MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 09: British GP > Race Results
MotoGPU.K.July 2, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 9
Great Britain Grand Prix at Donington Park

Pedrosa Powers to Second Win, Hayden Seventh

Qualifying >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) scored a convincing win at Donington Park to notch his second victory in his rookie year and put himself firmly in the hunt for the World Championship. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was second and Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) third.



Dani Pedrosa & Marco Melandri


Marco Melandri


In bright sunshine, despite a vicious rain shower on the morning of the race at 7:00am, riders lined up for 30-laps of this sweeping 4.023km track. And it was Melandri from third on the grid who led into Redgate on lap one with Pedrosa on his tail and Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) up with them in third.

As the field negotiated that crucial first lap, John Hopkins (Suzuki) relieved Stoner of third place down through the spectacular Craner Curves with his team-mate Chris Vermeulen now in fourth with Stoner fifth. Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) was demonstrating the progress made with the Honda-powered KR bike holding sixth on lap one.

Melandri held his lead as lap two began with Pedrosa hard on his tail and Stoner working on getting past Hopkins. But Melandri and Dani showed they had the pace to leave the field as Hopkins gradually but visibly lost ground as the early order settled.

Pedrosa was anxious to pass Marco by lap four, but his eagerness nearly got the better of him on the next lap as he lined up a pass at the Melbourne hairpin and then and wobbled wide. Dani was lucky to stay on the machine, but incredibly he was still third as lap six began.

Dani then set a fastest lap of 1m 29.465s as he retrieved the ground he had lost. At this stage World Championship series leader Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V), who was circulating in seventh after a compromised qualifying performance, made an error at Foggy’s Esses in his bid to claw his way up the order and rejoined the race in 11th.

Kenny then set a fastest lap of 1m 29.351s on lap eight as Dani blasted past Hopkins to begin working on Marco for the lead. By lap ten Kenny had disposed of Hopkins for third place and two laps later Dani had taken the lead he was never to relinquish.

In the space of just one lap Dani, with a clear track, extended his advantage over Marco from 0.6 seconds to 1.5 seconds, setting a fastest lap of 1m 28.7s in the process. There was now only a battle for second place – Dani was long gone.

In the closing laps Dani eased back to secure his win, but from laps 17 to 23 Dani was circulating almost a quarter of a second faster than anyone else on track. But the three rider group of Melandri, Roberts and Stoner fighting for second were holding each other up allowing Rossi, who had gained on them, to catch them and enter the fray.

Melandri had a huge moment at McLeans when he hit the kerb with his knee, but miraculously the Italian stayed on to stay in the running. As Rossi and Melandri slugged it out for second, Stoner and Roberts lost ground and it was left to the last lap for this dispute to be concluded.

Marco dived past Rossi at the Foggy Esses and looked to be able to hold the advantage until he went wide at the Melbourne Hairpin allowing Rossi past again to hold second at the flag. Dani would have been blissfully unaware of all this as he took the flag 3.86 seconds ahead of Rossi, having eased off the gas in the final laps.

Dani said, “I’m happy because this was almost the perfect weekend the team did a great job in every session. When I tried to overtake Marco I braked but I couldn’t stop the machine so I was getting closer and closer to him and he was about to turn in. I was saying, ‘please leave room!’ and luckily he did. Then I was able to get back in front. I didn’t know at that point if I could open up a gap because this class is really close, but at the end I slowed down a little bit to be careful. I think the English crowd enjoyed the race, and this British weather is really good!”

Marco said, “That was so hard at every single point of the track. I was tired but I just told myself I had to keep going. I wasn’t happy about the first part of the race because I got a good start and then started sliding around a lot with a full tank of fuel. But in the last six laps the rear tyre got better and allowed me to get into a better rhythm. I fought hard for second, but just missed out.”

Casey, in fourth, said, “I got a good start and then got shuffled back by the Suzuki’s. I thought I could pull it back but they tyre didn’t want to seem to kick in. I had a hard time finding enough drive. I was a bit far away at the end but we’ve just got to keep going the way we are. I didn’t get a podium when I might have done, but that’s the way it goes.”

Fifth-placed Roberts said, “I got away OK, but then the balance of the bike shifted its bias forward and then back. The flowing sections were tough and braking good and then the opposite. I really tried but didn’t want to risk not finishing here. I saw Marco hit the kerb and lose the front and he did a fantastic job saving it. This bike had a podium in it today, but I didn’t quite get it there.”

Hayden finished seventh and said, “It’s been a tough weekend and things didn’t quite go for us here. I was coming through the field and making up some places when I made a mistake, got into the chicane bit hot and went straight on. That hurt, but I got back on the track, put my head down and clawed back a few places. We’ll regroup now, think about what didn’t go so well this weekend, and try to do better at the Sachsenring. Everyone in the team worked really hard this weekend we’ll come back strong at the next race.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) finished 11th and said, “I started the race with different settings to those I used in qualifying. My start was not so bad but I was wide in the first corner. The bike was understeering in the fast corners today but not as much as yesterday. After the opening laps I held the same position for almost the whole race."

Former WCM rider Michel Fabrizio, standing in for the injured Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V), did not start after breaking a collar-bone in practice. Elias is expected to return to action in Germany in two weeks time.

The World Championship now looks like this after nine of 17 rounds: Hayden 153, Pedrosa 127, Rossi 118, Melandri 114.

Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) closed in on series leader Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) when he won the 250cc Grand Prix by an easy margin from Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) in second with Hiro Aoyama (KTM) third.

Dovi fell on lap 17 while shadowing Lorenzo in second. But the indomitable Italian, who has now failed to reach the podium for the first time this year, managed to remount and finish in the points in sixth place.

Lorenzo and Dovi were in a class of their own here, leading the field from the opening lap and pulling away from de Angelis and Aoyama to enjoy a six second cushion over their pursuers until Dovi’s mistake left Lorenzo a clear run to the flag.

Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) was another rider to fall and remount in this race. The Japanese fell on lap 25 of this 27-lap encounter and managed to rejoin the race for a points finish in 13th.

The World Championship points standings now show Dovi hanging onto his series lead with 159 points from Lorenzo in second with 158. De Angelis lies third with 111 while Hiro Aoyama and Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW), who finished seventh, share fourth place with 108 points each.

Dovi said, “I’m still leading the Championship, but it doesn’t seem worth so much now as the gap with the Aprilias is too big. Today Lorenzo was fast and I did my best to stay close to him like I’ve been doing since the beginning. If I didn’t ride this way, I wouldn’t be leading now. When I crashed out I spent a few laps getting on the pace again because the footrest was damaged and one of the handlebars wasn’t in the right position.”

Takahashi said, “I did a good start but I struggled to get a good rhythm. The set-up of the bike wasn’t perfect and the track conditions were different from the previous two days; I think for this reason I was competitive in some parts of the circuit and less so in others. I made few mistakes and this didn’t help at all. The next race is at Sachsenring, which is a circuit I like where we can get a better result.”

Aoyama said, “I made a good start and I was fifth behind de Angelis and my brother, but on the third lap I made a mistake, braking too late and I lost contact with them. Then I stayed with Locatelli and we lapped together almost throughout the race. When there were three laps left I pushed a bit harder to get closer to Locatelli, but I lost the front-end. It’s my fault and I’m very sorry for the team.”

Runaway series leader Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) won the 125cc race from Mika Kallio (KTM) who snatched second from Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) at the final turn on the last lap. Bautista has now registered four wins so far this season and looks in unmatchable form at this stage of the season.

Kallio led into turn one followed by Pasini and Bautista, but it only took three laps for the Spanish series leader to establish himself at the front with a series of fastest laps – and from then on the race was his barring any mishaps – and he made no mistakes.

His margin of victory after 25-laps was 3.45 seconds but this is scant evidence of his domination here today. He now leads the World Championship on 185 points to Mika Kallio in second with 133. Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) lies third with 114 and Pasini fourth with 112.

Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) finished eighth and said, “That was a hard race, a really hard race. I had a small problem with front-end chatter in three fast corners and lost time but I made up a lot for that on the brakes. I feel fine now so it proves I’m back to my best physically, only my hands are a little stiff.”

Fifteen-year-old British rider Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) scored a 12th place finish and said, “I’m really, really happy, I scored my first points. I’d given myself the opportunity with that 13th place on the grid and everything was looking absolutely positive to do a good race. It was a tough race and it took a long time to find my pace.”



Casey Stoner


Makoto Tamada


MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st.
“I’m happy because this was almost the perfect weekend the team did a great job in every session. My start was good and then I pushed really hard and tried to get past Marco but it was not so easy. When I tried to overtake I braked but I couldn’t stop the machine so I was getting closer and closer to him and he was about to turn in. I was saying, “please leave room!” and luckily he did. Then I was able to get back in front. I didn’t know at that point if I could open up a gap because this class is really close, but at the end I slowed down a little bit to be careful. I’m really pleased with the win and I think the English crowd enjoyed the race too, and this British weather is really good! I’m not looking at the championship position because that’s not my target this year. My focus is still on getting the best performance from myself and taking profit from my opportunities.”

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 3rd.

"Today was an incredible day! Bearing in mind my physical condition two weeks ago, I have to be very satisfied. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile for the work they did to allow me to race here in good shape. After the first few laps I could feel that my strength was going, but I made a big effort to maintain my pace. The first part of circuit was harder for me to negotiate, but as the race went on I improved on that part and the bike worked perfectly. It's a shame I lost second because of a small error on the penultimate corner, but the battle with Valentino was great and I think the fans really enjoyed the spectacle."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 4th.

“I was hoping for a better result but I didn’t get the job done today. I had the perfect set-up for two days until qualifying, and then again in the race the bike was not reacting the way it was in practice. When I was in front of Marco, Valentino and Kenny I couldn’t find the drive, the rear-end was spinning up. Plus I lost a little bit of fitness and I couldn’t brake as hard as normal, so I just eased off and settled for fourth. Towards the end I lost touch and I wasn’t close enough to make a pass when Marco and Valentino were fighting each other.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 5th.
"I raced with the old chassis today, the one we built after the Barcelona race, because I felt more at home on it than the new one. The start was OK and I closed on the leaders but as the race went on I had to change my style and racing lines and dropped back a bit. The front end of the bike was really good early in the race while the fuel load was heavy but it felt light when the fuel load went down. Then the rear end of the bike was working much better. When Valentino caught me I tried to stay with him for a couple of laps before he went away from me. I was under no pressure from the guys behind so I rode out the race and took the points. I have been through three bikes and a crash this weekend and I have to thank everybody in the team for what they did for me this weekend. When we get to Germany for the race I have to find the best machine balance on Friday if I am to get a good set up for the race. We have made so many changes and a lot of progress these last few weeks but now we have the time before the German GP to sit down and analyse everything."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 7th.
“It’s been quite a tough weekend and things didn’t quite go for us here. This morning, being fastest in the warm-up in the wet was quite positive and had me hoping for rain in the race, though really we needed that 20 minutes to try a few more things out. We used a quite lot of time on Friday testing some new parts and yesterday we made some progress, though we had a little electrical problem in the afternoon. That’s all excuses though and the bottom line is that we didn’t get it done this weekend. I was coming through the field and making up some places when I made a mistake, got into the chicane bit hot and went straight on. That hurt, but I got back on the track, put my head down and clawed back a few places. We’ll regroup now, think about what didn’t go so well this weekend and try to do better in Sachsenring. Everyone in the team worked really hard this weekend we’ll come back strong at the next race.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 11th.
"We tried some different settings in the warm up today but didn't have enough time to check everything we needed to. We changed the geometry a little and the suspension to get a better balance and raced with the 16.5inch tyres we have used all weekend. So I started the race with different settings to those I used in qualifying. My start was not so bad but I ran wide in the first corner. The bike was under-steering in the fast corners today but not as much as yesterday. After the opening laps I held the same position for almost the whole race."

Michel Fabrizio, Fortuna Honda, substitute rider for the injured Toni Elias. Did not race due to broken collarbone sustained in practice.


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 6th.
"Unfortunately I recovered on braking what I lost in the straight and it is normal to make mistakes when you push hard. I've been racing in these conditions since the beginning of the season, I'm always at the limit and in the last corner I lost the front as I braked too hard. I'm still leading the championship, but it doesn't worth so much as now our gap with Aprilia s is too big. Today Lorenzo was fast, but I did my best to stay close to him like I've been doing since the beginning of this championship; if I didn't ride in this way, I wouldn't be the leader now. When I crashed out I spent a few laps to keep again the right pace because the footrest was damaged and the handlebar wasn't anymore in the right position".

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 7th.
"I made a good start but I struggled to have a good rhythm. The set-up of the bike wasn't perfect and the track conditions were different from the previous two days; I think also for this reason I was competitive in some points of the circuit and less in others. I made few mistakes and this didn't help at all. Next race will take place at Sachsenring, which is a circuit I like and where we can get a better result".

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 12th.
"I am very happy with this result. I got a good start but it was a difficult race, I was still having trouble getting the bike to turn into corners while carrying a full tank. But lap by lap my lap times were faster. My engine was good and I had a good feeling with the bike. I have a lot to learn about the 250 and I have to thank my team for working so hard for me this weekend."

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 13th.
"I made a good start and I was fifth behind De Angelis and my brother, but in the third lap I made a mistake, braking too late and I lost contact with them. Then I stayed with Locatelli and we lapped together almost throughout the race. As my bike was consuming the fuel of the tank, it went better and I was feeling more comfortable. In the first section of the circuit, the area that goes downwards with several linked corners, the Aprilia was faster but I was able to recover ground in the rest of the circuit. When there were three laps left for the end I pushed a bit harder in the downwards section to get closer to Locatelli and prepare the overtaking manoeuvre, but I lost the front end. It's been my fault and I'm very sorry for the team. I'm really sorry."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 17th.
"We have had a problem all weekend trying to get the bike to hold it's line. The team improved things a little for the race but not enough. I got good start and I made up about five places. My engine was fast but with the full tank it was difficult to put the bike where I wanted. At about half race distance I got into a good rhythm but it was too late to catch the group of three riders in front of me."

Martin Cardenas, Repsol Honda:
Did not race due to crash at previous round in Holland.

Chas Davies, Molenaar Honda, substitute for the injured Arnaud Vincent: dnf - crash.
"Crash wise I went into the last corner way too hard and lost the front end. I was struggling for engine power today, the bike was not as fast as it was in practice. I was trying to stay with Perren when I crashed but his bike was way faster than mine."

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: dnf - crash.
"I got a good start and the beginning of the race was OK with a full fuel tank. The engine was very fast and the bike working well. But at mid-race distance when the fuel load was lighter the front end was not holding the line. Eventually the front wheel turned in on me and I crashed."


125cc:

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 8th.
"That was a hard race, a really hard race. I got a good start and was in the second group but I made a mistake braking to hard for a slow corner. The rear wheel was off the ground so I had to let the brake go and run straight on. I lost four or five places and had to fight hard to get a good finish. I had a small problem with front-end chatter in three fast corners and lost time but I made up a lot for that on the brakes. I feel fine now so it proves I'm back to my best physically, only my hands are a little stiff."

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 10th.

“It has been one of the most difficult races of the season, most of all physically speaking. I had to make hard braking in the final part of the track in order to keep the pace of the riders in front of me and so I was very tired at the end of the race. I’m a bit disappointed about the tenth place as I know that our potential is higher. We have to show it in the next GPs”.

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 11th.
“I started well and I tried not to lose the contact with the leaders. But it was impossible to maintain the same pace as the fast group ahead of me. I found myself in a group of Hondas. With six laps to go we had to lap a rider but I almost crashed out trying to overtake him. Luthi and Talmacsi made up ground on me.My team and I don't want to finish in this manner the championship. But Honda will do something?"

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 12th.
"I'm really, really happy, I scored my first points. I thought that I would be able to finish fifteenth or fourteenth but I never expected to finish twelfth so it's a really nice feeling for me. I have to say that I didn't obviously expect to finish in such a good position though I really wanted it so bad. We'd had such a good weekend; I had given myself the opportunity with that thirteenth place on the grid and everything was just looking absolutely positive to do a good race. It was definitely a tough race and it took a long time to actually find my pace. But then I had the chance to wait a little bit, take my time to pass people one by one. Then in the end, with ten laps to go I passed them, carried on my way, and just kept my head down chasing Fabrizio Lai, but I wasn't able to catch him. But it was still a good result."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 14th.
"That was really hard work. I got a perfect start and was running fast my bike was really good today. I was with the group but just before the middle of the race Zanetti and DiMeglio out-braked me, and themselves into the hairpin. They were in the middle of the track and I had to close the gas and ride around them. It cost me a lot of time and a few places at the finish. A hard race but fun early on. I'm sweating more than normal and my mouth is really dry, its so hot out there."

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: 16th.
“This morning for the warm up, we had different weather conditions; we wanted to test a tyre harder but it rained last night and the track was drying. So I started the race with this tyre and I didn’t know if it will last the whole race. I made a good first lap and I reached the 16th position; after few laps, I could reach the 13th place. During the entire race, I tried to push harder butit was too slippery. After 18 laps raced Lorenzo Zanetti pushed me out of the track. I finish the raceon my own, close to the points, but the positive things are that the chassis was good and the engine too. I also improved my lap time of 7 tenth.”

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 27th.
“I made a good start and my rhythm was okay but unfortunately I made a small mistake and went wide. So, I lost a few positions and I couldn’t recover anymore. I was losing much at T1 and T2 – in the fast part of the track like it happened in the practices. In the final part the bike was moving too much and I didn’t feeling very safe on it”.

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf - crash.
"I got a good start and quickly found my rhythm and was racing with Tunez, Iannone, Ranseder and Rodriguez for 17th to 20th place. But on lap 11 at the chicane I gave it too much gas and crashed. I have hurt my right hip but its only bruised and I will race in the Spanish Championship next weekend."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda:
Did not race due to cracked elbow sustained in practice.


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
Great Britain Grand Prix at Donington Park


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



Dani Pedrosa & Marco Melandri
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
2 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - MVA Aspar Team
3 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM GP 250
4 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth
5 Hector BARBERA / Fortuna Aprilia
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team
7 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team
8 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
9 Anthony WEST / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
10 Marco SIMONCELLI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
11 Jakub SMRZ / Cardion AB Motoracing
12 Aleix ESPARGARO / Wurth Honda BQR
13 Shuhei AOYAMA / Repsol Honda
14 Jules CLUZEL / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
15 Andrea BALLERINI / Campetella Racing
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
2 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM GP 125
3 Mattia PASINI / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Hector FAUBEL / Master - MVA Aspar Team
5 Sergio GADEA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
6 Joan OLIVE / SSM Racing
7 Lukas PESEK / Derbi Racing
8 Thomas LUTHI / Elit - Caffe Latte
9 Nicolas TEROL / Derbi Racing
10 Gabor TALMACSI / Humangest Racing Team
11 Fabrizio LAI / Valsir Seedorf Racing
12 Bradley SMITH / Repsol Honda
13 Simone CORSI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
14 Sandro CORTESE / Elit - Caffe Latte
15 Lorenzo ZANETTI / Skilled I.S.P.A. Racing Team
 


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