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Gibernau defeats Rossi in sizzling German duel

Gibernau defeats Rossi in sizzling German duel

Gibernau defeats Rossi in sizzling German duel

Sete Gibernau outfoxed double World Champion Valentino Rossi on the final corner of the German Grand Prix to win his fourth race of the season.

The Honda duo broke free of the pack within the formative laps and Gibernau took at least a third of the race distance to chip away at Rossi's three second lead. Finally the Spaniard, who had triumphed in the same amount of races as Rossi prior to the Sachsenring face-off (three), closed and passed the World Champ and set about defending the tight racing line.

Rossi moved through on the penultimate corner for a grandstand finish but then made a mistake taking a wide line on the final bend as Gibernau swooped outside, cut in tight and accelerated earlier, carrying an advantage of 0.6 seconds over the 100 metres or so to the chequered flag. Rossi was visibly seething, an unusual sight, while the 30 year old Spaniard celebrated arguably his finest ever victory.

Aside from Gibernau's headline grabber, the main story of the race must go to Max Biaggi who totally fluffed his start from pole position, finishing the opening lap down in tenth and charged back to third before sliding into the gravel. Biaggi had easily been on course for a podium and possibly a tussle with the two 2003 spec Hondas ahead of him, instead now the Italian has to reflect on a costly mistake in terms of the World Championship over the three week break.

Troy Bayliss captured his second podium of the year with a lonely ride in third after Biaggi's untimely exit. Loris Capirossi completed a decent weekend's work for the Ducati team while special mention must go to Nicky Hayden for his best MotoGP result in his rookie season with fifth that was so nearly fourth after a close fight with Capirossi. Tohru Ukawa, Shinya Nakano, Carlos Checa, Olivier Jacque and Norick Abe rounded off the top ten.

Marco Melandri had been on course for a top four finish until the reigning 250cc World Champ fell on lap 24. Nori Haga and Alex Barros also failed to stay upright while John Hopkins's Suzuki exploded into a fairly spectacular ball of smoke in the last third of the 30 lap duration.

Rossi now has not won in four Grand Prix even though he has acculmulated 15 consecutive podium results. The Italian has conceded five points to Gibernau in the Championship but still heads the standings by 29. Biaggi now trails by 57 in third.

MotoGP, 2003, Cinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

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