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  Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Rampant Rossi rules in Rio
Rossi takes the chequered flag in Rio
Rossi takes the chequered flag in Rio

Italian Valentino Rossi clinched MotoGP world title by claiming victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Honda rider clinched his 10th win in 12 races to open up an unassailable lead of 106 points with four races left.

It was his 49th victory in just 104 starts at all levels of grand prix racing.


The first time being world champion was like a dream.... this is more difficult to explain
Valentino Rossi
It was also his fourth world title in seven seasons after last year's 500cc crown and the 125cc and 250cc championships he won in 1997 and 1999.

Rossi began the race needing to score 11 more points than team-mate Tohru Ukawa, second in the championship at the start of the day.

And when the Japanese rider skidded out of the race after just two laps, the title race was over.

There was more drama on the 17th lap when Spaniard Carlos Checa overtook Rossi - only to skid off the track almost immediately.

Max Biaggi, Rossi's compatriot and arch-rival, finished second in Rio to move up to second in the championship.

Rossi is drenched with champagne
Rossi is drenched with champagne after his win
After he took the checkered flag, Rossi stood his bike up in a wheelie and saluted the roaring crowd.

"The first time being world champion was like a dream. This is more difficult to explain," said the Italian.

"We knew it would be difficult to win the championship here today."

Biaggi, who is leaving Yamaha at the end of the season to join Pramac Honda, admitted that his rival deserved the title.

"I want to congratulate Rossi, he had a good championship and deserved to win," said the Italian.


Brazilian Grand Prix result:

1. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Honda 49 minutes 09.516 seconds
2. Max Biaggi (Italy) Yamaha 49:11.190
3. Kenny Roberts (U.S.) Suzuki 49:28.280
4. Alex Barros (Brazil) Honda 49:34.275
5. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Honda 49:41.870
6. Norick Abe (Japan) Yamaha 49:43.876
7. Olivier Jacque (France) Yamaha 49:53.766
8. Sete Gibernau (Spain) Suzuki 50:06.666
9. Jurgen van der Goorbergh (Netherlands) Honda 50:19.503
10. Garry McCoy (Australia) Yamaha 50:27.127

World championship standings:

1. Rossi 270 points
2. Biaggi 164
3. Tohru Ukawa (Japan) Honda 156
4. Barros 118
5. Carlos Checa (Spain) Yamaha 116
6. Abe 109
7. Capirossi 86
8. Dajiro Kato (Japan) Honda 80
9. Roberts 74
10. Jacque 57

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BBC Sport's Nick Harris
"It was another masterly display from Rossi"
See also:

21 Sep 02 | Motorbikes
20 Sep 02 | Motorbikes
Links to more Motorbikes stories are at the foot of the page.


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