MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 07: Netherlands GP > Qualifying
MotoGPNetherlandsJune 24, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 7
Netherlands Grand Prix at Assen Qualifying

Gibernau and Melandri on Front Row Again

Race Results >>

Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) and Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) both qualified on the front row for the fourth time this season in a display of consistent speed. Sete was second fastest, Marco third fastest with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) on pole.

Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

In searing heat with track temperature at an elevated 48 degrees, riders had to get to grips with a new track layout at the revised 5.997km circuit, now incorporating a new chicane before Stekkenwal, a challenging right-hander.

And sure enough there were incidents there. Franco Battaini ran into Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) there when Max returned to the track having ran into the gravel trap in the final ten minutes of the session.

Then Melandri and Biaggi touched on the cooling down lap and continued their contretemps later in the paddock, with Biaggi's uncle Valerio physically assaulting Melandri. The heat was getting to everybody. But, as ever, all-important grid position was secured by those riders who made best use of their qualifying tyres.

At the halfway stage of the hour, Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) was the fastest man on the track, but with 15 minutes to go Loris Capirossi (Ducati) displaced the Japanese man. But it was in the final ten minutes that the real action began.

Gibernau scorched to the first sub-2 minute lap with seven minutes left on the clock to go pole, and became the first rider to breach the 2 minute barrier with his 1 minute 58.759s time. Then Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) moved up to the front row in second with a 2m 00.157s lap.

And there was more to come. Rossi turned in a 1m 59.415s time to steal pole from Sete with six minutes to go just before Melandri made his bid for pole with a 1m 59.632 second time that was good enough for second on the grid.

Gibernau then re-took pole with his best of 1m 59.247s before Rossi again snatched back the initiative with his first dip into 1m 58 second territory with a 1m 58.936s lap. He is the only rider to have gone below 1m 59 seconds here in the run-up to tomorrow's race.

Hayden eventually ended up on row two in fifth, Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) on row three in eighth, Max next to him as ninth fastest qualifier, with Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) 11th and Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V) 14th.

Sete said, "That was hot and after the scare we had with my crew chief Juan yesterday it's okay. Thankfully he's well again now and today the team did a very good job. It's hard and physical here and we'll need a good start to get up there and try to get our best result of the season."

"I'm happy with my grid position," said Marco. "But I didn't get the best from my qualifying tyres. Biaggi then stopped in the middle of the track to do a practice start before the session had finished so I had a word with him. Everything is OK for me now."

Nicky said, "Fifth place again. At one point we were really struggling and we were lucky to pull something out of the bag. We need to find a bit more in warm-up tomorrow and perhaps take a gamble a bit for the race."

"The heat here is unusual and the tyres are really suffering, especially the rear," said Barros. "We've worked hard at solving this and now our ideas are a little clearer about tyre choice for the race. The bike isn't perfect yet, but our rhythm isn't too bad."

For Tamada 11th will have to do. "I could have been faster if I'd had time, but we preferred to concentrate on development of the bike. I made a couple of mistakes in some turns which lost me time, but the feeling with the tyres got better lap by lap. But I still need to be able to use the qualifying tyres better."

Troy Bayliss said, "Tomorrow we'll have a lot of hard work on our hands. I gave everything I've got but the others are going strong. There's still something missing even though I'm riding at 100%. It's not an easy situation to be in but I'll try and get a good start and fight on till the end."

Despite 'nursing' a broken and plated collarbone after his crash two weeks in Catalunya Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) sped to his second pole of the season. Sebastian Porto (Aprilia) was second fastest with reigning World Champion Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) on the front row in third and Casey Stoner (Aprilia) fourth fastest.

Dani is happy enough with a front row start in what promises to be a gruelling race tomorrow. His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) qualified sixth for a second row start while Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW), another rider who rode through pain at Catalunya, was seventh fastest. Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) qualified eighth.

Lorenzo said, "I will be hard tomorrow. There's a bit of pain, but more importantly we've improved the engine for tomorrow and in these conditions that's really important. We'll have to see how we go tomorrow now."

"We've improved from yesterday," said Dani. "The bike is better and we've fixed the problems we had in some areas. I've got a good rhythm here and third on the grid should be good enough for a decent start. But we'll know about that when the race is finished tomorrow."

For Dovi the second row has to do. "I would have preferred the front row obviously but I think it will be a group race. They are always difficult and there are more risks. But I don't want to make any forecasts but my bike is good enough for me to do well here."

Mika Kallio (KTM) put his Austrian-built machine on pole in the 125cc class. His team-mate Gabor Talmacsi qualified second fastest, current World Championship points leader Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) was third fastest with Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia) fourth quickest.

With one minute remaining of the half-hour qualifying frenzy, Marco Simoncelli topped the timesheets, but Kallio displaced him in the final 60 seconds. Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) was looking good for another front row qualifying performance until Talmacsi went second fastest and knocked the young Swiss off the front row to fifth.

Alex Masbou (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) shone here in qualifying with a second row performance as eighth fastest rider. His team-mate Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) managed the third row as 11th fastest man.

Luthi said, "We worked on suspension today because it is really bumpy in some places. Now the team has fixed it I feel more comfortable on the bike. The engine's been really good and the team has really sorted it for this weather. I know I can run fast laps in the race and the temperature doesn't bother me at all."

Koyama said, "My engine was running at 63 degrees which hurt the top end, but we can do something about that. But I also have some rear-end chatter which we'll try to fix tomorrow in the warm-up."

Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)



Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP, 2nd:
"Things were back to normal today. Juan, my chief mechanic, had a physical problem yesterday but, thank God, the situation was stabilised and today we noticed his presence. Yesterday we were working a little bit in the dark because there was no technical leader in the box, although I'd like to thank all the boys for their calmness. I'm really looking forward to this race, I'm sure it will be a body to body fight until the end and I'll be giving 100% all the way."

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda MotoGP, 3rd:
"I'm happy with this position although at the same time I'm a bit annoyed right now that I didn't get the opportunity to make the most of my qualifying tyre. Firstly I came across Max Biaggi, who was going really slowly. It's a shame because I was lapping really strongly, but it's good to be on the front row at this track because it's one of my favourites."

Nicky Hayden,Repsol Honda Team,5th:
" Fifth place again! Seems like I'm stuck on fifth; it's getting kinda' old. To be honest that session wasn't great. At one point I was down in 12th and we were really struggling and I guess we were lucky to pull something out of the bag at the end and get a second row start. At least we have a respectable place to start the race tomorrow. We just need to find something big tomorrow morning and perhaps gamble a bit for the race. We'll have to make a good start to have a chance of running with the front guys tomorrow."

Alex Barros, Camel Honda, 8th:
" The practices went quite well, today we got through a lot of work. The heat here in Holland is quite unusual and so the tyres are really suffering, especially the rear where we had a bit of a crisis today. Furthermore this type of track requires quite a hard spring setting with all the changes of direction right and left, and that conditions performance somewhat. We have worked hard on this issue, and now we have our ideas a little clearer as regards tyre choice for the race. The bike isn't perfect yet, but our rhythm isn't too bad. As for the chance of rain, we'll see what actually happens, because it's more probable that it rains in the morning rather than during the race."

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team, 9th:
" I'm pretty satisfied with today's testing because we found a good setting for the race. Unfortunately I crashed my bike number one when I came into contact with Franco Battaini and so I couldn't use it to do the fastest lap. I had to qualify with bike number two but I'm pretty confident for the race. The team did a good job and we can try to be with the fastest guys in the race tomorrow."

Makoto Tanaka, Team Manager:
" No real surprises in the qualifying for the team today. Both riders have not found the best set-up round here and we see a second and third row start. The weather could be a factor tomorrow and we will have to be smart to anticipate conditions. Max had an eventful session with two collisions in the final 10 minutes. Both were unfortunate and he did very well to stay on his machine. Race Direction have made a decision and Honda won't be appealing."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 11th:
" The time I have obtained could have been much lower if I had the time to have another fast lap, but we preferred to concentrate on the development of the bike for when we'll step on the track tomorrow afternoon. During the first time attack I try to find the right feeling with the tyres, while in the second try I made a couple of mistakes in the some turns which made me lose some precious time. With the tyres the feeling gets better lap after lap, but I still need some time to make it to use the Michelin qualifying tyres' potential at its best. Unfortunately I felt some pain at my right forearm which in some turns is almost intolerable. I will have to try to start well tomorrow to remain with the group of the fastest riders from the beginning, just like it happened two weeks ago in Barcelona."

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda: 14th:
" The qualifier went more or less like in the last races so tomorrow we'll have a lot of hard work on our hands. I gave everything I have, but the others were going so strongly. Obviously there's still something missing, even though I'm riding at 100%. It's not an easy situation, but tomorrow I will try and get a good start and battle on to the end."


Jorge Lorenzo, Fortuna Honda Team 250: pole position:
" The pain was worth it. It was really hard because the pain hurt and awful lot. I think I posted a good time, although I still could have gone faster as I wasn't perfect. Although we have found a very good rhythm, the race will be very difficult. This is a very hard circuit and I will tire quicker than normal because of the injury - I'm not as fit as I was before the fall at Montmelo. I want to thank my mechanics for the effort they have put in to improve the bike, especially Juanito Llansa, as today is his birthday and this pole is the best present I could offer him."

Dani Pedrosa, Telefonica Movistar Honda, 3rd:
" We've improved quite a lot from yesterday in terms of lap times and race pace. We've got things pretty clear and the only thing we need to decide is the tyres. They've reduced the problem we had in the chicane by inserting some markers and that helps to pick your line, although I couldn't help running off track today. I hope the race is dry to make the most of the setting we have found and I also hope to get a good start. If it does rain then we'll have to work quickly in the warm up to find a good set-up for the wet and, as always, I'll give my best whatever the conditions. If the weather stays like this there are four or five riders who will be up there."

Hiroshi Aoyama, MoviStar Honda: 6th:
" Even though my lap times improved quite a lot today I lost my place on the front row, but the bike is better and so is my feeling. I was lapping alone all day and I've got a good pace for the race, so I think this time I can stick with the pace of the four fast riders at the front as long as I get a good start."

Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 7th:
" I would have preferred to conquer the first row but I'm quite satisfied: the set up of my Honda it has improved but it is still not perfect. Probably it will be a group race: I don't think someone could lead the race for the complete distance but it depends also on the way Lorenzo has conquered the pole position today. The group races are always difficult: there are many more risks, like what happened to De Angelis and Lorenzo in Barcelona. I don't want to make a forecast but the bike is ok and I think I will have a good race "

Héctor Barberá, Fortuna Honda: 8th:
" Although things went quite well for me in the morning, and I beat my time from yesterday, things changed in the afternoon. The heat affected me and I was not able to improve my time. Perhaps I pushed to hard at the start of the session because I wanted to do well. But I am ready for the race: I have found a good set-up and I know which tyres to use. I just hope I can give my very best in the race."

Jakub Smrz, Molenaar Honda: 11th:
" I had some big problems in qualifying, something to do with the airbox I just had no power the engine was not pulling. I spent too long in the pits. When we got the bike running a bit better there was only 15 minutes of qualifying left so I had to ride hard. My best lap as one second better than yesterday and I'm happy with that. I was going faster on the next lap but met Pedrosa and Aoyama slowing to go into the pits so I lost time."

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Honda: 13th:
" The setting of my Honda is slowly but importantly improving. I'm confident for the race tomorrow. It is probable that tomorrow it will rain. and for me it could be a good thing: I like wet races".

Dirk Heidolf, Kiefer Castrol Honda: 18th:
" Not so bad today. I feel more comfortable on the bike now that the Clinica Mobile have used lightweight bandages on my Le Mans injuries. We found very good settings for he engine and the chassis which helped me because I am not riding in a relaxed way. I'm to hard on the brakes in places and too hard on the throttle in others but I'll be OK in the race because my times are very consistent "

Alex Debon, Wurth Honda BQR: 21st:
" Everything is OK I found good settings very quickly and went for the fast laps. I set my best time on the second lap but from then on I could not improve. I was pushing too hard and kept making silly mistakes. No problem I will be OK I the race but I need a very good start from my position on the grid."

Anthony West replacement rider for Radomil Rous, Wurth Honda BQR: 23rd.


Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 5th:
" We had to work on the suspension a lot today to get the front to run over the bumps. The team fixed the suspension and I feel really comfortable on the bike now." Everything else is just fine now it was not accelerating well it felt as if it was rich but it's really crisp now. For tomorrow I run fast laps the tyres are good and I don't have a problem racing in such high temperatures.

Alexis Masbou, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 8th:
" The engine is good but we have to work on the chassis settings before the warm up. This is my second time at Assen and I like the track but I will need a good start in the race because I don't want to be held up at the first corner."

Tomoyoshi Koyama, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 11th:
"We had some rear end chatter but the team has fixed that and the bike works good now. The only real problem I have is with tope end power the engine is running at 63' and its killed top speed a little. I am happy enough. I like the track but it's difficult and very technical but I enjoy riding here."

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Racing World Honda: 13th:
" The bike is ok and I can ride it very well. During the morning free practice I obtained the third time and in the afternoon I've tried to be faster. During the 10th lap I was pushing to reach Luthi and take advantage of his slipstream but I slipped out: it was a bad fall and now I have bruises everywhere. I have a trauma in the right arm, the wrist and the thorax and a lumbosacral contusion but there isn't any fracture. Now the doctors of Clinica Mobile want to take me under control for a couple of hours."

Alvaro Bautista, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 14th:
" Now we have the front end working so well I have a much better feeling with the bike than ever before. We have to work on the engine because I'm down on top speed around here. I can ride with the fastest riders but not get passed them on top speed. Still we have the warm up to improve the engine settings."

Fabrizio Lai, Kopron Racing World Honda: 18th:
" We have taken a wrong way in the bike set up: we have worked on the chassis but I lost confidence in the rear. Tomorrow we will use the old setting. Unfortunately it will be difficult to recover position starting eighteen but, of course, I will do my best.We have the third maximum speed and it is not bad but my Honda needs more acceleration. During my best lap I made a mistake in the new part of the track losing too much time".

Aleix Espargaro, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 20th:
" This morning I have driven three tenths faster than this afternoon. I have not been able to do a good lap for the grid, and as always I will have to start from a back position. I think I have a good pace. I will have to make a good start to try to enter again in the fight for the points positions".

Sandro Cortese, Kiefer Boss Castrol Honda: 24th:
" Qualifying was not so good, I was faster in the morning session. When I went out this afternoon I was running at 1m 15s then into 1m 14.7s but then I got caught up with a group of about ten riders going slow waiting for a fast rider."

Raymond Schouten, Molenaar Honda: 25th:
" That was not very good. The temperature was very high after lunch and I had no grip at all on the rear I cant understand it because this morning there was good grip. This afternoon I couldn't ride as hard as I needed to. The engine was over heating a little. I will need a god start if I am to make a good race of it."

Toshihisa Kuzuhara, Angaia Racing Honda: 27th:
" Not very good today I had some front end chatter we have to work more on the suspension in the morning to try and get rid of it, I don't think it's a tyre problem. The engine is very good so we have no problems there."

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 7
Netherlands Grand Prix at Assen Qualifying

1 Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
2 Sete GIBERNAU (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
3 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
4 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
7 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
8 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
9 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
10 Alex HOFMAN (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
13 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
14 Troy BAYLISS (Camel Honda)
15 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
16 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
17 David CHECA (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
18 Roberto ROLFO (Team D'Antin MotoGP Pramac)
19 Shane BYRNE (Team Roberts)
20 James ELLISON (Blata WCM)
21 Franco BATTAINI (Blata WCM)
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Honda)
2 Sebastian PORTO (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
3 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
4 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
8 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Honda)
9 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
10 Simone CORSI (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
13 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
2 Gabor TALMACSI (Red Bull KTM GP125)
3 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
4 Marco SIMONCELLI ( Race)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
6 Sergio GADEA (Master Aspar)
7 Manuel POGGIALI (Metis Racing Team)
8 Alexis MASBOU (Ajo Motorsport)
9 Hector FAUBEL (Master Aspar)
10 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP125)

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