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Motor Racing: Rossi claims record-equalling win; MOTOGP.

Byline: By Jamie Strickland, PA Sport

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner crashed out of the lead for the second race in succession to gift Valentino Rossi victory in yesterday's San Marino MotoGP at Misano.

Stoner retired after losing the front end of his Marlboro Ducati to slide into the gravel trap on lap six and hand his Italian rival the win and increase his commanding lead in the championship race.

The Fiat Yamaha rider's first MotoGP win at his hometown event moves him onto 262 points, 75 ahead of Stoner with just five races remaining.

Jorge Lorenzo claimed second place to complete a Fiat Yamaha one-two while the in-form Tony Elias bagged a second podium in succession for Alice Ducati.

James Toseland equalled his best MotoGP finish with sixth for Tech 3 Yamaha.

Rossi's win was his third in a row following victories in the United States and the Czech Republic, and sees him equal Giacomo Agostini's premier class record of 68 wins.

"It is incredible to get three in a row," said Rossi. "It was another great battle with Stoner - we know that Stoner is very strong.

"To win my 68th race in my hometown is incredible. I saw Giacomo Agostini before the race, and he was laughing. So I said to him I would try to win today."

Earlier, Spaniard Alvaro Bautista won the 250cc race from 11th on the grid while Gabor Talmacsi took the honours in the 125cc event, holding off young Briton Bradley Smith to win by five seconds.

CAPTION(S):

Valentino Rossi celebrates his victory at the San Marino MotoGP at Misano yesterday Picture, ANTONIO CALANNI/AP,
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:273
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