MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 16: Turkey GP > Qualifying
MotoGPTurkeyOctober 22, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park Qualifying

All Honda Front Row for Turkish Showdown

Race Results >>

Honda riders made the inaugural Turkish MotoGP their own with a dominant performance at the new Istanbul Park track. Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) qualified on pole for the fourth time this season, his team-mate Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) was second fastest qualifier and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) completes the front row.



Sete GIBERNAU (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)


Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)

These three riders have had the measure of the 5.340km track from the outset and no one has been faster than this trio so far. They remain the only riders to have visited the 1m 52s region in terms of lap times. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who qualified fourth fastest is 0.843 seconds shy of Gibernau’s pole time.

Sete has a reputation for getting the best from super-sticky qualifying rubber and the Spaniard is certainly maximising his chances of finally posting a win in what has been a troubled season. But his pole time of 1m 52.334 seconds shows how firmly in command he is, albeit at this late stage of the season.

Halfway through this final hour of qualifying it was Rossi who was fastest, but as the minutes went by Melandri took command of the session with his team-mate in close pursuit of the top grid slot.

The qualifying times are much more spread out than they have been in recent races and the Honda front-runners would appear to have adapted to the demands of this circuit quicker than their rivals. Even Chris Vermeulen, standing in for the injured Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V), in only his second outing on the RCV qualified just outside the top ten in 11th.

The young Aussie out-qualified Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) who could only manage the 12th quickest time for a start from the fourth row. Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) was seventh fastest and Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) qualified eighth.

Sete is eager to capitalise on this pole in his bid to notch his first race win this year. He said, “This is a technical and difficult circuit which has a bit of everything – fast corners, slow sections, drops, rises, hard braking. More than having a perfect bike in each section, you need a good general balance. I like the track, you can have fun here and that always makes the job easier, which you can see in the result.”

Marco is bidding for a maiden win and knows he has a good chance here. He said, “The weekend started well and we have made progress in every session. After dominating the three free practice sessions I’m sorry not to have got pole but I am calm and I feel good. The bike is working well and Michelin have given me some good tyres.”

Nicky is in a tough fight with Melandri for the World Championship runner-up position and values this front row start. He said, “Things are slowly getting better. The Movistar boys came out early and really jumped on the pace and got going fast. Sure it’s nice to be on the front row for tomorrow but I’ve got a few problems with a couple of sections of the track where I’m losing a lot of time so I’m not satisfied by any means with my set-up or my riding. I’m not as clean and smooth as I need to be.”

Tamada said, “I am satisfied with these two days of practice. You need to be aggressive in the turns at this track because if you try to ride them in a clean way it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll lose tenths of a second. If we can improve our RC211V’s settings tomorrow morning, I am sure we can do well. But first of all I’ll have to start well because, as always, the getaway is of vital importance for the rest of the race.”

“The bike improved a lot today,” said Barros. “I felt much more comfortable than yesterday. We have changed everything a little bit, the gearing, the suspension, the electronic power management system, a complete 360 degree turn of all the settings, which is quite normal on a new track. We still have some small problems but I’m quite satisfied with my race pace. With the qualifying tyres I improved a little, but the third row is an average result.”

Max said, “Obviously I’m not at all satisfied with the results of the last two days. We just can’t seem to get a good balance for the machine round here. We’ve tried a lot of things but in the end we still don’t have a balanced bike. The front is too light and we still struggle for grip in places. The qualifying tyres only really work when the bike is set-up well. Sometimes when you put qualifiers on a bike that is not set-up properly then it becomes even harder to ride.”

Vermeulen said, “I’m still 1.8 seconds behind pole position but it’s less than last time and it feels great to be getting the bike more under my control and more familiar in my hands. Of course, my objective today was to get into the top ten, and I missed out by one spot because I made a slight error with the second qualifying tyre, going wide in one corner, but in any case it’s fantastic to manage to out-qualify riders like Biaggi, Hopkins and Jacque.”

With the 250cc World Championship already wrapped up in favour of Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW), it was Alex de Angelis’ turn to post his second pole of the season with a lap time of 1m 56.930s. Casey Stoner was second fastest (both Aprilia), Hiroshi Aoyama (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) third quickest and Dani fourth to complete the front row.

Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) and his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) start from row two as sixth and seventh fastest with Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) in eight position.

Dani said, “Today was a lot better than yesterday although I expected to improve more in the afternoon. I tried to get a tow at the end of the session, as everybody does, but nobody was pushing and I had to go it alone. Anyway, I can’t complain because we haven’t had any major problems and the important thing is that we’ve found a good set-up for the race.”

Aoyama said, “I think we worked well in the afternoon although it helped to follow Dani on the last lap to set my time. I still don’t feel totally comfortable with the front end in turns 8, 9 and 10 and I’m losing a bit of time there. We’ve got the warm-up to try and improve and if we can do that I think I can have a good race because my pace isn’t bad.”

Dovi said, “I like the track but tomorrow it will be a difficult race for me because we haven’t found a good solution to the setting problems that slowed me yesterday and today. Start from the second row is not a big problem if you can easily keep the pace of the leaders. But we have to improve the set up.”

Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) did all he could to give himself the advantage for tomorrow’s 19-lap 125cc Grand Prix by posting a pole time of 2m 03.585s. The young Swiss is the only man underneath the 2m 04 second barrier.

Hector Faubel (Aprilia) qualified second fastest and Luthi’s title rival Mika Kallio (KTM) was third quickest. Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) completes the front row while Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) made it to row two as seventh fastest man, just behind Mike Di Meglio (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125R) in sixth.

Luthi said, “I like this track, everything has gone really well for us here. The track is difficult but very nice to race on. The part after the start and finish is super it flows so well and suits my style. Everything is working well with the bike, the engine is fast and the handling is very good. Sure we have a couple of minor details on suspension to think about and to try in the warm up tomorrow. I hope for a good start and see what happens from there.”

Koyama said, “We had some kind of engine problem in the qualifying session I had no acceleration off the slow corners but top speed was not too bad but I still had to use the slipstream of the faster guys to get a good time. I really like this track, particularly the long left hand corner. The chassis and suspension are really good the only small problem I’m having is the front end is trying to turn in at the downhill corners but nothing serious.”

Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125RW) qualified 11th and Alex Masbou (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) 12th.

Lai said, “I made three good sessions and I was sure I would improve in the qualifying session. But today we have made a mistake with the engine set up, it had less power than yesterday. Tomorrow we will adopt the previous settings and I hope to have a good race. I really like this track.”



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Marco MELANDRI , Sete GIBERNAU , Nicky HAYDEN,

MotoGP:

Sete Gibernau, MoviStar Honda: 1st:
“This is a technical and difficult circuit which has a bit of everything – fast corners, slow sections, drops, rises, hard braking… More than having a perfect bike in each section, you need a good general balance. I like the track, you can have fun here and that always makes the job easier, which you can see in the result. The team has worked well from the start, we’ve been fast and set a good pace, something we’ve been missing for the last few rounds. In the afternoon we made a few changes which weren’t quite right but we went back to the setting from the morning and I was able to fight for pole. Tomorrow will be a tough and long race but hopefully I can make a good start and fight until the end.”

Marco Melandri, MoviStar Honda: 2nd:
“The weekend started well and we have made progress in every session. After dominating the three free practice sessions I’m sorry not to have got pole but I am calm and I feel good. The bike is working well and Michelin have given me some good tyres which have adapted perfectly to the characteristics of the track. Tomorrow will be a tough race and we’ll see what the best tactic is because we have to think about finishing second in the championship.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team: 3rd:
“Things are slowly coming better. The Movistar boys came out early and really jumped on the pace early and got going fast. Sure it’s nice to be on the front row for tomorrow but I’ve got a few problems with a couple of sections of the track where I’m losing a lot of time so I’m not satisfied by any means with my set-up or my riding. I’m not as clean and smooth as I need to be. We’ve got one more session to try to get things right. It’s one thing to ride at a new track and try and go for a good lap time, it’s quite another thing to see what happens in the race for the first time.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 7th:
“I am satisfied of the work done in these two days of practice. We made it to develop the bike without many complications or bad surprises. I had some problems with the grip when I was using the second set of soft tyres, while with the third and last set I committed a mistake in the first intermediate which has slowed me down. I probably could have started the race a bit further up. In this track is fundamental to be aggressive in the turns because if you try to ride them in a clean way it’s almost guaranteed that you lose some tenths of a second. If tomorrow morning we’ll make it to improve our RC211V’s setting, I am sure we can do well, but first of all I’ll have to start well because, as always, the start is of vital importance for the rest of the race.”

Alex Barros, Camel Honda: 8th:
“The bike improved a lot today, I felt much more comfortable than yesterday. We have changed everything a little bit, the gearing, the suspension, the electronic power management system, a complete 360 of all the settings basically, which is quite normal on a new track. We still have some small problems but I’m quite satisfied with my race pace. With the qualifying tyres I improved a little, but the third row is an average result.”

Chris Vermeulen, replacement rider for Troy Bayliss at Camel Honda: 11th:
“I’m still 1.8 seconds behind pole position but it’s less than last time and it feels great to be getting the bike more under my control and more familiar in my hands. Of course, my objective today was to get into the top ten, and I missed out by one spot because I made a slight error with the second qualifying tyre, going wide in one corner, but in any case it’s fantastic to manage to out-qualify riders like Biaggi, Hopkins, Jacque. Tomorrow’s race will undoubtedly be difficult, this is a really tough track and there are some really hard braking areas, but my aim is to be in the top ten as ever and if possible ahead of another Honda. I want to thank the team because we are working great together, it’s a brilliant experience and it makes the job much easier than it could otherwise have been-.”

Max Baggi, Repsol Honda: 12th:
“Obviously not at all satisfied with the results of the last two days. We just can’t seem to get a good balance for the machine round here at all. We’ve tried a lot of things but in the end we still don’t have a balanced bike. The front is too light and we still struggle for grip in places. The qualifying tyres only really work when the bike is set-up well. Sometimes when you put qualifiers on a bike that is not set-up properly then it becomes even harder to ride. I really need to finish the race tomorrow. The last two races have been a disaster and I’ll be fighting hard tomorrow for the points and honour in the championship.”

250cc:

Hiroshi Aoyama, MoviStar Honda: 3rd :
“I think we worked well in the afternoon although it helped to follow Dani on the last lap to set my time. I still don’t feel totally comfortable with the front end in turns 8, 9 and 10 and I’m losing a bit of time there. We’ve got the warm-up to try and improve and if we can do that I think I can have a good race because my pace isn’t bad.”

Dani Pedrosa, MoviStar Honda: 4th.:
“Today was a lot better than yesterday although I expected to improve more in the afternoon. I tried to get a tow at the end of the session, as everybody does, but nobody was pushing and I had to go it alone. Anyway, I can’t complain because we haven’t had any major problems and the important thing is that we’ve found a good set-up for the race. We’ll have to get a good start and hope that nobody causes us any problems but I think the first few laps will be decisive. The tyres don’t seem to be a problem so I expect it will be a group battle with four or five of us at the front..”

Hector Barbera, Fortuna Honda: 6th:
“From Australia to now I seem to have a different bike. It makes a real difference and I am enjoying it. I know my strength is not putting in flying laps, but I managed it easily and know I have room to improve. I was held up yesterday and made a mistake with the set-up as I changed it from Australia. I am not thinking about the podium; I am feeling confident and believing in myself.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Fortuna Honda: 7th:
“The truth is I always improve by about a second from Friday to Saturday, but this time I managed only two tenths and am down in seventh. I like the track, but have tried everything and am still some way off the leaders. In the second section of the circuit I am losing a lot of time and we’ll have to work on it tomorrow. We have been lapping fast from the first free session but have not been able to improve since. We will look at the situation closely in the warm-up to try and resolve it.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 8th:
“I like the track but tomorrow it will be a difficult race for me because we haven’t found a good solution to the setting problems that slowed me yesterday and today. Starting from the second row is not a big problem if you can easily keep the pace of the leaders. But we have to improve the set up for me to be able to do that…”.

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Honda: 11th:
“We have improved from yesterday but the front closes when I try to push harder. Tomorrow we will work again on the set up during the warm up and hope everything is good for the race.”

Alex Debon, Wurth Honda BQR: 12th:
“I had a little problem with my best engine in qualifying and we spent 18-minutes looking for a solution. I had to use my spare bike to set my lap time but only got six laps in on that one. Even so my grid position is not so bad. On the positive side the bike is handling really well and I have just a small problem with the front end turning in but nothing to worry about. I also know that we can fix the problem in time for the warm up. I am confident that if I get a good start I will surely have a good race.”

Jakub Smrz, Molenaar Honda: 19th.
“After a few laps of the qualifying session the front end began to vibrate so I came into the pit to se what was wrong. It felt like a wheel problem. We changed it but it was not much better so I came in and changed to my second bike. I improved my time from yesterday by 0.5s but was faster this morning. I’m a little bit angry because I could have fought for a third row start. One good thing is that we ran more laps than race distance with the tyres and that is always positive. My number one engine is good so if we fix the problems I will have a good race.”

Dirk Heidolf, Kiefer-Bos-Castrol Honda: 21st.
“My grid position is not good and I’m not happy with it. For the first 5-6 laps of the qualifying session the engine was slow so I came into the pit. It was the CDI that caused the problem but we lost almost 20 minutes before I got out on track again. When I went out I quickly found a good rhythm and ran high 2m 00s lap times. This will be good for the race or sure. There is a concern about the front tyre, it was finished very quickly in the session and I had two huge front wheel slides, so we have work to do on the front end before the warm up. We will have to be a little cautious on the first 2 – 3 laps of the race but if I run 2m 00.5s laps I will be OK.”

Arturo Tizon, replacement rider for Radomil Rous at Wurth Honda BQR: 24th.
“I am now getting better on the 2-stroke. I had to change my riding style and the way I was thinking about riding the bike compared to a 4-stroke. I was getting on the throttle too hard and that caused me problems. This morning I also changed my riding position to get ore weight n the front wheel and it helped me a lot.”

125cc:

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 1st.
“I like this track, everything has gone really well for us here. The track is difficult but very nice to race on. The part after the start and finish is super it flows so well and suits my style. Everything is working well with the bike, the engine is fast and the handling is very good. Sure we have a couple of minor details on suspension to think about and to try in the warm up tomorrow. I hope for a good start and see what happens from there.”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Racing World Honda: 6th.
“Today we have found solutions for our problems of yesterday. The bike is now fast and I enjoy riding it at this track. I have to improve my lines in some corners but I think I can race with the leaders of the race.”

Tomoyoshi Koyama, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 7th.
“We had some kind of engine problem in the qualifying session I had no acceleration off the slow corners but top speed was not too bad but I still had to use he slipstream of the faster guys to get a good time. I really like this track, particularly the long left hand corner. The chassis and suspension are really good the only small problem I’m having is the front end is trying to turn in at the downhill corners but nothing serious.”

Fabrizio Lai, Kopron Racing World Honda: 11th.
“I made three good sessions and I was sure I would improve in the qualifying session. But today we have made a mistake with the engine set up, it had less power than yesterday. Tomorrow we will adopt the previous settings and I hope to have a good race. I really like this track.”

Alexis Masbou, Ajo Motorsport Honda: 13th.
“Things could be better, the engine is average compared to some races this year. The team and HRC are working on this now and we will see in the warm up if things have improved. We have found a good compromise on the suspension settings particularly with the front fork forks and the tyre.”

Alvaro Bautista, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 16th.
“I was faster today than yesterday and I think I can go faster still. The engine was not as good on top speed as yesterday but the air pressure is different today so that might be the problem. I was behind Koyama on the straight but could not use his slipstream to pass. The chassis is very good and the suspension set up is perfect for this circuit. If we find a little more power and II get a good start I know I can run with the fastest riders in the race.”

Aleix Espargaro, Seedorf RC3 Tiempo Holidays Honda: 23rd.
“That was a very bad session for me the rear tyre was finished in after a few laps. This was very strange because we had a good set up from yesterday after we changed the geometry a little and softened up the suspension. It was OK in the morning but in qualifying it gave me a totally different feeling. The track temperature was higher today but the difference to the bike was extreme. The engine was not as fast today either but I know I can run 2m 05.5s lap times so if we fix the bike I will have a good race. But I will need a good start from my grid position if I m to take good points from the race.”

Sandro Cortese, Kiefer-Bos-Castrol Honda: 25th.
“The first 15-minutes of qualifying was OK then I came in to change tyres and went out to set a good time. The tyres were working for me and I got on the back of Da Rosa and Pesek and we were running a good pace. But we came across Giuseppetti the other two got passed in a corner and I had to wait. After that I could not set a good time alone. I am not so happy because the bike is good, the engine is strong and the handling is very good. I have made good starts in the last five races and I will need another good one tomorrow.”

Sascha Hommel, Molenaar Honda:
“This is a very difficult and technical track and set up is really important. In the qualifying session my tyres were quickly finished and it was important I did not crash so I was not as fast as I could have been when I went for my fast lap. The engine is good but we need to work on the suspension before the warm up tomorrow.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park Qualifying

line

MotoGP
1 Sete GIBERNAU (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
2 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
6 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
7 Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
8 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
9 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
10 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Chris VERMEULEN (Camel Honda)
12 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
13 Olivier JACQUE (Kawasaki Racing Team)
14 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
15 Shinichi ITO (Ducati Marlboro Team)
16 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
17 Roberto ROLFO (Team D'Antin Pramac)
18 James ELLISON (Blata WCM)
19 Franco BATTAINI (Blata WCM)
 
250cc
1 Alex DE ANGELIS (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
2 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
3 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
4 Daniel PEDROSA (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
5 Sebastian PORTO (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
6 Hector BARBERA (Team Fortuna Honda)
7 Jorge LORENZO (Team Fortuna Honda)
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
9 Robert LOCATELLI (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
10 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
11 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
 
125cc
1 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
2 Hector FAUBEL (Master Aspar)
3 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
4 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
5 Sergio GADEA (Master Aspar)
6 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Racing World)
7 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Ajo Motorsport)
8 Gabor TALMACSI (Red Bull KTM GP125)
9 Marco SIMONCELLI (Nocable.it Race)
10 Lukas PESEK (Metis Racing Team)
 

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