Valentino Rossi wins Spanish MotoGP

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:51 IST

World champion Valentino Rossi beat Sete Gibernau into second place after a thrilling final lap battle in the Spanish MotoGP Grand Prix at Jerez on Sunday.

Jerez:

World champion Valentino Rossi beat Sete Gibernau into second place after a thrilling final lap battle in the Spanish MotoGP Grand Prix at Jerez on Sunday. Gibernau had led for 24 of the 27 laps before a fierce duel between the pair ensued in the closing stages. Rossi gained then lost the lead, but on the final corner the duo's bikes touched, forcing home-favourite Gibernau off and into the gravel. Arch rivals The build-up had seen the continuation of a simmering war of words between Italian world champion Valentino Rossi and his main rival for the title over the past two seasons, Sete Gibernau of Spain. The row began last season in Qatar when Rossi was forced to start the race from the back of the grid after his team were found guilty of laying down rubber on his starting position to try and give him more grip. The Yamaha rider accused Gibernau's team of reporting the incident and has since declared their relationship "terminated". And events in Sunday's race at Jerez will have done nothing whatsoever to repair the damage. Chasing a fifth consecutive world crown, Rossi stalked Gibernau for most of the race before taking the lead with just two laps remaining. Uncharacteristic mistake But on the final lap, an uncharacteristic mistake from Rossi allowed Gibernau to reclaim the lead, earning a standing ovation from over 100,000 Spaniards and setting up a remarkable final sprint. Rossi desperately tried to atone for his error, but despite passing Gibernau he was unable to hold position until the last corner when he nudged his bitter rival into the gravel and took the chequered flag. A visibly angry Gibernau, who had led for 24 of the 27 laps, recovered to take second while his new team-mate Marco Melandri of Italy claimed third place on his Movistar Honda debut. Brazil's Alex Barros was fourth with Camel Honda team-mate Troy Bayliss of Australia sixth either side of Japanese rider Shinya Nakano's Kawasaki. (AP)

Topics : Formula 1
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