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Welkom 2003 – highlights from the race

Welkom 2003 – highlights from the race

Welkom 2003 – highlights from the race

With just days remaining until the betandwin.com Africa's Grand Prix, motogp.com is offering you the chance to whet your appetite for the weekend with exclusive highlights of last year's MotoGP action at Welkom.

On a hot and sunny day at the Phakisa Freeway, Sete Gibernau took a fitting victory in the second round of the 2003 MotoGP World Championship in tribute to his late team-mate Daijiro Kato, who had died one week previously due to injuries sustained at the first round at Suzuka.

In a dramatic race, which was delayed by 50 minutes due to oil spilt by the Suzuki of Kenny Roberts around several parts of the circuit on the warm-up lap, the Spanish rider took the lead from Troy Bayliss on lap ten and was able to open up enough of an advantage from the chasing Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi to hold firm until the end.

Rossi battled with both Biaggi and Bayliss before charging after the leader on the final few laps, but ran out of time as Gibernau clung on to win by 0.363 seconds. The World Champion took second place, with Biaggi completing the podium.

The race had got off to a spectacular start when Colin Edwards collided with John Hopkins and hit the ground, forcing his Aprilia team-mate Nori Haga and Jeremy McWilliams to crash. Bayliss took advantage to slice through the grid and lead for the opening third of the race on his Ducati, before eventually being hunted down by the Honda trio.

The Australian consolidated with an outstanding fourth place on his first visit to this circuit, in just his second MotoGP appearance.

Bayliss' team-mate Loris Capirossi had an eventful race, running off the track twice before retiring. Alex Barros continued his recovery from a knee injury to take fifth ahead of Honda pair Tohru Ukawa and Nicky Hayden, finishing as the highest placed Yamaha rider for the second race in succession as his factory colleagues Norick Abe, Carlos Checa and Olivier Jacque completed the top ten.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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