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Sepang 2004: Rossi on his way to fourth title

Sepang 2004: Rossi on his way to fourth title

Sepang 2004: Rossi on his way to fourth title

Last year's Malaysian GP was a perfect weekend for Italian race fans as Valentino Rossi took another step towards the MotoGP World Championship and Andrea Dovizioso lifted the 125cc title.

Rossi's clear victory, coupled with a disappointing seventh place for Sete Gibernau, meant that the reigning World Champion got the chance to retain his crown by finishing in the top two positions at the following race in Australia, the penultimate round of the season.

Rossi's victory came after an intense race in hot and humid conditions which saw the Yamaha rider battle for the lead over the opening laps with Honda rival Alex Barros. However, Rossi managed to shake off the Brazilian after four laps and opened up a comfortable advantage, leaving Gibernau to fight it out with a combative lead group.

At the halfway stage the group began to stretch out but Gibernau was unable to make inroads. Max Biaggi moved to the head of the pack, relegating Barros to third place and leaving Nicky Hayden clear in fourth. Gibernau looked equally safe in fifth but a late charge from Loris Capirossi and Makoto Tamada saw him lose two places in the final six laps.

Whilst Biaggi and Barros completed the podium and Nicky Hayden took fourth, Tamada overcame Capirossi on the last lap to seal fifth place and close in on fifth in the championship, occupied by Colin Edwards.

Seventh for Gibernau represented his lowest finish of the season to that point, whilst Shinya Nakano celebrated his 27th birthday with eighth place after overtaking Carlos Checa on the last lap.

Troy Bayliss completed the top ten whilst Edwards, who is just three points clear of Tamada, struggled to eleventh. Norick Abe, Ruben Xaus, Yukio Kagayama and Jeremy McWilliams completed the points.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, MARLBORO MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi

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