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GP Week : Issue 4
who was out of sorts through practice. He started well from row three, dropped from third to fifth with a scary slide on lap two, then had braking problems and ran off the track on the third, rejoining in last. He gave a dispirited performance after that, moving past the backmarkers to 11th, and closing gradually on a pair disputing ninth. When he attacked, however, it was only to run off into the gravel again, settling back to 11th. “I’ve been having trouble with braking here even from testing,” he said. Repsol Honda rider Nicky Hayden was a fighting fourth, with the leaders early on, dropping away, then closing again – only to survive a narrow escape and lose touch. By the finish he was almost six seconds behind Lorenzo, though comfortably clear of the next group. “It was fun to be competitive. The bike worked the best it has all weekend, and I was pushing hard,” he said. “I made a run to try to give those guys a fight, but I stayed on the brake a bit long into turn one and pretty much crashed. It was elbow down, and I thought I was done.” Veteran Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) muscled his way into fifth at the head of a gang, thanks to a full-on entry to the last hairpin, where he gained two places. James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) followed him past as Andrea Dovizioso (Team Scot Honda) was punted out wide, losing another place to John Hopkins (Kawasaki) before all four of them crossed the line within less than a second. Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda) was ninth, with Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) dropping out of touch in the closing laps in tenth. Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) spoiled his chances after a front-row start, crashing out of sixth on lap five. Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) had already fallen by then. They were the only non-finishers. M oto GP SPAIN >> 31