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MotoGP: 6 Most memorable races of Valentino Rossi 

Valentino Rossi won seven MotoGP World Championships
Valentino Rossi won seven MotoGP World Championships
Kredy

Valentino Rossi - the one name that is almost synonymous with MotoGP World Championships. Since entering the premier class over fifteen years ago, the Italian rider has won seven riders' championships and also won three championships in a row, ushering in a new era of dominance in MotoGP.

With over a hundred wins in over 300 Grand Prix starts, Rossi provided the racing fans with plenty of edge-of-the-seat action, and in this article, let us look closer at the six most memorable races of Valentino Rossi.


#6 Phillip Island 2001

Valentino Rossi had an exhilarating battle with Max Biaggi
Valentino Rossi had an exhilarating battle with Max Biaggi

Starting the race from the second place, Valentino Rossi had to battle his Italian compatriot Max Biaggi throughout the race to secure a memorable win, which he will cherish for a long time.

Rossi trailed Biaggi in the last lap of the race, but a slick move in the final corners of the Grand Prix ensured that Rossi would finish ahead of his countryman with a slender margin of 0.013 seconds. Loris Capirossi and Alex Barros finished third and fourth, less than a second behind the winner Valentino Rossi.

This win at the Philip Island Grand Prix Circuit ensured that the Italian secured his first MotoGP riders' championship.

#5 Welkom 2004

Yet another Rossi-Biaggi battle at Welkom
Yet another Rossi-Biaggi battle at Welkom

After switching to an unproven Yamaha vehicle, many thought that the 2004 season would be a struggle for the Italian rider. However, Rossi had other ideas for he stormed to victory in the opening race of the season to become the first rider to win successive races with two different constructors.

Rossi started the race from pole position and maintained blistering pace throughout the length of the Grand Prix, leaving most riders way behind his tail. However, his nemesis, Max Biaggi, pushed the Italian to his limits as the both exchanged the lead on multiple occasions.

In the end, it was Rossi who came out on top, finishing less than a second ahead of Max Biaggi.

#4 Phillip Island 2003

Valentino Rossi won the race despite receiving a penalty
Valentino Rossi won the race despite receiving a penalty

Valentino Rossi started the 2003 Australian Grand Prix on pole position, and with the pace he had shown that weekend, it looked like yet another comfortable win for the Italian rider.

However, things changed dramatically when Rossi was penalised 10 seconds for overtaking under yellow flags. Unfettered by the penalty, the prolific Italian went on to cross the chequered flag first, ahead of Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden.

Despite the 10-second penalty, Rossi had built enough gap in the front, which allowed him to register a race win with a margin of over five seconds.

#3 Laguna Seca 2008

Rossi and Stoner exchanged the lead for the better part of the race
Rossi and Stoner exchanged the lead for the better part of the race

Casey Stoner started the race at the Laguna Seca Circuit from the pole position while Rossi started alongside him in the second place. The defending world champion held his ground during the initial stages of the race, but the Italian mounted every-increasing pressure on the Australian.

With nine laps to go, Rossi pulled off an outrageous manoeuvre at the famous corkscrew that forced Stoner wide into the gravel. Since then, the Italian won the race unchallenged to claim his first win at the Laguna Seca Circuit.

Stoner finished second despite his earlier incident, and a tense podium after the race gave an idea about the will of these men to get one over the another on the race track.

#2 Catalunya 2009

Rossi overtook Lorenzo in the final corner of the Grand Prix
Rossi overtook Lorenzo in the final corner of the Grand Prix

Often considered by many as one of the best races of MotoGP, the 2009 Catalan Motorcycle Grand Prix was hotly contested between Rossi and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

In his second MotoGP season, the Spaniard showed good pace in qualifying and took the pole at the Circuit de Catalunya. Rossi started from the front row and stayed with his teammate throughout the race, offering plenty of exciting racing action.

However, the last lap of the race witnessed the most drama for the Italian made a move stick past Jorge Lorenzo on the final corner of the Grand Prix to take a memorable win by just 0.095 seconds.

#1 Jerez 2005

Rossi had fantastic duel with Gibernau at Jerez
Rossi had fantastic duel with Gibernau at Jerez

The Spanish Grand Prix was the opening round of the 2005 MotoGP season, and Rossi took the pole at Jerez. Sete Gibernau was equally good and started the race from the front row alongside the Italian rider.

Both the riders had a very fierce race that saw them exchange the lead numerous times before heading into the final lap of the Grand Prix. On the final corner, Rossi tried to pass the Spaniard on the inside but couldn't manage a clean overtake, shunting Gibernau in the process. The Spanish rider lost his balance and was forced into the gravel, much to the displeasure of the home crowd.

Valentino Rossi claimed the race win but a heated argument between the two, and Rossi's statement after the race polarised the fans of both the riders' to an extent never seen before.

It was a hard battle with Gibernau. He was very fast today and rode very well. I [Rossi] got in front with two laps to go but unfortunately I made a big mistake in the middle of the last lap on the braking and Gibernau got past. We passed each other again, we touched two or three times and then at the end I passed him at the last corner. For sure it was a hard move and for sure Sete is angry - but this is racing.

Edited by Sripad

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