Rossi pulls away from pursuers

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The Independent Online

Valentino Rossi struck what could be a decisive blow in the 500cc world championship with a victory in the Czech Grand Prix in Brno as his main rival, Max Biaggi, finished in 10th place.

Rossi forced Biaggi into a mistake at the halfway mark, and, as Biaggi picked himself out of the gravel trap to recover his Marlboro Yamaha to finish 10th, Rossi piloted his Nastro Azzurro Honda to the race win.

Britain's Leon Haslam was forced to retire his Shell Advance Honda before half distance because of a mechanical problem. His fellow Briton Jason Vincent was 23rd in the 250cc class on his first outing on the QUB Optimum Yamaha in a race won by Japan's Tetsuya Harada.