Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Rossi edges out Gibernau on last lap of Dutch GP

AP , ASSEN, NETHERLANDS

World champion Valentino Rossi of Italy overcame Sete Gibernau on the last lap to win the MotoGP at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday and joined the Spaniard atop the season standings.

It was Rossi's fourth win in the season's opening six races, and third in a row. His 63rd career victory also lifted him into a share of the season lead with Gibernau on 126 points, 33 ahead of Max Biaggi of Italy.

Rossi and Gibernau opened a five-second lead on the field with six laps to go, with the Italian drafting the Spaniard until the 19th and final lap of the 6km Assen circuit.

"I didn't wait," Rossi said. "Sete was riding very well today and he almost lost me. But the last lap was fantastic."

Rossi clocked 38 minute, 11.831 seconds, only 0.456 of a second ahead of Gibernau. Italy's Marco Melandri was third, nearly 10 seconds back, and Biaggi fourth.

Brazilian Alex Barros was the only rider to stay with Rossi and Gibernau for any length of time, but he crashed on the ninth lap of his 200th grand prix race.

In the 250cc race, pole-winner Sebastian Porto of Argentina dispatched his rivals by the midpoint and won by more than 2 1-2 seconds for his second victory of the season.

Porto, who also won the Italian Grand Prix, finished the 18 laps on his Repsol in 37:26.576, easily beating Spaniards Daniel Pedrosa and Tony Elias.

In the 125cc event, Spanish teenager Jorge Lorenzo won by less than three-tenths of a second.

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