Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi were using measured words to describe their last lap collision in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, which ended with victory for Rossi while Gibernau limped home second after being forced off track.

The pair swapped the lead several times on the final lap, before they headed for the fateful last turn with long time race leader Sete just in front. As these pictures show, both dived for the inside and would collide as they approached the apex, locking them together and sending the home favourite through the gravel trap while Rossi claimed victory.

Gibernau, who recovered to finish second, was furious after the race and would not comment on the last lap. Meanwhile the 127,000 strong patriotic crowd booed the Italian national anthem as it boomed out from the rostrum to celebrate another victory for the #46.

"We set a really fast pace throughout the race and in the end I slowed down a little to see where Valentino's strong points were," said Sete. "We pressured each other hard and I have the peace of mind that I did everything I could and that in general we're already at a high level at the first race. It's going to be a long and hard championship.

"I don't want such a great race to be reduced to what happened in the final corner," he explained, when asked why he wouldn't comment on what happened. "I love this sport and I don't want to get involved in politics, I just want to stay strong and calm and remain focused on our dream. I led the race from the start, I wanted to have a look at Rossi's pace and I think it was the right strategy. We have to keep going now."

Rossi, meanwhile, admitted that his move had been "hard" but added that it was a part of racing.

"It was a hard battle with Gibernau. He was very fast today and rode very well. I got in front with two laps to go but unfortunately I made a big mistake in the middle of the last lap on the braking and Gibernau got past," said the six-times world champion. "We passed each other again, we touched two or three times and then at the end I passed him at the last corner. For sure it was a hard move and for sure Sete is angry - but this is racing."

Round two of the 2005 MotoGP World Championship, the Portuguese Grand Prix, will take place at Estoril next weekend.

 

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