Valentino Rossi headed an Italian sweep of the Portugese MotoGP podium on Sunday. He took the lead by sweeping past fellow Honda rider and rival Max Biaggi on lap 14 and never looked back.

Valentino Rossi headed an Italian sweep of the Portugese MotoGP podium on Sunday. He took the lead by sweeping past fellow Honda rider and rival Max Biaggi on lap 14 and never looked back.


Ducati had hoped its new chassis would pay dividends at Estoril, but when the chequered flag fell Loris Capirossi could only salvage third by edging out Spain’s Sebe Gibernau on the line.


Biaggi had taken the lead going into the first bend ahead of pole-sitter Capirossi while Gibernau maintained his third place in front of Rossi.


But by the end of the second lap, Rossi had moved up into second place. He then settled in to race wheel-to-wheel with Biaggi before overtaking at the start of the 14th lap and moving into a commanding postion.


Rossi now has 237 points in the championship, with Gibernau second on 191 and Biaggi third with 161 points.


"At the beginning Biaggi started very, very fast and had a very good lap time, so I decided to overtake Sete and Loris and try to follow him," said Rossi.


"The speed stayed very high and, after half the race, I had two or three very good laps and it was possible to go away,” he added. "I am very happy also because Gibernau finished fourth, so that's more points in the championship."


Results:


1 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Honda 46 minutes and 48,005 seconds

2 Max Biaggi (Italy) Honda 46:50,099

3 Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 46:53,259

4 Sete Gibernau (Spain) Honda 46:53,274

5 Tohru Ukawa (Japan) Honda 46:58,586

6 Troy Bayliss (Australia) Ducati 47:02,251

7 Marco Melandri (Italy) Yamaha 47:04,148

8 Carlos Checa (Spain) Yamaha 47:06,088

9 Nicky Hayden (United States) Honda 47:06,289

10 Makoto Tamada (Japan) Honda 47:09,820



Championship standings:

1 Valentino Rossi (Ita) 237pts

2 Sete Gibernau (Spa) 191

3 Max Biaggi (Ita) 161

4 Loris Capirossi (Ita) 113

5 Troy Bayliss (Aus) 106

6 Carlos Checa (Spa) 86

7 Tohru Ukawa (Jpn) 85

8 Alex Barros (Bra) 76

9 Nicky Hayden (USA) 74

10 Shinya Nakano (Jpn) 69