MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 14: Qatar GP > Race Results
MotoGPQuatarOctober 1, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 14
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail

Hero Melandri Just Misses Out on Victory

Qualifying >>

This was a classic MotoGP encounter played out in fierce heat on a tricky track and the man of the moment was Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V). The Italian Honda star finished second to Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) third, but Marco, riding injured, showed true class in an epic battle with Rossi.



Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Loris Capirossi (Ducati) led from pole into turn one from the lights with Hayden in close company before Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) barged his way to second with Rossi on his shoulder, relegating Hayden to fourth in the early stages of lap one.

With track temperature at a heady 45 degrees and ambient temperature at 39 degrees this was always going to be a tough race over 22-laps of the 5.38km Losail track. There was more grip available than in the two days of practice – but that was only on the ‘racing line’ – dust and disaster lay mere centimeters away. There was also a strong headwind for riders to contend with.

Capirossi led the field over the line to complete lap one, before Gibernau swooped on him under braking into turn one. This move unsettled the Ducati man and in the space of another two turns, Rossi had moved up to second and Hayden to third.

Colin Edwards (Yamaha) snatched fourth from Capirossi on the next lap and now Marco was making ground on the leaders. But Gibernau had begun work on putting a gap between himself and his pursuers and had a lead of just under a second by lap six.

Melandri had passed Nicky for third by now and the front five of Gibernau, Rossi, Melandri, Hayden and Edwards had shrugged off Capirossi and were in a race of their own. Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V), who was never in contention here, pitted on lap eight.

As Melandri made his first pass on Rossi to take second on lap 10, the front five had now become four – Edwards couldn’t handle the hot pace as the leaders lapped in the low 1min 58s bracket. Nicky Hayden set the fastest lap of the race on lap nine at 1min 57.903s.

Rossi then retook second place from Marco and began to reduce Gibernau’s lead. By lap 15 it was down to just 0.4 seconds from a high of 1.1 seconds. But Marco had ideas of his own about this race and re-passed Rossi on lap 17 to set about his team-mate.

On the next lap Melandri pounced up the inside and Sete ran into the gravel as he tried to counteract Melandri’s bold move. Gibernau rejoined the race to finish fifth, but the action was at the front and was a two-way fight between Rossi and Melandri as Nicky dropped back in third.

Melandri was able to fend off Rossi at turn one at the end of the start/finish straight for two laps before Rossi made a move stick on the penultimate lap. Marco shadowed him and then dived up the inside five turns from the flag only to run wide onto the kerb on the exit and lose crucial advantage.

Rossi held on for the win, but Melandri, despite the stitches in his right foot, showed that he is a match for the World Champion both in speed and daring. Nicky finished third, Edwards fourth.

Melandri said, “That was the best race of the season for me. I felt good after practice yesterday, the bike was ready and we did a great job with Michelin. I didn’t get a good start in the race, took it calmly for the first few laps and lost a bit of time as I made up the positions. I passed Edwards and Hayden to catch up with the leaders, the bike was running perfectly and my only thought was to finish on the podium. I tried to pass Valentino on the last lap but I made a mistake and ran off track. Despite that it was an incredible race.”

Nicky said, “I’m so happy to be to be on the podium today. Before the race things weren’t going to plan. In the morning warm-up we were so slow and were in real trouble. My guys made some changes and I have to be real grateful to them as they got it right and that’s why I got third. The bike was so much better in the race than it had been all weekend - so much faster.”

Sete, in fifth, said “Once again we've had a great race without the final result we deserved. I led the race until Marco came in a little aggressively and I had to run off my line. But it’s no use complaining; we’re doing some things well and some things badly. We’re leading races regularly but for one reason or another we haven’t been able to finish them off. But we can’t keep talking about bad luck – the unlucky guy is the one who never gets to run at the front at all. I still think things will change.”

Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) finished ninth and said, “I think Qatar has been the worst weekend of the year, despite having finished the race in the top ten and even passing a few guys. To be honest I was never able to get a decent enough feeling to aim for a better result and of course, that doesn’t make me happy. I didn’t enjoy it, I was quite slow, I couldn’t battle and to put it simply, I was frustrated.”

Shane Byrne, standing in for the injured Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V), was 13th. He said, “We got really close to the rest here, but in the race I had a lot of trouble with the front. The team did a great job with setting up the rest of the bike though. Chassis, suspension, rear tyre, everything was perfect, but just as I began to push I got problems with the front-end. I knew that I could go quicker, but every time I tried, I risked going down. It’s a real shame because after the practice we did, I thought we could get into the top ten.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) dropped out of the race in the final few laps with an electrical problem. The Japanese man said, “Compared to yesterday the front-end was in bad state. During the race I felt some vibration and the bike didn’t allow me to ride well. Then all of a sudden the bike switched off and that's when my race ended.”

Max said, “The weekend started in a bad situation like in Sepang. After Motegi we’ve never been competitive at all. This is not just the set-up of the machine it’s something bigger than that. With the set-up you can improve. It’s more than just an engine-braking problem. Since Motegi it’s been difficult – it’s impossible to turn into the corner. In the race the machine stopped with an electronic problem. I don’t know exactly yet, the team are looking closely at it.”

The fight for second place in the World Championship table is close. Max still lies second with 159 points, but Melandri is now on 157, Edwards on 152, Hayden has 150 points and Capirossi 148 with three races left. In the Constructors’ World Championship Yamaha currently has 320 points to Honda’s 271.

Casey Stoner (Aprilia) won the 250c race from Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW), with Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) third. Reigning World Champion Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) was fourth.

Stoner led from the lights and was unassailable here. Hard as Lorenzo tried to reel the Aussie in, he remained 1.56 seconds adrift at the flag. Dani and Dovi who fought hard throughout this race could not quite get on terms with Lorenzo in second and Dovi’s last lap drafting of Dani netted him third at the expense of the series points leader.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) finished sixth behind Sebastian Porto (Aprilia), Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) was seventh and Yuki Takahashi (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) inside the top ten for the fourth consecutive race.

Lorenzo said, “That was as hard we all expected. Casey was just too fast here and maybe the wind was more of a factor than we thought it would be too. I’m happy to be the first Honda finisher here, but I’m still hungry for my first win in this class and I’ll be riding as hard as ever in the last three races.”

Dovi was happy to be back on the podium and said, “I got past Dani on the last lap which was good. We all tried to follow Stoner but he was too fast. Then I tried to stay with Lorenzo, but he was too fast. But I knew I could get Dani because his bike was not as fast as mine today.”

Dani said, “Stoner got a fast start and I had a scare on lap one. I also had carburetion problems coming out of the turns and on the straight. As soon as I lost anyone’s slipstream I couldn’t do anything and so the World Championship is still open. But now I’m looking forward to some rest at home before Australia.”

The World Championship struggle has tightened up after Stoner’s second consecutive win. Dani leads with 239 points to Stoner’s 213, while Dovi lies third with 160 points. In the Constructors’ World Championship Honda holds a slender lead with 279 points to Aprilia’s 278.

Gabor Talmacsi stole a controversial win from his team-mate Mika Kallio (both KTM) in the 125cc class as they crossed the line. Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia) was a distant third. Mike Di Meglio (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125R) was fourth, but World Championship leader (until now) Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) could only manage sixth.

The KTM pair were out in front from the off and by lap four they already had 2.2 seconds on their pursuers. Luthi lay seventh in the early stages and after a accidental clash with Mattia Pasini at turn one was nearly out of the race, but the Swiss ace kept it together to grab fourth by lap 13.

But he couldn’t keep the place and Di Meglio relived him of fourth on the same lap before Thomas again dropped back to sixth on the final lap. Kallio was expected to cross the line in first to snatch maximum points in his bid to steal an advantage over Luthi, but Talmacsi had other ideas and beat him by 17 thousandths of a second to deprive the Finn of vital points.

Di Meglio said, “I’m satisfied with this result on a track that’s new to me. The team made my bike very competitive and I knew that if I saved the rear tyre I could exploit the grip limits in the final laps.”

Luthi said, “My start was only so-so and I lost a couple of places at turn one on the first lap. I got stuck in the group behind Kallio and Talmacsi and some of those riders were slow mid-corner and that was a problem. At one point I hit Pasini – he was better at turn one than me.”

The World Championship points lead now belongs to Kallio with 201 to Luthi’s 199 with Talmacsi third on 156. The Constructors’ World Championship points table shows KTM with 283 and Honda on 244 points.



Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP) & Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Marco Melandri, MoviStar Honda, 2nd:
“That was the best race of the season for me. I felt good after practice yesterday, the bike was ready and we did a great job with Michelin. I didn’t get a good start in the race, took it calmly for the first few laps and lost a bit of time as I made up the positions. I passed Edwards and Hayden to catch up with the leaders, the bike was running perfectly and my only thought was to finish on the podium. I tried to pass Valentino on the last lap but I made a mistake and ran of the track. Despite that it was an incredible race and I’m really pleased to be back on the podium after a tough couple of weeks with the injury. Now I’m third in the championship and the fight for second is still on.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, 3rd:
“I’m so happy to be to be on the podium today. Before the race things weren’t going to plan. In the morning warm-up we were so slow and were in real trouble. My guys made some changes and I have to be real grateful to them as they got it right and that’s why I got third. The bike was so much better in the race than it had been all weekend - so much faster. The Michelins were brilliant - so much grip! I got an awesome start. In turn one my buddy Sete ran into the back of me again but I stayed on. In the race I just hung on in there. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it back but I’m here. I was pushing so hard to stay with the lead group and there were some pretty scary moments. It wasn’t pretty with Sete running off but I’ll take the result the way the weekend was going.”

Sete Gibernau, MoviStar Honda, 5th:
“Once again we've had a great race without the final result we deserved. I led the race until Marco came in a little aggressive and I had to run off my line. But it's no use complaining; we're doing some things well and some things badly. We're leading races regularly but for one reason or another we haven't been able to finish them off. But we can't keep talking about bad luck - the unlucky guy is the one who never gets to run at the front at all. I still think things will change.”

Alex Barros, Camel Honda, 9th:
“I think that Qatar has been the worst weekend of the year, despite having finished the race in the top ten and even passing a few guys. To be honest I was never able to get a decent enough feeling to aim for a better result and of course, that doesn’t make me happy. I didn’t enjoy it, I was quite slow, I couldn’t battle and to put it simply, I was frustrated. The bike was running well, we worked as well as ever and we found a good set-up. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a suitable front tyre for me on this track. We hope that in Australia where conditions are really different and it’s cooler, Michelin can help me find a solution to improve front end response.”

Shane Byrne, replacement rider for Troy Bayliss, Camel Honda, 13th:
“From a certain point of view I’m quite happy with this race, but from another I’m not so happy. We got really close to the rest here, but in the race I had a lot of trouble with the front. The team had done a great job with setting up the rest of the bike though. Chassis, suspension, rear tyre, everything was perfect, but just as I began to push I got problems on the front end. I knew that I could go quicker, but every time I tried, I risked going down. It’s a real shame because after the practices we did, I thought we could get into the top ten.”

Max Baggi, Repsol Honda: dnf – electrical problem:
“The weekend started in a bad situation like in Sepang. After Motegi we’ve never been competitive at all. This is not just the set-up of the machine it’s something bigger than that. With the set-up you can improve. It’s more than just an engine-braking problem. Since Motegi it’s been difficult – it’s impossible to turn into the corner. In the race the machine stopped with an electronic problem. I don’t know exactly yet, the team are looking closely. My hope is gone. For this race for sure I couldn’t fight for the podium. It frustrates me so much because I know I should be fighting for the podium at every track and I know I could. We haven’t changed the set-up from Brno and Motegi. I just don’t understand what’s happening here.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: dnf – electrical problem:
“Compared to yesterday the front end was in bad condition. During the race I felt vibration and the bike didn’t allow me to ride well. Then all of a sudden the bike switched off and that’s when my race ended. The only thing we can do is to analyze the data to find the problem. This is a weekend to put in the archive and hope for a better performance at Phillip Island where I finished eighth last year.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 14
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha)
2 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
5 Sete GIBERNAU (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
6 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
7 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
8 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
9 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
10 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
11 Kenny ROBERTS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
12 Roberto ROLFO (D'Antin MotoGP)
13 Shane BYRNE (Team Roberts)
14 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
15 James ELLISON (Blata WCM)



Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
250cc
1 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Honda)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
4 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
5 Sebastian PORTO (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250)
7 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Honda)
8 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
9 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
10 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
11 Alex DEBON (Wurth Honda BQR)
12 Mirko GIANSANTI (Matteoni Racing)
13 Martin CARDENAS (Aprilia Germany)
14 Steve JENKNER (Nocable.it Race)
15 Andrea BALLERINI (Abruzzo Racing Team)
 
125cc
1 Gabor TALMACSI (Red Bull KTM GP125)
2 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
3 Marco SIMONCELLI (Nocable.it Race)
4 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Racing World)
5 Hector FAUBEL (Master Aspar)
6 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
7 Manuel POGGIALI (Metis Racing Team)
8 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP125)
9 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
10 Fabrizio LAI (Kopron Racing World)
11 Joan OLIVE (Nocable.it Race)
12 Sergio GADEA (Master Aspar)
13 Raffaele DE ROSA (Matteoni Racing)
14 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Ajo Motorsport)
15 Enrique JEREZ (Caja Madrid - Derbi Racing)
 

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