Rossi Celebrates Historic Date at Assen With Another Win
Valentino Rossi once again proved that he is the man for the big occasion as he took victory in the 75th anniversary of the Gauloises TT Assen in another exciting MotoGP race on Saturday. Rossi's sixth win from the opening seven rounds of the 2005 series was also his fifth in succession, the longest winning run by a Yamaha rider in the history of motorcycle racing's premier-class, and extended his lead to 63 points over Honda's Marco Melandri, who was second today. Two weeks ahead of their own 50th anniversary celebrations at Laguna Seca, Yamaha's joy was complete today as Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards also stepped up to the podium with third place.
"Today was another hard battle, as it has been all season," said Rossi. "Melandri was very strong today and he came back to fight until the end. I had to keep pushing at 100% and really concentrate, especially on the last lap, when I made no mistakes and the fastest lap of the race. It was incredible for everybody. I can't believe that I am the first Yamaha rider to win five races in a row, when you look at the company I am in with Yamaha's former World Champions - Agostini, Lawson, Roberts and Rainey... it's great!"
Sete Gibernau remains fourth in the championship behind Max Biaggi after losing out on fourth place in today's race to Nicky Hayden. Gibernau lapped behind Melandri as his young team-mate led in the early stages of the race but, having lost his Chief Mechanic Juan Martínez for the opening day of qualifying due to illness, he was unable to maintain the pace in the second half of the race and eventually dropped back to fifth.
Biaggi fought his way up to sixth place after a bad start that saw him down in eleventh after the first lap, winning a tight battle with former Dutch TT winner Alex Barros that went all the way to the final lap. Shinya Nakano made the most of a terrific start, when he briefly held third place after starting from fourth on the grid, to take another top ten finish in eighth on the constantly improving Kawasaki, although his team-mate Alex Hofmann was denied a similar result as he was forced to retire after six laps when battling for ninth.
The final top ten positions went to Ducati pair Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi, who had an entertaining battle on the Italian machines, whilst Troy Bayliss called on the experience of his previous wins here in World Superbikes to hold off the challenge of Rubén Xaus, John Hopkins and Makoto Tamada. David Checa won the chase with former World Champion Kenny Roberts for the final point in just his third MotoGP appearance as a replacement for Toni Elías, who hopes to back in action for the eagerly awaited return of the USGP at Laguna Seca in two weeks' time.
Sebastián Porto clinched his first victory of the season in the 250cc race with a masterful ride that saw him take the lead form Jorge Lorenzo at the end of the penultimate lap before setting the quickest time of the race to hold off a late challenge from Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo had led the way throughout after starting from pole position and bravely hung on to third place despite riding with a titanium plate and seven screws in the collarbone he broke just thirteen days previously at Catalunya. With Casey Stoner struggling to sixth place and Andrea Dovizioso seventh, Pedrosa now leads the championship with an advantage of 37 and 41 points respectively over the Australian and the Italian.
Gabor Talmacsi shares the lead in the 125cc World Championship with Mattia Pasini after taking his second victory of the season in today's final race. The Hungarian escaped from a frenetic front group of up to nine riders when Marco Simoncelli and Thomas Lüthi collided on the last lap, with the Italian rider crashing and the Swiss youngster recovering to take tenth place. Talmacsi was joined on the podium by Héctor Faubel and Pasini, who recovered six places on the last six laps to cross the line in third and ensure a share of the series lead, with both riders on 100 points.
Source: DORNA COMMUNICATIONS
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