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Magny-Cours: Haga's race, Bayliss' title.

Nonetheless, the method was working and he was getting a gap between himself and Bayliss, who in turn was now under pressure from his team-mate Michel Fabrizio. The Italian was providing much of the entertainment as he battled back from a ninth place starting position. Passing Corser, Neukirchner and Nieto with the same move into the 180 left-hander, Fabrizio pulled off an identical pass on Checa for third place on lap 13.

Checa's fortunes took a dramatic turn for the worse soon afterwards as he seemingly struggled with tyre woes. Plummeting down the order, Fabrizio was now third, with Nieto tailing him in fourth having seemingly found some late-race pace.

Passing Fabrizio on lap 18, the Italian's attempts to wrestle it back ended rather abruptly four laps from the end when he under-sided off the track and out of the race at Estoril.

With his rear-gunner now missing in action, Bayliss simply decided to allow Nieto through into second place and concentrate on completing his title endeavour with a spot on the lower step of the podium.

It was a task he completed comfortably as he crossed the line to the cheers of his Ducati team and the thousands of spectators descending on Magny-Cours to celebrate with him.

Bayliss' replacement in the team for 2009, meanwhile, was a comfortable winner by almost seven seconds, with Nieto claiming his best result since winning at Qatar earlier this season in second place.

Max Biaggi followed Bayliss in fourth after a late spurt in the closing stages, while Neukirchner was a quiet fifth after an error early on in the race saw him lose two places. Corser's title hopes faded with in sixth, the Aussie rider's strong start leading to what otherwise proved to be an unspectacular race.

Checa held on for seventh after a terrible final few laps that eventually saw him finish 16 seconds off the leaders.

The battle for the remainder of points remained open right up until the final stages of the race as the close mid-pack disputed the difference between eighth and 15th.

Leading the way was Yukio Kagayama, who completed a good start to the day for Suzuki in eighth, while Kenan Sofuoglu produced his best result of the season aboard the Ten Kate Honda in ninth.

Gregorio Lavilla was tenth, although not before Roberto Rolfo, David Checa, Ruben Xaus and Lorenzo Lanzi all retired from having briefly occupied positions inside the top ten.



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