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Motegi 2005: Capirossi won Motegi thriller as Rossi crashed out

Motegi 2005: Capirossi won Motegi thriller as Rossi crashed out

Motegi 2005: Capirossi won Motegi thriller as Rossi crashed out

Loris Capirossi took his first victory of the season in a dramatic Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi as Valentino Rossi crashed out and missed his first opportunity to clinch the 2005 MotoGP World Championship. Capirossi made a cautious start from pole position, chasing early leader Marco Melandri over the opening laps before being joined by Max Biaggi. Rossi, meanwhile, made excellent progress from eleventh on the grid and by the time he caught the leading trio on the fourth lap, Melandri had been relegated to third place.

With Biaggi leading from Capirossi - the duo some way clear of the field on lap thirteen - Rossi collided with Melandri into turn ten sending both riders tumbling into the gravel. Capirossi then stalked his compatriot for the next six laps before making his move and opening up an advantage of 1.4 seconds to take a convincing victory - Ducati's first of the season, and the first for tyre manufacturers Bridgestone since winning at the same circuit last year with Makoto Tamada. The Japanese rider crossed the line in a distant third place to complete the podium.

Carlos Checa took the chequered flag in fourth place, although he was 22 seconds down on his victorious team-mate, as only eleven riders finished a crash-strewn race. John Hopkins, who started from the front row of the grid but gradually lost positions as the race wore on, picked up his first top-five Grand Prix finish, ahead of Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, Kenny Roberts, Toni Elías, Ruben Xaus and Franco Battaini. Alex Hofmann crashed and broke his ankle, which kept him off the track during 5 GPs.

MotoGP, 2006, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Loris Capirossi, Valentino Rossi

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