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Gibernau forced to swallow his own medicine with finish line defeat

Gibernau forced to swallow his own medicine with finish line defeat

Gibernau forced to swallow his own medicine with finish line defeat

Sete Gibernau missed out on his eighth podium of the season to Loris Capirossi by less than a bike length (one hundredth of a second) and was on the receiving end of the kind of race finale that he despatched with joy to Valentino Rossi on two occasions, at France and also Brno.

The Spaniard looked certain to finish on the lower step of the rostrum entering the last corner just ahead of the Italian after a close duel with the Ducati man. However, the former World Champion buried the throttle on the exit of the long curve hitting the straight and popped out of Gibernau's slipstream to secure third place.

The result was a blow for the Honda man. His fourth position meant another three points conceded to Valentino Rossi who won his second race in succession and claimed his 17th consecutive podium. He now trails by 46 points in the standings (almost two races) and must know that Rossi's crippling consistency is starting to erode any slim hope of Championship glory. Here is what the 30 year old had to say after the weekend and also the words of his team manager Fausto Gresini:

"It was a shame because I continued the race in the same vein as the whole weekend. We have had a small technical problem, which we haven't been able to sort out. I came to Estoril in high spirits and good shape, ready to end my bad record at this circuit but I have ended up fourth. Now I have to sit down with Honda and the team to analyse the problem.

In any case my spirits are still high and the plan remains to concentrate on each race as it comes. My team is having a good season and we have to continue on the same lines."

Fausto Gresini: "We obviously were not in the right conditions to win the race. Unfortunately we lost time and couldn't test everything we had to test. We missed out on another podium but that is racing. Even so it was a nice GP and the morale is high going into the next round."

MotoGP, 2003

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