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MotoGPJune 2, Race Results
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 5
Italia GP, Mugello

Rossi and The RC211V in Total Control in Italy

Valentino Rossi raced his RC211V 5-cyclinder 4-stroke 990cc REPSOL Honda to a superb victory in today's 23 lap Italian MotoGP race to take a stranglehold on the world championship, much to the delight of his army of fans in attendance. But it could have been so different. Rossi crashed in the morning pre-race warm-up but luck was on his side and he escaped from the fall unscathed. It was the precocious Italian's 43rd GP victory.

It was also Rossi's fourth victory in the five MotoGP races held so far this season, and it extended his series lead to 43 points over teammate Tohru Ukawa.

Rossi's arch-rival, Max Biaggi (Marlboro Yamaha), and Ukawa, on the second RCV REPSOL Honda, chased the Italian superstar home to complete the podium places. Biaggi's teammate, Carlos Checa crossed the finishing line in Ukawa's shadow to take fourth place. The two men were well clear of West Honda Pons riders Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi. Rossi's victory was the 10th consecutive Honda win at Mugello in the premier class.

Italian Marco Melandri delighted the crowd of 65,000 with victory in the 21 lap 250cc grand prix. Melandri led from the start but had to contend with stiff challenges from Roberto Locatelli (Tu Racing Aprilia) and Franco Battaini (Imola Circuit Aprilia). The three men dominated the proceedings until the penultimate lap of the race when Battaini hit Locatelli entering a fast corner. Locatelli was slowed by the incident, which saw Battaini run onto the grass in the process.

Melandri took advantage of the situation to open a slight lead he was never likely to relinquish, no matter what the luckless Locatelli did. Fast finishing Fonsi Nieto (Telefonica MoviStar Aprilia) snatched third place from teammate Toni Elias and Randy De Puniet (Campetella Aprilia) on the very last lap. But Nieto saw his world championship lead cut to 15 points by race winner Melandri.

The Team Fortuna Honda Gresini riders did not fare so well, Roberto Rolfo finishing in eighth place and teammate Emilio Alzamora in 11th.

Reigning world champion Manuel Poggialli (Gilera) won a thrilling 125cc grand prix in which any one of eight riders could have taken victory. Honda's Dani Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team) had been in the thick of the action for the entire 20 laps and looked to have won a podium place for the team. But with just meters to go to the finishing flag the Spanish youngster was relegated to fourth place by Youichi Ui (Derbi) and Pablo Nieto (Master Aprilia) when the two men pulled out of his slipstream to pass him. Poggiali now tops the 125cc championship standings by a single point from Arnaud Vincent (Imola Circuit Aprilia). Pedrosa holds fourth place, 20 points down on Poggiali.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 5
Italia GP, Mugello

1 V.Rossi (Honda RC211V)
2 M.Biaggi (Yamaha)
3 T.Ukawa (Honda RC211V)
4 C.Checa (Yamaha)
5 A.Barros (Honda NSR500)
6 L.Capirossi (Honda NSR500)
7 N.Abe (Yamaha)
8 R.Laconi (Aprilia)
9 O.Jacque (Yamaha)
10 T.Harada (Honda NSR500)
11 S.Nakano (Yamaha)
12 J.Hopkins (Yamaha)
13 J-M.Bayle (Yamaha)
14 J-v.Goorbergh (Honda NSR500)
-- J.McWilliams (Proton KR)

1 M.Melandri (Aprilia)
2 R.Locatelli (Aprilia)
3 F.Nieto (Aprilia)
4 A.Elias (Aprilia)
5 R-D.Puniet (Aprilia)
6 F.Battaini (Aprilia)
7 S.Porto (Yamaha)
8 R.Rolfo (Honda NSR250)
9 S.Yuzy (Yamaha)
10 D.Checa (Aprilia)
11 E.Alzamora (Honda NSR250)
12 H.Aoki (Honda RS250R)
13 V.Philippe (Aprilia)
14 N.Matsudo (Yamaha)
15 J.Vincent (Honda RS250R)
1 M.Poggiali (Gilera)
2 Y.Ui (Derbi)
3 P.Nieto (Aprilia)
4 D.Pedrosa (Honda RS125R)
5 G.Borsoi (Aprilia)
6 L.Cecchinello (Aprilia)
7 A-D.Angelis (Aprilia)
8 S.Jenkner (Aprilia)
9 A.Vincent (Aprilia)
10 A.Ballerini (Honda RS125R)
11 S.Sanna (Aprilia)
12 A.Dovizioso (Honda RS125R)
13 M.Azuma (Honda RS125R)
14 G.Pellino (Aprilia)
15 A.perugini (Italjet)

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