|MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 3
Spain GP, Jerez
Rossi and RCV Honda Victorious in Spain --- Kato Second on NSR500.
| Valentino Rossi
swept to his third consecutive MotoGP victory when he won today's 27 lap
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The multi-talented Italian survived an early
collision with Kenny Roberts (Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki), which dropped
him to eighth place, to take command of the race on lap 17 of 27. Once ahead
of early leader, team mate Tohru Ukawa, Rossi piled on the pressure and
opened up a four-second lead. He eventually went on to take a two-second
victory, easing off as he approached the finishing line.
Reigning 250cc World Champion Daijiro Kato (Team Fortuna Honda Gresini) got past Ukawa with six laps to go to take a superb second place. Ukawa finished third, just ahead of the two West Honda Pons's of Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros.
Rossi now heads the MotoGP Championship with 70 points, 29 ahead of team mate Ukawa, with Kato a further two points adrift.
Spaniard Fonsi Nieto (Telefonica MoviStar Aprilia) won the 250cc grand prix, his first ever GP win, in his 50th grand prix start. Nieto rode an intelligent race, controlling his pace until the fuel load lightened, then closing in to pass race leader Roberto Rolfo (Team Fortuna Honda Gresini) with six laps to go and take the checkered flag two seconds clear of the Honda rider. Slow starting Emilio Alzamora, on the second Gresini Honda, was gifted third place on the final lap when the Aprilia duo of Marco Melandri and pole sitter Franco Battaini both crashed out.
Lucio Cecchinello, racing in his 120th grand prix, won a superb 125cc race. The Safilo Oxydo Aprilia rider held off a determined last corner attack from reigning World Champion Manuel Poggiali (Gilera) to take the third win of his career. Poggiali's rash move resulted in a high side crash, handing second place to world championship leader Arnaud Vincent on a plate. Steve Jenkner (UGT 3000 Aprilia) was third. Dani Pedrosa finished fourth for the Telefonica Movistar Junior Team, with young Finnish rider Mika Kallio finishing fifth for Red Devil Honda.
| MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 3
Spain GP, Jerez
center : V.ROSSI
left : D. KATO
right : T. UKAWA