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Rossi eases to fifth win of the year

Rossi eases to fifth win of the year

Rossi eases to fifth win of the year

Valentino Rossi toyed with early race leader and arch-rival Max Biaggi before deciding to assume control at the half way stage and runaway with the GP of Portugal at a breezy but sunny Estoril this afternoon.

The fifth win of the season for ‘The Doctor' and Championship leader by 46 points over Sete Gibernau he made light work of his success and was clearly in a different league to his peers. Rossi's 17th podium result in a row and first back-to-back win for over a year was taken from Biaggi and Loris Capirossi in a largely formulaic affair compared to the high drama of the last few GPs.

The real excitement in a strung-out pack arrived again on the last lap in the battle for the lowest step of the podium between Capirossi and Gibernau. The Honda man performed a daring move to take third entering the chicane for the final time and seemed to have his eighth top three of the season sewn-up but then on the drag race to the finish line Capirossi summoned the awesome power of the Ducati to gain his fourth trophy of the year and the team's third consecutive podium by one hundredth of a second.

Gibernau was understandably irked by his demotion to fourth at the last possible moment and is now looking at almost a two GP gap to Rossi in terms of the championship deficit.

Tohru Ukawa recorded his best result in eight GPs by crossing the line in fifth. Troy Bayliss beat Marco Melandri into sixth while Carlos Checa, Nicky Hayden and Makoto Tamada rounded out the top ten.

MotoGP, 2003, Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal

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