MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 12: Japan GP > Race Results
MotoGPJapanSeptember 18, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Japan Grand Prix at Motegi

Max and Makoto Hit Form With Second and Third

Qualifying >>

In an action-packed race in front of 68,000 fans Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) finished second to Loris Capirossi (Ducati) and Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V), who won here last year, came home third.



Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)


Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)


This was a fast-paced race with a close grid determined to get through the difficult turn one without incident. The field managed to negotiate the corner successfully and it was Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) who hit the front from the off.

The Honda man had pulled out a lead of 0.85 seconds over second-placed Capirossi by lap two and as the Ducati rider sensed his compatriot was set to charge, he put in an early fastest lap to claw back some ground.

By lap three he was on Melandri’s tail and soon a lead trio of Melandri, Capirossi and Biaggi, with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Tamada hanging onto them, had broken clear of the pack. By lap seven they were well clear of the field and one lap later it seemed as if Rossi, Tamada, and Carlos Checa (Ducati), who had now joined then, could not stand the pace.

By lap ten Max, who was lying third, held a 1.7 second advantage over Rossi. But Capirossi was determined to demonstrate to the Roman that he had the means to make life tough. He shadowed him for two laps before making a bid for the lead and then as Max began to pressure Melandri, so Rossi upped his pace in an attempt to stay with the leaders.

But on lap 13 Rossi and Melandri tangled. Both fell and did not restart. This left Max and Capirossi out on their own with a 3.2 second advantage over Tamada. Checa, John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Colin Edwards (Yamaha) continued the pursuit in fourth, fifth and sixth – but they weren’t close to the hot race rhythm of the front three.

It was clear that this would be a dogfight all the way to the flag. On lap 19 Capirossi made his move for the lead. Max was more than prepared to make him struggle for it, but Capirossi had the edge and in the closing stages he extended his lead to gain a margin of 1.9 seconds.

While the protagonists were fighting it out, other Honda riders fared less well. Tohru Ukawa, standing in for the injured Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V), retired on lap six with a technical problem, Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) made it to lap 12 before crashing out, and Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) pitted on lap 16.

Naoki Matsudo (Moriwaki Honda RC211V) succumbed to a crash early in the race while Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) finished seventh.

Max “That race was so hard and I am very happy with the result in the end. Michelin did a great job with the tyres – the grip on the edge was unbelievable! When I opened the throttle there was so much traction it was incredible. My team has done a great job and even if we didn’t win we improved again in the World Championship. It is good to be the best Michelin finisher and the first Honda home as well. I’m confident in Malaysia that we can take revenge on Bridgestone! They did a great job and Loris rode very hard – congratulations to them. A good battle to watch for the fans I think.”

Makoto said, “The best result of the season but I feel I can do even more. I am only at 70 per cent of my condition and I hope that soon we’ll make it improve. Finally I had the opportunity to show my new Michelin cap, seeing this is my first podium with the French tyres. During the race I had some chatter problems, which didn’t allow me to remain with the fastest riders. I tried, but when I saw Rossi and Melandri fall, I preferred not to risk anything and maintain the third position.”

Nicky Hayden said, “Things never really clicked here for the moment I got off the plane really. Seemed like I was on the back foot all weekend and things never came good to be honest. In the race I had a good battle with a few guys and went back and forth with Barros a few times then I overshot at the end of the straightaway and lost a few places. I feel I let my boys down here and don’t feel good about it. I just want to make sure we come out of the gate fast in Sepang next week and put things straight.”

Marco Melandri was injured in the collision with Rossi. He sustained a deep cut to his right foot and after treatment at the circuit medical centre he was transferred to Dokkyo hospital for further examination, in case of internal injuries.

Barros said, “I was picking up positions, and I had Hopkins in my sights when the bike went away from me. At the moment I don’t know why, but I knew that it was a strange crash because I crashed when I was heading into a left turn, but I was still upright. Then Colin (Edwards) who was right behind, told me that I touched a spot of oil left on the track by Nakano, which wasn’t flagged. There are still five races beginning with Malaysia, in just a week’s time, where we had some good pre-season testing.”

Gibernau said, “I tried from the start but I didn’t have the pace and I went down, it was my own fault. I was riding behind Checa and trying to force the pace a little, hoping the guys at the front would slow down because I knew I couldn’t go any faster. There’s no need to look for excuses, we’ve done badly again and that’s all there is to it. When it’s not one thing it’s another; we’ve had a difficult season but we have to remain confident that our luck will change.”

A disappointed Ukawa said, “I’m really disappointed with how the race went, and would have loved to battle for a top spot here. Instead, not long after the start, I felt that there was something wrong and then on the fourth lap something happened to the engine and I was forced to retire.”

The overall points standings show Rossi, who failed to score here on 261, Biaggi on 149, Colin Edwards (Yamaha), who finished sixth, with 133, and Melandri with 126.

The 250cc race was another tough contest. Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) triumphed in front of his home crowd with a masterful ride to victory. He sped ahead on lap five and kept out of trouble while Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) came to grief along with Alex de Angelis in a last lap crash. Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) finished second, with Casey Stoner (Aprilia) third.

Aoyama, de Angelis, Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW), Stoner and Pedrosa were in a class of their own as they left the rest of the grid floundering in their wake by mid-distance of this 23-lap encounter.

Despite a rash of practice crashes, Pedrosa kept out of trouble in the race to score vital points here, and the ascendant Spaniard now looks likely to secure his second 250cc World title sooner rather than later.

Aoyama said, “After a few laps I was second, then I thought ‘it’s time to go’ and I pushed. I made it in the end and I’m so happy for the team, for Honda, for everyone really.”

Dani was relieved. “That was a difficult race. It’s been a very hard weekend. I didn’t expect to get second place. The right side of my body is already stiffening up and it’s a relief to get these points. Congratulations to Hiro, I hope he enjoys the win, he really deserved it.”

Yuki Takahashi (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) said, “I’m happy with fourth, it gives me confidence for the next races. It was very hot and so it was a very difficult race for everyone. I didn’t start very well but I didn't lose contact with the front group and it was important for maintaining my race rhythm. Riding with the best riders is a constructive comparison and I have still a lot to learn.”

In terms of the World Championship standings, Pedrosa leads with 226 points, Stoner sits on 163, Dovizioso on 144 and Aoyama on 123 with five races left to run.

The 125cc race didn’t get to run the 21 scheduled laps. Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) crashed heavily with six laps left to run, and with two thirds of the race distance completed, and Mika Kallio (KTM) leading, the order stood Kallio, Luthi, Hector Faubel (Aprilia) on the podium.

Luthi sustained injuries to his shoulder and right foot in his crash and a question mark hangs over his participation in next week’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

The young Swiss rider said, “I don’t understand why the crash happened because I was already on the straight when the bike high-sided me. I dislocated my shoulder in the crash and it's quite painful, but the real problem is my right foot it is now baldy swollen – very big. The only positive thing is the points I scored. Whatever happens this week I will be in Malaysia and I’ll see if I can race.”

Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) finished fourth and said, “It was a great pity that Luthi crashed and the race was stopped. At the time the accident happened the top three had used up their tyres, they were sliding a lot. My tyres were still good and I was beginning to catch them, then Luthi crashed and I lost my chance of a podium finish. I am very disappointed, I really wanted a podium at my 'home' Grand Prix.”

Alvaro Bautista (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125RW) was ninth. He said, “It was a pity the race was stopped because I was running at a great pace. At the start I had some problems with other riders who were a bit dangerous. After that I was fighting with Lai: I was faster than him but he was braking very late out of the corners and caused me to lose my rhythm. When I finally overtook him I was able to catch the front group and at that moment the race was stopped. I had five more laps and I think that was enough time for me to join the fight for a podium place.”

“I did the best I could,” said Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125RW). “I started well but I was back on the starting grid and the straight is too short. Then there is the treacherous corner where it is important to be very careful. The chassis set-up was okay but the engine had less power than in other races and I couldn't keep the pace of the front group. I tried to recover position. In addition, the race finished too early and unfairly. It’s not Luthi’s fault – but the rules have to be changed.”

The World Championship points table shows Luthi still ahead with 164 points, Kallio on 161, and Gabor Talmacsi (KTM), who crashed out of the race, with 120 points.



Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team) & Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Max Biaggi, Repsol Honda Team, 2nd:
“That race was so hard and I am very happy with the result in the end. Michelin did a great job with the tyres – the grip on the edge was unbelievable! When I opened the throttle there was so much traction it was incredible. My team have done a great job and even if we didn’t win we improved again in the championship. It is good to be the best Michelin finisher and the first Honda back as well. I’m confident in Malaysia that we can take revenge on Bridgestone! They did a great job and Loris rode very hard – congratulations to them. A good battle to watch for the fans I think.”

Makoto Tamada , Konica Minolta Honda, 3rd:
“Best result of the season but I feel I can do even more. I am only at 70 per cent of my conditions and I hope that soon we’ll make it to improve. Finally I had the opportunity to show my new Michelin cap seen this is my first podium with the French tyres. During the race I had some chattering problem which didn’t allow me to remain with the fastests. I tried, but when I saw falling down Rossi and Melandri, I preferred to don’t risk and maintain the third position. Marco has risked going outside the track some laps before, therefore I preferred to give him some space to don’t get involved in some contacts. At the end I think I made the right choice. When he was in front of me, Rossi was going really fast, but I noticed that he wasn’t secure as usual.

I am happy for this result, most of all because obtained in front of our title sponsor, Konica Minolta, who this year never stopped believing in it. I hope to be able repeat this performance in seven days, because we are on the right way.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team, 7th:
“Things never really clicked here for the moment I got of the plane really. Seemed like I was on the back foot all weekend and things never came good to be honest. In the race I had a good battle with a few guys and went back and forth with Barros a few times then I overshot at the end of the straightaway and lost a few places. I got things back together and made up some places and rode for the points. I feel I let my boys down here and don’t feel good about it. I just want to make sure we come out of the gate fast in Sepang next week and put things straight.”

Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda MotoGP, (crashed):
“I tried from the start but I didn’t have the pace and I went down, it was my own fault. I was riding behind Checa and trying to force the pace a little, hoping the guys at the front would slow down because I knew I couldn’t go any faster. There’s no need to look for excuses, we’ve done badly again and that’s all there is to it. When it’s not one thing it’s another; we’ve had a difficult season but we have to remain confident that our luck will change.”

Fausto Gresini (Movistar Honda team manager):
“Another disastrous day for the team, with crashes for both riders and injuries to Marco. We still don’t know the extent of the injury, or whether he will be fit to race next week. I am gutted because I thought both riders worked well for this race and we had hoped for a much different result.”

Alex Barros , Camel Honda, crashed
“I didn’t get the best of starts, and I soon realized that without having been able to sort the forks set-up out this weekend, it was hard to be efficient under braking. On top of that it was also much hotter than yesterday and the tyres were suffering, mine as much as the others. Anyway, I was picking up positions, albeit with difficulty, and I had Hopkins in my sights when the bike went away from me. At the moment I don’t know why, but I knew that it was a strange crash because I crashed when I was heading into a left turn, but I was still upright. Then Colin (Edwards) who was right behind , told me that I touched a spot of oil left on the track by Nakano and which wasn’t flagged. It’s a shame because I was riding focused after seeing Sete slide out in front of me. Crashing was exactly what I wanted to avoid at all costs, because even though I knew I couldn’t’ do the greatest race, I could still pick up important points to keep up at the top of the championship. Now it’s a whole lot more difficult but there are still five races beginning with Malaysia, in just a week’s time, where we had some good pre-season testing.”

Tohru Ukawa, Camel Honda, retired
“I’m really disappointed with how the race went, and would have loved to battle for a top spot here. Instead not long after the start I felt that there was something wrong and then on the fourth lap something happened to the engine and I was forced to retire.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Japan Grand Prix at Motegi


line
MotoGP
1 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
4 Carlos Checa (Ducati Marlboro Team)
5 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
6 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
7 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
8 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
9 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
10 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
11 Franco BATTAINI (Blata WCM)



Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team) & Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
250cc
1 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250)
2 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250)
3 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
4 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
5 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
7 Alex DE ANGELIS (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
8 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Honda)
9 Alex DEBON (Wurth Honda BQR)
10 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
11 Simone CORSI (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
12 Steve JENKNER (Nocable.it Race)
13 Mirko GIANSANTI (Matteoni Racing)
14 Alex BALDOLINI (Campetella Racing)
15 Radomil ROUS (Wurth Honda BQR)
 
125cc
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
2 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
3 Hector FAUBEL (Master Aspar)
4 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Ajo Motorsport)
5 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
6 Manuel POGGIALI (Metis Racing Team)
7 Sergio GADEA (Master Aspar)
8 Pablo NIETO (Caja Madrid - Derbi Racing)
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Seedorf RC3 - Tiempo Holidays)
10 Fabrizio LAI (Kopron Racing World)
11 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Racing World)
12 Aleix ESPARGARO (Seedorf RC3 - Tiempo Holidays)
13 Andrea IANNONE (Abruzzo Racing Team)
14 Toshihisa KUZUHARA (Angaia Racing)
15 Enrique JEREZ (Caja Madrid - Derbi Racing)
 

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