MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 09: England GP > Race Results
MotoGPU.K.July 24, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 9
England Grand Prix at Donington Park

Barros Splashes to Fighting Third in The Rain

Qualifying >>

In front of a rain drenched crowd of 75,000 race fans the remarkable Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) completed his 250th Grand Prix with a podium finish in atrocious conditions. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won the 29-lap race from Kenny Roberts (Suzuki).



Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)


Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)


Rain had been predicted and sure enough it fell hard from just after mid-day with a fierce easterly wind blowing across Donington Park’s 4.023km track. Only 11 riders from a grid of 21 completed race distance. And seven riders had fallen by lap five of this 29-lap contest.

The scheduled 30-lap race was reduced to 29-laps when Shinya Nakano’s Kawasaki stalled on the grid. The field completed a second sighting lap and at the second extinguishing of the lights it was Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) who stormed into an early lead.

The Spanish charger was followed by his team-mate Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) with Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V) and Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) in third and fourth. Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) lay fifth and the race looked set for Honda domination.

But the awful conditions conspired to spoil the picture. Rossi had climbed to third from eighth by the end of lap two and Max Biaggi had fallen at the Old Hairpin. Then Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) went down at Goddards. It was all most riders could do to stay on board in the deluge with grip and visibility at a minimum.

Things got worse on lap three when Melandri fell at Goddards and Troy Bayliss crashed on the grass run-off trying to avoid the stricken Italian. Then it was Gibernau’s turn to suffer in the appalling conditions. He fell having just started lap four and could not restart.

Barros led lap five from Rossi while the Suzukis of Roberts and John Hopkins were getting on terms with the front men. The order by lap six was soon Hopkins, Rossi, Barros, Roberts, Colin Edwards (Yamaha), followed by Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V).

Barros then made a bid for the lead and succeeded in passing Hopkins in the spray while the hard-charging American went onto the grass and eventually out the race on lap nine. The lead group soon became a four-rider affair when Tamada lost touch, and no one else was even close to front-running foursome.

It was Barros all the way until lap 23 when Rossi snatched the lead at the Melbourne Loop and then pulled out a lead setting faster lap times than anyone else could muster. By lap 27 he had an 8.7 second advantage over Barros.

And worse was to come for the Brazilian when Roberts slipped past him on the final lap for second place. Tamada was the only other Honda finisher in seventh – but this race was something of a lottery. With an ambient temperature of only 14 degrees in soaking conditions all the finishers were shivering wrecks at the flag.

Barros said, “Somehow it was enjoyable, despite how difficult it was. When Valentino overtook me I was unable to maintain his pace. On the last lap Roberts won the duel for second place, taking advantage of having been behind and seeing where I had problems. I’m a little bit disappointed, but that’s racing and he played his card. But being on the podium is a great way to celebrate my 250th Grand Prix.”

Tamada, in seventh, said, “It wasn’t easy to handle the power of the RCV in these conditions. The rear was spinning-up all the time and things were tough at the limit. But this was my first race on Michelins on a soaking track. I managed to get more confident on the bike between laps 15 and 25 and maintain as good a rhythm as the fastest riders – this bodes well for the Sachsenring.”

Sete said, “It’s obvious this is not our year. I tried to get a good start and set my own pace and I wasn’t pushing. My first scare was my crash. It was a fast crash and nothing more. I’m sorry for my team after all the work they’ve done, this is tough for all of us, but we’ll get back to work next week and go from there.”

Marco said, “This is a shame because in the morning I felt good and I was looking forward to the race. There’s not much I can say about my race because it only lasted three laps. I got a good start and was feeling comfortable but then I got thrown off. We just have to look forward now.”

Max said, “On the sighting lap we had absolutely no traction. In the five-minute stop before the race we made some adjustments but it seemed to make no difference. We were spinning-up on the straight – in second, third and fourth gears. It was strange to have no feeling. I made a good start but very soon crashed out. I managed to get back on but then fell again. I feel very sorry for my team, as I know they work so hard and I couldn’t repay them. All I can say is I will come back strong at the Sachsenring.”

“I wanted to get into a good rhythm but just didn’t get time,” said Nicky. “I’m mad at myself for crashing at that corner. I almost crashed there this morning and I watched lots of guys crashing there in earlier races. It was just so slippery. It was so quick and I was down. Unfortunately I broke the handlebar – it was an easy crash. It’s frustrating being so high from the last race and so low from this one. It’s a cruel game sometimes.”

Troy Bayliss said, “I got a good start, and despite the conditions, I felt comfortable in the front group, and I was right in there. Unfortunately when Marco crashed in front of me he was too close and I tried to avoid him but I touched him and I was forced out onto the grass where I couldn’t control my bike. There’s no point saying how disappointed I am, but it was just a racing incident.”

The World Championship table now looks like this with nine races completed and now with eight to go: Rossi 211, Melandri 107, Edwards 106, Biaggi 100, Gibernau on 95 and Barros with 90 points.

Randy de Puniet (Aprilia) won an engrossing 250cc race from Aussie Anthony West who rode the new 250 KTM to a fine debut finish for the team in second. Casey Stoner (Aprilia) was third while Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) consolidated his World Championship lead with a measured fourth place.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) led the early stages of the race and had built up a significant lead before he fell while passing a backmarker into Redgate Corner (turn one) on lap 13. The race could have been his, but a maiden win was cruelly denied the Japanese star.

De Puniet, West and Stoner were the only riders in the hunt for the rostrum places. All three of them had hair-raising moments out of the saddle as they fought to control their machines in the torrents of rain and standing water, but even though de Puniet had to take to the grass at the 120mph Craner Curves, he stayed on to regain the track and get back on terms with West and Stoner.

Eventually he prevailed over his rivals. When West was launched out of the seat at Coppice on the final lap the race belonged to de Puniet. But Pedrosa was happy enough to score points in conditions like these with a fourth.

“This is my best result in the wet,” said Dani. “And this is important because it was so slippery out there. I eased up over the last ten laps because the gaps both to the front and to the riders behind me were too big. This is a good result in terms of the World Championship and that’s important.”

Aoyama was crestfallen. “I don’t know what to say,” said Hiro. “I was riding with a good rhythm, with confidence in the conditions, and then I came across a slower rider and had to go wide to pass him. It was really slippery and I crashed. It’s such a shame as this really could have been my first win.”

The World Championship points table now shows Dani still in control with 156 points to Stoner’s 122, with Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) lying third overall with 111 points despite only managing to finish seventh here. Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) finished eighth.

The 125cc Grand Prix, which opened the Donington Park race program, was stopped on lap eight when the heavy rain that affected the 250cc and MotoGP races began to fall. The in-form Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) had been one of the front-runners, but a new nine-lap race was started and under the current rules, only the result of the second race would stand.

Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125RW) led the pack into Redgate at the restart, after series points leader Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) fell on the sighting lap – such were the conditions. But Gabor Talmacsi (KTM) was soon on terms and then passed Lai only to fall two laps later.

Mike Di Meglio (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125R) then led from Julian Simon (KTM) as Lai slipped down to fourth. On lap six both Alvaro Bautista (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125RW) and Aleix Espargaro (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R) fell leaving Di Meglio and Lai to fight things out at the front with Lai a distant third having his own struggle with Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia).

Simon prevailed over Di Meglio while Lai beat Simoncelli. But Luthi’s eventual sixth was enough to elevate him in the World Championship standings after Pasini and Talmacsi failed to score here.

“That was a tough race,” said Di Meglio. “I tried to go it alone and get away from trouble but Simon got me and then I just tried to finish and get some points for my team who’ve worked really hard to get me this result.”

Lai was realistic about today. “A good result in terms of the World Championship,” he said. “In the first race I felt quite happy, but in the second race the rear suspension wasn’t quite what I needed. But my team have got back in contention and I can go further from here.”

The World Championship standings show Pasini on 100 points, Talmacsi on 100 points, Luthi on 99, Mika Kallio (KTM) on 91 and Simoncelli with 85.



Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)


Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Alex Barros, Camel Honda, 3rd:
“The track was in terrible conditions today: In those situations you have to know how to deal with the race, you have to know where the limit is and how far you can push it. I had a few problems with the front tyre under braking, on several occasions I could hardly control the front end but it probably was happening to a lot of my rivals because they were racing in the same conditions. Somehow it was an enjoyable race, despite how difficult it was. When Valentino overtook me I was unable to maintain his pace. On the last lap Roberts won the duel for second place, taking advantage of having been behind and seeing where I had problems. I’m a little bit disappointed, but that’s racing and he played his card. Being on the podium is a great way to celebrate my 250th GP: It’s a nice record to have, there have been so many races now but I still have the desire to race and to battle it out, and I will do so once more at Sachsenring next week.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda, 7th:
“Today it wasn’t easy to control the power of the RCV with this track’s conditions. While accelerating the rear tyre skidded a little. The track was at its limit. For me this has been the first race with Michelin tyres on a completely soaked track. Today’s positive thing is that after having found the right confidence with the bike, between the fifteenth and the twenty-fifth lap, I made it to keep a good rhythm at the same level of the fastest. This made us think well to be at a good level of competitiveness also in these conditions in the next Grand Prix.”

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team, dnf:
“In the sighting lap we had absolutely no traction. In the five-minute stop before the race we made some adjustments but it seemed to make no difference. We had spinning in the straight - in second, third and fourth gears. It was strange to have no feeling. I made a good start but very soon crashed out. I managed to get back on but then fell again. I feel very sorry for my team, as I know they work so hard and I couldn’t repay them. All I can say is I will come back strong at the Sachsenring.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team, dnf:
“I got a terrible start and in the first lap or two had a few guys crash right in front of me. I only just avoided Biaggi and Xaus. I made a mistake in the Melbourne loop and ran a bit wide but generally in the opening few laps the bike felt pretty good. I just wanted to get into a good rhythm but just didn’t get time. I’m mad at myself for crashing at that corner. I almost crashed there myself this morning and I watched lots of guys crashing there in earlier races. It was just so slippery. It was so quick and I was down. Unfortunately I broke the handlebar – it was an easy crash. It’s frustrating being so high from the last race and so low from this one. It’s a cruel game sometimes.”

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda, crash on lap two:
“I got a good start, and despite the conditions being awful, I felt comfortable in the front group, and I was right in there. Unfortunately when Marco crashed in front of me he was too close and I tried to avoid him but I touched him and I was forced out onto the grass where I couldn’t control my bike. There’s no point saying how disappointed I am, but it was just a racing incident.”

Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda, dnf
“It’s obvious this is not our year. I tried to get a good start and set my own pace and I wasn’t pushing. My first scare was my crash. It was a fast crash and nothing more. I’m sorry for my team after all the work they’ve done, this is tough for all of us, but we’ll get back to work next week and go from there.”

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda: dnf
“This is a shame because in the morning I felt good and I was looking forward to the race. There’s not much I can say about my race because it only lasted three laps. I got a good start and was feeling comfortable but then I got thrown off. We just have to look forward now.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 9
England Grand Prix at Donington Park


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha)
2 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
3 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
4 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
5 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
6 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
7 Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
8 Alex HOFMANN (Kawasaki Racing Team)
9 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
10 Roberto ROLFO (D'Antin MotoGP)
11 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)



Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
250cc
1 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
2 Anthony WEST (Red Bull KTM GP250)
3 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
4 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
5 Sebastian PORTO (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
6 Simone CORSI (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
8 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Honda)
9 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
10 Andrea BALLERINI (Abruzzo Racing Team)
11 Mirko GIANSANTI (Matteoni Racing)
12 Roberto LOCATELLI (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
13 Alex BALDOLINI (Campetella Racing)
14 Gregory LEBLANC (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
15 Radomil ROUS (Wurth Honda BQR)
 
125cc
1 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP125)
2 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Racing World)
3 Fabrizio LAI (Kopron Racing World)
4 Marco SIMONCELLI (Nocable.it Race)
5 Pablo NIETO (Caja Madrid - Derbi Racing)
6 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
7 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
8 Joan OLIVE (Nocable.it Race)
9 Dan LINFOOT (KRP-teamlinfootracing.com)
10 Toshihisa KUZUHARA (Angaia Racing)
11 Sergio GADEA (Master Aspar)
12 Christian ELKIN (E3 Motorsport)
13 Jordi CARCHANO (MVA Aspar)
14 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Skilled I.S.P.A. Racing Team)
15 Sandro CORTESE (Kiefer-Bos-Castrol Honda)
 

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