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Losail 2004: Gibernau wins as Rossi crashes

Losail 2004: Gibernau wins as Rossi crashes

Losail 2004: Gibernau wins as Rossi crashes

Last year in Qatar,Sete Gibernau took victory in a dramatic inaugural race at the Losail International Circuit, where Valentino Rossi was controversially forced to start from the back of the grid and subsequently crashed out as he made his way through the field.

Rossi's Yamaha team were penalised for cleaning his starting position on the grid, as were Max Biaggi's Honda crew, and both riders were docked six seconds from their qualifying times.

It meant the Italian pair had to start from the back row, giving Gibernau fresh confidence as he looked to close Rossi's championship lead. Gibernau started from third and gave chase to early leader Carlos Checa, passing him on the first lap.

At the same time Rossi made up fourteen places in an incredible start, and claimed another four positions on the next three laps to move fourth behind Colin Edwards.

However, two laps later the Italian drifted slightly wide onto the artificial grass which surrounds the track and spectacularly lost control of his machine, escaping unhurt but unable to return to the track. On the ninth lap Edwards passed Checa and then set his sights on Gibernau at the front, but while he exerted pressure on his team-mate he could not get close enough to challenge for victory in an intense finish.

MotoGP rookie Ruben Xaus clinched his first ever podium in third place after taking advantage of a fuel problem for Carlos Checa three laps from the end.

Alex Barros came through to take fourth after fighting back from a double whammy on the fourth lap. After being pushed wide by Rossi, he got caught behind Shinya Nakano just as the Japanese rider experienced engine problems, blowing smoke into the face of the Brazilian who was forced off the track and returned down in 18th place.

Nicky Hayden completed the top five whilst Max Biaggi made continual progress through the field to take sixth as Checa, Nakano, Troy Bayliss, Loris Capirossi, Neil Hodgson and Marco Melandri all retired and Jeremy McWilliams and Nobuatsu Aoki crashed.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Valentino Rossi

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