Capirossi bounces back with dominant victory in Czech Republic2006-08-20 13:48
A second victory of the season for Loris Capirossi was achieved in spellbinding fashion at the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske republiky, completing his full recovery after a horrific crash at Catalunya earlier this year. Capirossi took the holeshot and continued to pull away from the pack, at one point boasting a gap of eight seconds ahead of second placed rider Valentino Rossi, who had a rather more difficult time battling with young pretender Dani Pedrosa.
Capirossi had stormed out of the blocks and stamped his authority on the race before the rest had time to react, and led from flag to flag to seal just his second win of the year on board the Ducati machine. Capirossi also set a new fastest lap on his way to the 25-point haul, finishing the race five-seconds clear of his compatriot Rossi.
Camel Yamaha's Italian star certainly had his hands full with Pedrosa, who after following behind for a number of laps pushed past the reigning World Champion on lap 19. There then followed a breathtaking series of exchanges between the two, ending on the final lap when Pedrosa misjudged a corner and lost valuable time on his opponent Rossi. It had been the first direct back-and-forth battle between the two World Champions, a thrilling moment of history that fans had been eagerly waiting for, and one which will have left them begging for more.
Having dropped down the field in the initial stages of the race, Kenny Roberts Jr fought his way back to take an impressive fourth after starting on the front row. The former World Champion had his hands full with a number of riders going all-out to improve their positions, with the eventual top six being rounded off by Marco Melandri and Casey Stoner. The young Australian showed great maturity throughout the race and avoided another of the crashes that have plagued him recently whilst in good positions.
John Hopkins made a late push to get past both Shinya Nakano and World Championship leader Nicky Hayden, who will be bitterly disappointed with his performance, which saw his championship lead over team-mate Pedrosa cut to just 25 points with a ninth place finish. Colin Edwards rounded off the top ten.
Jorge Lorenzo, dominant all weekend at Brno, took victory from pole at today's 250cc race to extend his lead at the top of the classification to seven points. The Fortuna Aprilia rider, fresh from renewing his contract for 2007, escaped from his pursuers both in the race and championship, Andrea Dovizioso and Hiroshi Aoyama, to win a race which had proved elusive for the Spaniard last season.
Behind Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Aoyama were engaged in an exciting duel which drew to a breathtaking conclusion. Having gradually closed in on his Japanese rival, Dovizioso eventually made his move on the last corner, with Aoyama later admitting to have been "sleeping" with the Italian behind him. 17 thousandths of a second was all that separated the two, some distance ahead of fourth placed rider Roberto Locatelli.
A fight to the finish at Brno saw Alvaro Bautista deal the knockout blow to race and title rival Mika Kallio. The Spaniard dominated two thirds of the race, although Kallio caught up with him on the final lap and made one final attempt to overtake. Although the Finn got through, Bautista powered out of the final corner to take victory number five of 2006, adding 5 points to his advantage over the Finn in the overall standings.
With thousands of fans visiting from nearby Hungary, Gabor Talmacsi gave them something to cheer about with an unexpected podium finish. His chasing of the front two paid off as he headed a small pack of riders looking for a top three spot. Home rider Lukas Pesek, part of the group, slid off the track in the final stages for a heartbreaking conclusion.
1st place: Loris Capirossi (Ducati):
"The whole weekend was fantastic, I had said on Friday that "lets take a flight tomorrow" because nothing was working. The plan today was to start well and do my best on the first laps. I saw that I was putting in 1'58.1 etc laps and I was impressed, so its obvious that a lot of people have combined to achieve this great result."
2nd place: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha):
"I'm happy because we gained important points. From pole you always aim to win, and my start was not one of the best, but Loris was fantastic right from the lights going out. I tried to stay close in case his tyres slid, but we had problems today with rhythm, which we'll work on tomorrow ahead of the next races."
3rd place: Dani Pedrosa (Honda):
"It was hard, starting from ninth, these guys were already in front when I was making up positions. When I got to main group Capirossi was already gone, and even on a normal day it would be hard to catch him. Fighting for second place, I missed a corner and lost 1 second, then decided to settle for what I had because Valentino was too far ahead."
Source: Dorna Communications
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