MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 02: Qatar GP > Race Results
MotoGPQuatarApril 8, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail Race Results

Gritty Hayden Grinds Out Sixth Successive Podium

Qualifying >>

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) came a narrow second to Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in a tense MotoGP race here in windy Qatar. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) was third. This is Hayden’s sixth consecutive rostrum finish as he bids for his first win of the 2006 season.



Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)


Casey STONER(Honda LCR)


With a 33km/h wind, erratic in direction, blowing throughout the day, turns two and nine seemed to be the worst affected. There was also a 44 degree track temperature to contend with, although the elevated ambient temperature that is so often a debilitating factor here was ‘only’ 25-degrees now that this is an April race instead of an October fixture.

Pole man Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) simply stormed away from the line as the lights went out and he looked strong as the field struggled to establish an order and make chase. Capirossi was nearest to the young Aussie, but the Italian couldn’t stay with him as the first lap unfolded.

At the start of lap two the order was Stoner, Hayden, Rossi, Capirossi, Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki), Sete Gibernau (Ducati), then Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V). Hayden put in an early fastest lap as he went all out to hound Stoner in those early stages. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) was down in 11th place following a slow get away from the starting light.

Then it was Rossi piling on the pressure as he chased Hayden, a fastest lap belonging to the Italian rider on lap three. On lap six Rossi and Hayden swapped places twice in both final loops as they fought for dominance in the struggle to reel in runaway Stoner. Rossi eventually got the upper hand and had a 0.77 second gap to close on the swift Australian.

On lap ten Rossi nipped past Stoner into turn one, then it was Hayden’s turn to demote Stoner to third on the next lap. Rossi now held a 0.6 second advantage over Hayden and it was only another two laps before Capirossi squeezed past the Aussie to put the ‘old firm’ in charge at the front.

As lap fifteen ran its course Rossi and Hayden had an advantage of more than a second over Capirossi and Stoner, with Gibernau losing ground in fifth. Hayden now knew he had to size up Rossi to see what his plan should be in the closing laps. He moved past Rossi at turn one on lap 19.

Rossi repaid the compliment on lap 20 at the same place and Hayden could not respond and Rossi won by 0.9 seconds at the flag with closer to Hayden than the American was to Rossi. But Hayden rode a mature race and it can’t be long until the Kentucky Kid notches up a second career win in MotoGP.

“We gambled overnight on some changes,” said Hayden. “The team got it right but I didn’t quite do it right today. I had fun though. The six podiums in a row are OK but we need to take another step up. We’ve got two weeks to put some hard work in to find the extra second a lap we need.”

Stoner in fourth said, “The start was really good and I felt really good out in front. But as the fuel load went down and the pace went up I lost a bit of rear wheel grip. Physically I wasn’t 100% so today wasn’t a bad result. After 10 laps I had leg cramps.”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) finished a tight sixth after an intense battle with Melandri and said, “When I caught Melandri we had a big battle. My bike was really fast and I could overtake him, but he was braking so late! I’m not angry, but I’m upset because today I lost a good opportunity to be battling at the front. In the race I learned a lot of things and I know I performed as well as I could have. Although I’m frustrated today, the two races so far have been really positive.”

Melandri was seventh after the epic duel with Dani and said, “It was a really difficult race. I got a good start and tried to make up some positions but I made a mistake towards the end of the race that cost me a position. I had a really good battle with Dani Pedrosa, he was passing me on the straight but I was able to get him back on the brakes. I’m still not riding as I’d like, but tomorrow we stay for a day of tests and hopefully it can help us take another step forward.”

Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V), despite being ill with a stomach bug, finished eighth. He said, “We’ve done a great job over the two days of practice and I was hoping for more than this today. I didn’t get a good start and I paid the price for that. Then Hopkins’ engine began to drop oil and I had to get off the throttle, sending me even further back. My visor was covered in oil and after losing contact with the lead group it became a really hard race for me. I’m disappointed because I know I could have had a nice race today.”

“The bike and tyres were great today,” said Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) in tenth. “But I could have been better if I had got clear of the group quicker – but with the oil incident you had to be careful. I have to thank the team for all they did this weekend, a great job. Still, if you had said in November that we would have finished the first two races in the top 10 we might not have agreed with you.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) finished 14th and said, “I didn’t expect to have such a difficult start to the season. I’m not able to ride my RC211V properly yet. It is hard to be fast in the corner without having the right feel from the bikee. I’m sorry about this.”

The World Championship points standings look like this after two of 17 rounds: Capirossi 41, Hayden 36, Rossi 30.

Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) won a thrilling 250cc race from Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) after the pair pulled well clear of the field by mid-race distance. Roberto Locatelli (Aprilia) was a fine third after running off track in the early laps and fighting back into contention.

Locatelli made the run into turn one from the lights to head the field, but Dovizioso led across the line to begin lap two and set an early fastest lap of this 20-lap race. By lap three Dovi held a 1.36 second advantage over his Spanish rival Lorenzo.

By lap 12 Lorenzo and Dovi were 13 seconds ahead of Barbera, but the recovering Locatelli was setting a fastest lap on his charge back into contention after his ‘off’. The race order up front was to remain fixed as Dovi shadowed Lorenzo waiting for the final lap.

Lorenzo knew a Dovi challenge would come – he just didn’t know where. With half a lap to go Dovi made his move up the inside but Lorenzo stayed with him to hold a tighter line into the right/right combination before the final two turns. Dovi hung close but could not make an impression across the line.

Sebastian Porto (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished seventh and Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) was ninth. But the huge gap between themselves and the leading duo will be of some concern.

“I have to be happy with this,” said Dovizioso. “After the warm up, I was convinced we’d be able to do a good race and I did a very good start. The team worked very hard and we were fast today. But I need more power. There is a long way to go this season and I know Honda will be working hard so that we can have an edge in the races to come.”

Porto said, “Well it hasn’t been that bad. I’m happy with the race, obviously not with the result. You’re here to win, but given all the problems we’ve had and our current situation, finishing today has been very important to me, on a personal level. But there’s still a lot to be improved. We have to improve the chassis, and the engine didn’t work that well today either. I’ve given my best with what I had.”

Takahashi said, “It’s been a tough race for me as I’ve had problems with the front throughout the whole weekend. In the warm up we tested other solutions but without getting benefits. Before the race, my team decided to fit new suspension that I’ve never tried and actually it solved the problem. Now we have to adjust the general set up, but Istanbul is similar to this track and so we will start from a good base.”

The overall points standings at this early stage of the season show Lorenzo in the lead with 50 points after two consecutive wins, Dovi in second with 36 points and Locatelli on 25.

Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) won the 125cc race by 6.7 seconds from Mika Kallio (KTM) who just managed to overhaul third-placed Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) as the pair broached the finish line. Bautista has now posted back-to-back wins in the first two races of the season.

It was Gadea who made the early running in this 18-lap race until Bautista upped the pace by lap five, stealing the lead and then setting a fastest lap of 2m 8.591 seconds as he stretched away from the rest of the field.

Most Honda riders would prefer to forget this race. Mike Di Meglio (FFM Honda RS125R) retired at the start of the second lap, Sandro Cortese (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) tangled with Juan Olive (Aprilia) and fell on lap two, while reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) managed a seventh place finish.

Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) finished 11th after running with the leading group on the first few laps, but the Hungarian dropped back as the race unfolded and he was nearly 30 seconds adrift of the winner at the flag.

Luthi said, “For some reason I was not good at the last two corners and the run onto the start finish straight. But we made a big step this weekend after a bad experience at the start of the season. We have some points and we can now make progress.”

“Unfortunately we couldn't find the right balance,” said Talmacsi. “We need better suspensions settings as I struggled too much today. Also, I wasn't fast in the straight and 11th place is the best I could do today. The important thing, anyway, is that we have scored some more points in the World Standings.”

Bautista leads the World Championship with 50 points after his perfect start to the season. Kallio has 33 points and Pasini 29 as the Turkish round looms at the end of April.



Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)


Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)


MOTOGP:

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“Battling for the win is so much more fun than battling for fourth place! I pushed Valentino hard today and I pushed myself about as hard as I could too. We had the bike that could win today, but on the last lap in a left-hander I got into a nice little slide, Valentino gapped me pretty good and it was hard to recover. We gambled a bit with set up today, we rolled the dice, and it worked well for me in the race, helping a lot in the fast corners. So a big thanks to my crew. Its my second year with my crew chief and were working really well together. All the guys have been working hard and making some good improvements on the bike. We’ve still got some work to do and well be back here in the morning testing, but the new bikes definitely getting better and were heading in the right direction. Six podiums on the trot is cool, but it would be nice to get a few wins along the way!”


Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 5th
"The start was great and I felt really comfortable out front and just concentrated on doing my own thing but as the fuel got lighter I wasn't able to up the pace as I lost some rear grip. My physical condition was also a factor today and I wasn't feeling 100%. I thought I could have got a better result today. I missed a lot of pre-season training and then I had the flu and after ten laps my leg began to cramp up. When Valentino came passed for the lead I wasn't surprised, it was only a matter of time, and over the second half of the race I had a good battle with Loris and Gibernau."


Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 6th
"Its easy to say this now, but I believe I could have finished further up, at least in 4th, if I'd made a better start. We had a problem with the clutch, like Nicky when he was practicing his starts yesterday. At first I thought the wheel was spinning but actually it was the clutch. Then, when I was behind Elias and we were both overtaking Hopkins his bike put oil on our visors. Elias closed the throttle and we lost a lot of time on the leaders at least 3 or 4 seconds. When I caught Melandri we had a big battle. My bike was really fast and I could overtake him, but he was braking so late! I'm not angry with the result, but Im upset because today I lost a good opportunity to be battling at the front. In the race I learned a lot of things and I know I performed as well as I could have. Although Im frustrated today, the two races so far have been really positive.”

Makoto Tanaka Repsol Honda Team Manager
“Ahhh! How disappointing today's result is! Nicky has worked hard to finalize his set-up since he came here and he did a really excellent job both in yesterday's qualifying and today’s race. He’s become really strong mentally since last year and I want sincerely to praise his work today. Dani lost many positions at the start because of an uncertain feeling from the clutch which caused him to wheelie. However, he did very well to finish sixth. He’s a really professional rider who doesn't stop racing until he crosses the line. We didn’t win, but Nicky took 2nd place and Dani is in 3rd place in the riders championship which bodes well for the rest of the season. We still have work to do to improve the bikes performance but I think we are close to our target. So, watch this space.”

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 7th
"It was a really difficult race. I got a good start and tried to make up some positions but I made a mistake towards the end of the race that cost me a position. I had a really good battle with Dani Pedrosa, he was passing me in the straight but I was able to get him back on the brakes. I'm still not riding as I would like to - tomorrow we'll stay for a day of tests and hopefully it can help us take another step forward."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 8th
"We've done a great job over the two days of practice and I was hoping for more than this today. I didn't get a good start and I paid the price for that. Then Hopkins' engine began to drop oil and I had to shut off the throttle, sending me even further back. My visor was covered in oil and after losing contact with the lead group it became a really hard race for me. I'm disappointed because I know I could have had a nice race today."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 10th
"Start was not too bad but I got boxed in by a lot of guys in front of me who were not going to be racing for the lead. Some of them were loosing oil Chris Vermeulen was dropping oil all over me. I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. When I got clear of those guys the gap to the riders in front of me was too big to close down. The bike and tyres were great today but I could have been better if I had got clear of the group quicker but with oil everywhere you have to be careful. I have to thank the team for all they did this weekend, great job. Still, if you had said in November that we would have finished the first two races in the top 10 we might not have agreed with you."

Kenny Roberts Senior, Team Owner KR Honda.
"We are still looking for the ideal base set up and we're trying too many things in a short time. You can loose your way a bit when you do that. We are also held back a little by having only one rider but all in all we have made progress so far."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 14th
"I did not expect to have such a difficult season starting. I'm not able to drive as I would my RC211V yet. It is hard to be fast in the corner without having the right feeling. I am sorry I have not had to possibility to give any satisfaction to KONICA MINOLTA, to Honda and to all team guys that are constantly working to create the best conditions."


250cc

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 2nd
“We struggle a bit in approaching the race and we are too much at the limit with the set-up of the bike. This doesn’t allow me to do the difference. But this morning, after the warm up, I was convinced to be able to do a good race and I did a very good start. However, Lorenzo has followed me and in the middle stages he was able to pass me. Taking some risk, I kept the contact with his Aprilia and when we begun the last lap my strategy was to suddenly pass him and try to take a bit of advantage in the first half of the track, where I was going more strongly, while he was being faster in the final curves. It didn’t happen, though, I went wide in a curve and he has passed me again. I could also have tried in last curve, but a sideslip has forced me to shut off the throttle. Actually, I hoped in the victory but we still need more horsepower to really fight for win.

Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda: 7th
"Well, that it hasn't been that bad. I’m happy, especially with the race, obviously not with the result. You're here to win, but given all the problems we've had and our current situation, finishing today has been very important to me, on a personal level. But there's still a lot to be improved. We have to further improve the chassis, and the engine didn't work well today either. I've given my best with what I had. The best was the last part of the race. I was fourth in the group and I managed to overtake them all; finishing seventh isn't bad. Let's hope that this will be the beginning of an improvement and that the next race will be even better. We haven't managed to have a good feeling on the bike with the new tyres yet. We loose a lot on new tyres, but then, halfway the race, it is the other way around. When the others start going down, this bike keeps the pace. That's something I still have to improve, the initial part on new tyres, I need better grip. Now it's time to enjoy and relax; I'm already looking forward to preparing the next race."

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 9th
“It has been a tough race for me as I had problems in the front throughout the whole weekend. In the warm up we tested other solutions but without getting benefits. Before the race, my team decided to put a new suspension that I’ve never tried and actually it solved the problem. Now we have to adjust the general set up, but Istanbul is similar to this track and so we will start from a good base”

Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR: 11th
"I made a good start and caught the fast group ahead of me. I couldn't hold onto them and when they went away I concentrated on holding my position. The bike is really good and I am really happy with the season so far. I'm looking forward to Turkey I like the track down there."

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 13th
"I'm obviously not happy at all, it's a bad result. The bike worked quite well; we could have improved a bit the suspensions, but the overall setting was OK. But the rider hasn't been at a good level today. I don't know why, but I haven't been able to be fast on this circuit at any time. I probably haven't been focussed enough this weekend. I made a good start but several riders overtook me in the first corner. After the crash in Jerez I wanted above all to finish the race here, but I wanted to do it much more in the front."

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 16th
"From the last qualifying session we had an engine problem. It's difficult to know what it was because when we checked carburetion it looks really good. I was down on acceleration an top speed was not as good as it was on Friday morning. Pity because we made progress with the chassis. I like the track at Istanbul so if we find the engine problem I will have a better race for sure."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – crash
"I got a good start and the bike was running really well. We made a compromise on suspension and I ran stiffer suspension settings on the rear and I had a much better feeling with the bike. But I was pushing too hard and lost the font end and crashed. The positive point about this race was that I know I can race with the riders in 250 and I'm looking forward to Turkey, it's a track I learned last year."

Jordi Carchano, Stop and Go Racing: dnf - crash.
"I lost the front end and crashed, on lap 16. It was a pity because the team had given me a good bike to race. The shifter problems we had all though qualifying were fixed and I was able to race as I wanted."


125cc

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 8th
"I'm more happy than unhappy with this result. My target was to get a good start and be with the lead group. I managed to do it I could race with Faubel and Rodriguez but when Nieto came passed us I mad a small mistake and it cost me two seconds. For some reason I was not good at the last two corners and the run onto the start finish straight. But we made a big step this weekend after a bad experience at the start of the season. We have some points and we can now make progress, as I said I'm happy in the circumstances."

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 11th
"I did my best but the bike was competitive for a couple of laps not for the whole race. Unfortunately we couldn't find the right balance during the weekend and the wind increased the problem. We have to adjust better the suspensions settings as I struggled too much today. Also, I wasn't fast in the straight and 11th place is the best I could do today. The important thing, anyway, is that we have conquered some more points in the World Standings."

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 17th
"Not so bad when you look at my bad practice and qualifying sessions. I had a small problem with the clutch off the start and was only 20 - 21 at the end of the first lap. I was racing with Koyama but he was a little quicker than me today. I could hold him till the last few laps when my rear tyre started sliding and I had to let him go. I didn't want a crash at the end of a bad weekend for me."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 22nd
"The start was OK. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. I only lost a couple of places but the first corner was awful. I just got in there; I guess I was thinking too much, being really cautious. I looked at all the riders and it made me so nervous. I just need to get the blockage out of my head and be clear and go right into the corner. There were people around me that moved up to sixteenth on the first lap and I was back in thirtieth. It is possible I just need to be able to do it. The race was good, I made it up to nineteenth, the eighteenth was just in front and then I could see seventeenth and sixteenth in the distance, a few seconds ahead so I kept on pushing. Then I went wide in turn thirteen. I brought the bike back onto the track but pushed too much into the next corner. The bike got a bit squirrelly and then I had to go straight. I lost so much time and places. After that I just kept on putting my head down making sure I was putting in consistent laps to try to catch the riders in front. Now I'm just thinking what could have been but we're going to sort everything out for Turkey."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 27th
"I got a good start and caught the group ahead of me on the grid and enjoyed the race much more than at Jerez. The beginning of the ace was good and I caught and passed a lot of riders. Then on the sixth lap I made a mistake, ran wide nearly onto the grass. I had to close the gas and lost contact with the group. The engine was good but I had a small problem on set up. But things are definitely going in a good direction for me. Now I'm really looking forward to Turkey."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 30th

"I'm not really happy with today's race. We have had many problems with the front of the bike all over the weekend, we didn't solve them for the race and the wind today didn't help us at all. I started well but at the first turn I brake a bit too early and so the other riders passed me. In the final lap, I was fighting with two riders but I made a mistake with the gear and so I lost time. So, this is a race to forget, but it is good for gathering experience."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: dnf - crash
"Not very good at all, I crashed with Olive. I was running my normal line in the corner when Olive came across in front of and I hit him, I had no place to go. I'm very disappointed because that's twice I have crashed so far. Pity because I got a good start and the bike was running good."

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: dnf - brake problem
"What an eventful race that was and I only lasted one and a half laps! Even then it was a big fight. My start was not so bad but one rider hit me in turn one and then I couldn't keep the right line because of the wind. On the second lap the rider behind ran into me and hit my brake lever knocking it forward so I had no front brake and I had to pull in. Pity because we had found a good compromise on rear end settings and the chatter problems we had in qualifying were gone."

Fabrizio Lai, Valsir Seedorf Racing: 14th
"I tried to do my best with this bike. I started very well and I recovered many positions. During the second lap I touched Pesek and I lost the front mudguard and consequently I lost in performance. The bike wasn’t very fast in the straight, even in slipstream I couldn’t have the same pace of the other riders. In this conditions is not easy to be competitive."

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 28th
"Our Honda are not ok. In straights all the riders of my group could pass me very easily. Then I could overtook them in curves. I need to learn to ride faster, but also the bike need to grow in power."



MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI / Camel Yamaha Team
2 Nicky HAYDEN / Repsol Honda Team
3 Loris CAPIROSSI / Ducati Marlboro Team
4 Sete GIBERNAU / Ducati Marlboro Team
5 Casey STONER / Honda LCR
6 Dani PEDROSA / Repsol Honda Team
7 Marco MELANDRI / Fortuna Honda
8 Toni ELIAS / Fortuna Honda
9 Colin EDWARDS / Camel Yamaha Team
10 Kenny ROBERTS JR / Team Roberts
11 Shinya NAKANO / Kawasaki Racing Team
12 Carlos CHECA / Tech 3 Yamaha
13 James ELLISON / Tech 3 Yamaha
14 Makoto TAMADA / Konica Minolta Honda
15 Alex HOFMANN / Pramac d'Antín MotoGP



Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team
3 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth
4 Hector BARBERA / Fortuna Aprilia
5 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM GP 250
6 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
7 Sebastian PORTO / Repsol Honda
8 Marco SIMONCELLI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
9 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team
10 Jakub SMRZ / Cardion AB Motoracing
11 Martin CARDENAS / Wurth Honda BQR
12 Andrea BALLERINI / TicinoHosting Campetella Racin
13 Shuhei AOYAMA / Repsol Honda
14 Manuel POGGIALI / Red Bull KTM GP 250
15 Dirk HEIDOLF / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
2 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM GP 125
3 Sergio GADEA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Mattia PASINI / Master - MVA Aspar Team
5 Pablo NIETO / Multimedia Racing
6 Hector FAUBEL / Master - MVA Aspar Team
7 Angel RODRIGUEZ / 3C Racing
8 Thomas LUTHI / Elit - Caffe Latte
9 Simone CORSI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
10 Julian SIMON / Red Bull KTM GP 125
11 Gabor TALMACSI / Humangest Racing Team
12 Raffaele DE ROSA / Multimedia Racing
13 Andrea IANNONE / TicinoHosting Campetella JNR T
14 Fabrizio LAI / Valsir Seedorf Racing
15 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA / Malaguti Ajo Corse
 

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