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Sete Gibernau is ‘Rainman'

Sete Gibernau is ‘Rainman'

Sete Gibernau is ‘Rainman'

Sete Gibernau showed his prowess in the wet conditions to take victory in the Gran Premio Marlboro de España at Jerez on Sunday, backing up a formidable record that makes him the undisputed ‘Rainman' of MotoGP. Victory for the Telefónica Movistar Honda rider at his home circuit brought his total number of wins to six, four of which have come on a wet track.

The Spaniard clinched his first ever victory also on damp home soil at Valencia in 2001. Gibernau, who started from twelfth on the grid, quickly made his way to the front of the pack and battled to the line with Alex Barros to take a memorable win.

Gibernau's second wet success came at Le Mans, in the fourth round of the 2003 season. The race began in dry conditions with Valentino Rossi in complete control, but it was restarted after a rain shower and Gibernau took the challenge to the Italian, eventually taking victory in a thrilling dash to the line.

One month later Sete again got the opportunity to demonstrate his aptitude in the wet, this time at Assen, where a deluge of rain virtually flooded the circuit on the morning of the race. Only Max Biaggi was able to stay close to Gibernau as he stormed to his third victory of the season, having also won in the dry in South Africa, boosting a championship challenge which took in another victory at Sachsenring and ended with the highest points total for any runner-up in the history of MotoGP.

Gibernau's latest triumph was enough to give him the championship lead and make him the first man to dislodge Rossi since the first race of 2001. With Rossi's Yamaha seemingly struggling in the wet and several more races sure to be hit by bad weather before the end of the season, Gibernau's superiority in the rain could turn out to be the deciding factor in what looks like being one of the closest championships in living memory.

MotoGP, 2004

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