MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 10: German GP > Qualifying
MotoGPGermanyJuly 30, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring

On-Form Nicky Notches Second Pole Of Season

Race Results >>

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) powered his Honda to pole position here at the Sachsenring and signalled a new found confidence in his growing stature as a rider. Honda machines monopolised the front row with Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) qualifying second fastest and Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) third.

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

Even six minutes into the hour-long qualifying session the young American (24 today) topped the timesheet and always looked comfortable on the swooping tarmac of this roller-coaster 3.671km track. He's clearly gained confidence after his win from pole position at Laguna Seca and is determined to elevate himself from his current position of seventh overall in the World Championship.

The Sachsenring is composed of 10 left-hand turns and only three right-handers which favours Hayden and his dirt-track derived riding style where he feels comfortable hanging the rear-end of his machine out on left-handers. But his first pole at a European track is significant in that it marks his mastery of a track that was entirely alien to him just two years ago.

The track was dry today after searing heat yesterday followed by a bout of torrential rain in the evening. With an ambient temperature of 24 degrees and with the track at 36 degrees after the unprecedented 52 degree track temperature of yesterday, conditions were hugely changed today.

Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) looked good early on in the session and he and his team-mate John Hopkins were first and second fastest with 20 minutes of the session gone. But Gibernau soon knocked the Suzuki's off the top in the final 20 minutes with a 1m 22.889s lap.

Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) had been struggling to get his machine on the pace here yesterday and although he found some extra speed, it was not enough to secure a vital front row start. He was second fastest with 12 minutes left, but was then relegated to third fastest before having to settle for row two by the end.

The tight turn one here is a problem on the first lap and all riders acknowledge that a front row start is almost essential to avoid having to work too hard at overtaking at a track where opportunities are few – and have to be taken whenever they present themselves.

Sete ran into front-end problems towards the end of the session and did not have the opportunity to make the most of his qualifying tyres. But the Spaniard is only 0.104 seconds off Hayden's 1m 22.785s pole time. However, the top ten riders are separated by a mere 0.511 seconds and the racing is bound to be tight and ferocious tomorrow.

Carlos Checa (Ducati) had climbed up the order from outside the top ten to third fastest at the halfway point, but then crashed heavily with 14 minutes left, high-siding his machine on the super-fast downhill section into the penultimate turn. The durable Spanish rider was unhurt while his first choice machine sustained heavy damage.

Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) found it hard going here. The Italian ace was outside the top ten until the final three minutes when he hoisted himself to fifth fastest ahead of Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) who still can't get the best from his factory RCV.

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) is still not back to his best and could only manage a fifth row start from 15th, while Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V) was another rider who found it hard work here. The Aussie qualified 16th.

"This is my way of celebrating," said Nicky, who is 24-years-old today. "But tomorrow's the big one. My Laguna Seca pole was cool but everyone was saying 'it's because he knows the track and likes it'. But now this pole is at a track that everyone else knows real well and so this is good."

Sete said, "We hope to turn this year around, be fast and have a good race. We ran into some front-end problems right at the end of the session and so that's a bit of a worry for tomorrow and something that we'll have a close look at tonight."

Barros, who fell at turn one in the final 10 minutes without injury, was happy enough with the front row. "I feel confident here," said the experienced Brazilian who will start his 251st Grand Prix tomorrow. "The bike is working well and despite crashing yesterday and today, we've got to be looking at getting a good result tomorrow."

Melandri said, "For the first time this season we had to make a lot of changes to the settings of the bike, heading in a completely new direction, and I had difficulty getting used to the configuration. The feeling improved this afternoon but I think I still have a lot of room for improvement. Qualifying on the second row is a big relief."

Max, who has now gone 18 races without a win, said, "I have to be happy with the second row but even that hasn't happened much this season and that tells its own story. The bike feels worse than last year here and I'm not comfortable. But the team has worked very hard this weekend and we have made some progress, but not enough. The problem we've had all season is still there and at the moment we can't seem to find a cure."

Tamada said, "I'm disappointed about today. But tomorrow I will react aggressively. This afternoon the bike responded completely differently to yesterday and this morning. Conditions changed making things complicated. Today the track temperature was 15 degrees lower than yesterday and tomorrow we'll have to use our 20 minutes warm-up to find a set-up which will help me in the race."

"It's hard to describe this session," said Bayliss. "I was always in the top seven in free training and I wanted a lot better than the sixth row of the grid. I had a small problem with the front brake but that's not the main issue. The front-end felt different throughout the session, but I just need to believe I can do it in the race tomorrow."

In the 250cc class Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) stole pole from Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) with a lap of 1m 24.618s in the closing minutes of the session. Dani had established a new record pole time of 1m24.714s before the Italian robbed the World Championship leader of what would have been his fifth pole of the season so far.

The front row comprises de Angelis, Dani, Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW), who secures his seventh front row start of the season, and Sebastian Porto (Aprilia). Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) heads the second row as fifth fastest qualifier.

Yuki Takahashi (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) put in his best qualifying performance of rookie season so far with sixth on the grid, Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) heads row three as ninth fastest while Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW), trying to recapture his early season form, qualified tenth.

"I'm happy because we improved from yesterday," said Dani. "We still have to see if there's going to be any more rain tomorrow, but my set-up is good. It's a long race tomorrow and I don't want to say too much right now. We'll just see what we can do tomorrow."

Lorenzo said," We had some problems with the front suspension this morning and we seem to have cured that so I'm happy about that. The bike's going well and I'll just have to make sure I get a good start after working hard to get on the front row."

Mika Kallio (KTM) snatched pole in the 125cc class with a lap time of 1m27.695 seconds in the last moments of the final half-hour of qualifying. Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia) was second fastest qualifier with Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) third fastest and current series points leader Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) completing the front row.

This is Kallio's sixth pole of the season, but Luthi's fifth front row start of the year puts him in a position to be among the leaders into turn one in tomorrow's race. This tight turn is usually heavily congested at the start and a good grid slot is vital here.

Luthi headed the timesheet at the halfway stage of the session and always looked likely to be among the front-runners here. Aleix Espargaro (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R), who is 16 today, briefly held second fastest time until the regular fast men began to monopolise the front row.

Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) qualified sixth, his best effort so far, while Espargaro had to be content with row three in the end as 11th fastest qualifier. Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125RW) qualified 13th.

"My last lap was my fastest," said Luthi. "But I maybe could have done better. I got tangles up with a slower rider at turn three and that cost me time. The track is bumpy and it seems to get worse each year. The chassis is maybe not quite perfect but the engine is really strong. The race should be really good fun tomorrow with maybe up to ten riders in the leading group."

Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)

Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)


Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team: 1st:
“That’s not a bad way to celebrate your birthday but tomorrow’s when it all counts. If we can put it all together in the race we’ll really earn some cake! It feels really good to get pole here. Laguna was cool as it was my first pole and of course it was at home but I’m sure there were people around who said that I only got pole because I knew the place so well. It’s good to come here and go fastest against a whole bunch of guys who know this place a whole lot better than I do. The bike feels pretty good for the race. My boys have done a real good job. I’m definitely going to try and stay up front all day. We’ll just go for it and see what happens.”

Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP: 2nd:
“We prepared well for the final session, as we had for the three beforehand, but I can't deny a slightly bitter taste in my mouth over the result. We've had a few unexpected problems with the front end that meant I was unable to finish the job off with the qualifying tyre. I would have liked to set pole but we have to have confidence in the good race pace we found today and use the warm up to have a look at what happened in the final few minutes before going out and giving everything in the race.”

Alex Barros, Camel Honda:3rd:
“I’m quite happy, I feel good at this track and I think I’ve got quite a good pace in the low 1’24s; and if that is the pace of tomorrow’s race, as I believe it will be, I think we can go well. Today’s crash during qualifying was a little strange, I lost control of the front for no real reason but besides that I’m completely satisfied with how the bike is behaving and I’m confident for the race.”

Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda MotoGP: 5th:
“For the first time this season we had to make a lot of changes to the setting of the bike this morning, heading in a completely new direction, and I had a little difficulty getting used to the new configuration. The feeling improved in qualifying this afternoon but I think I still have a lot of room for improvement. Qualifying on the second row of the grid has been a big relief and together with the team I will try and refine a few details tomorrow in the warm up. The race will be very demanding and it will be important to get a good start here because it is so difficult to overtake.”

Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team: 6th:
“I have to be happy in a way to get on the second row of the grid – even that hasn’t happened much this season and I guess that tells it’s own story. The bike feels worse here than last year and I’m not comfortable. The team have worked very hard this weekend and we have made some progress but not enough. Basically the problem we have had all season is still there and at the moment we seem to have no cure. We will have a hard race tomorrow as many riders have a fast pace. We will see!”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 15th:
“I’m disappointed about today’s performance but tomorrow I will react on the track with the right aggressiveness. This afternoon the bike responded completely different compare to yesterday and this morning. The circuit conditions have changed giving me some complications to find the right setting. In fact, today the temperature of the track was about 15 degrees lower than yesterday; we have passed from almost 50 degrees to just a bit more than 30. Tomorrow morning we’ll have to use in the best way possible the 20 minutes warm up to try to find a good set up which would allow me to climb various positions during the race and conquer an honourable result.”

Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda: 16th:
“It is honestly hard for me to find the words to describe this qualifying session, because having been in the top seven in the other practices, eighth at the worst, I seriously hoped for more than the sixth row. Instead I had a slight problem with the front brake, I had a different sensation there today, but I can’t honestly blame it on that. Unfortunately during the whole session I couldn’t regain the feeling I had enjoyed before. With the qualifying tyres I only took just over a tenth off my best time with race tyres, a ridiculous improvement. Now I’m disappointed, but I will continue to believe and will give it my best shot.”


Dani Pedrosa, MoviStar Honda: 2nd:
“Today we've improved the set-up of the bike and the race pace. This step forward gives me confidence that we can perform to our best tomorrow although we will have to pay attention to a lot of riders because there is a big group within only a few tenths. The bike configuration is good so I'm completely confident about my chances. Now the only unknown is the weather. It would be a shame if it rains because we haven't had chance to rid in the wet here but we'll just haveto be prepared for anything.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Fortuna Honda: 3rd:
“I am happy because compared with this morning I got a lot more confidence with the front end in the afternoon and that allowed me to go much faster. It will almost be an endurance race, where physical condition could prove to be a major advantage when it comes to winning the race. Hopefully that plays in our favour.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, MoviStar Honda: 5th:
“The front row escaped me by very little but the important thing is the race. The weekend hasn't gone badly and now it's time to follow that up. I feel good on the bike and I still think we can improve it a little more in the warm up. I'm very motivated and I want to fight for the podium. Normally I get good starts so I hope to get involved with the lead group from the start and hang on until the end.”

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Honda: 6th:
“I like this track! I've found the set up I need and now I'm also fast in T3 and T4. If it doesn't rain and I get a good start I can race with the front group. The choice of tyres will be fundamental and it will depend on the weather conditions.”

Hector Barbera, Fortuna Honda: 9th:
“We’ve improved my lap time from yesterday by almost a second although that is still not enough. I’m only five tenths off fifth place, which is highly motivating. Little by little we are finding our way and getting some consistency together. It will be a difficult race. I’m really keen to ride at the front again and demonstrating my ability. We’re all going to find it difficult after 29 laps but I have worked hard on my physical condition recently which has allowed me to enjoy the races much more.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 10th:
“We have big setting problems and I don't like this track at all. Yesterday the front end was sliding badly and I could not get a good lap time because
of that. My problem now is that we don't have much time in the warm up to improve and find the set up we need for the race.”

Dirk Heidolf, Kiefer Castrol Honda: 18th:
“Not so happy with my qualifying. The bike is very good, engine and suspension are working really good. But I left it too late to go for fast times when I tried over the last few laps I got caught up with slower riders, on my best lap I caught Jakub (Smrz) but he was going a little slower than me so I couldn't get a better time. I'm not really pleased because I wanted to be in the top 15 on the grid for my home GP.”

Jakub Smrz, Molenaar Honda: 19th:
“Qualifying was not so good today, even if I did improve my time. Yesterday the bike was pretty good but we made some changes to the front end which turned out not so good causing me a lot of rear wheel slides, three or four of them really big ones, I felt like I was power sliding the bike. We will go back to what we know works for the warm up. One thing for sure.”

Alex Debon, Wurth Honda BQR: 21st:
“Today was a bad one for us. My engine was not fast I am way down on top speed. Ii have been trying a new swinging arm but it doesn't have the same flex factor of the original and this caused me some rear end problems. We will revert to the original swinging arm tonight and I hope we can improve the engine for the warm up. Whatever happens I will need a good start if I am to get points in the race.”

Radomil Rous, Wurth Honda BQR: 25th:
“This is my first time at the Sachsenring, it's a very technical and I have found it difficult so far. In the morning a small bolt on the valve
mechanism broke and I lost power so I wasted too much time. Still we have to be positive and look forward to the race. If I get a good start I will have a good race.”


Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 3rd:
“My last lap was my fastest but it could have been better but I met a slower rider at T3 and he cost me a little time The track is also bumpy, it gets worse every year. This caused us a few problems with the suspension. We fixed most of the problems but it's still not perfect. The engine is strong so I expect a good race. I think we will have a lot of fun in the race, there could be ten of us in the leading group.”

Tomoyoshi Koyama, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 6th:
“My engine is really fast and I'm happy with that. The only real problem I is with front end chatter but we have improved that in the last session. When I started setting fast times my third gear was too short for the track but that we can change for the arm up.”

Aleix Espargaro, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 11th:
“I'm happy. This morning I had a very good practice finishing in fifth position. We had to do some tests with the tyres and I finishe satisfied with them, feeling very comfortable. I think that my time of 1m 28.736s is a good time. At the end of the session I have not been able to improve on that. But I think I have a good pace for the race, something really important for tomorrow.”

Fabrizio Lai, Kopron Racing World Honda: 13th:
“For the qualifying session I had just one time-tyre, allocated by Dunlop, but we have used it too early. I've obtained a good time but in the last laps but all the other riders improved their time, unfortunately I've finished the tyre and I couldn't improve my time.”

Sandro Cortese, Kiefer Boss Castrol Honda: 15th:
“I'm happy with qualifying the engine is very good but we had suspension problems. The front end was chattering and the rear moving around. The team have fixed the front end but I still had a couple of small rear end slides. I need a good start and if I get one I will have a good race.”

Toshihisa Kuzuhara, Angaia Racing Honda: 16th:
“I like the circuit very much my only slight problem is at T2 and T3 where I find it difficult to hold my line. We had some suspension problems on the bumps but the bike is working well now. Tomorrow it will be necessary to get a good start and ride well for he first two or three laps.”

Alvaro Bautista, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 19th:
“I have improved from yesterday. It seems that the bike is going a little bit better, but we still have some things to do to ride really fast. I have middle to low 1m 29s. Lets see if tomorrow we can use the warm up to find solutions that give us more chance in the race.”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Racing World Honda: 20th:
“I have used the time-tyre too early, too. I have also problems in T3 corners that I have to learn better. This year Fabrizio (Lai) and I have always made good starts. If tomorrow we start well, we can make a good race because the bikes are OK.”

Alexis Masbou, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 24th:
“Yesterday we had a lot of problems with the suspension front and rear but the team worked hard for me and the bike has improved. I feel a lot better today. I'm not really disappointed with the time just my position on the grid.”

Raymond Schouten, Molenaar Honda: 31st:
“I am happy with my time but not my place on the grid. My time of 1m 30.2s isn't too because I made a couple of small mistakes on my fast lap. My problem is the tyres, they are only working well for about eight laps.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring Qualifying


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

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