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MotoGP festival at Bologna Motorshow

MotoGP festival at Bologna Motorshow

MotoGP festival at Bologna Motorshow

A host of MotoGP stars have descended on the Bologna Motorshow in Italy this week for a festival of motorcycling celebrations. Italian heroes including Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri were joined by Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus, who got the chance to meet thousands of fans as well as picking up a series of Italian national press awards for their achievements during the 2003 season.

Attention soon turned to the outdoor racetrack where a group of MotoGP riders took a starring role in three Supermotard races in front of a capacity 50,000 crowd. Race one was dominated by Yamaha rider Carlos Checa, chased for 20 frantic laps by Ducati's Troy Bayliss. The Australian's team-mate Loris Capirossi retired from the race as Max Biaggi completed the podium in third place ahead of Italian youngster Andrea Dovizioso. Biaggi took the lead from the start of race two but was soon overtaken by slide specialist Checa, who cruised to his second straight victory. Bayliss overtook promising youngster Mattia Pasini, who will make his debut in the 125cc World Championship next season, and settled into second position with Pasini clinching third from Dovizioso and Biaggi.

The third and final race was the "Americana Supermotard" where, from lap two, the last two riders of each lap have to pull out of the race. Checa took the lead from the start once again as Bayliss tangled with Biaggi in the first corner and crashed, remounting in hot pursuit of the pack. Checa then crashed twice, handing the lead to Biaggi, who hung on to victory from the resurgent Bayliss in second place.

Amongst the activities back indoors was a presentation by Ducati of the new Monster 620 Capirex - a special version of the Monster dedicated to Loris Capirossi. The Monster 620 Capirex sports an exciting colour combination of red fairing, seat cover and tank and lateral white stripe, as on the Monster S4R. In addition, the bike comes emblazoned with the "Capirex" official logo on the plexiglas screen, and Capirossi's official race number 65.

View our special picture gallery of all the key events from the Bologna Motorshow so far in the Bzone.

MotoGP, 2003

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