MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 08: U.S.A. GP > Qualifying
MotoGPU.S.A.July 9, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 8
U.S.A. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Qualifying

Hayden Takes Home Advantage To Claim Pole

Race Results >>

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) powered to the first pole position of his MotoGP career with a commanding demonstration of courage and precision at Laguna Seca here this afternoon. His lap time of 1m 22.670s was enough to relegate Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) to second and Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) to third.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)

Hayden has been the man setting the pace here from the go, and the American showed his utter mastery of this place while many of his European counterparts faded in the Californian sun. Barros, the only current rider to have ridden here on a Grand Prix machine, showed his resolve and experience with that cool front row performance.

Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V) was another man who used his previous time here to good effect with a fourth-placed qualifying ride. The Australian has had a difficult season so far and this effort is precisely what he needed to get back in the groove.

The revised track, safer, though not quite as safe as some European riders would like, has not been easy for first-timers to get to grips with. The Americans have, not unsurprisingly, shone here.
Nicky Hayden’s pole time was just what the homeboy needed to lift the crowd. The only man in the 1m 22 second category was understandably ecstatic about his strong showing at the first Grand Prix on American soil for 11 years.

“It’s a great feeling after all these years to be first when it counts,” he said. “The weekend just keeps getting better and better – I just hope it keeps going in that direction because tomorrow is when it really counts. It’s great to give all my people something to cheer about. The whole team has done a great job – the bike feels so good. We used some great Michelins and I’m just so happy. I’m not really worried about the race tomorrow – I just want to enjoy it.”

Alex Barros was equally delighted with his second front row start of the season. His lap of 1m 23.312 seconds was only 0.288 seconds shy of Rossi’s second fastest time.

“Things went well today,” said the hugely experienced Brazilian. “The grip was much better, and we were able to put in very good work on the set-up. It’s just a shame I found some traffic on the track when I was going for my fastest laps. During my last lap I found Melandri, Hopkins and Roberts, three slower riders, in front of me. I’m not saying I could do the pole, Hayden made a brilliant job today and he is the man to beat for tomorrow’s race. Anyway, I’m very happy also to see Troy so close. It’s good for the whole team.”

Troy Bayliss’ best lap of 1m 23.358s enables the durable Aussie to claim his best qualifying lap of the season so far, and it was just what he needed. A second row start gives him a chance of staying with the front-runners at a track where he has tasted success before in the World Superbike series.

“So far it’s been good,” he said. “We’ve always been close to the top during the whole week-end. We just had a little problem when something went wrong with the rear brake this afternoon, maybe due to my crash in the morning. It caused a little bit of stress, but after that we got going well again. When I made a 1m 24s with my first soft tyre I said to myself “Well Troy you have to do better with the next one.” So I did, I pushed very hard and 1m 23.3s is not so bad. Alex is just in front of me and this is good for the team.”

Another US hope Colin Edwards (Yamaha) lines up on row two next to Troy in fifth, with John Hopkins (Suzuki) sixth fastest. Then it’s Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) heading up row three in seventh.

“Starting with the seventh best time from the third row is a bit of a disappointment to me and my team,” said Max. “After the good job we did yesterday and this morning we were expecting to do much better, and we should have done. The changes we made to the rear suspension this afternoon didn’t give us the result we were looking for, and made us even slower. We still have a chance to ride a good race, but the start will be so important.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V), recovering from surgery to his injured forearm last week, managed the ninth fastest lap time of 1m 23.750s and starts from row three.

“We have worked hard to be able to find a good setting for the race and tomorrow we’ll try some more small adjustments to define the setting of the bike,” said the Japanese. “We still have to solve little problems that slow me down while entering the turns, and for this reason I hope to have a good warm-up session tomorrow. This afternoon we worked well and at the end I made the third row. A good start could help me finally achieve a good result.”

Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) who injured his right knee and wrist in a fall in the earlier free practice session, has not been enjoying the American experience. The Italian, who lies second in the World Championhip points standings, has struggled here. He will start from 11th on row four.

“This a difficult weekend for me,” said Marco. “We didn’t start well and I couldn’t find a good feeling with the bike. After I slid off, I tried to finish the practice staying calm. It will be a tough race tomorrow. My aim is just to finish the race. “

His team-mate Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) was equally out of sorts here in California. The Spaniard qualified 13th.

“We will have a lot of work to do tomorrow during the warm up,” he said. “Today we made some changes on the bike but without improving the feeling. It seems we’ve lost a bit of direction because we haven’t improved the lap times at all. Tomorrow will be a complicated race.”



Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda)


Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team: 1st:
"It’s a great feeling after all these years to be first when it counts. The weekend just keeps getting better and better – I just hope it keeps going in that direction because tomorrow is when it really counts. It’s great to give all my people something to cheer about. The whole team has done a great job – the bike feels so good. We used some great Michelins and I’m just so happy. I’m not really worried about the race tomorrow – I just want to enjoy it."

Alex Barros, Camel Honda: 3rd:
"Things went well today, the grip was much better, and we were able to put in a very good work on the set-up. It’s just a shame that in the of the qualifying session I found some traffic on the track when I was going for my fastest laps. During my last lap I found Melandri, Hopkins and Roberts, three slower riders in front of me. I do not say I could do the pole, Hayden made a brilliant job today and he is the man to beat for the tomorrow race, but I would like to make a 1’22 something. Anyway, I’m very happy also to see Troy just so close, it’s good for the whole team."

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda: 4th:
"So far it has been a good week-end, we’ve always been close to the top during the whole week-end. We just had a little problem something went wrong with the rear brake this afternoon, maybe due to the this morning crash I do not know, anyway nothing to do with the manufacturer, just a normal little problem that can happens. It caused a little bit of stress but after we going well again. When I made a flat 1’24 with my first soft tyre I said to myself “Well Troy you have to do better with the next one” . So I did, I pushed very hard and 1’23.3 is not so bad. Alex is just in front of me and this is good for the team, but I’m just there and that’s make me feeling good for the tomorrow race."

Sito Pons, Camel Honda:
"I’m pleased with how things went today, the whole squad worked well and both Troy and Alex have been amongst the top four throughout, and always at the top level. This means that tomorrow they will have the chance to start well and fighting for the podium. Alex has worked very well on set-up and has found a fast and consistent rhythm, which allowed him to grab a front row starting position. As for Troy I’m so happy for him, he has made a huge step forward, and has got a fourth place in the qualifying that rewards the good job him and the team made here."

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team: 7th:
"Starting with the seventh best time, from the third row, surely disappoint me and my Team. After the good job done yesterday and this morning, during the free practice, we were expecting to do much better, and we could. The change we made to the rear suspension this afternoon didn’t give the result we were looking for and on the other hand made us even slower. We need to go back to the precedent step. We still have chances to make a good race, but the starting will be very important."

Makoto Tanaka, Repsol Honda Team Manager:
"Obviously we are all very happy and pleased for Nicky. He has ridden very strongly all weekend and has been getting faster with every session. It is very encouraging for the race to see him lap consistently fast and his first really quick laps this afternoon were all done on race tyres. It’ll be a long hard race tomorrow. Max had a few problems today but it is all so close at the front, he was unlucky not to keep his second row start that he lost right at the end of the session. He is a racer and we expect a good battle from him tomorrow."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta: 9th:
"We have worked to be able to find a good setting for the race and tomorrow we’ll try some more small adjustment to define the setting of the bike. We still have to solve little problems that slow me down while entering the turns, for this reason, I hope to make it to have a good warm up session tomorrow. This afternoon we have worked well and at the end I made it obtain the third row which makes me fairly satisfied. I hope that a good start could help me to finally achieve a good result in the race."

Gianluca Montiron, Konica Minolta Honda Director :
"Today we have continued to work on the setting of the bike which we have started yesterday, trying to improve the balance of our RC211V. Makoto will start from the third row and this could reveal an important factor because this track doesn’t allow simple overtaking. Makoto, as we know, gives his best during the race, therefore we don’t consider our self too behind, considering the fact that Makoto has always ridden alone on the track. I hope that the last modification that we’ll try tomorrow in the twenty minutes of warm up will reveal decisive."

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda MotoGP:11th:
"This a difficult weekend for me. We didn’t start well and I couldn’t find a good feeling with the bike. After I slide off, I tried to finish the practice staying calm. It will be a tough race tomorrow, my aim is to finish the race."

Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP: 13th:
"We will have a lot of work to do tomorrow during the warm up. Today we did some changes on the bike but without improving the feeling. It seems that we have lost the direction of working as we haven’t improved the lap times . Tomorrow it will be a complicated race."


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 8
U.S.A. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Qualifying


line
MotoGP
1 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
3 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
4 Troy BAYLISS (Camel Honda)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
6 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
7 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
8 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
9 Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
10 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
12 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
13 Sete GIBERNAU (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
14 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
15 Alex HOFMAN (Kawasaki Racing Team)
16 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
17 Toni ELIAS (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)
 

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