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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 October, 2003, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Rossi retains MotoGP crown
Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi won his third successive MotoGP world title with victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Italian finished more than two seconds ahead of Sete Gibernau, the only other rider with a chance of winning the championship.

Max Biaggi of Italy was third, while Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams finished back in 17th place.

"I'm very, very happy," Rossi said after clinching the 57th Grand Prix victory of his career.

"It was a good fight throughout the year, winning some and losing some.

"We were quite consistent and so we were able to finish first."

Honda rider Rossi, who had been in outstanding form all weekend, finished with a time of 43 minutes 41.457 seconds.

He started from pole position but Gibernau got the better start and led the pack into the first turn, with Rossi back in fourth.

But the Italian put on the speed in the third lap, riding the fastest time of the race - 2:03.822 - and passing Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa to take up a position behind Gibernau.

Rossi pushed Gibernau for the next four laps before making his move in the seventh, coming inside of the Spaniard as they slowed into a tight left-hand corner.

It gave the Italian the inside line and allowed him to power out in first place. He went on to lead for the remainder of the race to claim the title.

In Sunday's other races, Spanish teenager Daniel Pedrosa won his first world championship in the 125cc class, winning ahead of Finland's Mika Kallio and Jorge Lorenzo of Spain.

Another Spaniard, Toni Elias had an easy win in the 250s over championship leader Manuel Poggiali of San Marino.

The win takes Elias to 201 championship points, within reach of Poggiali's 226 with two races to go.


Race results:
1. Valentino Rossi (Ita), Honda, 43 minutes 41.457 seconds
2. Sete Gibernau (Spa), Honda, 43:43.499.
3. Max Biaggi (Ita), Honda, 43:49.101.
4. Nicky Hayden (USA), Honda, 43:55.190.
5. Carlos Checa (Spa), Yamaha, 43:55.246.
6. Loris Capirossi (Ita), Ducati, 44:02.024.
7. Tohru Ukawa (Jap), Honda, 44:04.906.
8. Shinya Nakano (Jap), Yamaha, 44:08.197.
9. Troy Bayliss (Aus), Ducati, 44:13.606.
10. Makoto Tamada (Jap), Honda, 44:22.013.

Championship standings:
1. Valentino Rossi 307 pts (world champion)
2. Sete Gibernau 244
3. Max Biaggi 215
4. Loris Capirossi 141
5. Troy Bayliss 119



MOTOGP 2003


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