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Rossi's title-winning races: 2004 Australian GP

Rossi's title-winning races: 2004 Australian GP

Rossi's title-winning races: 2004 Australian GP

Valentino Rossi became the first rider to win the MotoGP World Championship on a Yamaha since Wayne Rainey in 1992 with his eighth victory of the 2004 season at the Australian Grand Prix. Rossi completed an amazing first year with the Japanese factory after a controversial switch from their great rivals Honda with an exciting victory over Sete Gibernau, his only remaining title challenger, which went right to the final corner.

Rossi becomes only the second rider in history to win the championship with different manufacturers in consecutive seasons behind Eddie Lawson and has broken Lawson and Rainey's joint record of seven wins in a season for Yamaha.

Rossi's joy came at the end of a hard-fought race which saw Loris Capirossi take the holeshot before Gibernau stole the lead with an aggressive move. Rossi dropped to fourth after being passed by Troy Bayliss and had to work hard to recover ground on the Ducati pair, but overtook them both in one stunning move on the first lap. Gibernau made his break at the front but, with Rossi now on course for the title in second place, needed another rider to join in at the front.

Alex Barros provided brief hope, passing Capirossi to take third and charging towards the front pair. However, the Brazilian struggled with rear grip problems in the second half of the race and couldn't maintain his pace, eventually dropping back to fifth behind Capirossi and Colin Edwards.

Gibernau had no choice but to try and force Rossi into a mistake and rode bravely to the end, conceding first place on lap nineteen but staying in touch and recovering the lead five laps from the end. The Spaniard held on until the final lap but Rossi was determined to celebrate his title in style, and recovered top spot two corners from the end and clinching victory by 0.097 seconds.

Capirossi completed the podium and Edwards came through to snatch fourth from Barros on the line, Nicky Hayden came out on top of in the battle for sixth with Honda colleagues Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada, while Troy Bayliss scored ninth in his last MotoGP appearance at his home track for Ducati.

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

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