Reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi masterfully staged a late charge on the home turf of archrival Sete Gibernau to take victory in the Catalan Grand Prix on Sunday.

Reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi masterfully staged a late charge on the home turf of archrival Sete Gibernau to take victory in the Catalan Grand Prix on Sunday.

Though he too had jostled for position at the start of the race, Rossi delivered a measured performance at Catalunya to take his championship lead to an unassailable 58 points after five victories.

The Italian master timed his winning charge to perfection as, with four laps remaining, he stormed passed Gibernau, set the fastest lap time of the race and went on to take victory.

Gibernau, who had qualified in pole position and led for most of the race, was resigned to a second-place finish at his home circuit.

Soon after the start, Rossi, Gibernau and his team-mate Marco Melandri broke away to lead the pack, but the three-rider pack was soon joined by Alex Barros, Nicky Hayden, Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada. However, the Japanese rider's race came to an abrupt end as he slid out of sixth place on a high-speed right-hander approaching the back straight.

By the halfway stage, Gibernau held a mere 0,4 second lead over Rossi while the battle for third between Hayden, Melandri and Barros intensified. Biaggi dropped off the back of the pack and was lapping at about 1,5 seconds slower than the leaders in seventh position.

As the laps started winding down, Gibernau remained in the lead, though it was only a matter of time before Rossi made his move and when it happened, the Spaniard was unable to respond to the challenge.

Coming out of the final turn, The Doctor tucked into Gibernau's slipstream before comfortably passing the race leader into turn one. Rossi then set the fastest lap of the race as he inched ahead of Gibernau, winning by just 1,09 seconds.

Meanwhile, Melandri, Hayden and Barros continued their battle for third and Melandri finished nearly seven seconds behind his team-mate. Barros was fourth and Hayden finished 0,069 seconds later, ahead of his team-mate Biaggi.

Colin Edwards, Troy Bayliss, Shinya Nakano and Ruben Xaus completed the top ten.

Original article from Car