MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 04: China GP > Qualifying
MotoGPChinaMay 13, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
China Grand Prix at Shanghai Qualifying

Dani Snatches First MotoGP Pole In Danp China

Race Results >>

Spanish star Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) secured a maiden pole position here at Shanghai at only his fourth attempt with a lap of 1m 59.009 seconds. John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Colin Edwards (Yamaha) qualified second and third fastest.



Dani PEDROSA(Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)

After torrential rain on Friday Saturday began dry but rain again affected events during this one hour of timed qualifying. With 35 minutes to go in the session droplets of rain forced riders into the pits and 20 minutes of the session were effectively lost to a track that was partly wet and partly dry.

But conditions improved almost as quickly as they had deteriorated and as the track dried riders were left with just over 15 minutes to haul themselves up the grid order. Sete Gibernau (Ducati) was the early fastest man and as riders ventured back on track it was Edwards who hit the top of the timesheet.

He couldn't hang onto the top slot for long though and with seven minutes remaining it was Pedrosa who showed his rapid mastery of the Honda RV211V 990cc machine when he deprived the American of what would have been his first pole after three seasons in MotoGP. It has taken Dani just four races.

Dani, who had been clocked at a heady 215mph on the 1,202m main straight here in the morning free training, was in rapid form and he remorselessly closed in on pole, shaving his lap time down bit by bit until he felt ready to exploit the leech-like grip of super-sticky qualifying tires.

But Dani had to put in another pole lap before the end of the session when Kawasaki man Shinya Nakano recorded a lap of 1m 59.570s with four minutes to go to temporarily deprive Honda's 20-year-old star of what promises to be the first of many pole positions in the premier class.

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) continued his strong showing this season with a fifth fastest qualifying performance just half a second away from Dani's pole time. Rookie sensation Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V), who already has one pole position to his name already this season, managed a 1m59.980s lap to qualify seventh fastest.

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V), victorious at the last grand prix, at Istanbul qualified eighth fastest to start from the third row while his team-mate Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) struggled to place himself 15th fastest. Makoto Tamada (KONICA MINOLTA Honda RC211V) will start from 11th but Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) will have to make do with 18th - 3.302 seconds shy of pole.

Poleman Dani said, "I'm really happy because this time I went quickly on qualifying tires which is something I haven't managed so well in the previous qualifying sessions. I don't really know what was different today - it was not one specific thing - I just felt more confident with the tires, so I am happy. The session was strange because it was dry, then it rained, then it was dry again so maybe not everyone was able to perform at the same level."

His team-mate Nicky, fifth fastest, said, "The shower in the middle of qualifying screwed things up for us a little bit so we've still got a few unanswered questions for tomorrow. Last year it rained a lot too, and it's the first year here with this new bike so we could have used some more dry time to sort some stuff out, but everyone's in that same boat. My biggest issue right now is with engine braking unsettling the bike into corners. It feels good to be leading the World Championship and I'm happy with my run of consistency, so I'm looking for that next win."

Stoner, who fell without injury early in the session, said, "I had a small slip just as the rain started and then I had a problem with the front-end set-up on my spare bike, I kept losing it, so I wasn't confident to push any harder. I have a very good race set-up on my race bike but we still have to check tire life for the race distance, that's a bit of a worry at the moment. But overall I'm really happy with the weekend so far."

Marco Melandri said, "This morning we struggled to find a good feeling and worked a lot on rear suspension. We spent a lot of time trying to find a solution for that. Then, when the rain started falling we spent a bit of time waiting to see if it would dry out, but 15 minutes from the end of the session we went out on soft tires. We're not far from a solution and I'm confident for the race."

Tamada said, "I'll have to get a good start from the fourth row trying to catch the leading group of the riders because here I feel good potential. Rain did not permit us to complete the test to choose the race tyres so tomorrow morning we should finish the job during the warm-up."

Tony Elias, in 16th, said, "It was a difficult day. In the morning we were able to work in the dry, but I didn't have a good feeling with the rear of the bike. And it proved hard to find a good set-up that allowed me to feel comfortable although we can work on it in the warm-up tomorrow. It will be a difficult race and we must make a good start if we want to be with the lead group."

Kenny Roberts said, "Nothing positive came from that session. We are struggling for grip in both the wet and dry. It's a real mystery to all of us because we were making progress, we wont understand it till we take a good look at the data. We had different tyres at the post race test at Turkey and they turned things around for us but we don't have those tires here."

In the 250cc class Hector Barbera prevailed over his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (both Aprilia) to take his first pole of the season and deprive Lorenzo of what would have been his fourth consecutive pole of the season. Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) qualified third and series points leader Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) completes the front row.

Dovi's team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) qualified sixth while Arnaud Vincent (Molenaar Racing Honda RS250RW) managed 14th on the grid. The biggest disappointment is the performance of Sebastian Porto (Repsol Honda RS250RW) down in 21st on row six.

Dovi said, "I'm on the front row and this is positive, but I'm not completely satisfied with today's work. The weather conditions didn't help us, we had to change our test schedule and so we couldn't go through what we planned. If tomorrow is dry, we're going to do other tests during the morning warm-up, while we are OK in the wet. Anyway, I have a good pace in both the conditions."

Takahashi said, "Today was important because we ran in dry conditions. At the beginning, I didn't push as I was riding with a new piston. Then, unfortunately, it started raining and we lost time. As soon as I could, I put in soft tires but didn't take full advantage of them because I wanted to test harder tires for tomorrow's race. The results were positive. So I'm confident about tomorrow."

"Today is the first time I am really satisfied," said Aoyama. "I'm trying to be more relaxed in my way of riding and not riding like crazy and everything came easier to me. I set my fast time with a race tire, I have a good set-up and I have chosen the race tires already. I also have a good position on the grid so we should have a good race."

Mika Kallio (KTM) rode to his first pole position of this 2006 season in the 125cc class with Lukas Pesek (Derbi) lining up alongside the Finnish rider in second. Julian Simon (KTM) qualified third fastest with Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista completing the front row of the grid.

Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R), who was the quickest rider on track for much of the half-hour of final qualifying, eventually ended up fifth fastest rider heading up the second row. Reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) will start tomorrow's race form seventh on the grid.

Talmacsi said, "I'm happy about this practice sessions as we have made important steps forward compared to the first three Grand Prix and we have been fast since Friday morning. I think I'm competitive both on dry and wet conditions. If tomorrow is dry, during the warm up we have to do some small changes on the chassis settings, while if it's rain the bike is almost OK. So I feel confident in both the situations and I think I can do a good race tomorrow."

"The second qualifying session was my best of the weekend," said Luthi. "For me it was important to follow the riders who have been fast so far this year. I needed to make a comparison and I'm happy I can run with them even if I am a little bit down on power in some places. But the bike is good and we are making a step forward each race. I have not chosen my tires yet because we want to try a few small things in the warm-up."



Makoto TAMADA(KONICA MINOLTA Honda)


Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st:
"It's really good to be on pole position and I'm really happy because this time I went quickly on qualifying tires which is something I haven't managed so well in the previous qualifying sessions. I don't really know what was different today - it was not one specific thing - I just felt more confident with the tires, so I am happy. The session was strange because it was dry, then it rained, then it was dry again so maybe not everyone was able to perform at the same level. One important thing is that we couldn't test the race tires as much as we'd have liked. Anyway, I'll just be looking to make a good start and have a good race tomorrow. I'm not thinking about the win yet, just to perform at my maximum."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 5th:
"The shower in the middle of qualifying screwed things up for us a little bit so we've still got a few unanswered questions for tomorrow. Last year it rained a lot too, and it's the first year here with this new bike so we could have used some more dry time to sort some stuff out, but everyone's in that same boat. My biggest issue right now is with engine braking unsettling the bike into corners. This morning we were working on that, and it's a little bit frustrating but we'll come ready to get our heads down and see if we can sort something in warm-up tomorrow. It feels good to be leading the championship and I'm happy with my run of consistency, so I'm looking for that next win."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 7th:
"I had a small slip just as the rain started and then I had a problem with the front-end set-up on my spare bike, I kept losing it, so I wasn't confident to push any harder.I was doing good times at the start of the session and making progress with the set-up but the spare had different settings, so I didn't have a lot luck. I have a very good race set-up on my race bike but we still have to check tire life for the race distance, that's a bit of a worry at the moment. But overall I'm really happy with the weekend so far."

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 8th:
"This morning we struggled to find a good feeling on the Shanghai track. we worked a lot on rear suspension in order to improve my feeling with the bike. We spent a lot of time trying to find a solution for that. Then, when the rain started falling we spent a bit of time waiting to see if it would dry out, but 15 minutes from the end of the session we went out on soft tires. We must work on the suspension as I think that is where the main problem is, we're not far from a solution and I'm confident for the race. The weight balance is quite good and i hope to make a good start in order to fight for the podium."

Makoto Tamada, KONICA MINOLTA Honda: 11th:
"I am really sorry I was not able to completely exploit the qualifying tires potential to obtain a better position in the starting grid. I'll have to recover from the forth row trying to catch immediately the group of the leading riders because here I feel I can rely on a good potential. Rain did not permit us to complete the test to choose the race tires therefore, tomorrow morning we should have to finish this job during the warm up. My RC211V setting instead has already been defined and my feeling even in dry conditions is more than satisfactory."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 15th:
"It was a difficult day. In the morning we were able to work in the dry, but I didn't have a good feeling with the rear of the bike. What's more, it proved hard to find a good set-up that allowed me to feel comfortable although we can work on it in the warm-up tomorrow. It will be a difficult race tomorrow and we must make a good start if we want to be with the lead group."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 18th:
"Not really anything positive came from that session. We are struggling for grip in both the wet and dry. It's a real mystery to all of us because we were making progress, we wont understand it till we take a good look at the data. We had different tires at the post race test at Turkey and they turned things around for us but we don't have those tires here. Those tires did help improve the front end grip going into corners. Somewhere in the garage we have the answer but with losing a day to the weather at most races we are struggling to find a really good base to work from here."

250cc:

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 3rd:
"Today is the first time I am really satisfied we did a great job the team and me. I'm trying to be more relaxed in my way of riding and not riding like crazy and everything came easier to me. I set my fast time with a race tire and I have a good set up and I havechosen the race tires already. I also have a good position on the grid so we should have a good race. I don't want to say I'm aiming for the podium just to take the maximum number of points out of the race."

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 4th:
"I conquered the front row and this is positive, but I'm not completely satisfied about today's work. Unfortunately, this variable weather conditions didn't help us, we had to change our test schedule and so we couldn't go through what we planned. If tomorrow is dry, we are going to do other tests during the morning warm up, while we are okay on wet. Anyway, I have a good pace in both the conditions."

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 6th:
"Today was important because we run on dry conditions. At the beginning, I didn't push as I was riding with a new piston. Then, unfortunately, it started raining and we lost time. As soon as I could, I put soft tires but didn't take full advantage of them because I wanted to test harder tires for tomorrow's race. The results was suddenly positive. For this I'm confident about tomorrow."

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 14th:
"I had a lot of fun out there today running with Aoyama and West so I'm happy with the bike, even if its moving around under me a bit too much. I'm a little sad also because when you run as fast as I di and know you could go faster - when you are running fast times you always want more."

Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR: 16th:
"Qualifying was good for me I have a good set up an found a good rhythm. I had hoped for a top 15 place on the grid but a few guys passed me in the last couple of minutes. Hopefully I can have a good race. I have confidence in the bike after today. This morning it as under steering but the team have improved that. The engine feels good and I like the track so I think I will have a good race tomorrow."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 19th:
"We made big changes to the settings to the bike settings for today putting more weight on the front wheel. This gave me more confidence. I have to be more aggressive in qualifying change the system of working with the bike. This morning I found I could run with the fast guys in the class for a few laps it was a good experience."

Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda: 21st:
"Not too much to say I'm just not comfortable, everything is complicated. We are trying to improve trying all kinds of set up options but nothing seems to work. It's a hard situation but we will wait and see what happens in the race."

Jordi Carchano, Stop and Go Racing: Carchano will not contest the grand
prix due to injury.

125cc:

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 5th:
"I'm happy about this practice sessions as we have made important step forwards compare to the first three GPs and we have been fast since Friday morning. I think I'm competitive both on dry and wet conditions. If tomorrow is dry, during the warm up we have to do some small changes on the chassis settings, while if it's rain the bike is almost okay. So I feel confident in both the situations and I think I can do a good race tomorrow."

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 7th:
"The second qualifying session was my best of the weekend. For me it was important to follow the riders who have been fast so far this year I needed to make a comparison and I'm happy I can run with them even if I am a little bit down on power in some places. But the bike is good and we make a step forward each race. I have not chosen my tires yet because we want to try a few small things in the warm up tomorrow. A lot of things could possibly happen in the race but at this moment I think I can run with the leaders tomorrow. Maybe one or two will get away from the group but I'm not so sure about that."

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 11th:
"I'm satisfied because we have made a great job with the set up, now I'm more confident and I made some good lap time. We have still some chassis problems but I think I can make a good race tomorrow. I like this track and last year I was second... but this year the riders level is higher."

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 15th:
"The start of the session was good but when I came in to try a new tyre the feeling from the front was not good in the fast corner so I went to the box to fit a new tyre but even then the bike was moving about so we have some work to do on the chassis tonight. The engine is very good. If the chassis is OK and I get a good start I an take a lot of points out of this race."

Mike di Meglio, FFM Honda: 16th:
"The weather conditions for this afternoon's qualifying session were better than yesterday and I improved my time by two-seconds, the same as pole time for the 2005 race. Since the beginning of the season we have improved slower than the other teams but my technical staff have changed the way of working and this seems more efficient so we have improved the settings of the chassis and engine. I am quite confident for the race."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 18th:
"In the first part of qualifying it was not so good. I clashed with Koyama and had to go into the box and lost two laps. When I went out again I tried to hard and ran onto the grass at the double let corner. My second time out I was OK but not perfect. If I get a good start I will be OK because the bike is very good engine and chassis. I have already chosen my tyres for the race so I ma happy."

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 23rd:
"I'm pleased with the work we are doing and I'm finally becoming a World Championship rider. I hope the rain will not prevent this improvement. Today my Honda was very fast and I could be faster than yesterday. With another session I would have tried to improve my time but we have at disposal only the warm up and then the race! I hope to do a good race like the turkish one.but with some points!."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 28th:
"Still we didn't sort out the problems on the front-end of my bike and in the fast corners I have to close the throttle earlier, while the others can take it open. This morning, though, I could ride better on the damp asphalt, but in the afternoon on the dry the lap times in general improved and I struggled more. It will be very important to make a good start tomorrow."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 30th:
"Today didn't go so well. We put an H tire in for qualifying which was really good but it was unstable in the rear so every time I got on the gas it flicked me off the seat. I never actually felt confident at all. I pushed on the last lap and it was going quite well but the tire just kept on letting loose I just couldn't turn in the fast corners and lost so much time. It's my worst qualifying position so far, it's nothing to be happy about maybe. This will give finally give me something to concentrate on in the race and try to get a good start. I'll actually crack on in the first laps. I'm looking forward to it, even though I'm so far back I'll try to make a good start and see what happens."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 34h:
"I'm happy it's a relief after yesterday when I lost almost one complete session to a brake problem. The bike is really good the engine works well and the set up is almost perfect. In the second qualifying session I was faster with each lap and set my best lap time riding alone so I am very pleased with that. I know the front tyre I want to race with but I'm not sure about the rear till after the warm up. This is the first time I have been able to qualify with the group and I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow."


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
China Grand Prix at Shanghai Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
3 Colin EDWARDS (Camel Yamaha Team)
4 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Sete GIBERNAU (Ducati Marlboro Team)
7 Casey STONER (Honda LCR)
8 Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)
9 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
10 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
11 Makoto TAMADA (KONICA MINOLTA Honda)
12 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
13 Valentino ROSSI (Camel Yamaha Team)
14 Carlos CHECA (Tech 3 Yamaha)
15 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Honda)
16 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
17 James ELLISON (Tech 3 Yamaha)
18 Kenny ROBERTS JR (Team Roberts)
19 Jose Luis CARDOSO (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
 
250cc
1 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
3 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
6 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Humangest Racing Team)
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
8 Anthony WEST (Kiefer - Bos - Racing)
9 Jakub SMRZ (Cardion AB Motoracing)
10 Manuel POGGIALI (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
21 Sebastian PORTO (Repsol Honda)
 
125cc
1 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
2 Lukas PESEK (Derbi Racing)
3 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
4 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
5 Gabor TALMACSI (Humangest Racing Team)
6 Mattia PASINI (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
7 Thomas LUTHI (Elit - Caffe Latte)
8 Raffaele DE ROSA (Multimedia Racing)
9 Angel RODRIGUEZ (3C Racing)
10 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Malaguti Ajo Corse)
 


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