Rossi takes the title with a win in Rio
He’s been 125cc world champion, he’s been 250cc world champion and he’s been the 500cc world champion. Now Valentino Rossi can add the maiden MotoGP crown to his trophy cabinet after winning a soaking race in Rio.
Rossi’s only title rival, his Repsol Honda teammate Tohru Ukawa spilled off on standing water just a handful of laps into the race. With him out of the picture Rossi could have settled for virtually any top 10 position and still have taken the title.
But the young Italian kept up the pressure on early leader Kenny Roberts on the Suzuki, and swept past on his way to an easy win in the Brazilian Grand Prix from Max Biaggi in second and Roberts in third.
Race of the day, and honourable mention, must go to Biaggi’s Malboro Yamaha partner Carlos Checa. A missed gear on the start line left the Spaniard dead last going into the first corner, but a series of blistering laps on the M1 took him from an 11-second deficit on the leaders to the lead inside six laps.
But the celebrations in the Yamaha camp lasted only two corners before Checa lost the back end and slid off.
Biaggi overtakes Ukawa in second place in the series now.
1)V Rossi 2)M Biaggi 3)K Roberts 4)A Barros 5)L Capirossi 6)N Abe 7) J van de Goorbergh 8)S Giberanau 9)G McCoy 10)JL Cardoso 11)H Aoki 12)T Harada 13)J Hopkins
1)S Porto 2)R Rolfo 3)F Battaini 4)M Melandri 5)T Elias 6)C Stoner 7)E Alzamora 8)N Matsudo 9)S Yuzy 10)L Haslam…12)J Vincent
1)M Azuma 2)A Vincent 3)M Poggiali 4)G Talmasci 5)P Nieto 6)S Perugini 7)J Lorenzo 8)M Kallio 9)K Nohles 10)L Checcinello…29)C Davies