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Mugello 2004: Rossi at the double in Mugello stunner

Mugello 2004: Rossi at the double in Mugello stunner

Mugello 2004: Rossi at the double in Mugello stunner

Last year, Valentino Rossi took victory in the Italian GP after a stunning double race caused by a brief rain shower which brought a sensational battle for victory to a standstill just six laps from the end. Rossi had taken the holeshot for his home race and was leading a group skirmish, which saw Makoto Tamada, Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau, Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden interchange podium positions and the lead, when the heavens opened on the seventeenth lap.

Rossi raised his hand to the air and Race Direction beckoned the riders to the pit-lane to regroup, the majority opting to stay on slick tyres when the starting grid was reformed according to their race positions under a resurgent sunshine. However, light rain again began to fall causing treacherous conditions and an incredibly unpredictable race which saw Norick Abe, Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus take turns at the front before Rossi, Gibernau and Biaggi re-established the podium order with which they had ended the first part of the race.

Bayliss hung on to seal Ducati's best result of the season at their home circuit in fourth place, whilst MotoGP rookie Xaus took his highest ever Grand Prix finish in fifth. Alex Barros, who was closing in on Biaggi for third in the first race, clinched a safe sixth ahead of Abe and Capirossi, whilst Shane Byrne, who diced with the leaders during the second race, took his first top ten finish in tenth.

Hayden did not make the reshuffled grid after crashing out of the first part of the race, nor did Shinya Nakano and Carlos Checa, who also crashed, whilst Kenny Roberts, Kurtis Roberts and Makoto Tamada all retired.

MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO ALICE D'ITALIA, Valentino Rossi

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