Rossi denied win at Donington
Valentino Rossi celebrated another win at MCN Donington Park today only to have it renounced by race officials when they awarded him a ten second penalty after realising he had passed under a yellow flag on lap two.
Tohru Ukawa crashed out dramatically at the beginning of the race and officials brought out the yellow flags while the debris was cleared from the track.
Rossi got off to a bad start from his fourth place on the grid but had no plans to hang around and moved from seventh up to third before the end of the second lap apparently passing Loris Capirossi before the yellow flags had been taken in.
Oddly no decision was made to penalise the championship leader until after he had won the race when officials saw the pass on a television replay. The extra time dropped Rossi down two places to third behind Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau.
Biaggi tore away from pole position with Sete Gibernau in hot pursuit but Rossi caught the two runaways and had relegated Gibernau to third by half way through lap three.
Biaggi posed a bit more of an obstacle for Rossi and it looked as though the final positions were decided but a slight mistake took Biaggi wide and on to the grass on lap 13. Rossi had all the time in the world to slide past and hold on to first until the finish.
Marco Melandri was putting up a really good fight in fourth showing his true form now that he has fully recovered from his accident at the first round in Sugo. But on lap five he lost the front end going in to the Foggy esses, sliding across the chicane, ending up in the middle of the track and just missing Loris Capirossi.
Melandri’s crash let the front three riders pull away even further but Sete Gibernau couldn’t keep up with the pace eventually finishing over eight seconds down on Rossi.
The battle for the minor places proved just as exciting with Colin Edwards losing a knee slider as he slipped under Yamaha rider Olivier Jacque. Edwards couldn’t keep it up though and lost two places to Nicky Hayden and Noriuki Haga on Lap 20 eventually finishing in 10th behind Shinya Nakano.
Olivier Jacque continued his hot pace throughout the race but ignored several warning signs as his rear slipped around on corner exits. On lap 20 the slip was just too big and he highsided out of the race.
No British riders finished the race. Chris Burns lost control of his two-stroke ROC Yamaha in a big crash on lap two leaving him with a broken collar bone and Jeremy McWilliams retired his two-stroke Proton on lap 14.
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