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Catalunya 2005: Five from six for Rossi in MotoGP

Catalunya 2005: Five from six for Rossi in MotoGP

Catalunya 2005: Five from six for Rossi in MotoGP

In last year's Catalunya Grand Prix, eventual champion Valentino Rossi continued his incredible start to the 2005 season with his fifth victory from six rounds. In front of a record crowd at the Montmeló track on the outskirts of Barcelona, home favourite Sete Gibernau could do nothing to prevent a breathtaking charge to the line from the World Champion, who smashed the circuit record by almost 1.5 seconds with just three laps remaining to open up an insurmountable advantage as the chequered flag was prepared.

Rossi was racing in Spain for the first time since a controversial move in Jerez earned him victory ahead of Gibernau, but although there were initial fears about the reaction to The Doctor from the crowd, he received a rapturous reception from the Catalunya faithful.

Marco Melandri held onto his second place in the classification, 58 points behind Rossi, after clinching the final place on the podium for the second successive season at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Italian youngster led the race in the combative early stages and was involved in a thrilling battle on the final few laps as he held off the attentions of Honda colleagues Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden, who were forced to settle for fourth and fifth place respectively.

Max Biaggi did his best to get involved in the podium struggle but was some way adrift of Hayden in sixth place as he failed to follow up a strong showing in his home Grand Prix at Mugello.

Colin Edwards rode a lonely race to seventh place after struggling with tyre problems in the latter stages, although by that time he had escaped an intense struggle for positions in the middle of the pack involving Troy Bayliss, Shinya Nakano and Ruben Xaus. Ducati pair Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi had also formed part of the skirmish but dropped away drastically in the second half of the race, when they also encountered tyre troubles in rising temperatures at the notoriously demanding Spanish circuit.

David Checa produced a stirring ride to finish in thirteenth place, just 3.5 seconds behind his brother Carlos in only his second MotoGP appearance. Checa's performance was made all the more remarkable by the fact he missed the first day of practice as he waited on standby for Toni Elías, who attempted to ride through the pain of a broken wrist before eventually stepping aside on the Friday evening. The final point-scoring positions were taken by Roby Rolfo and Kenny Roberts.

MotoGP, 2006, Valentino Rossi

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