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Rossi takes important victory to delight home crowd

Rossi takes important victory to delight home crowd

Rossi takes important victory to delight home crowd

The sun was shining at Mugello, and 89,200 of MotoGP's most rabid aficionados ere treated to a phenomenal race and a home one-two in the Gran Premio Alice d'Italia.

Valentino Rossi took a popular victory much needed for his title chances, putting on a racing masterclass to come in ahead of Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden. The specially designated Camel Yamaha grandstand erupted with delight as they saw their hero pass by in the lead on lap one, having overtaken holeshot man Sete Gibernau on one of the opening corners.

The race was a spectacular display of the quality present in MotoGP, with any number of riders looking like potential race winners. Italy's resident Doctor gave a racing clinic early on ahead of Gibernau and Marco Melandri, then later with Capirossi before breaking past his countryman once and for all on lap 21.

Capirossi had a poor start onboard the specially decorated Desmosedici GP06, dropping down to eighth from second on the grid. By the middle of the race he had fought his way through the pack and taken the lead, and pushed his bike to the limit in the final moments when it seemed all but spent.

Nicky Hayden showed that when not suffering from the flu he is always a formidable rider, back on the podium after his Le Mans blip. The Kentucky Kid looked to be waiting for the front two to force each other into mistake, stalking the two Italians and attempting opportunistic moves.

Although never involved in the leading battle, Dani Pedrosa still made his way up the grid with a strong performance. Last year's 250cc winner at the Italian Circuit earned valuable points with a fourth place, ahead of countryman Gibernau. Marco Melandri rounded off the top six, although could have placed higher had he not run off onto the grass whilst challenging for the lead on lap 16. Team-mate Toni Elias finished in seventh ahead of Kenny Roberts Jr , Makoto Tamada and John Hopkins.

Casey Stoner suffered a spectacular crash whilst making a move on the leading riders, flying off the track after a huge highside although without serious consequences. It is the first race that the young Australian has failed to finished, having not been outside the top six this season.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, RAC

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