Valentino Rossi went into the last race of the season in Spain already wearing his fifth world crown, attempting to equal Michael Doohans’ record of the most victories. The achievement of this became very difficult, following a crash in qualifying, forcing the Italians to drop back to 15th on the starting grid. Sete Gibernau led the race off, ahead of Melandri and Hayden, but was soon forced out with mechanical problems, as Rossi improved into third after lap five of 30. Around 125,000 spectators roared as “The Doctor” closed on the two leaders, but, in the end, the gap was still 2.6 seconds as Melandri took the chequered flag, closely pursued by Hayden. Daniel Pedrosa celebrated the 250cc title, while Switzerland’s Tom Luthi is the king at 125cc.
A1 Grand Prix: Eastern creek
The championship of nations continued in Australia with leaders France taking pole position for the sprint race ahead of Portugal, Álvaro Parente’s best qualification achievement to date. Britain’s Robbie Kerr started in fifth.
In the sprint, the three top qualifiers maintained their positions with France also taking first in the feature – Kerr came from sixth to finish second for Great Britain with Parente dropping back to seventh.
Formula One: Like father, like son
GP2 title winner Nico Rosberg has followed his father Keke’s footsteps in joining Williams to drive alongside Mark Webber in 2006. Rosberg Senior won the world title in 1982, a feat his son, the youngest driver on the grid at 20, will hope to emulate.