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MotoGPApril 7, Race Results
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 1
Japan GP, Suzuka

Rossi Takes Season Opener, RC211V Shines in Inaugural Race

Valentino Rossi, last season's champion with 11 victories, has given a spectacular display starting from pole position to clinch first place in the opening race of the 2002 MotoGP World Championship. Despite the wet conditions at the Suzuka Circuit, the first rain at the event since 1995, Rossi caught back up with the leaders early on before lifting his pace near the end. This was the inaugural MotoGP race (formerly the 500cc class), in which the 4-stroke GP machines participate. Shinichi Itoh, 3rd in qualifying, remained in the top group throughout the race and crossed the line in 4th place. Continuing a great day for the Honda team, Alex Barros took 6th place on his 2-stroke 500cc bike. Expectations were high for Loris Capirossi after qualifying in 2nd, but he could only finish in 9th on race day. Daijiro Katoh, looking for a 5th consecutive Suzuka victory, was 10th and Tetsuya Harada 11th. In what turned into a battle for survival, only 12 riders managed to take the checkered flag.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 1
Japan GP, Suzuka

1 V.ROSSI (Honda RC211V)
2 A.RYO (Suzuki)
3 C.CHECA (Yamaha)
4 S.ITOH (Honda RC211V)
5 N.ABE (Yamaha)
6 A.BARROS (Honda NSR500)
7 N.AOKI (Proton KR)
8 R.LACONI (Aprilia)
9 L.CAPIROSSI (Honda NSR500)
10 D.KATOH (Honda NSR500)
11 T.HARADA (Honda NSR500)
12 J.HOPKINS (Yamaha)
V.ROSSI/Honda RC211V
Honda RC211V

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