Capirossi takes victory ahead of Pedrosa in Jerez
A frantic first corner incident saw Valentino Rossi slide off the
track in a messy front and back collision whilst the two Ducati
riders, ahead of Nicky Hayden, maintained their front two
positions. Sete Gibernau’s good fortune wasn’t to last, as he
appeared to receive a knock from the American which took him
out on lap 3.
Dani Pedrosa moved up in front of his team-mate with a daring
manoeuvre in front of the home crowd early on, then pushed
the Honda RC211V to try and close the gap on Capirossi.
Randy de Puniet saw his race come to an early conclusion,
clasping his right hand which had been injured this morning on
the way from the box.
Whilst Capirossi and Pedrosa stretched out in front, Hayden and
Melandri followed, with the Italian’s team-mate Toni Elias
lapping well before catching up and passing his more
By lap seventeen Pedrosa was well and truly on the back of
Capirossi, unshakeable despite the Ducati rider’s fast lap times.
The big question was going to be whether the young rookie had
the endurance to not only pass the Italian but maintain the lead
for any extended period. Pedrosa tried to dive inside at the end
of the next lap, but was held off at the corner.
On lap 24 Capirossi’s experience was beginning to tell. The
Ducati man pulled away from his young challenger, putting
nearly nine hundredths of a second between the top two. Lap
by lap the gap increased in large increments, Pedrosa seeming
to ease off due to fatigue. Three seconds ahead at the finish
line, on passing the chequered flag there was a difference of
over three seconds.
A last second move on the home straight by Toni Elias was
unsuccessful, leaving the top six standing as Capirossi, Pedrosa,
Hayden, Elias, Melandri and Stoner.
Rossi failed to break back into the top ten, which was completed
by Shinya Nakano, Kenny Roberts Jr, John Hopkins and Makoto Tamada.