Rossi on the top step, Gibernau on the left and Melandri on the right - a scene likely to be repeated again this year
Around mid-race, Micky hayden moved right onto the rear of Rossi's machine, and for a few laps, it looked like Hayden was on track for a big result. Unfortunately, his fall cost the race as a spectacle.
The trademark Rossi victory stance on the Yamaha M1
Rossi waves to a crowd that wasn't entirely as enthralled as normal - vocal Spanish sporting crowds often put the fortunes of their locals winning above good manners
Gibernau leads as he did for all put a few hundred metres of the entire race - unfortunately for him, the metres that counted
Alex Barros put in one of the rides of the race to come through the field and nearly grab a podium
Makota Tamada and Troy Bayliss had a battle that lastest almost the entire race before the Baylisstic Troy got the better of the fight
Two factory riders in Biaggi (Honda) and Edwards (Yamaha) had a lacklustre day fighting back from poor qualifying positions to gain a handful of points.
In the early laps of the race Nakano slipped past Bayliss and grabbed fifth spot. He was to pass and be passed by several riders after that point but hung onto the position for a major points haul.
Barros and Bayliss will play a role in the title chase
Loris Capirossi sits quietly awaiting the start - a chipped bone in his ankle prevented him from a better showing
Capirossi and Checa had a weekend overshadowed with injury
Rookie Toni Elias scored his first points at the highest level
The KTM-engined Proton from Team KR circulated in its first race - expect a more competitive showing as the bike reaches mid-season. Pic - O. Bergamaschi
Alex Hoffman holds off Max Biaggi - not for long though
the Suzuki pairing of Roberts and Hopkins had a bad day too - let's hope the machine improves to put them back in contention
Sinya Nakano fights a losing battle to keep Alex Barros behind him. His ride was mature and sets the scene for a far more prominent Kawasaki presence this year.
Marco Melandri begins to show the maturity to match his extraordinary talent. watch for plenty more podiums from the talented Italian.
The last two pics we couldn't help but run - taken at the official launch of the Repsol Honda team in the week prior to the first race. Yes, that's Max Biaggi shaking his booty on the dance floor and ...
Repsol Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden doing likewise. Love yer form Nicky!!
April 10, 2005 Valentino Rossi put the gloss on a perfect start to his defence of the MotoGP World Championship at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez today, smashing the lap record by over two seconds and gaining a significant psychological edge over his main rival for the championship, taking a victory on the last corner from a seemingly impossible position. Riding a completely new smaller, lighter and faster Yamaha M1 for the first time in race conditions, Rossi spent almost the entire race stalking Gibernau who led from within a few corners of the start … 27 laps later, the race ended in one of the most controversial incidents for many years.
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