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Ten closest MotoGP races

Sete Gibernau stepped up to lead the Honda challenge against the factory's former star Valentino Rossi in 2004, but soul-destroying close defeats such as Catalunya helped send the title in Rossi and Yamaha's direction.

Gibernau, born and raised just down the road in Barcelona, did all he could to win his third victory of the year in front of a record crowd of 102,301 at Catalunya, but was powerless to prevent a late charge from Rossi.

The Italian made the final pass of an enthralling duel with two laps to go, then squeezed out a slight advantage to take the flag 0.159sec in front of Gibernau's Gresini Honda.

"To win at Mugello [the previous weekend] and Catalunya is like a dream because we knew they would be two difficult tracks for us with the long straights and the extra top speed of the Honda," said Rossi, “but our bike is really good in the turns, which meant I could go with Sete today. The race probably wasn't as much fun as Mugello, it was definitely more intense, but the points are just as important.”

Behind them, Marco Melandri clinched his first premier-class podium in a lonely third place after shaking off the attentions of Camel Honda's Max Biaggi in the first half of the race, then maintaining a comfortable advantage over Carlos Checa in the second.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi, Elias, Edwards, Roberts, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Rossi, Elias, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Rossi, Elias, Roberts, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Elias, Rossi Roberts, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Roberts, Edwards, Elias, Rossi, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Elias, Rossi, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Elias, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Rossi 2nd and Elias 1st, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Elias wins, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Rossi 2nd and Elias 1st, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Elias burn-out, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Victory for Elias, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Rossi 2nd, Elias 1st, Roberts 3rd, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Elias beats Rossi to the line by 0.002secs, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
Elias beats Rossi to win by 0.002secs, Portuguese MotoGP Race 2006
KTM mechanic`s pit lane helmets, Grand Prix Of The Americas 2017
Equipment cases, load in, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Spare bodywork, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.

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