristic mistake by Valentino Rossi. If you believe Valentino he actually let Loris through for the lead the first time, which made sense because at the time he was trying to escape and just could not get away. Sometimes in that situation it is better to let the other guy lead for a while and see what he has got in his locker.

That was the first time Loris had led for a full lap, and to be honest I think Valentino expected him to be a bit faster. This showed when he got in far too hot behind him and had to run off. Maybe Loris was just riding a little cautiously at that point. Anyway, Valentino lost a lot of ground – around seven seconds – but he began to take a second a lap back off the guys in front and with seven laps left it looked like he might even have won it.

However, Loris rode extremely well and made no mistakes, which to be truthful I thought he might do. For him to win was probably the best thing that could happen to the sport right now, and I think everybody was looking forward to Ducati´s first victory. I know myself that when there is just one person and one manufacturer winning all the time things can become a bit mundane, but this shows that anything is possible in MotoGP. Ducati won in their sixth race, and this should serve as an inspiration to any other manufacturers who are thinking about joining this sport.

As far as the rest of the field is concerned, there was some good racing but for me it was the same old story. One thing that seems to be consistent about the guys other than Rossi is that they are all inconsistent – and that plays straight into his hands. His main rival for the championship is Max Biaggi, who ran into the gravel, so even though Valentino finished second it was still a massive points haul. He now has virtually a two race lead after just six races, which is a phenomenal achievement, and it really should make the other riders think about what can be achieved if you turn in your best performances week in week out – instead of fighting for the podium at one race and settling for tenth at the next.

MotoGP, 2003, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya, Mick Doohan

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