Sete Gibernau won the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday after a perfect ride in inclement conditions to hand Honda its first race victory of the season.

Sete Gibernau won the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday after a perfect ride in inclement conditions to hand Honda its first race victory of the season.

In another two-man race, Max Biaggi continued where he had left off in Welkom by shadowing Gibernau to the finish line. Valentino Rossi, who had won the previous race and started from pole position on Sunday, was left out of the loop as his Yamaha was seemingly not set up to do battle at the front.

Gibernau led into turn one ahead of Rossi who was soon in the unfamiliar situation of having his Yamaha team-mates, Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri, storm past him.

Rossi's M1 never looked settled on the soaking circuit highlighting that, despite the progress made by Yamaha, there were still some weaknesses in low traction conditions. After a few warnings from the rear wheel, Rossi was flung from his seat on lap 12.

And while Rossi managed to save it, the mistake cost him fourth place as Alex Barros grabbed the opportunity and blasted past him. After re-passing a fading Checa as well, Rossi was resigned to spend the remainder of the race holding his position.

With Rossi off the pace, Melandri was the top Yamaha and held a strong third place until with eight laps to go, he fell from what would have been his first MotoGP podium and handed the position to Barros.

Meanwhile, Gibernau and Biaggi were involved in a fearsome battle at the front with both jostling for the top spot. But the race was ultimately decided when Gibernau pulled away with five laps to go and pulled out a one-second lead that would gradually be stretched to ensure victory before an emotional home-crowd at Jerez.

Biaggi wasn't too disappointed either, with an almost one-minute lead over third placed Barros. Biaggi and Gibernau are now both ahead of world champion Rossi on the points standings though things could have been worse for Rossi had he not been able to beat off the attack by a charging Nicky Hayden. After being bumped down the order early on, the Honda rider came within a few tenths of Rossi at the chequered flag.

Behind Hayden, Checa beat Colin Edwards to finish sixth, while Kenny Roberts picked up his first points of the year with an eighth place for Suzuki.