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Last year at Catalunya: Rossi returned to haunt Gibernau

Last year at Catalunya: Rossi returned to haunt Gibernau

Last year at Catalunya: Rossi returned to haunt Gibernau

Valentino Rossi followed up the ecstasy of home glory at Mugello last year with a second consecutive victory in the backyard of MotoGP World Championship leader Sete Gibernau after an intense 25-lap battle with the Spanish rider at the Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya.

Gibernau, born and raised in Barcelona, did all he could in front of a record crowd of 102,301 but was powerless to prevent a last lap charge from the Italian, who made his final pass of an enthralling race with two laps to go and squeezed out enough of an advantage to take the flag by just 0.159 seconds.

Marco Melandri clinched his first MotoGP podium in a lonely third place after shaking off the attentions of Max Biaggi in the first half of the race and maintaining a comfortable advantage over Carlos Checa, who came through strongly in the second half of the race to make it three Yamahas in the top four.

Biaggi gradually lost positions as he suffered tyre problems in the second half of the race and dropped a place on each of the final three laps to cross the line in a disappointing eighth.

Honda rider Colin Edwards was the first to pass the Italian, continuing his steady adaptation to life in MotoGP with fifth place, whilst his former WSB sparring partner Ruben Xaus clinched the best result of his rookie season on the Ducati with an impressive sixth place in front of his home crowd. Meanwhile, Shinya Nakano rode bravely to take Kawasaki's best ever MotoGP finish in seventh just seven days after his frightening 200mph crash at Mugello.


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