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rossi does it again. . . again

12th may 2003

Valentino Rossi surprised nobody by winning the third MotoGP of the season in his by now expected emphatic style.

A poor start saw Rossi back in 8th place with the early running being made by Sete Gibernau, anxious to impress his home crowd, and the Ducati pairing of Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss. John Hopkins appeared finally to have put the Suzuki gremlins to bed as he slotted into a highly respectable fourth place.

Sadly for three of these riders, though, this situation was not going to remain.

Rossi drew on some form of superhuman ability and simply came up through the field as though he were filtering through rush hour traffic. Having got into the lead he just kept the pressure up and left the rest behind.

Gibernau, perhaps trying too hard, perhaps still flushed with the knowledge that he can beat Rossi on the right day, threw his Honda into the gravel trap and did a fantastic impression of Charlton Heston at the end of "Planet of the Apes" before he was led away, unhurt but distraught, by the marshalls.

Capirossi was proving hugely entertaining as he smoked the big Ducati out of most turns. Fortunately he was not seriously hurt when the Ducati took exception to this and spat him rather unceremoniously onto the tarmac after he seemd to catch the looming highside.

Suzuki's dismal season continued as Hopkins went backwards through the field with either handling or performance problems.

Biaggi stormed up from a lowly start, some highly effective overtakes showing that while he's definitely playing second fiddle to Rossi at the moment he's not without talent and shouldn't be written off just yet.

Which left the third spot on the podium to be taken by Troy Bayliss. Proving yet again why he's so popular, in the post race interview the Australian commented that he was "Glad to be up here with these guys," referring to the undoubted abilities of his fellow podium sitters.

The championship is hardly wide open - Rossi has won everything so far and has built a commanding lead - but the racing so far has been the best for several years. Roll on the next round...




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