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Rossi's run ends

Rossi's run ends

Rossi's run ends

Valentino Rossi's crash in the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix last weekend marked the end of a stunning run of consistency for the Italian, who had finished all but two races since the start of the 2001 season. His only other race crash in that time came at Mugello '01, when he slid out of a wet race chasing Loris Capirossi for second place on the last lap.

Rossi's other DNF came famously at Brno in 2002, when a rear tyre blow out on the sixteenth lap curtailed his chances of chasing Max Biaggi for an unlikely victory. Remarkably, that was 28 races ago, and Rossi had finished in a points-scoring position in every race since then, up until last Sunday.

The Italian gets his chance to start off a new run at Sachsenring next week, a circuit where he has enjoyed mixed fortunes in the past. In 1999 he took victory in the 250cc class and in 2002 he picked up maximum points on the Honda RC211V after Olivier Jacque and Alex Barros crashed out of a sure fire one-two on their 500cc two-strokes.

However, the Sachsenring is also one of only three circuits alongside Estoril and Motegi at which Rossi has not had a pole position in the premier-class and, of course, he was beaten there for victory on the final bend by Sete Gibernau one year ago.

MotoGP, 2004, Valentino Rossi

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