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ducati take win in catalunya

15th june 2003

I'm not sure which is the biggest surprise - Ducati mounted Loris Capirossi taking a win in just the sixth outing for the Ducati V4 or Valentino Rossi making not one but two mistakes on the same lap to throw away his lead.

Other than an almighty pileup at the start which saw the departure of the Kawasakis of Akira Yanagawa and Andrew Pitt as well as the Proton V5 of Jeremy McWilliams, the race was fairly uneventful, processional even, up until just 10 laps from the end. Then Rossi made first one mistake, running wide and allowing Capirossi to dive through, and then another, taking an impromptu motocross session and dropping back to sixth.

Although nothing should detract from a magnificent and well earned win by Capirossi and Ducati, the truly amazing ride of the day must be that of Rossi who, recovering from his near off, commenced a fantastic charge back up the field that saw him post two new lap records on his way past Nakano, Checa, Biaggi and Gibernau to recapture second place. Biaggi, attempting to stay with his arch rival, overstretched himself and threw his bike down the track, although he managed to remount and finish 14th.

After the race Capirossi said "My last win was back in 2000 and I am really happy to be up here today. I think it must count as one of my best. It is also a just reward for Ducati, Marlboro and all of the team. The race today was unbelievable especially at the beginning when I was lapping with Valentino. The pace was not so fast early on but then Valentino made a mistake and I was able to move through. Thanks to everyone who believed in us, this is a fantastic day."

Rossi added "I do not know if I am happy for the last part of the race or angry for the mistake. In the beginning I was running at the front quite slowly. Nobody came past me and it seemed like five or six riders were just waiting. I then started to push 100% near the middle of the GP and Loris and I made a little break. I made a little mistake, which meant that I slipped behind Loris but then coming into turn four we hit a different line and I went in much too fast. When I opened my eyes I saw the exhaust pipe of the Ducati right in front of me and had to go wide. I made a little bit of motocross and lost a lot of time, but then I had a lot of fun and set the lap record. To be second to Loris is good for the Championship..."

And the last word to Sete Gibernau, in third place "Today I am happy with this result for the crowd, they really pushed me on and I have to say a big thank you for their support. Anyway, congratulations to Loris, I think maybe he deserves this win more than anybody else."

Which is nice.


1 Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
2 Valentino Rossi (Honda)
3 Sete Gibernau (Honda)
4 Carlos Checa (Yamaha)
5 Shinya Nakano (Yamaha)
6 Tohru Ukawa (Honda)
7 Makoto Tamada (Honda)
8 Alex Barros (Yamaha)
9 Nicky Hayden (Honda)
10 Troy Bayliss (Ducati)



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