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Alonso Hails 'Best Fight Ever'

San Marino Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso has hailed his thrilling duel with Michael Schumacher as one of the most exciting of his career after holding off the World Champion for his third win of the season

Alonso's Renault was clearly no match for Ferrari's F2005, which was two seconds per lap quicker at certain stages of the race, but the Spaniard kept his cool to claim a brilliant victory.

"It was probably one of the best fights I have had," said Alonso. "I knew that Michael was more than one second (per lap) faster than me, so my only chance was to hold him up in the middle of the corner and get on the throttle earlier to get a bit of space on the straights.

"It worked well and we had two or three corners where we were very close, but I was doing my maximum. The tyres and the car performed perfectly."

Alonso's difficulties in holding off Schumacher were compounded by the fact that the pair were closing on backmarkers towards the end of the race - and he did not want to risk making a mistake lapping them.

"I had the Red Bull Racing and Williams cars in front and I was hoping not to catch them because maybe I would lose a bit of downforce and Michael would catch me. So in the corners I would brake more than normal to protect and tyres and keep the gap."

When asked whether he ever considered sacrificing his lead in a bid to safeguard his Championship hopes, Alonso declared: "No! Always I was hoping for the win and after Kimi retired I only had one picture for the race - I was winning. I was ready to fight for the last laps and really wanted the victory here."

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