MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 08: U.S.A. GP > Race Results
MotoGPU.S.A.July 10, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 8
U.S.A. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca

Nicky Hayden Rules The Roost in California

Qualifying >>

It was only a matter of time before Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) made his talent felt in the hard-fought arena of MotoGP racing. The young American shone at his home race with a maiden pole and a career-first win. Not only did the American star provide Honda's President, Mr. Takeo Fukui who attended this race, with a victory, but Hayden also gave his father an unscheduled lap of honor on his all-conquering Honda RC211V Grand Prix machine.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi finished second, and current sixth-place points table position-holder Colin Edwards (both Yamaha) finished third. European riders were at a disadvantage here – and even the World Champion had no answer to the local expertise shown by Hayden and Edwards around the twists and turns of this tricky track.

Hayden was magnificent at this challenging Laguna Seca circuit. Not only did he dominate qualifying, but the Stateside hero made the race his own too. From the lights, the former AMA Superbike Champion made the race his own as he led from the daunting uphill straight.

By lap two Nicky had a one second lead and he made the race belong to Honda with a withering series of laps that his rivals had no answer to over a 32-lap tour of this punishing track. He was the man in control of events – and not even the current man of the moment Rossi had the measure of him here in California.

Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) made inroads into the World Championship points standings with a powerful ride into fourth place. The Roman gladiator closed the points gap significantly over his second-placed rival Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) – at least for now.

But the day belonged to Hayden, and few competitors could begrudge the American hero his hour of glory. “This is great,” said Hayden. “At my home Grand Prix, this is my first Premier win and I want to make sure this is the start of something good. Thanks to Honda, thanks to my Team for making this happen.”

The ultra-experienced Max Biaggi was typically analytical and, unsurprisingly, characteristically generous in his assessment of the race. “Congratulations to Nicky and his crew,” he said. “He rode a great race. But my hands were full fighting with Sete Gibernau and neither of us could get close to him.”

Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V), who finished fifth, said, “I think that was one of my best races of the season, if not the best, even though the result might not reflect that. We found a better set-up than we had all weekend in the morning warm-up and I went out to give everything, even though I knew it would be tough starting so far back. We were able to maintain a high rhythm, the same as the guys at the front, and stayed consistent throughout the race. It hasn’t been an ideal weekend. When we go well in qualifying we don’t seem able to finish it off in the race and vice versa. I’m confident that when we manage to put three good days together again we’ll be back to winning races.”

Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V) finished sixth and said: “Sixth isn’t what I want, or what I expected here at Laguna. In the race I was just unable to find the kind of feeling I had in practice, I didn’t have the confidence on the front and hardly any grip at the back. I picked up some good points and I gained a position in the championship standings, but today I wanted more.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) finished an encouraging seventh, and said: “In the first turn of the race I had to leave the inside of the track to Barros and Nakano who both touched me on the left side of the bike. I thought I’d fall, but somehow I stayed on the bike, even if I lost precious time and some places. My feeling with the bike, in the final part of the race, with the tank almost empty and therefore lighter is getting better. I consider this race for me and for the Team a positive experience, in fact it’s only now that I’m in good shape after a series of injuries.”

Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V), who looked good for a result here, crashed out early in the race. He said, “We were just in the early stages of the race when Melandri bumped into me and made me crash. We were just at the end of the first lap, and I even left space for him to get into the corner, but he hit me anyway. It’s not something to do after just one lap of the race. It’s a shame, I’m so disappointed, because this was a race that I felt I could win.”

Marco Melandri, who crashed here early on in the race with Barros, now looks forward to the British GP at Donington Park round in two weeks time. The man who still holds second place in the World Championship points standings said: “The lead group were really close together in the final corner of the first lap and they braked really hard in front of me. I had to shut off and lost the front. I crashed and I’m sorry for taking Alex Barros down too. It’s a shame it ended that way because in the warm-up I felt much better on the bike and my objective was to finish the weekend off in the best way possible. I hope we can get back on the right track when we return to Europe over the next few races.”



Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)


Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)


Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, 1st:
“This is like a fairy tale. To come to your home GP and be fastest in nearly all the sessions and get pole and then win is just a dream come true. It s been a while since I won anything – except the dating game TV thing – and this feels amazing. For the race I put my head down and just rode my heart out the whole race. In the middle of the race I saw the time gap come down and I thought ‘oh no’ but I kept focussed. Getting Earl on the back at the end is a real dirt track thing. I owe my family everything. My Mum and Dad have given up so much for us all as a family. I remember the roof leaking as a kid when it rained as all the money we had went into racing. This win is for everyone in my team – for Honda in believing in me and for all the great fans around this track today who helped me so much. Every dog has its day and today it all just came together. I’m going to enjoy this moment for sure.”

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda, 4th:
“It was a good race. Surely, we could have stepped on the podium this time, but it took me too long to pass Bayliss, who was slowing me down. So I lost the touch with the head of the race. I’m sorry, because I did a good start, from seventh to fourth place. I also liked the duel with Gibernau, tough but always fair. Well, I had fun. Today I really want to congratulate with my team mate Nicky and with his guys. He was simply perfect all over the week-end. Bravo Nicky!”

Makoto Tanaka, Repsol Honda Team Manager:
“A very special day and one we will all remember for ever. Nicky has been the man to beat all weekend and in the end no one could touch him. His team did a great job and got the bike set-up well right from the start. They hardly changed a thing. We at Honda have always had faith in Nicky and today it all paid off. Mr Takeo Fukui, the President and CEO of Honda Motor Company was here to witness the first Honda win in the top class of GP racing at Laguna Seca ever. I am positive that now Nicky has tasted success we will be seeing more. Max had a quiet race in compassion but with Melandri crashing out, managed to close the gap to second place to only seven points.”

Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP, 5th:
“I think that was one of my best races of the season, if not the best, even though the result might not reflect that. We found a better set-up than we had all weekend in the morning warm-up and I went out to give everything, even though I knew it would be tough starting so far back. We were able to maintain a high rhythm, the same as the guys at the front, and stayed consistent throughout the race. It hasn’t been an ideal weekend. When we go well in qualifying we don’t seem able to finish it off in the race and vice versa. I’m confident that when we manage to put three good days together again we’ll be back to winning races.”

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda MotoGP, dnf :
“The lead group were really close together in the final corner of the first lap and they braked really hard in front of me. I also had to shut off and lost the front. I crashed and I’m sorry for taking Alex Barros down too. It’s a shame it ended that way because in the warm-up I felt much better on the bike and my objective was to finish the weekend off in the best way possible. I hope we can get back on the right track when we return to Europe over the next few races.”

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda, 6th :
“Sixth isn’t what I want, or what I expected here at Laguna. In the race I was just unable to find the kind of feeling I had in practice, I didn’t have the confidence on the front and hardly any grip at the back. I picked up some good points and I gained a place a position in the championship standings, but today I wanted more.”

Alex Barros, Camel Honda, dnf :
“We were just in the early stages of the race when Melandri bumped into me and made me crash. We were just at the end of the second lap, and I even left space for him to get into the corner, but he hit me anyway. It’s not something to do after just one lap of the race. It’s a shame, I’m so disappointed, because this was a race that I felt I could win.”

Sito Pons, Camel Honda:
“We have been incredibly unlucky in this race, because Alex was caught up in an incident he had nothing to do with, and he didn’t even get the chance to make the most of the competitive edge and pacy rhythm he demonstrated in practice and above all during this morning’s warm-up. Having seen his pace in the race he would almost certainly have been able to fight for victory. Troy got away well, but obviously he had a few difficulties because he was never able to ride as hard as in practice.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda, 7th:
“In the first turn of the race I had to leave the inside of the track to Barros and Nakano that have both touched me on the left side of the bike. I have seriously risked to fall, but somehow I made it to remain on my bike even if I lost precious time and some positions. While I was overtaking Nakano, at the end of the race, I have may cut the turn too much, touching with my left hand the rubber pole which delimit the circuit and this has blocked me for some successive turns. The RC211V and the tyres have been effective, allowing me to recuperate various positions. My feeling with the bike, in the final part of the race, with the tank almost empty and therefore lighter is surely improving. I consider this race for me and for the Team a positive experience, in fact is only from now that I am in good physical conditions after a series of disturbing inconveniences.”

Gianluca Montiron, Konica Minolta Honda Director:
“All in all a satisfying race for us. An honorable seventh place in a competitive race. Makoto is recovering his physical condition and notwithstanding the last week medical operation to his right forearm he has gone through, he made it to maintain a good rhythm during the all race. This has been for us one of the first races of the season where we have raced in almost optimal conditions and this make us look in a positive way the rest of the season. We consider this the starting base to obtain those results that we all aim.”


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


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



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

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