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GP Week : Issue 48
>>Moto GPITALY Pasini wins in fearsome last lap fight BREATHTAKING; uplifting; heroic; that sums up Toth Aprilia’s Mattia Pasini’s victory, on a day of wildly changing fortunes. Early leaders Marco Simoncelli (Metis Gilera) and pole starter Alvaro Bautista (Mapfre Aspar Aprilia) tangled mid-race to let Pasini go, then closed up again on the streaming wet track. Bautista had one slide too many, but Simoncelli attacked on the last lap. Pasini fought back vigorously. They changed places eight times, Pasini taking the win by 0.117 of a second. Heavy rain struck just before the start. Everyone fitted full wet tyres, but many (including Pasini) had no time to change from dry suspension settings. Simoncelli took off, leading End of Rossi’s run THE hills of Mugello are Rossi territory: great swathes of yellow and waving “46”flags. For the last seven years, they have been rewarded with a series of wins. They came again this year to see if the national superhero could add an eighth successive win at the Tuscan track. All good things come to an end, however. Rossi’s chances dissolved with the choice of a harder front slick tyre. He was happy to be on the rostrum. But he poured scorn on a questioner who reminded him of his earlier wish to take win number 100 at Mugello – a chance lost in any case when he didn’t win Le Mans. “I never said that,” grinned Rossi. “A journalist asked me if I would like to do it, and of course I said yes. Then everyone wrote about it. I have 98 wins now, but my target is not to get to 100. My target is to win the championship.” Pos 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 by more than seven seconds after three laps. By now Pasini was second and Bautista third, with Hiro Aoyama (Scot Honda) and Hector Barbera (Pepe World Aprilia) losing touch. By lap 8 the pair had caught Simoncelli, and battle commenced, with Bautista getting ahead. Pasini had a close-up view on lap 11 as Simoncelli counter- attacked in the middle of the right- left Casanova-Savelli combination, diving inside just as Bautista swung across to the second apex. They collided, and ran off into the gravel side by side. Both recovered, Simoncelli five seconds down, and Bautista another four. Then the chase- down began in earnest. By lap 17 Bautista was attacking Simoncelli, but, blinded by the spray, he almost crashed and lost touch. Simoncelli caught Pasini as they started the final lap. He passed him down the straight; Pasini took him back into the first corner. On the third Simoncelli got by once more, at the next the positions were reversed. And so on, bend by bend, until Pasini took a final advantage into the last turn and held on by inches to the line. Afterwards in Parc Ferme, the two riders hugged and laughed. Bautista was another second away: more than 20s further back Thomas Luthi (Emmi-Caffe Latte Aprilia) came through for fourth, from Barbera and Aoyama, all spaced out. MotoGP| Round 5 MuGELLo # Rider 27 99 46 4 65 5 52 14 88 7 Casey Stoner Jorge Lorenzo Valentino Rossi Andrea Dovizioso Loris Capirossi Colin Edwards James Toseland Randy de Puniet Niccolo Canepa Chris Vermeulen 33 Marco Melandri 69 Nicky Hayden 36 Mika Kallio 24 15 Toni Elias DNF 3 DNF 72 Alex de Angelis Dani Pedrosa Yuki Takahashi Team Ducati Marlboro Team Fiat Yamaha Team Fiat Yamaha Team Repsol Honda Team Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 LCR Honda MotoGP Pramac Racing Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Hayate Racing Team Ducati Marlboro Team Pramac Racing San Carlo Honda Gresini San Carlo Honda Gresini Repsol Honda Team Scot Racing Team MotoGP Time 45:41.894s +1.001s +2.076s +2.129s +3.274s +24.451s +25.621s +26.046s +31.815s +34.814s +35.090s +39.122s +52.462s +52.478s +1 Lap +11 Laps +13 Laps Points – MotoGP: Stoner 90, Lorenzo 86, Rossi 81, Pedrosa 57, Dovizioso 53, Melandri 48, Edwards 45, Capirossi 38, Vermeulen 37, de Puniet 34. 250cc: Alvaro Bautista 83, Hiroshi Aoyama 76, Marco Simoncelli 61, Hector Barbera 59, Mattia Pasini 51, Thomas Luthi 42, Raffaele de Rosa 38. 125cc: Bradley Smith 74.5, Julian Simon 71, Andrea Iannone 46.5, Pol Espargaro 44.5, Sergio Gadea 43, Marc Marquez 38, Sandro Cortese 38.