Vote for and revisit the best race of 2003
The 2003 MotoGP World Championship standings show the same rider on the top of the pile for the third consecutive year but the points table this time round shows a slightly more interesting story compared to previous seasons.
Before Valentino Rossi took the incredibly bold move of moving away from the strongest machine and team in the GP paddock he was actually made to work harder for his money over the last ten months.
Here at motograndprix.com we have short-listed five races that we have put forward for you to vote and enjoy all over again. Over the next few weeks you will be select and vote for the race that you think warrants another view and we'll post the video highlights to be viewed free on New Year's Day. Alternatively if there are any ‘moments' that you feel we have missed then scribe your thoughts into a special thread on the forum.
The candidates for ‘Best race of 2003' are:
1. Wet final turn in France
GP: Grand Prix Polini de France
Date: May 25th 2003
Protagonists: Sete Gibernau
A spilt race due to the weather. A second half wet sprint saw Sete Gibernau again hungry for success. A dramatic final corner attempt by Valentino Rossi to regain the lead which he had held comprehensively in the dry fails by a whisker and Rossi loses the GP by a tenth of a second.
2. Capirossi's maiden victory
GP: Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya
Date: June 15th 2003
Protagonists: Loris Capirossi, Valentino Rossi
Great first win for the Ducati team in their debut season. Loris Capirossi enjoys a tussle with Valentino Rossi until the latter makes a mistake and runs off the track at high speed. Capirossi is free to record his win at a venue where he set a new top speed record during winter tests while Rossi fights back brilliantly from sixth to finally score second place.
3. Last Lap duel No.1
GP: Cinzano Motorrad GP of Deutschland, Sachsenring
Date: July 27th 2003
Protagonists: Sete Gibernau, Valentino Rossi
The first of several exciting conclusions to take place during the course of the season. Having already beaten Rossi at Welkom and Le Mans, Sete Gibernau embarks on a tense final lap encounter with the World Champion at the twisty Sachsenring circuit and takes advantage of a small slip by the Italian to dive past on the final turn and win the race by 0.06 of a second.
4. Last Lap duel No.2 – Rossi's revenge
GP: Gauloises GP Ceske Republiky, Brno
Date: August 17th 2003
Protagonists: Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau
Just several weeks after being mugged by Gibernau in Germany Rossi gains revenge by hounding his title rival on the final circulation at Brno. The finish is even closer at the chequered flag as ‘The Doctor' claims his fifth victory of the year by 0.04 of a second.
5. Multi rider scrap in Australia
GP: Skyy Vodka Australian Grand Prix, Phillip Island
Date: October 19th 2003
Penultimate race of the season, with Rossi having already won the World Championship and the excellent Australian circuit once again offering some fantastic racing. Here the performances of young starlets Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden stand out in the four rider battle for podium positions. Also notable for the fact that Rossi beats Capirossi despite a ten second time penalty for passing under yellow flags. Hayden's daring last lap move on Sete Gibernau earns a well-deserved third place.