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Rossi triumphs in all-Italian showdown.

After examining all possibilities in the proceeding laps, Rossi made his move for the lead on 12, out-braking his arch rival into turn one and immediately punching out the quickest laps of the race to try and break any opposition.

Seeing this Loris repeated Rossi's move on Biaggi at turn one the next time around, but just as he was thinking about working on Rossi, his bike got sideways in a downhill braking area allowing Max back through.

The Camel rider then made a mistake of his own when he ran wide, and the two made considerable contact when Capirossi dived for the space inside. Both stayed upright, and Biaggi braved it out around the outside to hold his position into the following turn – but the drama had allowed Rossi vital breathing room of around 1.2secs.

Rossi's advantage grew still further as Capirossi again launched an attack on Biaggi, outbraking the #3, only for Max to return the move seconds later – this time however Capirossi wasn't budging and with the two mere millimetres apart, and the Desmosedici kicking and sliding underneath him, Loris held firm around the outside and could finally call second his own when Biaggi suffered a scare when his RCV's front wheel slid into a high speed chicane.

Having broken free for Biaggi, Capirossi had no intention of settling for second and with the huge Ducati grandstand urging him on he gave more than anyone could have asked to catch Rossi in the five laps left.

Vale had a 1.8secs lead when Capirossi moved into second, but that immediately began to disappear at the rate of 0.2secs a lap – culminating in Capirossi setting what would be the fastest lap of the race of lap 20, as he closed to within a second of Rossi's rear wheel.

However, his progress was nothing less than miraculous given the shapes his Ducati was getting into – it was barely upright and stable even on the straights – and that finally took its toll with two laps to go when he ran slightly wide and lost some of his momentum.

The last two laps saw Capirossi regain that ground, but he simply ran out of laps and Rossi was left punching the air with delight as he won by 1.4secs – but it was closer than the time indicates: Rossi kept his head down and rode flat out right to the finish line, there simply wasn't the chance for any of his usual victory celebrations.

Capirossi was suitably pleased with second – Ducati's best MotoGP result to date – and the team swamped the exhausted Loris as if he'd just won.

Biaggi stayed in touch with the top two, finishing 3secs behind Capirossi, but he clearly backed off in the final stages after his front-end scare and was by far the least happy Italian on the podium this afternoon.




Related Pictures

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Rossi leads Biaggi and Capirossi as the Italians battle for home glory.
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