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Shanghai 05: Rossi takes historic win

Shanghai 05: Rossi takes historic win

Shanghai 05: Rossi takes historic win

Valentino Rossi became the first ever winner of a MotoGP event in China as he took an authoritative victory in torrentially wet conditions at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday. Rossi took the lead from Kenny Roberts on the fifth lap after the Suzuki rider suffered from a mechanical problem, opening up a clear gap over the rest of the field and looking comfortable until a thrilling finale.

Surprisingly the man to challenge Rossi with a late charge was Olivier Jacque, returning to MotoGP as a replacement for the injured Alex Hofmann at Kawasaki to score his first podium in the class. With seven laps to go Jacque overcame Sete Gibernau in second place and closed in on the World Champion at the front, taking chunks out of the Italian's lead with every lap but running out of time as Rossi took the flag by 1.7 seconds.

Gibernau's disappointment at losing out on second place was compounded on the last lap when he conceded third to his team-mate Marco Melandri after apparently suffering with a mechanical problem. Melandri's second podium of the season moves him up to second place in the championship, 25 points adrift of Rossi, whilst fourth place for Gibernau means he is now fifth overall behind Alex Barros and Max Biaggi, who finished eleventh and fifth respectively today.

MotoGP, 2006, POLINI GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Valentino Rossi

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