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Gibernau loses first place on final corner

Gibernau loses first place on final corner

Gibernau loses first place on final corner

Sete Gibernau may have been beaten to the finish line by Valentino Rossi during the first leg of the MotoGP World Championship but the MoviStar Honda MotoGP team still celebrated podium finishes for both its riders at Jerez after a heart-stopping race.

Gibernau led the way from the start and set an extremely high pace whilst Melandri battled it out behind to take third place as Nicky Hayden crashed out.

Four laps to go, the pace picked up further as Rossi, having stalked Gibernau throughout the race, made his first challenge. Two laps later thing really heated up with Gibernau and Valentino passing each other on several occasions until Gibernau ended up in the gravel trap in the final corner, returning to the track to take second place.

Speaking after the race Gibernau said, "We set a really fast pace throughout the race and in the end I slowed down a little to see where Valentino's strong points were. We pressured each other hard and in the end I have the peace of mind that I did everything I could and that in general we're already at a high level at the first race.

"It's going to be a long and hard championship. I don't want such a great race to be reduced to what happened in the final corner. I love this sport and I don't want to get involved in politics, I just want to stay strong and calm and remain focused on our dream. I led the race from the start, I wanted to have a look at Rossi's pace and I think it was the right strategy. We have to keep going now."

Young Italian Marco Melandri was thrilled to made the podium for the first time in Jerez "To make my Honda debut at Jerez and finish on the podium is more than I could have dreamed of. I'd never been on the podium at this circuit and I want to share the moment with Gresini, Honda, Michelin and MoviStar.

" At the start of the race I tried to follow Sete but his pace was incredible so I just focused on my own race and tried to hold my position. Then Hayden made a mistake and I moved up to third. A front row start and a podium finish will give me a lot of confidence for Estoril".

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE ESPAÑA, RAC

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