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MotoGPSeptember 8, Race Results
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 11
Portugal GP, Estoril

Rossi Takes Ninth MotoGP Victory of the Season as Rain Dancers Shine in Estoril.

Today's Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril was tailor made for the wet weather specialists as heavy rain fell throughout the day, and each of the three grand prix races was won by an established 'Rain Dancer.'

Reigning 500cc World Champion Valentino Rossi (REPSOL Honda), won the 30-lap MotoGP race after a frantic catchup pursuit of Sete Gibernau (Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki), which ended when Gibernau crashed out with four laps remaining in the race.

It was Rossi's ninth victory of the season, and he leaves Estoril with an almost unassailable 89-point lead in the series with just five races remaining and 125 points on offer.

Pole position man Carlos Checa (Marlboro Yamaha) finished second, 22-seconds behind Rossi, with Tohru Ukawa, on the second REPSOL Honda, taking third to consolidate his second place in the series. Gibernau's teammate, Kenny Roberts, came home in fourth place, just clear of Alex Barros (West Honda Pons), the first two-stroke to finish.

Spaniard Fonsi Nieto (Telefonica MoviStar Aprilia) emerged victorious from a sensational 250cc GP. The riders started the 26-lap thriller in teeming rain, dense spray hampering visibility. Nieto experienced everything the weather could throw at him. He held the lead early on, dropped back to third, crashed, remounted in seventh place and went on to win, beating home championship rival Marco Melandri (MS Aprilia) by just 0.6s at the end of the 26-lap race. Pole position man Sebastian Porto (Petronas Sprinta Yamaha), another one who ran into the dirt during the race, finished third. Roberto Rolfo (Team Fortuna Honda Gresini) fought hard for his fourth place finish.

Roberto Locatelli (Tu racing Aprilia) came home in fifth place, well clear of Emilio Alzamora (Team Fortuna Honda Gresini). Young Englishman Leon Haslam (Cibertel Honda BQR) scored the best result of his career with seventh place.

Frenchman Arnaud Vincent (Imola Circuit Aprilia) raced to a brilliant victory in the 125cc grand prix, his fourth victory of the season. Vincent had been involved in a race long duel with Steve Jenkner (UGT 3000 Aprilia) and Simone Sanna (Tu racing Aprilia), and they finished in that order after a thrilling finale. Vincent's win gives him a 23 point lead over reigning World Champion Manuel Poggialli (Gilera) who crashed out of the race on lap 21 of 24 while holding fourth place.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 11
Portugal GP, Estoril

1 V.Rossi (Honda RC211V)
2 C.Checa (Yamaha)
3 T.Ukawa (Honda RC211V)
4 K.Roberts Jr. (Suzuki)
5 A.Barros (Honda NSR500)
6 M.Biaggi (Yamaha)
7 N.Abe (Yamaha)
8 J.Hopkins (Yamaha)
9 J.McWilliams (Proton KR)
10 T.Harada (Honda NSR500)
11 G.Mccoy (Yamaha)
12 S.Nakano (Yamaha)
-- S.Gibernau (Suzuki)
-- D.Kato (Honda RC211V)
-- L.Capirossi (Honda NSR500)
V. Rossi
V. Rossi

Center : V. Rossi / Right : T. Ukawa
Center : V. Rossi
Right : T. Ukawa

1 F.Nieto (Aprilia)
2 M.Melandri (Aprilia)
3 S.Porto (Yamaha)
4 R.Rolfo (Honda NSR250)
5 R.Locatelli (Aprilia)
6 E.Alzamora (Honda NSR250)
7 L.Haslam (Honda NSR250)
8 D.Checa (Aprilia)
9 D.Heidolf (Aprilia)
10 H.Faubel (Aprilia)
11 R.Jara (Aprilia)
12 E.Nigon (Aprilia)
13 A.Elias (Aprilia)
-- G.Lefort (Aprilia)
-- S.Yuzy (Yamaha)
1 A.Vincent (Aprilia)
2 S.Sanna (Aprilia)
3 S.Jenkner (Aprilia)
4 P.Nieto (Aprilia)
5 M.Azuma (Honda RS125R)
6 L.Cecchinello (Aprilia)
7 G.Borsoi (Aprilia)
8 M.Kallio (Honda RS125R)
9 T.Luthi (Honda RS125R)
10 D.Pedrosa (Honda RS125R)
11 C.Davies (Aprilia)
12 C.Pistoni (Italjet)
13 M.Sabbatani (Honda RS125R)
14 J.Simon (Honda RS125R)
-- A.Dovizioso (Honda RS125R)

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