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Last year at Phillip Island

Last year at Phillip Island

Last year at Phillip Island

Valentino Rossi pulled off one of the performances of the season to win a breathtaking MotoGP race at Phillip Island last year, despite being issued a ten second penalty after overtaking under a yellow flag.

After a combative and entertaining opening to the race which saw Troy Bayliss take the lead before crashing out on the fourth lap, Rossi moved through the pack as Sete Gibernau, Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden took turns at the front. Two laps after Bayliss' crash Rossi passed Melandri in the same corner, unaware that the flags were still being waved, and as he went on to take control of the race on lap six he was informed of the punishment.

As Rossi built his lead at the front the battle for positions raged behind him in a compelling podium tussle between the Hondas of Gibernau and Hayden, the Yamaha of Melandri and the Ducati of Loris Capirossi. At the halfway point of the race Capirossi moved into second place, effectively taking the lead in the due to Rossi's time deduction, and Melandri span out of third.

Capirossi broke from the pack and pushed to maintain the advantage over Rossi, but the man in front was in unstoppable form. The World Champion extended his lead in the race to 15.212 seconds to win by a final margin of 5.212 - an effort he dedicated to the legendary Barry Sheene by holding the unmistakable number 7 aloft on the victory lap and podium.

Tohru Ukawa joined Hayden and Gibernau in a straight battle for third, with the American winning out after two exciting manoeuvres on the final two laps. Fourth place for Gibernau sealed the runner-up spot in the championship after Max Biaggi crashed and remounted to finish seventeenth.

Further back, Olivier Jacque won a battle with his old team-mate Shinya Nakano to finish as the top Yamaha in sixth spot, whilst Jeremy McWilliams held off John Hopkins on the Suzuki and home rider Garry McCoy on the Kawasaki to seal his first points on the Proton V5 in eleventh place.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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