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Eleven to won for Rossi.

Carlos Checa finished fifth place ahead of Yamaha stable-mate Shinya Nakano who made good progress in the closing stages. Checa said: ''We've had a few tough races which put us behind, but I feel we're making progress again.''

''Last week we made some important improvements to the bike and we improved the chassis here too. We tried some new settings for the warm-up which were great for the front but gave me some chatter at the rear, so we went back to yesterday's set-up for the race to be safe. I passed a few people early on but I wasn't taking risks, just going step by step. When Rossi came past I tried to follow him but the front folded really badly at one turn, I only saved a crash by keeping the bike up on my knee. I'm quite satisfied with the result, the team worked really well this weekend, now we need to maintain progress in Germany.''

Alex Criville had a quiet day on the leading Repsol Honda to place seventh, passing the fading Roberts inside the final three laps. All three British riders finished the race with Jay Vincent scoring his first 500cc World Championship points with 13th place, one ahead of Chris Walker while Leon Haslam just missed out on his V-Twin and was classified 17th.

Reflecting on the race Yamaha 500 GP project leader Masahiko Nakajima concluded: ''Max rode a good race but it seems like Rossi was too strong for us today. Maybe our bike set-up wasn't quite good enough to stop Rossi. Max had lots of confidence on Friday but yesterday's weather changed everything and we were a little confused with our final settings. We've made good progress with Carlos over the past two or three races and he feels more confident on the bike and positive about the future.''

The next round of the World Championship takes place on July 22 at Germany's Sachsenring, where all 165,000 tickets have been sold in advance.


500cc Top Finishers.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Honda 30 laps
2. Max Biaggi ITA Yamaha + 1.794secs
3. Alex Barros BRA Honda + 2.011secs
4. Noriyuki Haga JAP Yamaha + 7.610secs
5. Carlos Checa SPA Yamaha + 12.526secs
6. Shinya Nakano JAP Yamaha + 12.766secs
7. Alex Criville SPA Honda + 16.225secs
8. Kenny Roberts USA Suzuki + 16.699secs



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