After simmering over his last turn Sachsenring defeat at the hands of Sete Gibernau during the summer break (see below) Valentino Rossi struck back in perfect style with an even closer last-lap victory over the Spaniard next time out at Brno.
Having shaken off the satellite Honda of Max Biaggi and factory Ducatis of Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi, Rossi and Gibernau slugged it out for victory over the closing stages of the Czech race.
Gibernau passed Rossi for the lead on the penultimate lap, but the Repsol rider then made a gutsy outbraking move at the bottom of the hill on the final lap.
Gresini Honda rider Gibernau managed to draw alongside Rossi's factory RCV through the final corner, but Rossi got the better drive and just held on - punching the air fiercely as he laid his Sachsenring ghosts to rest, while a dejected Gibernau slammed his head into the fuel tank.
The victory marked the end of a four-race losing streak for Rossi and saw one of his most memorable celebrations.
The Italian joined members of his fan club - dressed as chain-gang prisoners, in black and white stripped clothes - who attached a ball and chain to Rossi's leg and gave him a pick axe to hit a large rock.
Rossi later explained: “The media said I was in crisis because I'd been beaten at the last four races. Leading the championship and finishing on the podium obviously isn't enough, so I must work on the chain gang!”
MotoGP rookie Bayliss joined Rossi and Gibernau on the podium to give Ducati some consolation after Capirossi retired with a technical problem.
3. 2003 German Grand Prix - Sachsenring (990cc):
Sete Gibernau wins by 0.060sec over Valentino Rossi.
Sete Gibernau claimed perhaps his most impressive MotoGP victory when he out-foxed Valentino Rossi at the final turn of the 2003 German Grand Prix.
Rossi led the majority of the race, but was reeled in by Gibernau, who had spent the early stages battling with Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri. Rossi then let Gibernau take the lead on lap 21 of 30, in order to size up his opponent.
Gibernau couldn't break clear and the pair began the last lap just 0.23secs apart.
Rossi had been rehearsing a re-pass and eventually put his plan into action by calmly outbraking Gibernau into the downhill left hander, then took a defensive line into the final corner. Race over? Not this time…