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Brno 2004: Key victory for Gibernau

Brno 2004: Key victory for Gibernau

Brno 2004: Key victory for Gibernau

Last year, Sete Gibernau took victory in the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky to boost his hopes of wrestling the MotoGP World Championship title from Valentino Rossi, whom he trailed by seventeen points with six rounds remaining. Gibernau led the majority of the race from a chasing pack made up of Rossi, Max Biaggi, Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden. However, both Barros and Hayden crashed out to leave a three way scrap which Gibernau controlled to perfection.

After allowing Rossi a brief spell at the front at two-thirds distance, Gibernau swiftly moved back in front and gradually increased his pace to an unstoppable crescendo, lapping close to the record time and leaving Rossi floundering in second. Biaggi was also powerless to prevent the Spaniard, settling for third place and a welcome return to the podium after taking twelfth in the previous round at Donington Park.

The fight for positions further down the field became more intense after Barros and Hayden's misfortune, with the extra available points inspiring Makoto Tamada to fourth place after a long battle with Loris Capirossi. Carlos Checa eventually got the better of Colin Edwards to take sixth whilst Norick Abe, Marco Melandri and Kenny Roberts completed the top ten.

High hopes for Troy Bayliss, who started from the second row and finished on the podium here in 2003, ended two laps from the end when he was forced to retire with mechanical problems which had dogged his Ducati from the start. Meanwhile John Hopkins, who was also confident after setting the fastest time in the weekend's only dry practice, was forced to retire with an engine problem after working his way from 19th on the grid up to eighth.


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