MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 07: Catalunya GP > Race Results
MotoGPCatalunyaJune 18, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo

Hayden Ups Series Lead in Crash-Strewn Race

Qualifying >>

In perfect conditions, before a crowd of 107,000 sun-baked race fans, the seventh race of this year’s MotoGP World Championship unfolded in dramatic fashion. A first turn six-bike pile-up from the start resulted in a restarted race, which was won by Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) second, and Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) an encouraging third.



Nicky Hayden


Kenny Roberts Jnr


Six riders went down in the first turn incident at the start. Among them Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V), the two Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau, John Hopkins (Suzuki), and Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki).

As marshals attended to the stricken riders and machine debris, the red flags went out and a restarted race, reduced from 25-laps to 24, was scheduled for the off half an hour later than the usual 2:00pm start. Sixteen riders lined up including Pedrosa, Hopkins and de Puniet. But there was no Melandri, who was taken to hospital with neck and shoulder injuries, without Capirossi who was admitted with a bruised abdomen, and with no Gibernau, who has damaged a plate holding together his left collarbone, a legacy of a previous accident.

Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) had sped into the lead at the original start and the Aussie did exactly the same when the lights went out at the restart. He was closely followed into turn one by John Hopkins (Suzuki), Hayden and Kenny Roberts. Nicky soon moved up to second place setting an early fastest lap of the race as he did so.

Rossi, who had consolidated fifth place by lap three, moved to fourth on lap four, while Pedrosa was circulating in ninth. By lap seven there was already a six-rider group at the head of the field, which comprised Stoner, Hayden, Rossi, now third, Hopkins, Roberts and Vermeulen.

By the next lap Rossi has secured second spot from Hayden and on the next tour of this demanding 4.727km track Rossi was in the lead having taken Stoner at turn one. Casey then crashed, without injury, entering the stadium section, and it was then left to Hayden to make chase.

This Hayden duly did, setting a fastest lap of the race on lap ten. Rossi and Hayden now had a 1.1 second advantage over Hopkins and Roberts, followed by Pedrosa. This trio was now one second ahead of Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V), who crashed on the same lap.

On lap 11 Pedrosa went down at turn one while holding fifth. It was a war of attrition, with a mere 11 riders left on track. Although Dani remounted he pitted on lap 12 and did not re-emerge to contest this torrid race.

Now, at mid-race distance, it became a straight fight between Rossi and Hayden for the win. The pair held a four second advantage over Roberts and Hopkins who were dueling fiercely over the third-placed podium slot. It would all come down to the final few laps.

In the final four laps Rossi gradually moved clear of Hayden and he won by 4.509 seconds as he took the flag. Hayden was well clear of Roberts, who in turn was more than four seconds ahead of Hopkins.

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) finished seventh, while there were four Honda non-finishers among the eight riders who failed to complete this punishing race.

Nicky said, “There was a lot of drama at the first corner, but I just had to stay focused – that’s my job. Luckily it seems like everyone’s OK, which is really important. Rossi was playing today – he was saving his tyres. So I knew it was going to be hard to stay with him at the end of the race, especially the hotter it got out there because that made traction an even bigger issue. Somewhere along the way consistency won’t be enough though – I want to win some races.”

A delighted Kenny said, “It’s great to be here because in the winter I thought I would be at home sitting on the couch watching the races till my Dad called and asked if I wanted to ride his bike with a Honda engine and Michelin tyres. You bet I did. We got the bike working 50% at Le Mans, 75% at Mugello and then 100% at the test after Mugello. This is just the start – when the team gets a second rider we will really go places.”

Tamada said. “This time I really had a good start and this permitted me not to be involved in the huge crash at the first corner. Even the second start was positive, I could immediately recover some positions, but later I start suffering from a strong traction lack I was not able to accelerating hard when exiting each corner I had to partialize the gas to avoid useless sliding.”

A disconsolate Dani said, “Today was not my day. We were very unlucky at the first start – but even in that moment I was the lucky one because I was totally unhurt after the crash, and that’s the most important thing. But also the other lucky thing was that I could take part in the second race. We had some more problems at the restart with Vermeulen and the race was restarted again. So I think there was too much confusion and this caused me to lose a little bit of concentration.”

Elias said, “It was a race to forget. I’m sorry for Marco and I wish him a speedy recovery. I got a good start and tried to stay with the lead group, riding around the traction problems and just giving it my all. I had a good pace but I just lost the front and went down. It was a real shame and I’m disappointed because I was riding well and could have got a good result.”

Stoner said, “I’m not happy, not just because of my mistake, but because of everything today. I feel for all the riders who crashed. Not a good situation, I saw all the incidents on replay. I got a good a start and everything, even though the track was slick today. But even when Valentino came past, I was going at my own pace and everything felt comfortable.”

Melandri said, “I didn’t get away from the line well but I made up a few positions – and then the crash – I don’t remember anything else. I’ve got a lot of pain coming from my shoulder but I’m conscious and my memory should improve over time. I want to say thanks to Doctor Costa and all the staff who looked after me and stayed by my side.”

As this intense series nears the halfway point of the season Hayden heads the standings with 119 points to second-placed Capirossi’s 99. Rossi now lies third with 90 points, Melandri fourth on 89, Dani remains in touch with 86 and Stoner sits in sixth with 65.

Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) won a nail-biting 250cc race from Jorge Lorenzo in second and Alex de Angelis third (both Aprilia) to record his first win in the class since moving up as World 125cc Champion in 2004.

The Italian qualified on pole and was always convinced he had the speed to shine here. But it was a tough race. Roberto Locatelli (Aprilia) led into turn one and Dovi, who did not get the best of starts, made a masterful manoeuvre up the inside of the pack at turn five to take second.

He then set an early fastest lap of 1m 47.420 seconds on lap three and took the lead to head a three-rider group including Locatelli and de Angelis. Alex Debon (Aprilia), standing in for the injured Hector Barbera, was ahead of his team-mate Lorenzo in fourth, but the pair were three seconds adrift of the leaders.

As mid-race distance approached the lead group dropped their pace as first de Angelis and then Locatelli led, and as the final laps were reeled off, a gap that had been more than three seconds had been reduced to 0.5 seconds as Lorenzo, who had overhauled Debon, closed on the leaders.

With the home crowd willing him on, Lorenzo was in touch with two laps to go. Into turn one on the final lap, Dovi leapt from third to first on the brakes, Locatelli was pushed wide and then it was just Dovi, Lorenzo, who was now second, and de Angelis left to fight it out. Dovi held on to a well-deserved lead to win, and match Max Biaggi’s 1996 record of seven podiums in the opening seven races of a season.

Dovi said, “In France, I pushed very hard throughout the whole race in order to improve the gap, but I wore out the tyres and so I lost the race at the photo-finish. For this reason, I decided to slow down even though I knew Lorenzo was closing the gap. The last lap has been wonderful and tonight I want to celebrate this victory along with my friends. I’ve been told I matched Biaggi’s record made in ’96 – this is a positive because he has been a great rider in the 250cc class.”

His team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) finished seventh and said, “I made a good start, but in the first part of the race I didn’t have a good feeling with the front of the bike. When I was behind Lorenzo I took some risks and so I slowed down. But then, from halfway on things went much better and I was able to run with the same lap times as the top riders even with worn tyres. For this reason I’m happy, and also motivated for next race.”

Martin Cardenas (Würth Honda RS250RW) was tenth, while Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) crashed out of the race in the early laps. Dovi has now increased his lead at the top of the points table and has 133 points to Lorenzo’s 108, with Takahashi third on 89 points.

Local man Alvaro Bautista won a typically fraught 125cc race from his Aprilia team-mates Hector Faubel and Sergio Gadea, making it an all-Spanish podium. The fourth member of the team, Italian Mattia Pasini was fourth.

Bautista started from pole, but was headed into turn one on the opening lap by Pablo Nieto (Aprilia). Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R), who started from 10th on the grid, had hoisted himself to second by lap two and the Swiss World Champion looked as if he had the speed to stick with the leader.

As early as the fourth lap a nine-rider group had broken away from the pack, but by mid-race that group had been whittled down to just six men: Bautista, Pasini, Lukas Pesek (Derbi) Hector Faubel, Sergio Gadea and Luthi. Fabrizio Lai (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R) had been in the group but was now off the pace and finished tenth.

As the final laps unfolded Bautista upped the lap times to a level where only his team-mates could remotely cope with the increase in speed. This is his third win of the season so far and he leads the World Championship with 144 points to Mika Kallio’s 88 – the KTM rider only completed two laps of the race. Luthi, who finished sixth, lies seventh with 54 points.

He said, “I got with the fast group and was comfortable. Acceleration was good but I was a little down on top speed but I was confident I could get a podium. But with three laps to go I had some big slides on the two fast right-hand corners. I knew then I could not win so I took as many points as possible from the race.”

Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R), who was eighth, said, “We’re improving but I need a bit more acceleration as today I couldn’t pass Nieto. I tried every strategy but I was slower even when I was behind him and so I lost time and couldn’t stay with the front group. We are not so far away, but we have to make another step forward in order to fight for the top positions.”



Makoto Tamada


Andrea Dovizioso


MotoGP

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
“Sure I want to win, but I’m kinda happy with being able to run that pace today because I’ve struggled a bit all weekend. I was 10th in the warm up this morning and 10th on Friday, and I knew today that when the light went out I really had to find some speed and really dig in to recover as best I could. So I was really happy to be able to raise my game. There was a lot of drama at the first corner, but I just had to stay focussed, that’s my job, and luckily it seems like everyone’s ok, which is really important. Rossi was playing today – he had more in the tank and was saving his tyres so I knew it was going to be hard to stay with him at the end of the race, especially the hotter it got out there because that made traction an even bigger issue. I wanted to be smart and stay consistent today – I can’t afford to have any off-days. Somewhere along the way consistency won’t be enough though - I want to win some races.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 3rd.
“What I wanted didn’t really happen today. I’m not really confident in myself in the beginning of the race but I’m getting there. In the race I was running with John (Hopkins) but I didn’t know if there was somebody behind him. When I let him passed I realized we were alone. So I kept pushing and passed him down the straight with Honda power, it was awesome. It’s great to be here because in the winter I thought I would be at home sitting on the couch watching the races till my Dad called and asked if I wanted to ride his bike with a Honda engine and Michelin tyres. You bet I did. We got the bike working 50% at Le Mans, 75% at Mugello and then 100% at the test after Mugello. This is just the start, when the team get a second rider we will really go places.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 7th.
“This time I really had a good start and this permitted me not to be involved in the huge crash at the first corner. Even the second start was positive, I could immediately recover some positions, but later I start suffering from a strong traction lack I was not able to accelerating hard when exiting each corner I had to partialize the gas to avoid useless sliding.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash damage.
“What can I say? I think today was not my day. We were very unlucky at the first start – but even in that moment I was the lucky one because I was totally unhurt after the crash, and that’s the most important thing. But also the other lucky thing was that I could take part in the second race. We had some more problems at the restart with Vermeulen and the race was restarted again. So I think there was too much confusion this caused me to lose a little bit of concentration - and I was nervous too by now. I made a bad start second time round but I was actually quite calm to make my way through the field and overtake one by one. But then I crashed - I don’t know why because I was not going so fast at that moment. Anyway, we must look forward to the next race and try to get a better result there.”

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: dnf – crash.
"I didn't get away from the line well but I made up a few positions and then the crash - I don't remember anything else. I've got a lot of pain coming from my shoulder but I am concious and my memory should improve over time. I want to say thanks to Doctor Costa and all the Clinica Mobile staff who looked after me and stayed by my side."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: dnf
"It was a race to forget. I'm sorry for Marco and I wish him a speedy recovery. I got a good start and tried to stay with the lead group, riding around the traction problems and just giving it my all. I had a good pace but I just lost the front and went down. It was a real shame and I'm disappointed because I was riding well and could have got a good result.

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: dnf – crash.
“I’m not happy, not just because I made a mistake but because of everything that happened today. I’m feeling for all the guys who crashed and it wasn’t a good situation during the stoppage, I saw all the incidents on replay. I made a very good start and I was doing it easy, even though the track was a bit slick today. When Valentino came past I was happy to do my own pace and wait for the race to unfold, I was feeling comfortable.


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 1st.
“At the beginning of the last lap, Aprilia riders overtook me on the straight and so I had to recover in the braking points. I was able to take the lead braking incredibly hard, do my pace and nobody was able to pass me back. It has been quite long time since my last victory and I did it with this incredible overtaking, it is very special for me. But this time I took some risks. At the beginning I tried to go away, but the gap I was able to build in the turns I lost in the straight and so, thinking about what happen in Le Mans, I changed my strategy. In France, I pushed very hard throughout the whole race in order to improve the gap, but I wore out the tyres and so I lost the race at the photo-finish. For this reason, I decided to slow down even though I knew Lorenzo was closing the gap. The last lap has been wonderful and tonight I want to celebrate this victory along with my friends. I’ve been told I matched Biaggi’s record made in 96: this is for sure positive because he has been a great rider in 250cc. Next week we are going to Assen, which is a track I like even though last year I struggled a lot. But this year we are definitely more competitive and the feeling with the team is perfect. I want to thank all the guys that work with me!”.

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 7th.
“I made a good start, but in the first part of the race I didn’t have a good feeling with the front of the bike. When I was behind Lorenzo I took some risks and so I slowed down. But then, on the half way on things went much better and I was able to run with the same lap times of the top riders even with worn tyres. For this reason, I’m happy and also motivated for next race. Congratulations to Andrea, he did a great race today”.

Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR: 10th.
“That was a very good race for me. My start was not so special and in the beginning I found it difficult to get a good rhythm. The bike was very good today the set up just about perfect and the engine was consistently fast for the whole race. At about half race distance I was riding well and in a very good rhythm I caught the group and eventually managed to get tenth place.”

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 14th.
“After my no-so-good qualifying I was fast off the start and was fast enough to catch, then follow the group in front of me. The bike was so much better than qualifying, I had a very good engine today. But as the race went on I could feel the rear tyre sliding and I could not go any faster.”

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: 15th.
“I got a good start but the group in front of me were too fast at the start of the race and I could not stay with them. I raced almost all the way with Arnaud Vincent. He has so much experience and I learned a lot from him in that race. We passed and re-passed each other many times. My bike was a little faster than his so I had to check I could pass him out of the slipstream before the line if he was leading into the last lap. I managed to do it. I’m happy for the team because they have worked hard to get me here.”

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 16th.
“I gave my maximum every lap and only over the last two laps did I have problems with the ribs I cracked in my Mugello crash. The bike was good today suspension, tyres and chassis set up was good. My engine was better than yesterday but not as good as my best engine.”

Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda: Sebastian Porto has announced his retirement from racing.

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash.

"It's been a shame. We had some problems this morning with the first bike and I had to take the start of the race with bike number two, so even if the set-up was the same, the bike didn't work the same way. I made a good start but I lost some positions in the first corner; I guess it's because I still have what happened in Turkey in my mind. On lap number four, my
bike's steering closed in the last left-hander of the circuit and that was the end of my race. I'm sorry for my team, for Alberto and for Repsol because the race here was like a home race for them."


125cc:

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 6th.
“My start was so-so but I had a great first corner and passed a few riders on the outside. I got with the fast group and was comfortable. Acceleration was good but I was a little down on top speed but I was confident I could get a podium. But with three laps to go I had some big slides on the two fast right hand corners. I knew then I could not win so I took as many points as possible from the race.”

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 8th.
“We are improving but I need a bit more of acceleration as today I couldn't pass Nieto. I tried every strategy but I was slower even behind him and so I lost time and couldn't stay with the front group. We are not so far away, but we have to make another step forward in order to fight for the top positions".

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 19th.
“I was behind the first big crash and lost time. Then I got into a race with De Meglio. Our bikes were pretty equal and we were running the same speed I would get passed him on the brakes and he would pass me out of the slipstream. My bike was very good today and the result could have been better but for that crash.”

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 10th.
"As usual I started very well recovering some positions. I tried to keep the pace of the leaders but my Honda wasn’t fast as the other bikes. I think that Luthi’s Honda is faster and has something more than mine. However I have a good feeling with my team and we are working in the right direction to reach good results in the next races".

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 16th.

"I'm happy in a sense, I did a good race but I'm not happy for missing out on the points. I had a good start and did a good first lap, and I learned a lot from the first lap. I realised how hard you've got to push; the limit that you got to beat, and that if you're in the top group it's much easier than when your fighting with people that aren't as fast so I'm happy in that way but disappointed because I didn't get any points."

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: 18th.
"I did not have a good race. My start was not so bad but I had no feeling with the bike and was not confident. I could not catch the second group and could not get a better result."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 25th.

"Today I was unlucky as I knew I could do well here. I made a strong start, recover many positions and in the first lap I was almost in 15th place. Then, though, two riders in front of me collided and I went wide in order to avoid them. So, I lost many positions and couldn't recover so much. Anyway it has been quite positive today as we made a big step forward in
the chassis set-up".

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 29th.
“It was again Grotzky who got in my way and ruined my race. He hit me last week and did it again today. I was of the track and lost a lot of time and its difficult to make up time round here when you are racing alone. The next race is Assen so I hope for better things..”

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: dnf
"I started in the back and it was impossibile for me avoid the big group of riders in the first corner. Someone hit against me and I ran onto the grass losing imprtant seconds. When I rejoned the race my painful right knee didn’t permitted me to ride well and I preferred to entered in the pit lane".

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – clutch problem.
“This morning in the warm up the things began to get better for me I felt I would ride well today the engine had a very good feeling. I was OK in the beginning of the race but after about eight laps the clutch broke and I had to stop. It’s a shame because the team and mechanics have worked so hard. When we get to Assen w have to keep working on the line we found in the warm up today.”

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf- crash.
“I had a crash on the first lap ad was out of the race. I was on the outside of Terol and we clashed. I was on the gas when we hit so I lost the rear end when the wheel hit the grass.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI / Camel Yamaha Team
2 Nicky HAYDEN / Repsol Honda Team
3 Kenny ROBERTS JR / Team Roberts
4 John HOPKINS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
5 Colin EDWARDS / Camel Yamaha Team
6 Chris VERMEULEN / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
7 Makoto TAMADA / Konica Minolta Honda
8 Carlos CHECA / Tech 3 Yamaha
9 James ELLISON / Tech 3 Yamaha
10 Alex HOFMANN / Pramac d'Antín MotoGP
11 Jose Luis CARDOSO / Pramac d'Antín MotoGP



Nicky Hayden
250cc
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team
2 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
3 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth
5 Alex DEBON / Fortuna Aprilia
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM GP 250
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team
8 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
9 Anthony WEST / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
10 Martin CARDENAS / Wurth Honda BQR
11 Manuel POGGIALI / Red Bull KTM GP 250
12 Andrea BALLERINI / Campetella Racing
13 Jules CLUZEL / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
14 Arturo TIZON / Wurth Honda BQR
15 Fabricio PERREN / Stop And Go Racing Team
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
2 Hector FAUBEL / Master - MVA Aspar Team
3 Sergio GADEA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Mattia PASINI / Master - MVA Aspar Team
5 Lukas PESEK / Derbi Racing
6 Thomas LUTHI / Elit - Caffe Latte
7 Pablo NIETO / Multimedia Racing
8 Gabor TALMACSI / Humangest Racing Team
9 Joan OLIVE / SSM Racing
10 Fabrizio LAI / Valsir Seedorf Racing
11 Nicolas TEROL / Derbi Racing
12 Raffaele DE ROSA / Multimedia Racing
13 Pol ESPARGARO / Team RACC Derbi
14 Manuel HERNANDEZ / Nocable Angaia Racing
15 Lorenzo ZANETTI / Skilled I.S.P.A. Racing Team
 

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