MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 06: Catalunya GP > Race Results
MotoGPCatalunyaJune 12, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 6
Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona

Five Hondas in Top Six But Rossi Wins Again

Qualifying >>

Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) rode a typically brave race in front of his adoring home fans here in Barcelona today, but second was the best he could do as Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won his fifth race from five starts in 2005. Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) rode to a fighting third.



Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


A baying crowd of 106,000 race fans watched the action unfold in hot conditions with the track temperature elevated to 40 degrees celcius as the MotoGP race got underway. Despite the resurfacing work carried out to the circuit, tyre wear was to be the critical issue here in the heat.

Gibernau stormed off the line from pole into turn one with his team-mate Melandri right on his shoulder and with Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) in third and fourth. The fast-starting Loris Capirossi (Ducati) lay fifth with Rossi sixth.

But it didn’t take Rossi long to make his way to the front of the field. He was up to second as lap two began, with Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) charging through from the third row of the grid to fifth.

Into turn one at the start of lap two and Rossi was squeezed to third by the RC211Vs of Gibernau and Melandri, with Sete retaking the lead from his team-mate Melandri. Barros snatched fourth from Hayden as the Brazilian set one of the early fastest laps.

The action was never less than intense as six riders fought for supremacy at the head of the field: Melandri from Rossi, from Gibernau, then Barros, Hayden and Biaggi with Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) now making up ground on the leaders.

The fight was so frantic that Sete touched Marco’s rear wheel on lap three as Tamada made the most of the fierce in-fighting to get on the tail of the group. The Japanese also set another fastest lap as he made his way forward.

Gibernau then put in a fastest lap before Rossi briefly led on lap five while Barros was trying to secure third from Hayden who was trying everything to get it back. Tamada was the fastest man on the track, but was to crash out a lap later.

As Gibernau upped the pace to try and break the will of his pursuers he put in another fastest lap of 1 min 43.253 seconds. And only Rossi could stay with the flying Spaniard now. By mid-race the pair were 3.2 seconds ahead of the three rider struggle for third place between Melandri, Hayden and Barros.

Max was by now 2.7 seconds adrift of the fight for third place in sixth and there he would remain until the flag. At least he was close enough to see the three riders ahead of him ride three abreast into turn one as they tried everything to grab that third podium place.

Rossi then forced the pace in the final three laps. He led into turn one on lap 22 of the 25-lap contest, and Gibernau had no answer to the reigning World Champion’s speed as the Italian set a fastest lap of 1 min 43.195 seconds on lap 23.

Rossi maintained a gap of at least 0.5 seconds in the final two laps and as the pair crossed the finish line, Gibernau had clearly settled for second place and a points finish – the gap at 1.094 seconds. Melandri came out on top in the fight for third.

Gibernau said, “I was putting in some good laps, but then eight laps from the end the front-end began sliding too much going into turns. I thought I had something left in reserve for the end of the race – but not as much as Vale had at the end. I’m looking forward to Assen now and trying to stay positive and keeping the pressure on.”

His team-mate Melandri said, “I’m a bit disappointed because I lost time at the start with a foot-peg problem. It was hard to stay with the leaders, but as long as I keep improving race by race that’s OK with me. Riders are fighting more and more as the season goes on – but I won my battle for the podium and it’s good to be here again.”

Barros said, “I’m quite happy because it was a while since I had a race like this. I enjoyed myself. Towards the end I overtook Nicky and then waited until the last lap to try and pass Marco too. I wanted to get him at turn six, but I was too far back, I then tried it at turn nine and didn’t manage it. It’s a shame, but in the end it was a good race and now we can look forward to the next one at Assen, a track which I really love.”

Nicky said, “The whole race was a bit of a dog fight really. We were really going at it. I got a good start and made a few overtakes stick in the opening laps. I got up to third and wasn’t that far behind the leaders when I made my fastest lap of the race trying to close the gap. Then Melandri came past with a big move that cost me time. I got back to third and just tried to get a steady rhythm and pull away. On the positive side the bike went well, the Michelins hung on well and my boys did a great job.”

Max in sixth said, “It went bad. We rode a different bike from the one we used at Mugello, with a set-up meant to improve braking. In those sections the feeling was good but it really worsened handling and cornering, with consequent problems for tyre life. I could never take part in the game and it makes me very sad. I look to the next Assen Grand Prix knowing that it’s not going to be easy, but we must push harder.”

Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V), who finished eighth after starting from 15th said, “Qualifying didn’t go as planned yesterday, but in the free practices I was quick, so I knew that in the race today I could go fast. I had the worst start of my career – I couldn’t believe it, I was something like seventeenth or eighteenth at the end of the first lap. We’re improving, but now we need to make another step forward and I’m hoping we can do it in testing here tomorrow.”

“What happened?” said Makota Tamada. “I wasn’t pushing my bike so much. I could stay with the fastest riders easily without pushing my bike to the limit. But something went wrong. I was doing a simple turn just behind Barros when suddenly I found myself on the ground with the bike beside me. I think I lost the front.”

The World Championship points table now shows Rossi with 145 points, Melandri with 87, Max on 77 and Sete fourth overall with 73.

A fraught 250cc race was won by local superstar Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) who triumphed in a fierce race from Casey Stoner (Aprilia) and heroic Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW), who finished third despite riding injured.

Dani got a poor start from pole and was outside the top ten on lap one, but by lap three he was sixth after setting a fastest lap. Early front-runner Sebastian Porto (Aprilia) had crashed out on lap two and it was Randy de Puniet (Aprilia) who led before he too crashed on the next lap.

Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) then inherited the lead although within a lap Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) stole it from him. The front group was bunched tightly and the order was De Angelis, Barbera, Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW), Dani, and Dovi.

Simone Corsi (Aprilia) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) were riding hard to get on the tail of that group and Casey Stoner (Aprilia) was also on a charge to the front. By mid-race Dani was up to second, and then he took the lead as Lorenzo hit the rear of de Angelis and took them both out of the race.

As Pedrosa established a two second lead over Stoner, Dovi had moved up to third despite riding with heavy bruising to his right side after a heavy practice crash yesterday. Corsi then punted Barbera out of the track after they touched under braking into turn one.

And as Pedrosa established a five second cushion over Stoner, Dovi held third while Aoyama eased past Corsi for fourth. Randy de Puniet finished sixth after remounting.
Yuki Takahashi (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) finished seventh – equalling his best result so far.

Dani said, “That was a tough weekend. Qualifying was hard and it was struggle to get the right set-up here. I had to ride really hard to get to the front after my bad start and the bike was sliding at the front from about half-race distance. That was great team effort to get the win.”

Dovi said, “I’m so happy, that was fantastic result. Dani won well here but I’ve had a lot to deal with this weekend. There was the pain itself – and then a hard decision over whether to ride or not. Now it’s all gone well and that’s as much as I could have hoped for after being in hospital yesterday.”

Pedrosa heads the World Championship points table with 123, Stoner lies second with 96, Dovi third on 93 and Aoyama comes into the reckoning with 58.

Mattia Pasini won the 125cc race from Marco Simoncelli (both Aprilia) with Mika Kallio (KTM) third. World Championhsip points leader (until now) Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) was seventh while Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) finished fifth.

Luthi got the holeshot from the third row of the grid, but by lap two Pasini was in control of the race and he led until the flag 21-laps later. Luthi gradually slipped down the order as tyre grip became an issue for the young Swiss rider.

Kallio did his best to stay in touch with the flying Pasini but the Finn was always at least two seconds adrift of the Italian as the order established itself in the second half of the race. Simoncelli was the only man on track who could make an impression in the closing laps – eventually stealing second from Kallio.

Koyama said, “At the beginning of the race I had a lot of chatter from my rear tyre in the high-speed turns. So I changed my riding style and ran through them a gear lower and that helped me get back some ground. Then it was hard to get past Poggiali – so I out-braked him.”

Luthi said, “That was a race of slides. My rear tyre was gone after about ten laps and that was my own fault because I chose too soft a compound. The engine was very good all race and I did my best – but that was all I could achieve today.”

The World Championship classification is now even tighter than ever: Pasini 84 points, Luthi 83, Kallio 82 and Gabor Talmacsi, who finished fourth today, 75 points.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP, 2nd:
“The team have done a great job and I had a good feeling with the bike today. I set a good pace over the opening laps which gave me a couple of tenths advantage and allowed me to lead for the majority of the race. At eight laps to go the left side was sliding too much and I wasn’t able to maintain my pace. I’m disappointed for the fans, who have given me great support all weekend, but I’m sure they enjoyed the excitement in the race and a great show all round.”

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda MotoGP, 3rd:
“It was a tough but incredible race for me. I got a good start and tried to stay with the lead riders over the opening laps. I had a good pace and even managed to lead for a few laps but I ran wide when Nicky Hayden passed me and Barros also came through to send me back to fifth place. The fight with Barros and Nicky for third meant that I lost contact with the front two and I was never able to make the ground up. Even so, I am really happy with third place. I won a personal battle today – my race pace was much better compared to Mugello and the podium confirms that we are getting constantly better. I want to say a special thanks to the whole team, to Fausto and to Michelin, that has helped me a lot in the right tyre choice.”

Alex Barros , Camel Honda, 4th:
“I’m quite happy because it was a while since I had a race like this. I enjoyed myself and even thought I would have obviously preferred to have got on the podium, I think I had a nice battle with Marco and Nicky. I got away well and had a good first lap, tagging along with the front group straight away. Towards the sixth lap though, I began to have a problem when braking. I just couldn’t brake properly and went too deep on a couple of occasions. So I had to work with the problem, without losing ground. Towards the end I overtook Nicky and then waited until the last lap to try and pass Marco too. I wanted to get him at turn six, but I was too far back, I then tried it a turn nine and didn’t manage it. It’s a shame, but in the end it was a good race and now we can look forward to the next one at Assen, a track which I really love.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team, 5th:
“The whole race was a bit of a dog fight really. We were really going at it. I got a good start and made a few overtakes stick in the opening laps. I got up to third and wasn’t that far behind the leaders when I made my fastest lap of the race trying to close the gap. Then Melandri came past with a big move that cost me time. I got back to third and just tried to get a steady rythmn and pull away. The last few laps were amazing – we were all just back and forth - we were just duking it out. I so wanted that podium but it just wasn’t to be. It’s fruntrating to have such a good overall weekend and go away with a fifth. On the positive side the bike went well, the Michelins hung on well and my boys did a great job.”

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team: 6th:
“It went bad. We rode a different bike from the one we used at Mugello, with a set-up meant to improve braking. In those sections the feeling was good but it really worsened handling and cornering, with consequent problems for the tires’ life. I could never take part in the game and it makes me very sad. I look to the next Assen Grand Prix knowing that it’s not going to be easy, but we must push harder.”

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda, 8th:
“Qualifying didn’t go as planned yesterday, but in the free practices I was quick, so I knew that in the race today I could go fast. I had a start though which will rank alongside the worst in my whole career. Incredible, I couldn’t believe it, I was something like seventeenth or eighteenth at the end of the first lap. I got my head down though and began to fight back, riding consistently at a good pace. We’re improving, but now we need to make another step forward and I’m hoping we can do it when testing here tomorrow.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: DNF - crash
“What happened? I wasn’t pushing my bike so much. I could remain with the fastest riders easily without pushing my bike to the limit. I was serene and charged up at right level to remain there; my goal was to conquer the podium. Yes, because everything, the bike, the tyres, and the set up of the bike found in these days of work was more than satisfying. But something went wrong; I was doing a simple turn just behind Barros when suddenly I found my self on the ground with the bike beside me. My sensation is that the front tire lost adherence and made me slip, but before making a final evaluation of what happened we have to analyze the images showed on television and check the telemetry. I am very sorry for my Team; I thought the time to give them back what they have done for me in this beginning of the season was arrived.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 4
France Grand Prix at Le Mans


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha)
2 Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
3 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
4 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
8 Troy BAYLISS (Camel Honda)
9 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
10 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
11 Carlos Checa (Ducati Marlboro Team)
12 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
13 David CHECA (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
14 Roberto ROLFO (D'Antin MotoGP)
15 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
16 Shane BYRNE (Team Roberts)
17 Alex HOFMANN (Kawasaki Racing Team)
18 James ELLISON (Blata WCM)
19 Franco BATTAINI (Blata WCM)



Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
250cc
1 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
2 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
5 Simone CORSI (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
6 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
8 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
9 Mirko GIANSANTI (Matteoni Racing)
10 Alex BALDOLINI (Campetella Racing)
16 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Honda)
 
125cc
1 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
2 Marco SIMONCELLI (Nocable.it Race)
3 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
4 Gabor TALMACSI (Red Bull KTM GP125)
5 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Ajo Motorsport)
6 Manuel POGGIALI (Metis Racing Team)
7 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
8 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP125)
9 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Skilled I.S.P.A. Racing Team)
10 Fabrizio LAI (Kopron Racing World)
 

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