Valentino Rossi was gifted victory and a 29 point World Championship lead in today's Gauloises Czech Republic Grand Prix as Max Biaggi crashed out when leading on the thirteenth lap.

The race set off at a blistering pace, with Kenny Roberts taking an early lead before giving way to Biaggi, who broke the circuit lap record twice in an attempt to make a break from the pack. Rossi stayed in touch, setting the lap record himself as he passed Roberts and began to chip away at his fellow Italian's lead.

The pair were out of sight from the rest of the field when Biaggi, pushing hard under pressure from Rossi, lost the front end of his Yamaha and slid into the gravel. Rossi held his concentration to record his fifth victory of the season, Biaggi rejoining the race to finish tenth.

"I am very pleased with this win and I feel justice has been done because if I didn't crash out on the last lap at Mugello I would have held this lead in the Championship already," said Rossi. "This is a very important victory but there are still six races to go and the most important thing now is that I keep my concentration until the end of the season."

Criville and Capirossi overcame the Yamaha of Abe to make it an all-Honda podium in second and third place respectively after the Suzuki of Roberts slipped drastically back down the field before retiring seven laps from the end. Vd Goorbergh suffered a similar fate on the Proton KR3 having made a good start from the front row.

McCoy continued his recovery from injury to take sixth place behind Ukawa, followed by Checa, Gibernau and Barros. Haslam was the only other rider to fall and Stigefelt picked up a first point of the season.

Full race reaction tomorrow on Crash.Net...



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