Valentino Rossi has won yet another round of the MotoGP world championship after beating Sete Gibernau to the line in Catalunya.
The Italian rider, who is now 58-points ahead in the championship, got off to his almost traditional slow start but by the end of the first lap he was fighting for first place with Sete Gibernau and Marco Melandri.
The two team-mates ganged up on Rossi to push him back to third but Melandri couldn't keep up the pace for long and the battle was reduced to Gibernau and Rossi.
Gibernau managed to keep control for most of his home race distance but with six laps to go the hot conditions had ruined his front tyre and he was visibly slowing.
Rossi waited till three laps to go then slip-streamed and out braked his rival at the end of the home straight. He held first place to the line but Gibernau never let him get far away.
Meanwhile, despite being dropped off the fight for first, Melandri had entered a new battle for third place with Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros.
The three riders were so closely matched that it seemed like they were three abreast going into almost every corner.
There were continuous position changes with all three of them taking a turn at the front, but it was Melandri who eventually won out to take the final place on the podium followed by Barros and Hayden.
The Bridgestone riders had a torrid race with both Alex Hofmann and John Hopkins having to come in to the pits to change rear tyres that had got so hot they were blistering. And Makoto Tamada crashed out early on in the race after loosing the front end.
Rossi has now won every race this season except Estoril, Portugal, where he took second.
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