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MotoGPJuly 13, 2003
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 8
British Grand Prix at Donington

Biaggi Inherits Win as Rossi Incurs Ten-Second Penalty

Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V) was denied a fourth win of the season by overtaking Loris Capirossi under yellow (caution) flags and incurring a ten-second penalty - applied retrospectively, two hours after the end of the race. Rossi had mounted the top step of the podium to rapturous applause from a sun-kissed 72,000 crowd after crossing the line 1.2 seconds ahead of Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) in second and Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) in third.

With the ambient temperature hovering around 27 degrees and the track at a heady 38 degrees, Max Biaggi fired his RC211V off the line from pole position and peeled into turn one in the measured, fluid style that is his trademark. He looked comfortable from the off and as Gibernau followed him down the sweeping Craner Curves, Rossi was fighting his way through traffic after a poor start.

Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) had crashed at the first corner on the first lap and as corner marshals waved yellow flags Rossi slipped past Capirossi on the start/finish straight. It was a move that would cost him vital Championship points.

The race unfolded as if nothing had happened, the incident only coming to the attention of Race Control after Rossi had mounted the top step of the podium to the acclaim of the crowd. The three podium finishers had already made their post-race remarks under the assumption that the finishing order was ratified: Rossi, Biaggi, Gibernau.

But that was thrown to the wind when the bombshell dropped that Rossi was to be docked ten seconds for his offence. And although the new finishing order put Biaggi first, Gibernau second and Rossi third, the race itself was a hard-fought on-track victory for Rossi, a mighty second place for Biaggi and a resigned third for Gibernau.

Biaggi was looking as comfortable as any rider can with Rossi behind him, and looked to be locked into an effective rhythm until he hit a false neutral going into the Esses on lap 13 and ran onto the dirt while Rossi slipped through into the lead. The Roman regained the track with dirty tyres and had to settle into a new rhythm with Rossi now two seconds ahead of him.

That Biaggi managed to stay in touch and finish only 1.2 seconds behind at the flag says much about his determination not to let the title run away with Rossi as we reach the halfway point of the 2003 season.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 8
British Grand Prix at Donington

1 Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons)
2 Sete Gibernau (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda)
3 Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team)
5 Troy Bayliss (Ducati Marlboro Team)
6 Carlos Checa (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
7 Noriyuki Haga (Alice Aprilia Racing)
8 Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Shinya Nakano (d'Antin Yamaha Team)
10 Colin Edwards (Alice Aprilia Racing)
13 Makoto Tamada (Pramac Honda Team)
14 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda)
RT Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons)
M.Biaggi/ S.Gibernau/ V.Rossi
1 Fonsi Nieto (Team Repsol Telefonica Movistar)
2 Manuel Poggiali (MS Aprilia Team)
3 Anthony West (Team Zoppini Abruzzo)
4 Antonio Elias (Team Repsol Telefonica Movistar)
5 Roberto Rolfo (Fortuna Honda)
6 Sebastian Porto (Telefonica Movistar jnr Team)
7 Franco Battaini (Campetella Racing)
8 Randy De Puniet (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)
9 Naoki Matsudo (Yamaha Kurz)
10 Alex Debon (Troll Honda BQR)
1 Hector Barbera (Master-MXOnda-Aspar Team)
2 Andrea Dovizioso (Team Scot)
3 Stefano Perugini (Abruzzo Racing Team)
4 Alex De Angelis ( Racing)
5 Casey Stoner (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)
6 Pablo Nieto (Master-MXOnda-Aspar Team)
7 Mika Kallio (Ajo Motarsports)
8 Arnaud Vincent (KTM-Red Bull)
9 Gabor Talmacsi (Exalt Cycle Red Devil)
10 Lucio Cecchinello (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)

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