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Last year: Gibernau extended lead with Le Mans win

Last year: Gibernau extended lead with Le Mans win

Last year: Gibernau extended lead with Le Mans win

Sete Gibernau extended his lead in the MotoGP World Championship to ten points over Max Biaggi after his second win in successive races at the Grand Prix Polini de France.

Gibernau, who started from pole position on his Honda, chased the Yamaha of Carlos Checa over the opening stages of the race, eventually squeezing past on the twelfth lap and stretching out a 1.671 second advantage over his compatriot by the end of the race.

Checa held on to second place under pressure from Max Biaggi to make his first appearance on the podium since 2002, with Biaggi responding to a late attack from Valentino Rossi to seal third.

After a record breaking run of 23 consecutive podiums before Jerez, Rossi finished outside the top three for the second Grand Prix in succession after being forced to settle for fourth by in-form Honda man Biaggi, who reacted to pressure from his great rival with a new lap record on the penultimate lap.

Biaggi's late surge was almost enough to snatch second from Checa, but the Italian was thwarted by back markers as he attempted to challenge in the final series of corners.

Provisional pole holder Colin Edwards finished a disappointing 15.755 seconds down on his victorious team-mate Gibernau, recovering positions in the second half of the race to take fifth from the grasp of Yamaha youngster Marco Melandri.

Alex Barros completed another tough weekend in seventh place although he fared much better than his young team-mate Nicky Hayden, who struggled to eleventh behind Ducati duo Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi, and Honda colleague Makoto Tamada.

Slightly further back, Jeremy McWilliams scored his first MotoGP points for Aprilia whilst rookie Kurtis Roberts finished three places behind his brother Kenny to celebrate the first birthday of the Proton KR V5 machine with his maiden points in the premier-class.


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