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Rossi (500) and Katoh (250) Take Suzuka GP

Honda’s brilliant, young former World champion, Valentino Rossi, established himself as the man to beat in this year’s 500 GP championship with a victory at the opening round in Suzuka, Japan today. It wasn’t easy, as there was a close dice for the lead (particularly, during the first half of the race), but Rossi eventually established a relatively comfortable margin. The Yamahas of Garry McCoy and Max Biaggi finished second and third, respectively. Defending champion, Kenny Roberts, Jr. (Suzuki) finished back in seventh, and complained of his new Suzuki’s set-up and development.

In the 250 class, the Honda of Daijiro Katoh stormed to a convincing victory over the Aprilias of Tetsuya Harada and Roberto Locatelli (second and third).

250cc Final Race Results

1.	Daijiro Katoh		#74	HONDA
2.	Tetsuya Harada		#31	APRILIA
3.	Roberto Locatelli	#15	APRILIA
4.	Naoki Matsudo		#8	YAMAHA
5.	Roberto Rolfo		#44	APRILIA
6.	Marco Melandri		#5	APRILIA
7.	Franco Battaini		#21	APRILIA
8.	Jeremy McWilliams	#99	APRILIA
9.	Sebastian Porto		#9	YAMAHA
10.	Taro Sekiguchi		#46	YAMAHA

500cc Final Race Results

1.	Valentino Rossi		#46	HONDA
2. Garry McCoy #5 YAMAHA
3. Max Biaggi #3 YAMAHA
4. Norick Abe #6 YAMAHA
5. Shinya Nakano #56 YAMAHA
6. Alex Barros #4 HONDA
7. Kenny Roberts #1 SUZUKI
8. Loris Capirossi #65 HONDA
9. Alex Criville #28 HONDA
10. Carlos Checa #7 YAMAHA