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GP Week : Issue 11
V alentino Rossi said it all, from the top of the podium. “We are back in business.” Very much so, with an assured second victory in succession, stamping his authority over a fierce race after finishing the first of 28 laps fifth. He also braved changing conditions that saw the wet- race white flags hung out halfway, and gained the championship lead. His win was backed by Yamaha’s first 1-2-3 rostrum finish since 2001. He was not the only hero. Riding injured after two more falls in practice, his Fiat-Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo amazed even himself by pushing through to second. He had to be lifted off the bike afterwards. The third Yamaha was the Tech 3 machine of Colin Edwards, whose own hopes of victory were foiled by the time he spent stuck behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. Stoner obligingly pitted, but Edwards only managed to get past Pedrosa with seven laps left. He moved away rapidly, but the other two were out of reach. “To catch a legend like Angel Nieto is great,” said Rossi. “Getting the championship lead is great – the first time since Jerez last year. And three Yamahas on the podium. Nobody would have thought that after 2007.” Lorenzo’s ride to second from 10th on lap 1 gave credence to those riders who assert he is exaggerating his injuries; but he was certainly pale and drawn after the race. “When I was 11th in warm- up, I thought I’d be lucky to get sixth or seventh,” he said. “It’s always a fight of two minds. One says: only finish; the other says: you can try to stay with them.” His overtaking moves, at some unexpected places, were reminiscent of Rossi at his best; 30