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Valencia 2004: Rossi wins fitting final race

Valencia 2004: Rossi wins fitting final race

Valencia 2004: Rossi wins fitting final race

Valentino Rossi ended the 2004 MotoGP World Championship in fitting style at Valencia, taking his ninth victory of a season in which he has cemented his place as one of the greatest motorcycle racers in history. Rossi made a bad start but came through an entertaining battle for positions in the opening stages of the race, whilst pole setter Makoto Tamada streaked into a clear lead.

An incident between Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi on lap three opened the way for Rossi to chase Tamada and the Italian took the lead on the sixth lap before being relegated back to second by his Japanese rival two circulations later.

Rossi hit back seven laps later and was this time able to make his escape, eventually opening up a clear advantage at the front. Max Biaggi and Troy Bayliss began to close in over the final few laps after also passing Tamada but ran out of time in the hunt for Rossi.

Second place for Biaggi provided a satisfactory end to his second season with Honda whilst third place for Bayliss represented his first podium of the year in his final race for Ducati.

Sete Gibernau's season ended with fourth place in the race and the runner-up spot in the championship for the second successive season, whilst Tamada eventually dropped back to fifth. Nicky Hayden crashed out of the battle for a podium finish after running with the front group throughout the race, just as he had done the previous season, but his team-mate Alex Barros provided some consolation with sixth place.

Seventh place for Shinya Nakano secured a top ten finish in the championship on the Kawasaki, with the Japanese rider moving ahead of Ruben Xaus after a crash for the Spaniard in his home round. However, eleventh place in the final standings for Ruben Xaus was sufficient for the Rookie of the Year title.

MotoGP, 2005, G. P. DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Valentino Rossi

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