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MotoGP title quest continues in Czech Republic

MotoGP title quest continues in Czech Republic

MotoGP title quest continues in Czech Republic

The chase for the most coveted crown in motorcycle racing resumes this weekend at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic, host to the tenth round of sixteen in the 2004 MotoGP World Championship.

A brief summer break has given the teams and riders the chance to recharge their batteries after nine intense opening races which have seen three men emerge as the main candidates for the title of World Champion, currently occupied by Valentino Rossi.

Despite a controversial switch after three successful seasons with Honda to a factory Yamaha squad which had not won the title in over a decade, the irrepressible Rossi almost inevitably leads the way – boasting a 22-point advantage over Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi.

The Spaniard and the Italian are currently equal in their quest to become Honda's main weapon against Rossi, but both need consistent appearances on the top step of the podium if they are to prevent him from becoming the first man ever to win consecutive titles with different manufacturers.

Rossi, however, has become used to making history; never more so than in a stellar first season with Yamaha which has seen him take five victories and move up to third in the all-time MotoGP winners' list, ahead of the legendary Mike Hailwood and surpassed only by the greatness of Giacomo Agostini and magic of Mick Doohan.

However, his glory this season has been peppered by moments of relative mediocrity, including three fourth places and his first race crash in three years, which promise an unpredictable battle over the final seven races.

For Biaggi the Czech round represents the perfect opportunity to recover from a disappointing twelfth place at Donington Park, which had followed on from his first victory of the season at Sachsenring. Biaggi has a better record at the current Brno circuit than any other rider, having taken seven victories and six poles there in the 250cc and MotoGP classes.

Gibernau, meanwhile, missed out on victory at Brno last year by just 0.042 seconds to Rossi in an open and exciting race which also saw the likes of Ducati riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi battling for victory. A similar scenario could take place this Sunday, with the Australian and the Italian both taking lead roles in the last round at Donington Park after overcoming teething problems with the radically new Desmosedici bike.

Bayliss ended up on the podium in third place last year and knows the pressure is on to produce again as he looks to secure his Grand Prix future, whilst his former World Superbike sparring partner Colin Edwards is also keen to consolidate his reputation in MotoGP.

Edwards scored his maiden podium with second place at Donington Park and both he and Bayliss have perhaps their biggest chance to make history as the first former WSB Champions to take a Grand Prix victory over the final seven races of this season.


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