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Apr 22, 2001

Rossi Wins Again In South African 500cc Grand Prix

What happened, according to a Marlboro Yamaha press release:<BR><BR>"Former 125cc and 250cc Champs Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi duked it out for victory today, ending the race first and second. The two Italian Honda riders had it all their own way for the last 10 laps after getting the better of Norick Abe (Yamaha). Rossi, who won the season-opening GP at Suzuka two weeks ago, reeled off a succession of record-busting laps in the closing stages to cross the line 0.660 seconds ahead.<BR><BR>"'That was much more difficult than Suzuka, I had less of an advantage here,' said Rossi, who yesterday scored his first 500cc pole. 'I knew Loris would be my big rival because I saw what he was doing yesterday. I took care early on because the bike felt heavy and was pushing the front. I could push harder later on and I knew Loris was coming with me, but I also knew it's hard to overtake here.'<BR><BR>"Capirossi, who was eighth at Suzuka, was delighted with his day's work. 'My start was perfect but I got forced wide at the first turn,' he said. 'That put me sixth and it's so difficult to pass here that it took me until the last ten laps to get with Valentino, who rode so well, he didn't make a single mistake. But I'm happy, second is fantastic.'<BR><BR>"Former 250cc winner Tohru Ukawa (Honda) took his first 500cc podium, getting the better of a long battle with Yamaha riders Shinya Nakano and Norick Abe. 'To get a podium finish in my second 500 race is great, I'm so happy,' said the 500cc rookie. 'The bike didn't feel too good early on but I gained confidence as the race went on, so I could attack Abe and Nakano.'"<BR><BR> <BR>Results 1. Valentino ROSSI (ITA) Nastro Azzurro HONDA 45'03.414 <BR><BR>2. Loris CAPIROSSI (ITA) West HONDA Pons +0.660<BR><BR>3. Tohru UKAWA (JPN) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +7.530<BR><BR>4. Shinya NAKANO (JPN) Gauloises YAMAHA Tech +8.653<BR><BR>5. Norick ABE (JPN) Antena 3 YAMAHA-d'Antin +9.224<BR><BR>6. Alex CRIVILLE (SPA) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +13.211<BR><BR>7. Kenny ROBERTS (USA) Telefonica Movistar SUZUKI +13.305<BR><BR>8. Max BIAGGI (ITA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team +13.663<BR><BR>9. Alex BARROS (BRA) West HONDA Pons +17.357<BR><BR>10. Sete GIBERNAU (SPA) Telefonica Movistar SUZUKI +21.697<BR><BR>11. Jurgen vd GOORBERGH (NED) Proton Team KR +37.649<BR><BR>12. Haruchika AOKI (JPN) Arie Molenaar Racing HONDA +48.587<BR><BR>13. Jose Luis CARDOSO (SPA) Antena 3 YAMAHA-d'Antin+1'01.110<BR><BR>14. Anthony WEST (AUS) Dee Cee Jeans Racing Team HONDA +1'06.173<BR><BR>15. Chris WALKER (GBR) Shell Advance HONDA +1'08.255<BR><BR><BR>Fastest Lap (Unofficial new record): Valentino ROSSI 1'35.508 159.894 Km/h Lap 28<BR><BR>Circuit Best Ever Lap: Valentino ROSSI (2001) 1'34.629 161.379 Km/h<BR> <BR> <BR>WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS<BR>1. Rossi 50<BR>2. Capirossi 28<BR>3. Biaggi 24<BR>4. Abe 24<BR>5. Nakano 24<BR>6. McCoy 20<BR>7. Roberts 18<BR>8. Barros 17<BR>9. Criville 17<BR>10. Ukawa 16