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Rossi blazes to victory ahead of Gibernau in a classic battle

Rossi blazes to victory ahead of Gibernau in a classic battle

Rossi blazes to victory ahead of Gibernau in a classic battle

Valentino Rossi has won the Grand Prix Alice de France at Le Mans after a fierce battle to the end with Sete Gibernau, once again forcing his archrival to settle for second place while thwarting his Le Mans hat-trick dreams.

Rossi started the race in pole position before his team-mate Colin Edwards took the early lead on the first lap, with Nicky Hayden following in second.

Edwards continued a Gauloises Yamaha Team lead until lap 18, with Rossi close behind and Gibernau cutting the gap with a succession of fastest laps. As much as Edwards tried, he was unable to hold the lead and both Rossi and Gibernau overtook, turning the race into a classic battle of the giants.

Edwards ran the rest of the race alone to finish in third place, putting two Yamahas into the top three, with Marco Melandri finishing in fourth after coming off best from a battle with Max Biaggi, who finished in fifth.

American Nicky Hayden was forced to settle for sixth position after an impressive start to the race that saw him take an early second-place lead. Ducati rider Loris Capirossi finished in seventh position ahead of Kawasaki Racing Team rider Shinya Nakano in eighth.

Spanish Fortuna Yamaha Team rider Toni Elias and Australian Camel Honda rider Troy Bayliss completed the top ten respectively.

Rossi now leads the championship on 95 points, with a 37-point advantage over nearest challenger Marco Melandri on 58 points and a massive 42-point advantage over Gibernau.

The Le Mans race was not accident free. Alex Barros dramatically crashed out in the first half along with Shane Byrne. Other riders to crash out included Carlos Checa and Roberto Rolfo. None of the fallen riders sustained serious injury.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE, RAC

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