A dramatic victory belonged to Valentino Rossi on Sunday after rain showers brought the Italian MotoGP battle to a halt a mere six laps before the chequered flag.

A dramatic victory belonged to Valentino Rossi on Sunday after rain showers brought the Italian MotoGP battle to a halt a mere six laps before the chequered flag.

When the race was red-flagged on lap seventeen, Rossi was leading a group battle between Makoto Tamada, Nicky Hayden, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi at the Mugello circuit in Italy.

After the riders were summoned to the pit-lane to regroup, the majority opted to stay on slick tyres when the reduced field returned to the starting grid. However, light rain again began to fall causing treacherous conditions and Norick Abe, Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus took turns at the front before Rossi, Gibernau and Biaggi re-established the podium order with which they had ended the first part of the race.

Coming into the final lap, Rossi held a one second lead over Gibernau who, try as he might, was unable to prevent the Italian from taking the victory.

"This is probably my best ever Grand Prix result and the best day of my life", said Rossi. In the second race the conditions were difficult but the track began to dry out over the last couple of laps and I was able to push hard and take the win... it's fantastic."

Biaggi held on to snatch the final podium spot but lost second place in the championship standings to Rossi.

“You could say that I'm happy to be on the podium in my home race, especially after having started in sixth place on the grid. I could probably also say though that I'm unhappy about the fact that we were never in a position to battle for victory with Sete and Valentino,” Biaggi explained.

“I was impeded by a sharp vibration which meant I couldn't keep the best line and this made me lose tenth after tenth, whilst on the straight, the engine was really powerful. The second race was incredible!”

With his second place finish, Gibernau maintained his position at the top of the championship standings with ten points now separating him from Rossi.

“To finish second after such a nice battle with Valentino and to still be leader of the World Championship is an incredible result for me. In the first part of the race I recovered from a bad start and just when it seemed like a head to head between myself and Valentino, it started to rain. It was another tough battle in the last six laps and I'm satisfied with the result. Congratulations to Valentino”.

Bayliss secured Ducati’s best season result with a fourth place while new MotoGP recruit, Xaus, took his highest MotoGP finish with fifth. Barro finished sixth ahead of Norick Abe and Capirossi while Shane Byrne took his first top ten finish for Aprilia.

Original article from Car