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All italian podium at mugello

10th june 2003

It will, I'm sure, come as no surprise to read that Valentino Rossi won the home round of the 2003 MotoGP season on Sunday. It may, however, cause you to raise your eyebrows a little to read that Loris Capirossi brought his Ducati home in second place, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Not bad for a team that has only re-entered the MotoGP frame this year after an absence of more than two decades. Keeping the home fans even happier, Max Biaggi rode to a storming third place to make it an entirely red white and green podium.

Results were interestingly grouped, with three Italians leading three Japanese leading two Spaniards. Probably just co-incidence, but not something you see every day.

Something else you don't see every day is Troy Bayliss having his second DNF in a row and crashing out on lap 11 after struggling with set-up all weekend.

Bayliss' weekend went brilliantly, though, when compared to that of Suzuki team mates Kenny Roberts Junior and John Hopkins, who collided on the third lap and both crashed out. Team manager Garry Taylor commented: "You have to say it was just one of those racing things. Both are riders are having to use every ounce of skill and aggression at the moment, and in these circumstances this sort of thing can happen."

Kenny Roberts Senior, on the other hand, probably had rather more of a smile on his face. Although neither of the new Proton V5s lasted, both acquitted themselves well before retiring. The team will have gathered an enormous amount of data from the 18 laps that Jeremy McWilliams completed before pitting, and that will all go well towards their development effort.

Honourable mentions should include Colin Edwards who got his Aprilia over the line in 9th place to earn seven much needed championship points and Alex Hoffman and Garry McCoy who brought their Kawasakis home in 14th and 15th places to gather up the last points in the race.


1 Valentino Rossi (Honda)
2 Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
3 Max Biaggi (Honda)
4 Makoto Tamada (Honda)
5 Shinya Nakano (Yamaha)
6 Tohru Ukawa (Honda)
7 Sete Gibernau (Honda)
8 Carlos Checa (Yamaha)
9 Colin Edwards (Aprilia)
10 Olivier Jacque (Yamaha)



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