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Last year at Mugello

Last year at Mugello

Last year at Mugello

Valentino Rossi led home an all-Italian podium in a spectacular Grand Prix at Mugello last year, after a race-long battle with Loris Capirossi and Max Biaggi. Capirossi got a blistering start from second place on the grid to lead for the opening laps, and once Biaggi and Rossi had fought their way through the chasing pack there were only three riders in the fight for victory.

Capirossi conceded the lead to Biaggi on the fifth lap and two laps later he was undone by Rossi, who immediately began to exert pressure on the race leader.

Biaggi was in great form and it was seven laps before Rossi could make his move, drifting out of the slipstream at the end of the long straight to take control. The World Champion tried to escape, but could not shake off his determined compatriots, who bashed fairings and swapped positions until Capirossi eventually set the fastest lap of the race on the Ducati to move clear of the Honda.

Rossi remained under pressure, with Capirossi less than two seconds behind and closing on every lap, but he held his nerve to take victory by 1.416 seconds – his second in succession at his home track.

Elsewhere, Shinya Nakano started from the front row for the first time aboard the Yamaha M1 and rode a great race, staying with the race leaders for the first half of the race and then holding off pressure from Sete Gibernau in the second.

However, a stunning late charge from Makoto Tamada, who brought Tohru Ukawa for company, relegated Nakano to fifth on the final lap, with Ukawa edging out Gibernau for sixth.


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