MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 10: Germany GP > Qualifying
MotoGPGermanyJuly 15, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring

Honda Men Take Total Control of Front Row

Race Results >>

Honda powered riders dominated this MotoGP qualifying session taking all three front row positions for tomorrow's 30-lap race of this 3.671km track. In searing heat, with a track temperature at 40 degrees Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) grabbed pole, with Kenny Roberts Jnr (Roberts KR211V) second fastest and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) completing the font row.



Dani PEDROSA(Repsol Honda Team)


Kenny ROBERTS JNR(KR Honda)

It was clear this would be a Honda show from the free training session this morning when Hayden, Pedrosa and Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) were fastest during that hour, with five Honda men in the top five places. This final hour of timed qualifying would merely confirm the superiority of the RC211V and its riders here in Germany.

This is now Dani's fourth pole of the season making him the best qualifier in the premier class so far - and all in his rookie year. That he has also produced two wins from those poles bodes well for the race. But he's fallen here this weekend in his efforts to tame this bumpy track.

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) qualified sixth fastest, Stoner will start from eighth on the grid, with Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) tenth fastest and the injured Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) managing the 16th best time.

Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) was the fastest man on track during the opening minutes before Loris Capirossi (Ducati) levered the Japanese off pole with a time of 1m 23.246 seconds. Then at the halfway point Nakano pulled out a time of 1m 22.772s to snatch pole back from the Italian.

Elias, riding for the first time since breaking a shoulder in Holland, was unlucky today. He was forced to ride his number two bike after problems with his first choice machine and those two troubles - lack of fitness and no number one bike for qualifiers - hampered his progress here.

With 20 minutes of the session remaining, Melandri had put himself on the front row, before Sete Gibernau (Ducati), another rider still suffering the effects of a crash with a broken collarbone, put his machine on the front row as second fastest man.

Riders are opting to use qualifying rubber earlier in these timed sessions, either to make best use of a relatively traffic-free track, or to put a marker lap time down, in case track conditions deteriorate in any way towards the end of the hour. The fluctuations today suggest tyre choice for Sunday will be doubly critical.

Stoner was a rider who went early with a qualifying tyre taking pole with a 1m 22.588s lap before Pedrosa relieved him of that number one slot with a 1m 22.521 tour with a full 14 minutes remaining. Nakano then topped that with 1m 22.273s time.

As the final 10 minutes approached the order was Nakano, Pedrosa, Gibernau on the front row, then Melandri, Stoner and Hayden making up row two. As Hayden then moved up to third, less than 0.2 seconds covered the top five riders. This was always going to be close.

But Dani had the measure of this sinuous track. He showed it in the final five minutes with a blisteringly quick lap of 1m 21.815s to take pole. It looked highly likely then that this would be a Repsol Honda benefit with Nicky second on the grid. But that was to reckon without Roberts.

The 2000 premier class World Champion has shown this season just what a talent the front of the grid has been missing. Now with Honda power, he has shone again and when he fired his 211V-engined KR machine to a 1m 21.907s lap to claim second fastest time and push Capirossi onto row three, it was no longer a surprise, after his podium in Catalunya.

Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) could only manage the 11th fastest time, more than a second shy of Dani's pole mark.

Dani said, "I'm happy to get on pole position but the most important thing really was to get on the front row because the track is very tight at the beginning and there are only two or three passing points here. I'm fine after the crash this morning, but the bike was not so lucky. The mechanics worked very hard through lunch to have the bike ready for qualifying and first of all this afternoon I just tried to run-in the bike and check everything. Then I pushed harder and my lap time was good."

"When a lap looks slow and easy," said Kenny. "It's usually fast. The bike is coming along. We have had no test to work on improving it, just in trying a few different settings, mainly riding position and to try and get the bike to work better on qualifying tyres. The bike felt well balanced. I could have tried to get more out of it if I had pushed harder but I'm more than happy and the front row is a definite bonus. I have to get a good start and try to stay with the top Honda guys."

Nicky said, "I'm happy to be on the front row and this is the best I've qualified for a while, so it's been positive. We've been close out of the gate and we haven't had to make a lot of big changes to the set-up, we've just been sweetening it up, and I think we've got a pretty strong package this weekend. It's been one of the better weekends so far this year. We'll try and find a little extra pace in the warm-up and then I'm looking forward to a dogfight tomorrow in the race."

Melandri, sixth fastest, said, "I'm very satisfied. I got into a good rhythm and I'm confident for the race. I'm happy being on the second row because the front two rows were the objective here. The bike is working well and Honda has a good base setting for us here. My physical condition has improved a lot and so many left turns here are good for my right shoulder."

Stoner, who qualified eighth fastest, said, "I'm using the update chassis and it feels really good. The team had to change most of the settings from the standard RCV, but the front-end feels really positive and on my first qualifying run it was very good. Then we changed to a different rear tyre and it started to push the front on the second run. The race will be very difficult from row two as there aren't many places to overtake."

Tamada said, "We're just a little better today than yesterday. We've been trying some things on the suspension, working with different springs. Now my capacity to control front-end slides has improved and I am getting more confident with the bike. Tomorrow in the warm-up we'll try some different rear tyres because we have to be ready for different track temperatures. The track was very hot today."

Elias said, I'm very tired and suffering a lot now. I'm really starting to feel the effect of these four sessions, but it's important for me to be back on the track. My target for tomorrow is just to finish the race."

In the 250cc class Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) scored his seventh pole of the season here, Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) qualified second fastest, just 0.078 seconds shy of Lorenzo's time. Hector Barbera and Roberto Locatelli (both Aprilia) qualified third and fourth fastest.

Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW), the current overall points leader could do no better than eighth fastest, just less than half a second away from the pole time.
Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) qualified tenth fastest while his team-mate Martin Cardenas (Repsol Honda RS250RW) managed the 16th fastest time.

Takahashi said, "I'm surprised about today's last lap. The final part of the qualifying session has been difficult, because I was in the middle of a group of riders and I couldn't push as I would have liked. This morning we found a good set-up, but it will be important to make a good start because it's difficult to overtake here."

Dovi said, "I'm not happy about my position on tomorrow's grid, but we made a step forward compared to yesterday. My pace is good, and more or less at the same level as my rivals so this makes me think positively. I don't like this track but now I feel more confident compared to yesterday and there aren't so many riders faster than me."

Lukas Pesek (Derbi) 125cc secured his second pole position of the season so far with a lap of 1m 27.064 seconds. The Czech rider will line up with series points leader Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) alongside him as second fastest qualifier, Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) third, and Mika Kallio (KTM) completing the front row.

Fabrizio Lai (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R) is the best Honda qualifier here in sixth place on row two, while Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) managed the seventh fastest time affording the Hungarian a start from the second row also. Both, however, are more than 0.8 seconds off the pole time.

The session was stopped in the final seconds when a three-bike crash at the bottom of the steeply downhill penultimate turn left debris on track and stricken riders in the run-off area. This left reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) unable to improve on a time of 1m 28.215 seconds - only good enough for 13th place on the grid.

Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R), who scored his first points at Donington Park two weeks ago, qualified 14th fastest, only 0.077 seconds shy of Luthi's time. Sandro Cortese (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) qualified 11th fastest and will start from row three in tomorrow's 27-lap race.

Lai said, "The bike is OK and I like the track. I made the lap time without a slipstream but it's not enough. I'm sixth and eight tenth of a second from the poleman - a lot on this track. For the race it's important to have a good and constant pace. I hope tomorrow won't be too hot, we are the last to race and Honda engine suffers more than the Aprilia and KTM in the heat. And tyre choice will be very important."

Talmacsi said, "This is a tough track and it's not easy to find the best chassis settings. We've made some steps forward compared to yesterday, but still I am slow turning-in and the bike feels heavy and slippery. I struggled in the first corner, while in some points, the track is bumpy and this complicates the situation. Anyway, I'm happy and if we can make a further improvement during tomorrow's warm up, I think I can do a good race."

Cortese said, "I am very happy now. We had some front-end chatter problems early in the qualifying session, but we changed the suspension settings and tyres and it's better. In fact even with the chatter I was really fast from the beginning. The engine is really good and I feel I will have a good race - if I get a good start."

Luthi said, "Not good - but a little better than yesterday. I was following Bautista on my fast lap but going into a slow corner, I started to get front wheel chatter, and he was away. We have to fix this tonight because it'll be very difficult to race with this problem. The engine is fine - all we had to do was to make small changes to the gearbox. We'll see what we're able to do tomorrow."



Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)


Casey STONER (Honda LCR)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st.
"I'm happy to get on pole position but the most important thing really was to get on the front row because the track is very tight at the beginning and there are only two or three passing points here. I'm fine after the crash this morning, but the bike was not so lucky. The mechanics worked very hard through lunch to have the bike ready for qualifying and first of all this afternoon I just tried to run-in the bike and check everything. Then I pushed harder and my lap time was good, so overall I'm pleased with how it went today. Of course the most important thing is to use the front row position to get a good start tomorrow and see how the race goes."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 2nd.
"When a laps looks slow and easy its usually fast - the bike is coming along. We have had no test to work on improving it just trying a few different settings, mainly riding position and to get the bike to work better on qualifying tyres. The bike felt well balanced. I could have tried to get more out of it if I had pushed harder but I'm more than happy and the front row is a definite bonus. I have to get a good start and try to stay with the top Honda guys."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
"I'm happy to be on the front row and this is the best I've qualified for a while, so it's been positive. We've been close out of the gate and we haven't had to make a lot of big changes to the set-up, we've just been sweetening it up, and I think we've got a pretty strong package this weekend. It's been one of the better weekends so far this year. I would have liked to get down into the 1m 21s today and I thought it was possible, but getting on the front row of the grid is really important here and I'll be planning to get a good start tomorrow. We'll try and find a little extra pace in the warm-up and then I'm looking forward to a dogfight tomorrow in the race."

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 6th.
"I'm very satisfied. I got into a good rhythm and I'm confident for the race. I'm happy being on the second row because the front two rows were the objective here. The bike is working well and Honda has a good base setting for us here. My physical condition has improved a lot and so many left turns here are good for my right shoulder."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 8th.
"Today I just concentrated on the updated chassis and I now have a much better feeling --it is a positive step forward considering it is only my second day on this bike. The team had to change most of the settings from the standard RCV and we are slowly moving forward - especially with a more positive feeling from the front-end. My first qualifying run was really good and I then switched to a different rear tyre, but it pushed the front on the second run. The race could be difficult from the third row, there are not many places to overtake. I'll need good start, the first corner is a little scary- it's very tight."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 10th.
"We are just a little better today than yesterday. We have been trying some things on the suspension basically working with different springs. Now my capacity to control front end slides has improved and I am getting more confident with the bike. Tomorrow in the warm up we will try some different rear tyres because we have to be ready for different track temperatures, the track was very hot today."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 16th.
"I'm very tired and suffering a lot now. I'm really starting to feel the effect of these four sessions, but it's important for me to be back on the track. My target for tomorrow is just to finish the race."

250cc:

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda:2nd.
"I'm surprise about today's last lap. The final part of the qualifying session has been difficult, because I was in the middle of a group of riders and I couldn't push as I would have liked. Only at the last lap I was able to build a small gap and go much faster. It's a shame as in the last turn I made a small mistake! This morning we found a good set-up, but in the afternoon we made some modifications loosing a bit our way. Then, we went back at this morning solution and the feeling with the bike was better again. Here it will be important to make a good start because it's difficult to overtake".

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 8th
"I'm not too much satisfied about my position in tomorrow's starting grid, but we have made a step forward compared to yesterday. My pace is good, though, more or less at the same level as my rivals and this make me think positive for the race. Some riders improved their lap times at the end by following other riders, actually I was penalized by this situation. I don't like this track but now I feel more confident compared to yesterday and there aren't so many riders faster than me".

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 10th.
"I'm very disappointed because I didn't expect a result like this, although the race is fortunately tomorrow. Things went well yesterday, but this morning we took the wrong way as regards the bike's settings so we had to go back. Then I just haven't been able to make a fast enough lap at the end of the second qualifying practice, and that set me back in the grid. We have, however, a good race pace, so we'll have to be really watchful at the start."

Martin Cardenas, Repsol Honda: 16th.
"The collarbone is doing great. I haven't felt any pain during the weekend; the practice however has been a little bit disappointing. I felt quite good in the morning but in the afternoon I crashed at the beginning and lost some confidence. I was finally able to improve my time a bit, but not as much as I expected. We were testing a harder tyre for the front and entering a corner the steering just got closed so I crashed. I hope to be able to make a good start tomorrow to get the front group and try to stay there."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 17th.
"I had a good feeling with the bike, my time is good and my grid position. But now I have a front tyre problem. I had been using the standard Dunlop front and it worked really good but they cannot supply me with one for the race. They gave me a tyre with the same compound but harder construction but I didn't find a good feeling with that one. We tried another type but it was not much better. If I can find a standard front tyre from another team I will be happy, if not I might struggle to find a good rhythm in the race. A pity because everything else is working really good for me."

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 19th.
"A bad day for me today. In the morning I tried several different tyres and concentrated on to of them in the qualifying session but both were sliding badly. My lap by lap times are not too bad, my best at 1'27.1s and many at 1'27.2s. I have no other problems. The engine is fast but here the engine is not as important as the chassis set up. At this track you have to have a good feeling with the chassis to be confident. I the warm up I will try another type of tyre with some set up changes and se where we are."

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: 20th.
"After my crash yesterday I found the track to be a little complicated, it is a very technical circuit and very bumpy. It's my first time here so the last thing I needed was a crash while I was trying to learn where I'm going. Still the engine is good and we are close on set up. We have to check the telemetry to se where we can improve. I hope I get a good start because the first part of the circuit is tight and difficult to pass riders. If I find my rhythm quickly I will have a good race."

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 24th.
"My engine is not strong enough, even on this short track because thee are some stiff uphill sections. Then I crashed when the front end turned in on me. I'm OK but I am not happy with my grid position."

125cc:

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 6th.
"The bike is ok and I like the track. I made the lap time without slipstreams but it is not enough: I'm sixth but I have to recover 8 tenths from the poleman and it is a lot on this track. For the race is important to have a good and constant pace! I hope tomorrow it will be not too hot, we are the last to race and Honda engine suffers hot temperature, more than Aprilia and Ktm. Also the tyre choice will be very important".

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 7th.
"This is a tough track and it is not easy to find the best chassis settings. We have made some steps forward compare to yesterday, but still I am slow in turning and I feel the bike heavy and slippery. I struggled in the first corner, while in some points, the track is bumpy and this complicates the situation. Anyway, I'm happy and if we can make a further improvement during tomorrow's warm up, I think I can do a good race".

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 11th.
"I am very happy now. We had some front end chatter problems early in the qualifying session but we changed the suspension settings and tyres and its better. In fact even with the chatter I was really fast from the beginning. The engine is really good and I feel I will have a good race - if I get a good start."

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 13th.
"Not good but a little better than yesterday. I was following Bautista on my fast lap but going into a slow corner I started to get front wheel chatter and he was away. We have to fix this tonight because it will be very difficult to race with this problem. The engine is fine all we had to do is make small changes to the gearbox. We will see what we are able to do - I have to get into the corners faster than I am now."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 14th.
"It's good to repeat. I'm thirteenth fastest, like in Donington, though obviously Donington was my home round but it's nice to show everyone that I can still do it even if I'm not at my own track so that's a really good, positive thing. It's a shame because I should have kept going after my fast lap. I tried to make another one but the tyres weren't as good. After looking back on it we could have improved and given us another chance but still I got to be happy and I'm looking forward to the race."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 26th.
"I improve lap by lap, but still I'm too far away. We haven't still found a chassis set-up that let me enter the corners with the right speed and open the throttle quickly in exiting. So we loose in acceleration and I struggle to keep a good rhythm. I think that it will be hard to make 27 laps here in this circuit".

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 33rd.
"I'm trying to understand this difficult track: today I have improved my lap time but I have to learn better how to face some corners: it is fundamental but not easy to do in a short time."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 39th.
"My cracked ribs are very painful. When I crashed in England the bike landed on top of me. My engine is good and I have a good chassis set up but moving the bike around gives me pain. I will give it a try in the race but if I have a lot of pain its sure to affect my concentration - if that happens I will stop."

Esteve Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: 40th.
"The rear tyre slides every time I open the gas hard. This morning we had no problems with that. In the qualifying session I was getting big slides in the fast corners. I came into the box and we made some small changes to the suspension and it was a little better. I can't understand it because it was almost the same feeling with soft and hard compound tyres. We have to work hard in the warm up in the morning."

Clement Dunkowski, substitute rider for the injured Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: 41st.
"I improved my lap time by 0.8s today in free practice. I improved in every session but I really needed to ride more laps. In the qualifying session I found a good rhythm and improved my best lap by 1.6 seconds. I was hoping to catch the wheel of a faster rider totry and improve my time even more but I didn't find one. In the race I will do my best to get a good start and follow fast riders and learn."


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring

line
MotoGP
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Kenny ROBERTS JR(Team Roberts)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
6 Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)
7 Sete GIBERNAU (Ducati Marlboro Team)
8 Casey STONER (Honda LCR)
9 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Makoto TAMADA (KONICA MINOLTA Honda)
11 Valentino ROSSI (Camel Yamaha Team)
12 Carlos CHECA (Tech 3 Yamaha)
13 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
14 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
15 Colin EDWARDS (Camel Yamaha Team)
16 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Honda)
17 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
18 James ELLISON (Tech 3 Yamaha)
19 Jose Luis CARDOSO (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
 
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Humangest Racing Team)
3 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Aprilia)
4 Roberto LOCATELLI (Team Toth)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
7 Anthony WEST (Kiefer - Bos - Racing)
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)
9 Marco SIMONCELLI (Squadra Corse Metis Gilera)
10 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda Team 250)
16 Martin CARDENAS (Repsol Honda Team 250)
 
125cc
1 Lukas PESEK (Derbi Racing)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
3 Mattia PASINI (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
5 Nicolas TEROL (Derbi Racing)
6 Fabrizio LAI (Valsir Seedorf Racing)
7 Gabor TALMACSI (Humangest Racing Team)
8 Pablo NIETO (Multimedia Racing)
9 Simone CORSI (Squadra Corse Metis Gilera)
10 Hector FAUBEL (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
 

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