RIO GRAND PRIX, JACAREPAGUA Race Day, Saturday October 7 2000 TOUGH RACE FOR MARLBORO YAMAHA Marlboro Yamaha Team duo Max Biaggi and Carlos couldn't quite capitalise on their dominant grid positions in today's Rio Grand Prix at Jacarepagua....
RIO GRAND PRIX, JACAREPAGUA
Race Day, Saturday October 7 2000
TOUGH RACE FOR MARLBORO YAMAHA
Marlboro Yamaha Team duo Max Biaggi and Carlos couldn't quite capitalise on their dominant grid positions in today's Rio Grand Prix at Jacarepagua. In dry conditions after heavy overnight rain, the Marlboro pair were both hampered by bad starts and battled as hard as they could, Biaggi finishing so close to the podium and Checa sliding off and remounting to finish 15th. "It's very disappointing," said Marlboro Yamaha Team manager Geoff Crust. "Max got a terrible start and battled back but he just couldn't get close enough to the leading group. Things didn't go right for Carlos either but he had set the fastest lap of the race at that stage before he crashed. The Championship is over, but there are still races to be won. We go to Motegi looking for a win and we know we can finish the season strongly." BIAGGI FIGHTS BACK AFTER BAD START
Marlboro Yamaha Team star Max Biaggi showed steely resolve in fighting his way to a hard-earned fifth place at Rio today. Hampered by a poor start from pole position, the Italian was running as low as tenth in the early stages of the race. But he mounted a dogged comeback and worked his way to fifth, ending the race a fraction off the podium. "It was a very poor start," said a downbeat Biaggi. "I needed to make a move quickly, but I found it very hard to overtake. I couldn't seem to brake as hard as the others and I had a real problem getting past Laconi. I'm very disappointed, but there are still two races left to try and do something. I was trying to catch Abe all the way to the finish, but I just wasn't close enough. But congratulations to Kenny (Roberts, the new World Champion), this year he has been the best and he deserves his prize."
CHECA CRASHES WHILE IN THE HUNT
A lap 13 crash put an end to Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Carlos Checa's Rio Grand Prix. Lying fifth before he lost the front at a fast left-hander, the Spanish bull was on a charge and had set the fastest lap of the race up until then, before he went down uninjured. He rejoined the race on his surprisingly undamaged machine to eventually come home 15th. Now he is eager to head for Motegi, Japan, to build on the speed he has found in these closing stages of the season. "The start was bad for me," said Checa. "There was a lot of traffic and I pushed hard to get past Okada and Laconi. Then I had to catch up with the front group, so I was really trying to close the gap. I turned in and the front went. But the bike was okay, which was surprising for such a fast corner, so I tried to finish to see how the tyres had stood up. It's Motegi next and we are fast there, we can really do something there and we must finish the season in good shape."
ROSSI WINS AGAIN
Valentino Rossi (Honda) won a thrilling battle with local Alex Barros (Honda) and Garry McCoy (Yamaha) to score his second 500 victory. Starting from fourth on the grid he hit the front after half distance, resisting a strong counter attack from Barros. "This win is very important because my first win was in the wet, and it means more to win in the dry," said Rossi. "After my first victory at Donington I had a tough few races because the front end of the bike wasn't right. I had a lot of wheelspin late in today's race but I think I controlled it well, and I pushed 100 per cent all the way to keep Alex behind me. I'm very happy!"
ROBERTS CROWNED KING
Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) is the new World Champion. The son of former champ King Kenny Roberts needed to finish sixth to secure the title with two races remaining, and that's exactly what he did. "I'm just so relieved," he said. "Ever since I can first remember, this is all I wanted to be. I'm 27 years old, so it's been a 27-year wait. The race was tough, I was trying not to push too hard but more aggressive guys were coming by. Finally I got some laps on my own, got a feel for the bike and got back up to sixth."
<pre> RACE CLASSIFICATION 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Nastro Azzuro HONDA 45'22.624 2. Alex Barros (BRA) Emerson HONDA Pons +0.970 3. Garry McCoy (AUS) Red Bull YAMAHA WCM +3.446 4. Norick Abe (JPN) Antena 3 YAMAHA dÁntin +3.568 5. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team +3.709 6. Kenny Roberts (USA) Telefonica Movistar SUZUKI +7.778 7. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +8.260 8. Régis Laconi (FRA) Red Bull YAMAHA WCM +8.518 9. Tadayuki Okada (JPN) Repsol YPF HONDA Team +17.506 10. Jurgen vd Goorbergh (NED) Rizla TSR-HONDA +23.254
15. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team +1'03.506
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION 1. Roberts 224 *New World Champion 2. Rossi 173 3. McCoy 150 4. Checa 142 5. Barros 141 6. Biaggi 129 7. Abe 126 8. Capirossi 126 9. Criville 112 10. Aoki 103
CONSTRUCTOR'S CHAMPIONSHIP 1. YAMAHA 277 2. Honda 271 3. Suzuki 230