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Honda's Valentino Rossi beat Yamaha's Garry McCoy and Max Biaggi to win the Japanese 500cc Grand Prix at Suzuka, the three leaders crossing the line within a second. Defending 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts was seventh, and Leon Haslam was the 13th and final finisher, just behind 12th-place Haruchika Aoki.
Chris Walker and Jose Luis Cardoso crashed on the first lap; other crashers included Sete Gibernau, Noriyuki Haga, Carlos Checa, Akira Ryo and Tohru Ukawa. Retirees included Johan Stigefelt, Olivier Jacque and Mark Willis.
1. Valentino Rossi, Honda, 44:51.501
2. Garry McCoy, Yamaha, -0.724 seconds
3. Max Biaggi, Yamaha, -0.956
4. Norick Abe, Yamaha, -1.176
5. Shinya Nakano, Yamaha, -3.256
6. Alex Barros, Honda, -14.515
7. Kenny Roberts, Suzuki, -22.876
8. Loris Capirossi, Honda, -28.732
9. Alex Criville, Honda, -34.478
10. Carlos Checa, Yamaha, -53.765
11. Jurgen v.d. Goorbergh, Proton, -58.688
12. Haruchika Aoki, Honda, -1:17.338
13. Leon Haslam, Honda, -1:17.681