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Magic Melandri makes it nine out of sixteen.

Alzamora didn't appear too disappointed though and the top Spaniard was soon waving furiously to the home crowd, after crossing the line, and having found a huge Spanish flag was soon running towards the packed grandstands.

But it was Melandri who cruised to his ninth GP victory of the year with a dominating performance in which he never looked pressured – and the Italian savoured his last 250cc GP victory by waving a flag of his own and then doing a huge burn-out in the pitlane.

Behind the top three, Randy de Puneit took fourth ahead of Locatelli (in his last 250 race before stepping down to the 125cc class with KTM) and David Checa.

“Before I came here I wanted to take pole and win to say (goodbye) to the 250cc class,” said a smiling Melandri afterwards. “But I was a little lucky because near the end my front tyre was finished and I couldn't push any more, but I had a big enough advantage by then.”

“It was a very difficult race,” said the politely spoken Rolfo after takings second. “I got closed in at the first turn but I tried really hard and I'm glad to finish the year on the podium for myself and the team. It was really nice for me to battle with Emilio and get a good result at a track I've never really gone well at.”

Rolfo team-mate Alzamora himself added:” It was an interesting fight with Rolfo – I couldn't quite get by on the last lap, but after a difficult season it's a great way to end the year on the podium. I don't know where I'll be riding next year but I'll be trying to give the Spanish fans more enjoyment.”

Full results to follow…

1. Melandri
2. Rolfo
3. Alzamora
4. de Puniet
5. Locatelli
6. Checa
7. Battaini
8. Matsudo

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Melandri gives the Valencia crowd value for money.
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