MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 04: China GP > Race Results
MotoGPChinaMay 14, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai

Dani Wins, Nicky Second in Shanghai Showdown

Qualifying >>
This MotoGP contest will be remembered as the race where the amazing Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) established himself as a new force in the top class with a debut premier category win at his fourth attempt. His team-mate Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) was second and Colin Edwards (Yamaha) was third.



Dani Pedrosa & Nicky Hayden


Casey Stoner


After unsettled weather for the two days of practice, race day was hot and dry with the track temperature at 26 degrees and ambient at 31 degrees. A modest crowd of 32,000 was in place as the lights signaled the start of this, the fourth race of the season.

Dani made the holeshot from the grid into turn one, but ran wide at the apex of the first right-hander allowing Edwards through to take the lead with the other front row qualifier John Hopkins (Suzuki) taking up second place.

With 22-laps of this 5.281km track ahead of them in debilitating conditions, this was always going to be a race where the fittest riders would prevail, and where the best set-up machines would reduce rider fatigue by a significant amount.

Edwards and Hopkins made the early running until mid-race distance when Dani, who had started from pole and dropped to fifth by lap two completed his charge to the front. At the start of lap 10 Dani used his speed along the pit straight to slip past Edwards and lead into turn one.

His team-mate Nicky, riding hard for his second career win, stuck fast to Dani in second place as the Honda duo left Edwards and Hopkins in their wake. The Americans disputing third place would eventually finish more than 14 seconds adrift of the RC211V-mounted pacesetters.

As the Honda runners exchanged fastest laps with one another as Hayden put the pressure on the leader and Pedrosa responded to it, the time dropped from Pedrosa’s initial 2m 00.205s lap to a 1m 59.318s mark, again established by Pedrosa, on the penultimate lap.

The Repsol duo were in a race of their own but there was frantic action downfield in a brutal scrap for fifth place between Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V), Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) and Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V), with Stoner, who had run off track on lap 15 and rejoined in tenth place, getting the verdict – but the paint from Tamada’s machine left on his fairing showed how hard he had to fight for that place.

At the flag five Hondas filled the top seven places with Nicky achieving his eighth consecutive podium finish to extend his World Championship points lead. But there were other significant events. Current champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who lay fifth at one stage retired from the race and the Ducati challenge also faded with one-time third-placed Sete Gibernau finishing in ninth behind his team-mate Loris Capirossi.

Dani is now the second equal youngest rider to win a premier class at 20 years and 227 days old (he shares the record with Norick Abe). He said, “Once in the lead I was always looking at the pit board and seeing zero point something. I was trying to maintain the gap but it was not easy because Nicky was pushing more and more and the tyres were losing a little grip. Winning is always very special but the level in MotoGP is higher, so this is very special for me.”

Nicky said, “I tried to go a little bit faster every lap and put some heat on Dani, but that dude just wouldn't crack! So I definitely give Dani credit because he rode a really strong race. I felt good when I kept going a little bit faster, but it just wasn't enough and when I got close to him I didn't want to do anything silly. Congratulations to the team, and not just my guys but all the guys involved in Repsol Honda, they deserve it.”

“I made a good start,” said Casey Stoner. “But then I got shunted around at turn one and then held up behind Gibernau and that destroyed my race. He had better corner exit speed and he was late on the brakes into the turns too.”

A vastly improved Makoto Tamada (6th) said, “It’s the first time this year that I’ve been able to ride my way. I had a good start but I lost some positions during the first lap. I’ve not been part of the leading group for a long time and this required me to turn some laps before finding the right feeling again. In fact my fastest lap time was set during the final lap. I really loved overtaking during the race. It has been fantastic to feel this sensation again.”

Melandri in seventh said, “I took the start from the third row and I tried to recover positions but I suffered with full tank. I didn't feel so comfortable so I did my best to score as much points as possible. I’m disappointed but I’m not demotivated and I’m confident for next week race in Le Mans.”

Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V), who finished 11th, said, “In the end we did not get the result we wanted. We had problems both in the wet and the dry. I’m confident for next race and I just hope in Le Mans things go well from the first day and I can focus on riding well. I am still very confident and if we keep working hard things will work out for us.”

Kenny Roberts Junior (Roberts KR211V) in 13th position said, “I tried as hard as I could, every lap. I could run high 2m 01s laps pushing hard but that was it. I tried different techniques squaring off the corners but just went slower that way. When I rode it like a 250 I went quicker but hit a limit and started sliding, and that was as fast as could go. Now we can look forward to Le Mans and hope the new chassis we have will be an improvement.”

The points table currently stands as: Hayden 72, Capirossi 59, Pedrosa 57, Melandri 54, Stoner 52, Rossi 40, Elias 37.

Hector Barbera (Aprilia) won a thrilling 250cc race by a mere quarter of a second from Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) as both riders fought tooth and nail for their first wins in this class after graduating from 125cc racing. Hiroshi Aoyama (KTM) was third.

Barbera and Dovi were the pace setters all race after Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) who ran with them in the very early stage of the race crashed without injury on lap three. From here on out it was to be an enthralling game of cat and mouse between the Spaniard and the Italian with a rugged fight for third between Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia), Aoyama and Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) behind the leaders.

In the final laps it became clear that Barbera held a top speed advantage over Dovi and the Honda man would have to steal a march on the Aprilia rider before they got to the three-quarter mile back chute that would most likely determine the outcome of the race.

On the final lap of this 21-lap showdown Dovi did all he could to secure a victory stealing past Barbera through a double left turn to establish a lead. But as the pair hit the back straight Barbera got a good run on Andrea and despite doing all he could to outbrake his rival Dovi trailed him over the line.

Dovi said, “This result is good in terms of the World Championship but I’ll be happier when I win a race. The rear tyre was sliding but it was the same for everyone and maybe my set-up made things easier for me too. But we are still just a bit short of power at a track like this.”

Takahashi in fifth said, “I didn’t start well and so at the beginning I lost a bit of time. Unfortunately, I kept losing in the straights too much as our engine is slower than the Aprilia but I’m happy as I was able to stay close and study where it was the best point to overtake. I think that fifth position is a good result.”

The points table shows Dovi ahead with 72 points, Barbera on 69, Lorenzo with 63 and Hiro Aoyama on 62.

Mika Kallio (KTM) triumphed in a tight 125cc race winning by one tenth of a second from Mattia Pasini in second and Alvaro Bautista third (both Aprilia). This is Kallio’s first win of the 2006 season and it elevates the Finnish rider to second in the overall standings after four races.

Kallio led from the lights before Pasini took control of lap one with Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R), who eventually finished fourth, up with the leading group. As mid-race distance of this 19-lap encounter loomed, a six-rider group had left the rest of the field in its wake.

This bunch would stay together until the flag swapping places with the regularity expected in this most closely contested class. As the group barreled down the back straight into the penultimate turn on the final lap, it was Lukas Pesek (Derbi) who took a wide entry to the tight right-hander. But he ran wide onto the grass on the exit handing the win and podium places to his rivals.

Talmacsi said, “This is the first race were really we could be competitive, because in the previous GP we weren’t in the condition to push. Here we have been fast since Friday morning and I think we are going in the right direction. We are not yet at 100% but at 90% with the set-up while the engine is competitive. Today it has been a spectacular race and I enjoyed it. The only thing is that I couldn’t do perfect lines as we have to improve on the suspension. But we are nearly there.”

A disgruntled Luthi, who retired on lap four with machine trouble, said, “ I passed Bautista at one corner but had a high side, I didn't crash but unfortunately my knee hit the battery carrier and broke it. The battery was on the engine and kept shorting out so I had no option than stop. Pity because the bike was very good today, we made a big step forward this weekend."

After four races the World Championship points table shows Alvaro Bautista ahead with 86 points, Kallio in second with 58 and Hector Faubel (Aprilia), who finished seventh here, lying third with 54 points as the riders and teams head to Le Mans in France next weekend for round five of the 17 race series.



Marco Melandri


Andrea Dovizioso


MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st
"This is a perfect result for me and it was a fantastic race for me and for the Repsol Honda team. They have been working really hard and it was a great result for both riders - so I'm really happy for the team. The race was hard and the pace was high, but the conditions today were very good and I was able to get into a good rhythm. The tyres worked very well today and so I have to thank Michelin for that. I did a good start this time but I left the braking a little bit late and I went slightly wide so I was not able to keep a tight line and lost a few positions. But I was able to pick off the positions one by one. Once in the lead I was always looking at the pit board and seeing zero point something. I was trying to maintain the gap but it was not easy because Nicky was pushing more and more and the tyres were losing a little grip. Winning is always very special but the level in MotoGP is higher, so this is very special for me."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2nd
"I tried to go a little bit faster every lap and put some heat on Dani, but that dude just wouldn't crack! So I definitely give Dani credit because he rode a really strong race. I felt good when I kept going a little bit faster, but it just wasn't enough and when I got close to him I didn't want to do anything silly. Congratulations to the team, and not just my guys but all the guys involved in Repsol Honda, they deserve it. I'm trying to be consistent in every race and every session, and while getting the points and podiums is good, I really want to win. I like to think that win's not far away. It's nice to pull out a little gap in championship but it's early days. Honda's fighting hard for this championship and I want to win so I'm looking forward to getting to Le Mans next weekend."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 5th
"I made a good start but then I got shunted around at turn one and then held up behind Gibernau and that destroyed my race. He had better corner exit speed and he was late on the brakes and there was no way to pass. I also had a lot of rear grip problems mid-corner, it wasn't the tyre, all the Honda's were the same except the factory bikes of Dani and Nicky. I made a small mistake on the brakes trying to make up time and without that I think I had the pace to challenge Edwards for the podium. It was another good result for the championship."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 6th
“It’s the first time this year that I fell I have run a race expressing my driving characteristics. I had a good start but I lost some positions during the first lap. I have not been part of the leading group since a long time and this requested me to turn some laps before finding the right feeling again in fact, I have been able to realize the fastest time during the last lap.I really loved making different over takings during the race. It has been fantastic to feel this sensation again.”

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 7th
"It has been a difficult weekend complicated by the changeable weather conditions. We struggled a lot to find a good set up and we didn't succeed to find a good solution. I took the start from the third row and I tried to recover positions but I suffered with full tank. I didn't feel so comfortable so I did my best to score as much points as possible. I'm disappointed but I'm not demotivated and I'm confident for next week race in Le Mans."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 11th
"I'm not happy because we struggled a lot during the whole weekend and despite we worked hard, we couldn't find some good solutions in order to improve my feeling with the bike. We suffered both on wet and dry conditions. Despite the problems we had, I think it's a positive moment because now we can analyse the problems. I know our potential and I look forward to go to Le Mans.

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 13th
"I tried as hard as I could, every lap. I could run high 2m 01s laps pushing hard but that was it. I tried different techniques squaring off the corners but just went slower that way. When I rode it like a 250 I went quicker but hit a limit and started sliding that was as fast as could go. Now we can look forward to Le Mans and hope the new chassis we have will be an improvement. "


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 2nd
"I think it was quite clear the different between the two bikes. I did my best especially in the last laps in order to stay close. I'm happy because I rode very well even though I wasn't the first to cross the chequered flag. We can arrive in front with my Honda but not win and it will be even harder in the fast tracks. Anyway, I'm leading the championship and this is positive but I'm more happy when I win. For this reason, I don't smile so much. I tried to stay in front in the last lap because in the previous laps I noticed that he was too much faster staying behind my lines and, also, I hoped in a mistake. But it didn't happened and I finished second. The next GP is going to take place at Le Mans, which I quite like and mostly it's a slower track".

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 5th
"I didn't start well and so at the beginning I lost a bit of time. Despite we tested on dry only yesterday and this morning, my team did a great job finding the best set-up and choosing the right tyres. Unfortunately, I kept losing in the straights too much as our engine is less fast than the Aprilia but I'm happy as I was able to stay close and study where it was the best point to overtake. I think that fifth position is a good result".

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 8th
"Things have worked out very good this time, but I've been extra careful because I didn't want to make any mistake. I wanted to avoid touching any other rider and crashing. The consequence was that many riders passed me in the first lap so I dropped down to eleventh after the first lap. But I had made my mind up, I have crashed in the first lap of two out of three races and it could not happen again today. I'm satisfied with the race, especially because I've gathered a lot of information which is going to be very useful, both for my team and myself, but I can't say that I'm happy for finishing eighth."

Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR: 13th
"The race was good for me. My start was good and I found a decent rhythm but after the mid-race point my rear tyre was so badly used up that I was sliding around and I had to let Guintoli and then Poggiali go."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 19th
"I expected to have a fast rhythm in the race but couldn't find it. I also chose a rear tyre that had too hard a compound which didn't help me. During the race while I was running with Porto it was good but when he pulled in I was left to ride out the race alone. I am not really happy with my today."

Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda: dnf - handling problem
"The truth is that it's been rally bad. We've had lot of problems which we have not been able to solve along the weekend. I've tried to do my best today, but it's been really hard to ride the bike. Well, we have to keep on working. I've always been optimistic. Let's hope that we'll be able to find a solution. This race is over and now we have to focus on the next grand prix, at Le Mans."

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: dnf - crash
"There is not much to say. In the fist corner Simoncelli hit me and broke my exhaust pipe. Pity because the bike was working really good in qualifying. That's three races now without any championship points, I hope things get better at my home GP at Le Mans."

Jordi Carchano, Stop and Go Racing: Carchano did not race due to injury.


125cc:

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: dnf - electrical problem
"I got a good start and was running with the lead group. I was in behind Bautista but he looked uncomfortable at some places, I think he had a hard compound rear tyre. Anyway, I passed him at one corner but had a high side, I didn't crash but unfortunately my knee hit the battery carrier and broke it. The battery was on the engine and kept shorting out so I had no option than stop. Pity because the bike was very good today, we made a big step forward this weekend."

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 4th
"This is the first race where really we could be competitive, because in the previous GP we weren't in the conditions to push. Here we have been fast since Friday morning and I think we are going in the right direction. We are not yet at 100% but at 90% with the set-up while the engine is competitive. Today it has been a spectacular race and I enjoyed it. The only thing is that I couldn't do perfect lines as we have to improve on the suspension. But we are nearly there."

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 8th
"I started well from the third row and after the first lap I was already sixth. I was 6th till the 4th lap. Then the first group began to push harder. We need some more power to be competitive for the podium but we are on the right way and the continuous improvement shows that".

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: 15th
“I didn't take a very good start and so I couldn't catch the right group of riders. I was in 13th - 14th place. I had to force the tyres because I couldn't hold my line. I also lacked engine power in the race today but scored a point. We are a brand new team and we have to work hard to improve the bike.”

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 16th
"Very bad, I just don't understand what's happening this year. Four races and I'm still no points. This week I worked so hard but even if my start was not too bad but using the slipstream I could not pass down the straight, I had to try to out-brake people. I just don't know what I have to do, it's so difficult to understand."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 17th
"My start was not so bad and I was able to run with the group but I couldn't get away from them on the straight in the slipstream battle. I got hit a couple of times which didn't help. The bike was good today the only small problems I had came at the end of the race when the engine was running a little rich and the back tyre was finished and was sliding."

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 18th
"This is my best race till today and I’m satisfied of my performance improvement. At the begin of the Championship I was the first to brake in the curves, today I could even pass the other braking. There was an hard fight with Espargaro and Cortese, more experienced riders than me, but now I know I can ride whit them. It is a pity only for the first Championship points...".

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 22nd
"I'm more happy than I was yesterday. Twenty-second is a lot better than thirtieth. I'm happy with the way I rode but I'm not happy with the things that have been pointed out to me. To do a 14.04 on the last lap is stupid really, I should be doing that in the beginning not riding around 16 or 15, but that's what I've done so I can't change that. The race is over but this is the way to go through my first season. For the next race I'll tell them to put it all together like in a package and take it Le Mans. It's difficult, it's definitely difficult, I'm not saying it's easy, but we'll keep on pushing."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 27th
"I'm super happy with my race so much better than Turkey. My start was not so good but I passed a few guys on the first few laps. Now I am closer the group and that's a big step forward for me."

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: dnf - electrical problem
"I got a good start and was running with the lead group. I was in behind Bautista but he looked uncomfortable at some places, I think he had a hard compound rear tyre. Anyway, I passed him at one corner but had a high side, I didn't crash but unfortunately my knee hit the battery carrier and broke it. The battery was on the engine and kept shorting out so I had no option than stop. Pity because the bike was very good today, we made a big step forward this weekend."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: dnf - crash
"We had setting problems during the all week end, but this morning we found the right way in the warm up, in fact I finished 21st. For the race, though, we made another adjustment, but we made it worst: the bike was moving around and I sliding to much. Then, it high-sided me on the fast corner on the right."


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai


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



Dani Pedrosa & Nicky Hayden
250cc
1 Hector BARBERA / Fortuna Aprilia
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team
3 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM GP 250
4 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
5 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team
6 Marco SIMONCELLI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
7 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth
8 Shuhei AOYAMA / Repsol Honda
9 Anthony WEST / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
10 Jakub SMRZ / Cardion AB Motoracing
11 Manuel POGGIALI / Red Bull KTM GP 250
12 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
13 Martin CARDENAS / Wurth Honda BQR
14 Alex BALDOLINI / Matteoni Racing
15 Dirk HEIDOLF / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
 
125cc
1 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM GP 125
2 Mattia PASINI / Master - MVA Aspar Team
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Gabor TALMACSI / Humangest Racing Team
5 Julian SIMON / Red Bull KTM GP 125
6 Lukas PESEK / Derbi Racing
7 Hector FAUBEL / Master - MVA Aspar Team
8 Fabrizio LAI / Valsir Seedorf Racing
9 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA / Malaguti Ajo Corse
10 Simone CORSI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
11 Sergio GADEA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
12 Raffaele DE ROSA / Multimedia Racing
13 Andrea IANNONE / Campetella Racing Junior
14 Joan OLIVE / SSM Racing
15 Mike DI MEGLIO / FFM Honda Grand Prix 125
 


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