Mad Max closes in on leader Rossi

HOHENSTEIN-ERNSTTHAL (Germany): Max Biaggi closed in on world championship leader Valentino Rossi by winning the German MotoGP, the eighth leg of the 16-race world motorcycling Grand Prix series, here yesterday. 

Polesitter Biaggi lead a Honda sweep by crossing the line just 0.3sec ahead of Brazilian Alex Barros with American Nicky Hayden in third. 

It was the first MotoGP win of the season for Biaggi who moves to within a single point of fellow Italian Rossi who finished fourth on his Yamaha. 

Spaniard Sete Gibernau, who had shared the overall lead with Rossi before the race, crashed on the tenth lap as he did two weeks ago in Brazil. 

Daniel Pedrosa of Spain increased his lead at the top of the 250cc world championship standings with a convincing win yesterday. 

The Honda rider claimed his third victory of the season after controlling the race throughout to beat Argentina's Sebastian Porto, who had started in pole position on an Aprilia. 

Alex De Angelis on an Aprilia made a late charge to finish ahead of Hiroshi Aoyama's Honda and French Aprilia rider Randy de Puniet, now 25 points adrift of Pedrosa at the head of the championship. 

The Spanish rider has 155 points, leading De Puniet on 130 and Porto on 108 at the halfway stage of the season.  

In the 125cc, Italy's Roberto Locatelli staged a late surge ahead of fellow Aprilia rider Hector Barbera of Spain. 

Barbera's countryman Pablo Nieto edged out Italian Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso to make it a clean sweep in the top three for Aprilia. 

Barbera and Dovizioso dominated for much of the race before Locatelli nipped in to claim his second win of the season and move up to second place in the championship standings on 131 points, seven points behind Dovizioso on 138. – Agencies 

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