MotoGP > MotoGP 2005 Round 17: Valencia GP > Race Results
MotoGPValenciaNovember 6, 2005
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Community of Valencia Grand Prix at Circuit Ricardo Tormo

Melandri Shows 2006 Intent With Hard-Fought Win
Luthi Takes 125cc World Title

Qualifying >>

Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) capped a fine season in style in front of 124,000 race fans when he won his second consecutive race from Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V), with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in third.



Marco MELANDRI (Movistar Honda MotoGP) & Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)


The Italian Honda man now secures runner-up position in the final World Championship standings after this, the final race, of a 17-round series. Hayden finished third overall. But if the result of the last race has any bearing on events in 2006, this was a strong finish to a gruelling year by Melandri and Hayden and promises much for next season.

Melandri got the holeshot into turn one and never looked back, despite the closest intentions of Hayden, who tried everything to squeeze past him on a track where overtaking is notoriously tricky.

The 30-laps of this claustrophobic track are hard work. Riders hardly get a chance to ‘relax’ at any point on the 4.005km course. And it was Melandri who showed a super-strong will to win by denying victory to Hayden – another Honda man hungry for a second win of the season.

Melandri, Hayden and Sete Gibernau (Team Movistar Honda RC211V) made the early running with Sete setting an early fastest lap of the race at 1 min 33.476 s. But on lap four the Spaniard was forced out of contention with machine trouble, ending a miserable year without the win he yearned for. This has been a barren year for Gibernau.

Rossi started from 15th on the grid after crashing in yesterday’s qualifying session, and he had made his way up to third by lap six. But Melandri and Hayden were long gone and although Rossi reduced a six second gap to just under three seconds by the flag, he was never on terms with the leading pair.

Nor was Carlos Checa (Ducati) after holding fourth for much of the race. The Spanish rider finished in that position more than 18 seconds down on the leaders. Melandri and Hayden were in total charge of events to the extent that Marco could afford to drop the pace mid-race to encourage Hayden to spend some time at the front.

But when Hayden couldn’t make it past the Italian, Melandri worked out that if Hayden couldn’t pass him, then he was unlikely to be able to re-pass the American for the win. His tactic was then to ride hard to the flag and hang on to a valuable win.

Alex Barros (Camel Honda RC211V) rode a spirited race to finish fifth ahead of Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda RC211V) in fifth. Those two had a race-long battle with Loris Capirossi (Ducati) with Capirossi crossing the line in seventh.

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) was ninth and Ryuichi Kiyonari, standing in for the injured Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda RC211V), finished 12th.

Marco, who crashed at low speed on the slowing-down lap while pulling a stunt (rolling burnout), said, “This is a great moment for me. I got into turn one and got into a rhythm, but I knew Nicky was always behind. I tried to break him, but he was too strong, so then I tried to force him past me. But when he couldn’t do that I just went from there to win.”

Nicky said, “It was always going to be tight here. Once I loosened up I felt confident. I was always looking to stick the nose of the bike ahead, but Marco always had things covered up. My win at Laguna was huge, and it would have been nice to have made it two wins, but we’re ready for next year right now.”

A crestfallen Sete said, “I think it’s fair to say that it is difficult to take when you work more and work harder but get less reward. We had another perfect weekend, setting the fastest time in free practice, qualifying and warm-up but this morning HRC detected a small oil leak in the engine and decided to change it just to be safe. I realized on the sighting lap that the bike was vibrating and I told the boys, but we thought that because it was a new engine everything would be fine. In the race the vibrations got worse with every lap until it broke. It’s a shame to finish the year like this but it is not a disaster for me. We have been competitive at every Grand Prix, I have never let my head drop despite the circumstances and I am sure this will make me stronger for the future.”

Alex in fifth said, “I’m really happy. But this wasn’t an exceptional result because I’ve won two difficult battles with Loris and Max. With Capirossi it was particularly tough because his bike is so powerful and there was only one point where I could pass him. For two laps, he came back past me but in the end I managed to close the door. I think we both had good fun. My rhythm was quite good but not as good as the front three. Maybe I could have fought with Checa but when I got past Max it was too late.”

“I’m very sad at ending the season in this way,” said Max. “It looked like we were in a better shape yesterday when we ran with the race tyres. In the race we were so slow into the corners. The front goes – jump – jump – jump. I go as always at 100% and last year I finished second, just 0.4s behind the leader. Today I am 21s down on the winner. This is hard for me to accept.”

Tamada said, “From the tenth lap on, the rear tyre began to spin and I couldn’t push the bike at 100% – a pity because I was going quite well and catching Edwards. Then just before half-race distance I couldn’t attack as I wanted. Ninth position doesn’t satisfy me, now we have to evaluate the season and understand where and how to improve to fight with the best next year.”

“I want to say thanks to Honda,” said Kyonari. “And also the Camel Honda team because they have given me the opportunity to compete in this race. I am not satisfied with 12th – we could have done a lot better. Anyway this experience will serve me well for the future.”

Dani Pedrosa (Team Movistar Honda RS250RW) won what is likely to be the final 250cc race of his distinguished career, putting in an imperious display of quarter-litre mastery. He beat bitter rival Jorge Lorenzo (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) by three and a half seconds, with Casey Stoner (Aprilia) trailing home third.

Hector Barbera (Fortuna Honda RS250RW) made the early running from the lights until Lorenzo snatched the lead from his team-mate on lap three with Dani holding third. Then Barbera ran wide at turn one on lap five allowing Dani to grab second place from him.

Dani then set about hauling in Lorenzo and made his move for the lead into turn one at the beginning of lap 13 of this 27-lap battle. Next he pulverised the lap record, reeling off three consecutive fastest laps, with a best of 1m 35.792 seconds. Lorenzo had no answer.

Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Racing Team Honda RS250RW) rode a heroic race to ninth, having been in last place on the opening lap when he to take to the gravel to avoid crashing into another rider. He now consolidates third in the overall World Championship standings as well as netting the coveted ‘rookie of the year’ title.

Honda also won the prestigious Manufacturer’s Championship via this vital Dani win, his eighth of the year. And with Dani now graduating to the MotoGP class, his rivals now face a slightly easier task in 2006.

Dani said, “The bike was moving around a lot but this a hard track. The pace was so fast, much faster than last year (total race time 37 seconds faster than 2004) and this win was important for the team and for the Constructor’s Championship. Thanks to Honda and my team for all their work.”

Lorenzo said, “It was impossible to win today. My rhythm was very bad, as bad as it was in qualifying. But at the same time this is still one of my best races so far.” Lorenzo was denied the chance to become the youngest winner of a 250cc Grand Prix by Dani’s domination today. Dani still holds that distinction.

At the second turn I had to go off to avoid hitting de Angelis,” said Dovi. “I had to stage a real recovery and I’m really glad I got third in the World Championship. Next year I’m here to work even harder and try to win the title.”

Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) became only Switzerland’s second 125cc World Champion on two wheels when he finished in ninth position to clinch the World Championship. He now joins Luigi Taveri, the Swiss who first won the Championship in this class in 1962 on a Honda. He was also crowned World Champion in 1964 and 1966, again on Honda machinery.

Luthi’s win now means Honda was three consecutive 125cc titles in this class for the first time. But Honda was denied the Manufacturer’s Championship in the class by Mika Kallio’s win for KTM. His team-mate Gabor Talmacsi was second and Aprilia’s Mattia Pasini third.

It looked as if Spanish rider Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) could record his first ever win here at a ‘home’ race until he crashed while holding a 1.5 second lead with just five laps to go. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Ajo Motorsport Honda RS125R) continued his strong end to the year in sixth while Fabrizio Lai (Kopron Racing World Honda RS125RW) was seventh.

Luthi said, “It’s great to be World Champion. I think back to last season and all the crashed and failures and now this season everything has worked out. Thanks to everyone at Honda and in the team. I need a year to let it all sink in. I still can’t believe I did it this year.”

“That was a tough race,” said Koyama. “The engine felt like it was running a bit rich and the rear suspension and the tyre never really felt good. It took a bit of time before I could push and if I’d pushed any harder I would have high-sided.”



Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)


Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)


Marco Melandri, MoviStar Honda, 1st:
“It has been a perfect weekend for me. Not only have we sealed the runner-up spot in the championship but we did it with my second consecutive win. I started the race planning to control my advantage in the standings without pushing too hard but I got a good start and was leading into the first corner. I knew Nicky was very close so I focused on maintaining my rhythm without taking too many risks. There was a point where I thought about letting him past but I was worried that I might find it too difficult to get back in front. I pushed as hard as possible over the final few laps to try and open up a gap and I was able to win. This is like a dream come true.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, 2nd:
“That was good racing! At the beginning I was a little tight as I’ve crashed here for the last two years when things got hot and I didn’t want to blow things this year. Once I’d loosened up and the bike was moving around a bit I started to get comfortable. I tried to be in a position all the race to take advantage of Marco leaving the door open but he rode real solid and never gave me the opportunity. On the last corner I was going to go up the inside and when he got all sideways I ditched the plan and tried to square off the corner but it just didn’t happen. Of course I’m disappointed – I want to win. In the end I’m happy we’ve had a good end to the season and I’d like to thank all those that have stuck behind me this year; Honda, Michelin and all the sponsors. We’ll be back stronger next year.”

Alex Barros, Camel Honda, 5th:
“I am really happy even though this wasn’t an exceptional result because I have won two difficult battles with Loris and Max. With Capirossi it was particularly tough because his bike is so powerful and there was only one point where I could pass him. For two laps, he came back past me but in the end I managed to close the door. I think we both had good fun. My rhythm was quite good but not as good as the front three. Maybe I could have fought with Checa but when I got past Max it was too late.”

Max Baggi, Repsol Honda, 6th:
“I’m very sad at ending the season in this way. It looked like we were in a better shape yesterday when we ran with the race tyres but it did not go well this morning. The crash caused some pain in my finger and in my right leg but the bike was badly damaged and definitely didn’t feel the same this afternoon even though the team did a great job in rebuilding it in a very short time. In the race we are so slow into the corners. The front goes – jump – jump – jump. I go as always at 100% and last year I finish second, just 0.4s behind the leader. Today I am 21’s down on the winner. This is hard for me to accept.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda, 9th:
“In the first few laps I have tried to warm up well the tyres, but I took too much time. From the fourth lap things got better and the lap time got lower. The good feeling with the tyres didn’t last much, in fact from the tenth lap on, the rear tyre begun to spin and I couldn’t push the bike at its 100%. A pity because I was going quite well and I was looking Edwards, who was in front of me, much closer, then just before half of the race I couldn’t attack as I would have wanted. Ninth position doesn’t satisfy me, now we have to evaluate the season just concluded and understand where and how to improve to fight with the best next year.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari, replacement rider for Troy Bayliss at Camel Honda, 12th:
“I want to say thanks to Honda and the Camel Honda team because they have given me the opportunity to compete in this race. I am not satisfied with twelfth place, we could have done a lot better. Anyway this experience will serve me well for the future.”

Sete Gibernau, MoviStar Honda: dnf – retired:
“I think it’s fair to say that it is difficult to take when you work more and work harder but get less reward. We had another perfect weekend, setting the fastest time in free practice, qualifying and warm up but this morning HRC detected a small oil leak in the engine and decided to change it just to be safe. I realized on the sighting lap that the bike was vibrating and I told the boys but we thought that because it was a new engine everything would be fine. In the race the vibrations got worse with every lap until it broke. It’s a shame to finish the year like this but it is not a disaster for me. We have been competitive at every Grand Prix, I have never let my head drop despite the circumstances and I am sure this will make me stronger for the future.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Community of Valencia Grand Prix at Circuit Ricardo Tormo


line
MotoGP
1 Marco MELANDRI (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP)
2 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Valentino ROSSI (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha)
4 Carlos CHECA (Ducati Marlboro Team)
5 Alex BARROS (Camel Honda)
6 Max BIAGGI (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
8 Colin EDWARDS (Gauloises Yamaha Team)
9 Makoto TAMADA (KOINICA MINOLTA Honda Team)
10 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)
11 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 Ryuichi KIYONARI (Camel Honda)
13 John HOPKINS (Team Suzuki MotoGP)
14 Alex HOFMANN (Kawasaki Racing Team)
15 Ruben XAUS (Fortuna Yamaha Team)



Marco MELANDRI (Movistar Honda MotoGP) & Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
250cc
1 Daniel PEDROSA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Honda)
3 Casey STONER (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
4 Alex DE ANGELIS (MS Aprilia Italia Corse)
5 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Honda)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Telefonica Movistar Honda 250)
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Team Scot)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (Aprilia Aspar 250cc)
9 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Team Scot)
10 Roberto LOCATELLI (Carrera Sunglasses - LCR)
11 Alex DEBON (Wurth Honda BQR)
12 Jakub SMRZ (Arie Molenaar Racing)
13 Martin CARDENAS (Aprilia Germany)
14 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP de France - Scrab)
15 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
 
125cc
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP125)
2 Gabor TALMACSI (Red Bull KTM GP125)
3 Mattia PASINI (Totti Top Sport - NGS)
4 Hector FAUBEL (Master Aspar)
5 Marco SIMONCELLI (Nocable.it Race)
6 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Ajo Motorsport)
7 Fabrizio LAI (Kopron Racing World)
8 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP125)
9 Thomas LUTHI (Elit Grand Prix)
10 Pablo NIETO (Caja Madrid - Derbi Racing)
11 Aleix ESPARGARO (Seedorf RC3 - Tiempo Holidays)
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Seedorf RC3 - Tiempo Holidays)
13 Raffaele DE ROSA (Matteoni Racing)
14 Joan OLIVE (Nocable.it Race)
15 Andrea IANNONE (Abruzzo Racing Team)
 

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