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Last lap onboard with Rossi

Last lap onboard with Rossi

Last lap onboard with Rossi

Valentino Rossi admitted that the final lap of the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix was one of his best ever, as he overtook Sete Gibernau twice to clinch victory and the MotoGP World Championship for the fourth successive season at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit last Sunday.

It is difficult to argue with the Italian, especially if you have the advantage of witnessing the whole lap from his viewpoint – onboard his Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha YZR-M1.

Rossi starts the lap in exhilarating fashion, running around the outside of Gibernau's Honda into turn one – the frighteningly fast Doohan corner. In the next two bends Rossi leaves Gibernau trailing, but allows the Spaniard to recover the lead as he runs wide in the Honda Hairpin.

Rossi's mistake leaves him with an uphill task in the second half of the lap as he looks to pass Gibernau for a second time, with his only title rival doing everything he can to close the door in every corner.

As the famous Lukey Heights section approaches, Rossi makes a foiled attack before catching Gibernau by surprise as the pair rise and dip over the blind left hand corner which leads into the tight right-hand hairpin.

This time Rossi holds his line and Gibernau is left with only one choice – to try and draft his rival through the long left corner and slipstream him into the straight, just as Olivier Jacque did to Shinya Nakano when he won the race and the 250cc title in the final round of 2000.

However, Rossi was not to be denied and summoned enough traction through the final series of left-handers to shake Gibernau off his tail and secure the advantage heading towards the line, where he would take victory by just 0.097 seconds.

Rossi's dream was complete – the MotoGP title was his once again in his first season with Yamaha and his reaction on the bike told the whole story, as he rocked back on the seat of his M1 to soak up the moment.

Relive the final lap of the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix and Rossi's celebration, onboard with the MotoGP World Champion, by clicking on the video link at the top of the page.


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