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Australian Garry McCoy Wins Opening Round of 500 GP in South Africa; Shinya Nakano Takes 250 GP

It was a wild and exciting opening round of the 500 GP Roadrace series in South Africa today, with Australian Garry McCoy (Yamaha) taking his first ever 500 GP victory. McCoy, who is known for sliding his bike perhaps more than any other 500 rider, started in ninth place on the grid and worked his way up to victory over a tightly packed field.

Yamaha’s Carlos Checa ran near the front for much of the race, and finished second, with Honda’s Loris Capirossi (another race leader) finishing third.

Favorites Alex Criville (Honda)and Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Honda’s Valentino Rossi crashed on lap 16 while running sixth (he was unhurt), and Yamaha’s Max Biaggi retired on lap 16 with mechanical problems.

In the 250 GP, Yamaha’s Shinya Nakano found victory over the Hondas of Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa.

250cc Final Race Results (Top 10)

1. 	Shinya Nakano	(#56 - YAMAHA)
2.	Daijiro Katoh 	(#74 - HONDA)
3.	Tohru Ukawa	(#4  - HONDA)
4.	Olivier Jacque 	(#19 - YAMAHA)
5.	Anthony West 	(#14 - HONDA)
6.	Franco Battaini (#21 - APRILIA)
7.	Ralf Waldmann 	(#6  - APRILIA)
8.	Sebastian Porto	(#9  - YAMAHA)
9.	Jason Vincent	(#24 - APRILIA)
10.	Naoki Matsudo	(#8  - YAMAHA)

500cc Final Race Results (Top 10)

1.	Garry McCoy		(#24 - YAMAHA)
2.	Carlos Checa		(#7  - YAMAHA)
3.	Loris Capirossi		(#65 - HONDA)		 
4.	Alex Barros		(#10 - HONDA)
5.	Alex Criville		(#1  - HONDA)
6.	Kenny Roberts		(#2  - SUZUKI)
7.	Norick Abe		(#6  - YAMAHA)
8.	Nobuatsu Aoki		(#9  - SUZUKI)
9.	Regis Laconi		(#55 - YAMAHA)
10.	Jurgen vd Goorbergh	(#17 - HONDA)