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Pressure pays off for Rossi in Brno

Pressure pays off for Rossi in Brno

Valentino Rossi extended his World Championship lead to 50 points in Brno, sharing the podium with Toni Elias and Loris Capirossi.

Valentino Rossi once again benefitted from Casey Stoner´s misfortune for a second consecutive MotoGP victory, crossing the finish line first at the Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceske republiky. The Fiat Yamaha rider´s win –coupled with an early crash from his title rival- increased his lead to 50 points in the standings and dealt a crucial strike to his World Championship chances.

Stoner was caught by surprise on the sixth lap when out at the front. He had over a second of advantage over Rossi after taking the holeshot, but slipped his front wheel out on the new Brno asphalt and was lowsided into the gravel. It was Stoner´s first DNF since his joining the Ducati Marlboro team for the 2007 season.

Ducati were, however, represented on the podium in the Czech Republic, courtesy of Alice Team rider Toni Elias. The Spaniard had experienced problems on the sighting lap –a sign that did not bode well for his race- but burst through the 800cc stars ahead of him from thirteenth on the grid. His second place marks the first podium for both he and his satellite team in 2008, and he became only the second satellite rider to step onto the rostrum this year.

Another podium first came from Loris Capirossi, as the veteran made his maiden appearance on the rostrum for Rizla Suzuki. The Italian had taken off from the end of the third row, but showed that there was still life in his MotoGP career by making Suzuki the fourth manufacturer with which he had taken a top three finish in the premier class.

Shinya Nakano paid back Honda for their decision to supply him with a factory spec RC212V for the remainder of the season, giving an immediate return with fourth place for San Carlo Honda Gresini. The Japanese rider was the highest placing rider for the manufacturer, with Michelin-shod factory man Dani Pedrosa way down in fifteenth place.

Riding for his future in MotoGP, Anthony West had the best result of his premier class career onboard the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR. The Australian came home fifth after a superb ride, holding off fellow countryman Chris Vermeulen.

Marco Melandri finished seventh in a race that will do much to aid his cause, whilst the top ten was completed by Alex de Angelis, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. The latter two were the only Michelin riders amongst the first ten past the line.


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