MOTOGP » 25 September 2005
Capirossi wins, Rossi crowned 2005 champion.
Hayden would take second from Melandri soon after, and the injured Italian would drop out of the lead group when he lost a further position, to Rossi, on lap 4. The top three would then ride nose-to-tail, with the Gauloises Yamaha star rising to second when Hayden ran wide under braking on lap 9.
Two laps later, at the halfway mark, Capirossi lost the lead for the first time when Rossi sprung a quick pass on the Ducati rider – but then handed it back to Loris when he missed his braking point into the final hairpin and ran wide. Capirossi cut effortlessly inside to take the lead, but Rossi retaliated into turn one to the blue M1 back up front once again!
Hayden was still right with the top two, but another rider was also appearing in the frame with Capirossi's team-mate Carlos Checa now ahead of Melandri and making clear ground on the top three. The Spaniard's hopes were helped by the chopping and changing ahead, which continued with 8 laps to go when Capirossi retook the lead, also under braking for turn one.
With 6 to go Checa would be locked onto Hayden's rear wheel, but in his haste to get by the American - who was now dropping away from the top two - he missed several braking points, handing ever more ground to the top two. Checa would finally make a move stick, but now had just five laps to close the three-second plus gap to Rossi.
Meanwhile, all eyes were up front as Capirossi - having withstood Rossi's assault - started to pull away from his compatriot; earning a vital 0.8secs lead over the world champion with four laps top go - could Loris hold on? Any doubts were soon removed as the #65 edged ever slightly away with each lap, extending his advantage to just over a second with two to go.
As the final lap began Capirossi looked assured of victory, but the fans were still on the edge of their seat as team-mate Checa was now within striking distance of Rossi - and was right on the world champion's rear wheel as the last part of the last lap began... could Ducati claim a perfect one-two?
Rossi looked in trouble, but would pull across to the left along the back straight, putting him hard on the inside heading towards the final hairpin - a tactic that worked as he just held off Checa in a race to the flag to secure the 2005 MotoGP World Championship with second position.
The title triumph marked Rossi's fifth consecutive premier class title (one 500cc and four MotoGP) to match the achievements of his former Honda mentor Mick Doohan, and is added to his 125 and 250cc crowns.
After offering his congratulations to race winner Capirossi, Rossi met his fan club further around the circuit and - after a brief 'group hug' - removed his helmet to fit a white t-shirt with a huge black number 7 on the front (for his seventh world title) with each title listed on the back... and he then climbed off his bike to meet a pre-prepared gathering of 'snow white and the seven dwarfs' to mark each of those world titles!
Valentino then fitted a special white helmet, again with a black number 7 and his list of world titles, before remounting his M1 and returning to the paddock to celebrate with his factory Yamaha team - while Ducati appeared equally jubilant after taking their third ever MotoGP victory, first ever back-to-back wins and putting two riders on the podium for the first time.
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