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MotoGPJuly 27, 2003
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 9
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring

Gibernau Robs Rossi of Win in Last Turn Last Lap Thriller

Sensational Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) scored his fourth win of the season at a sun-kissed Sachsenring in eastern Germany in front of an appreciative 92,000 crowd. Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V) had to settle for second after making a critical error on the final turn which Gibernau pounced on for his victory. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) was third.

Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) looked to be the dominant force here this weekend after setting a pole time for the second successive race. He also set the fastest lap of the race before crashing out while chasing down the leading duo of Gibernau and Rossi.

Biaggi wasted his pole position with a dreadful start that sunk him to tenth on the first lap. Rossi howled into turn one ahead of the Ducati duo of Loris Capirossi and Bayliss with Gibernau in close pursuit. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) made good early running, going as high as second momentarily after a robust double overtaking move that disposed of Gibernau and Capirossi. But he couldn't make it stick.

By lap five Rossi had pulled out a 2.5-second advantage over Gibernau who was now in a solid second place with Bayliss third. Biaggi was moving up the field with serious intent and by lap ten he was ready to put Bayliss behind him and work on the leaders. But Bayliss had other ideas and made it hard work for the Roman.

Biaggi and Bayliss swapped places three times on lap 11 as their private battle raged and a lap later the faster Max had finally put the determined Australian behind him. But at turn ten on lap 14 Max lost the front of his RC211V and with it his chance of a win, or at least a hefty points haul.

It was now down to Gibernau to take the challenge to Rossi and the Spaniard was more than up to it. At the halfway stage of the 30-lap race he had cut the deficit to 0.7 seconds, and on lap 21 he made his move on the champ into the tight turn one at the end of the start/finish straight.

Rossi followed closely, seemingly getting the measure of his rival before making a decisive play for the lead at his leisure - but there was nothing at all leisurely about the way he had to ride to keep Gibernau within striking distance. Rossi left it until the last lap before he struck.

On the rapid downhill right approach to the penultimate turn, Rossi fired his RC211V around the outside of Gibernau and was then on the inside of the lefthand turn that followed - and ahead. There was only the final righthand corner to go and Rossi looked poised for victory.

But he overcooked his entry, and with his machine out of shape, Gibernau seized his chance and squared off the turn to shoot his bike up the inside of the floundering Rossi and broach the line six hundredths of a second ahead of the Italian.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 9
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring
1 Sete Gibernau (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda)
2 Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Troy Bayliss (Ducati Marlboro Team)
4 Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team)
5 Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons)
7 Shinya Nakano (d'Antin Yamaha Team)
8 Carlos Checa (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
9 Olivier Jacque (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
10 Norick Abe (Yamaha Racung Team)
13 Makoto Tamada (Pramac Honda Team)
18 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda)
RT Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons)
S.Gibernau & V.Rossi
S.Gibernau & V.Rossi
1 Roberto Rolfo (Fortuna Honda)
2 Fonsi Nieto (Team Repsol Telefonica Movistar)
3 Randy De Puniet (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)
4 Sebastian Porto (Telefonica Movistar jnr Team)
5 Franco Battaini (Campetella Racing)
6 Anthony West (Team Zoppini Abruzzo)
7 Antonio Elias (Team Repsol Telefonica Movistar)
8 Manuel Poggiali (MS Aprilia Team)
9 Alex Debon (Troll Honda BQR)
10 Alex Baldolini (Matteoni Racing)
1 Stefano Perugini (Abruzzo Racing Team)
2 Casey Stoner (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)
3 Alex De Angelis ( Racing)
4 Daniel Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar jnr Team)
5 Pablo Nieto (Master-MXOnda-Aspar Team)
6 Gabor Talmacsi (Exalt Cycle Red Devil)
7 Andrea Dovizioso (Team Scot)
8 Lucio Cecchinello (Safilo Oxydo-LCR)
9 Simone Corsi (Team Scot)
10 Mika Kallio (Ajo Motarsports)
RT Masao Azuma (Ajo Motorsports)

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