Rossi is world champion

Published: 13 October 2004

Valentino Rossi has proven without doubt that he is the best rider in the world by giving Yamaha the MotoGP world championship for the first time in 12 years.

The title fight finished with all attention focused on Sete Gibernau and Rossi for this decisive race with the two riders starting from the top two spots on the grid.

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Gibernau took the hole shot on his Honda and managed to hang on to first place for the majority of the race but Rossi was constantly sizing him up on the Yamaha machine.

On lap 18 Rossi managed to slipstream past in what looked like a move by Gibernau to let the Italian go and see where his strengths and weaknesses lay.

After a failed attempt to get by when Rossi missed one of his breaking points on lap 20, Gibernau finally managed to get back past on the straight in a move that looked like Rossi was returning the earlier favour.

Technically Rossi would still have won the championship with a second place - even if Gibernau had won the final race in Spain they would only have drawn equal on points and Rossi had more victories under his belt - but winning from second was never an option.

He waited until the final lap to pull a late breaking maneuver going in to turn two. Gibernau managed to pull the lead back briefly when Rossi again missed his breaking point but the 25 year old Italian placed himself on the inside going in to the last set of left hand bends, pushing Gibernau wide letting Rossi take the chequered flag and win the championship with a flourish.

In the rest of the field Loris Capirossi gave Ducati it's highest finish this season taking third place behind Rossi and Gibernau after a race long battle with Alex Barros..

Barros ultimately couldn't keep up the hot pace and was swalled by another epic battle that was taking place for fifth.

It was Colin Edwards that eventually came out on top in fourth, with Barros managing to hold on to fifth followed by Nicky Hayden, Max Biaggi, Makoto Tamada and Troy Bayliss, all of whom had been in fifth at one point in the race.

MotoGP finishing positions:

Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Loris Capirossi, Colin Edwards, Alex Barros, Nicky Hayden, Max Biaggi, Makoto Tamada, Troy Bayliss, Carlos Checa, Ruben Xaus, Shinya Nakano, Alex Hofmann, Jeremy Mcwilliams, John Hopkins, Gregorio Lavilla, Norick Abe, Neil Hodgson, Nobuatsu Aoki, James Haydon, Youichi Ui, James Ellison, Marco Melandri, Garry Mccoy.

See seperate story, right, for more results.