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MotoGPSeptember 21, Race Results
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Brazilian GP, Rio de Janeiro - Jacarepagua

Valentino Rossi Wins in Rio to Take Inaugural MotoGP World Championship

Italian Valentino Rossi raced his REPSOL RC211V Honda to a magnificent victory at today's Rio Grand Prix to win the inaugural MotoGP World Championship. The multi-talented 23-year-old from Tavullia, on Italy's Adriatic coast, gave a superb demonstration of wet weather riding to counter each challenge his rivals posed him.

Rossi sped away from them all to win the race, and title, by 1.6s from the Marlboro Yamaha of archival Max Biaggi, just as he did to clinch the 2001 title in the 500cc World Championship. Rossi had gone into the race needing to finish 11 points clear of his teammate, Tohru Ukawa, but the Japanese crashed out of the race on lap two. If Rossi could hold Biaggi off then, barring an accident or technical problems, the title was his. Rossi rarely crashes and the RCV has yet to let him down!

"It's like a dream come true but difficult to take in right now as my head is still full of the race. But I want to thank my team and Honda for giving me the bike to win this title," said a delighted Rossi at the post race press conference.

Kenny Roberts (Telefonica MoviStar Suzuki) finished third 17 seconds behind Rossi with Brazilian Alex Barros (West Honda Pons) fourth and his teammate Loris Capirossi fifth.

Sebastian Porto (Petronas Sprinta Yamaha) won the first grand prix of his career at the 104th attempt with a superb start to finish victory in the 250cc race. Argentine Porto also scored the first ever 250 GP victory for his country and for his race team. He led home Roberto Rolfo (Team Fortuna Honda Gresini) at the end of the 22-lap race. Franco Battaini (Imola Circuit Aprilia) finished third, well clear of Marco Melandri (MS Aprilia). Melandri now heads the title chase by a massive 45 points over Fonsi Nieto (Telefonica MoviStar Repsol Aprilia) who crashed out of the race seven laps before the checkered flag, his title aspirations in tatters.

Masao Azuma won a rain affected 125cc grand prix in quite spectacular style. The Tribe by Breil Honda rider had managed no better than 18th in qualifying but set the fastest time in the race day warm-up, held in wet conditions. At the end of lap one he was up to 12th place, and improved lap by lap despite the terribly slippery track. He eventually caught and passed the leading duo, and championship contenders, Arnaud Vincent (Imola Circuit Aprilia) and reigning 125cc World Champion Manuel Poggiali (Gilera), four laps from the finish to win by almost two seconds from Vincent, with Poggiali third.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Brazilian GP, Rio de Janeiro - Jacarepagua

1 V.Rossi (Honda RC211V)
2 M.Biaggi (Yamaha)
3 K.Roberts Jr. (Suzuki)
4 A.Barros (Honda NSR500)
5 L.Capirossi (Honda NSR500)
6 N.Abe (Yamaha)
7 O.Jacque (Yamaha)
8 S.Gibernau (Suzuki)
9 J-v.Goorbergh (Honda NSR500)
10 G.Mccoy (Yamaha)
11 J.L.Cardoso (Yamaha)
12 N.Aoki (Proton KR)
13 T.Harada (Honda NSR500)
14 J.Hopkins (Yamaha)
-- R.Laconi (Aprilia)

1 S.Porto (Yamaha)
2 R.Rolfo (Honda NSR250)
3 F.Battaini (Aprilia)
4 M.Melandri (Aprilia)
5 A.Elias (Aprilia)
6 C.Stoner (Aprilia)
7 E.Alzamora (Honda NSR250)
8 N.Matsudo (Yamaha)
9 S.Yuzy (Yamaha)
10 L.Haslam (Honda NSR250)
11 J.Hules (Yamaha)
12 D.Checa (Aprilia)
13 E.Nigon (Aprilia)
14 D.Heidolf (Aprilia)
15 J.Smrz (Honda RS250R)
1 M.Azuma (Honda RS125R)
2 A.Vincent (Aprilia)
3 M.Poggiali (Gilera)
4 G.Talmacsi (Honda RS125R)
5 P.Nieto (Aprilia)
6 S.Perugini (Italjet)
7 J.Lorenzo (Derbi)
8 M.Kallio (Honda RS125R)
9 K.Nohles (Honda RS125R)
10 L.Cecchinello (Aprilia)
11 A-D.Angelis (Aprilia)
12 G.Borsoi (Aprilia)
13 A.Dovizioso (Honda RS125R)
14 S.Sanna (Aprilia)
15 H.Barbera (Aprilia)

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