Le Mans win for Rossi

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Valentino Rossi has taken the win at Le Mans after fighting off a concerted effort by Sete Gibernau to take the lead.

Rossi started from pole position but made a mistake at the lights and slipped to sixth while team-mate Colin Edwards stormed forward to take the lead.

The Italian wasted no time in fighting back and by lap nine he was sitting just behind Edwards matching his pace.

But Rossi wasn’t the only rider making his way through the field and not long after Gibernau was sitting behind the pair.

Feeling the pressure from Gibernau, Rossi made a move on Edwards on lap 19 but ran wide and slipped back to third. Just one lap later he had passed Gibernau and then pulled the Spaniard through as he passed Edwards.

Edwards dropped of the back of the two rivals but Gibernau just didn’t have enough in reserve to get passed Rossi and followed him over the line just 0.3 seconds behind, leaving Edwards to take his best result this season in third.

Marco Melandri managed to hold on to finish 0.5 seconds ahead of Max Biaggi who had a fantastic race despite riding injured after a nasty warm up crash that injured his back.

Most of the action took place on the first lap. Hopkins started from the pit lane after his bike conked out on the warm up lap, Biaggi had a bobble in the first corner and took out Carlos Checa who slid in front of Toni Elias and then Brit Shane Byrne had to be stretchered off after crashing his KTM, ending a horrendous weekend.

Check out MCN, out May 18, for a full behind the scenes report on everything you couldn’t see on TV.

Official finishing positions:

Valentino Rossi

Sete Gibernau, 0.382

Colin Edwards, 5.711

Marco Melandri, 7.276

Max Biaggi, 7.703

Nicky Hayden, 21.770

Loris Capirossi, 24.664

Shinya Nakano, 35.940

Toni Elias, 38.062

Troy Bayliss, 52.607

Olivier Jacque, 53.302

Ruben Xaus, 1’00.342

Kenny Roberts, 1’00.514

Jurgen Vd Goorbergh, 1’17.993

Roberto Rolfo, 1’32.233

John Hopkins, 1 Lap

Franco Battaini, 1 Lap

Alex Barros, DNF

James Ellison, DNF

Shane Byrne, DNF

Carlos Checa, DNF

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff