MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 10: Germany GP > Race Results
MotoGPGermanyJuly 16, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
German Grand Prix at Sachsenring

Podium For Melandri and Hayden in Epic Thriller

Qualifying >>

This was one of the great MotoGP races. Fought at high intensity for 30-laps the action never let up and it was Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who eventually prevailed over Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) in second and series points’ leader Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) who was third.



Marco Melandri


Marco Melandri & Nicky Hayden & Dani Pedrosa


In beating heat with track temperature at an elevated 38 degrees, this battle was as tough on riders as it was gripping for the sell-out 90,000 crowd. It was Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) who led the pack into turn one with Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) heading Hayden and Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) in fourth.

But then Nicky hit the front at the big downhill left-hander taking both Dani and Kenny in one bite. Tamada was also showing the sort of form that was once his trademark, hoisting himself to third at the same spot. This was where nearly all the overtaking action would take place.

Melandri then took Tamada for third at that same place before Makoto re-passed him at the final uphill left before the start/finish straight. Melandri was going hard at it setting a fastest lap on lap three, but Tamada was letting no one go.

It was Dani’s turn to set a fastest lap on lap four when he circulated the 3.671km rollercoaster in 1m 23.355 seconds. The order was Hayden, Pedrosa, Melandri, Tamada, Rossi and Roberts. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) was hanging onto them, but he would soon be dropped.

Tamada and Melandri both refused to yield third to each other swapping the position on each lap for three consecutive circuits, until Melandri moved past permanently on lap eight, then to second on lap nine to then take the lead from Nicky on lap 11 at turn one.

Pedrosa now lay second as Rossi moved to third past Tamada at that fast downhill left. At the final turn on that same lap Roberts lost the front-end of his machine on the inside and took out a blameless Tamada when his downed bike slid to the outside. Both riders were uninjured. One former World Champion was extremely apologetic.

Now it was a four-way fight. And Rossi wasted no time in stealing second from Dani. As the fast four circulated, they knew it was close enough for the final lap to be the only that mattered.

Even the penultimate lap itself became a desperate shuffle for prime position as the last lap loomed. Dani and Nicky tangled at the tight Omega turn while Rossi again used the big downhill to take the lead from Marco and try to hold it on the final lap.

Try as his three rivals did, none of them could make a pass stick at the end. Despite Melandri actually getting his front wheel ahead twice, he never had the track position to keep it there. The four crossed the line with just 0.3 seconds covering them. Dani in fourth at least had the consolation of setting a new lap record way back on that fourth lap.

Marco said, “With one lap to go I said to myself, ‘try, you can do it’ and I stayed on the brakes so hard when I could, but then in the last two corners Valentino closed the door. It was fun but it’s still hard to have to say to yourself ‘second will do here’. As the fuel load lightened the bike got better and I know if I can fight like that every Sunday then I will win again.”

“Once I got past Dani I knew I’d have a chance,” Nicky said, “I thought I could do it at the bottom of the hill and I got as close as I could but just couldn’t capitalize on it. I’m not that happy because I could have had a win, but I enjoyed the battle itself. We just couldn’t quite get our bike to come off the corners fast enough here.”

Dani said, “It was a good race between all four riders at the front but unfortunately I finished at the back of the group, so of course I feel a little bit disappointed. I was quick for most of the lap except in the downhill corner near the end of the lap where I was losing too much time. I will have to improve in the overtaking places because I tried hard in this race to not be overtaken and also to overtake the others, but it was not quite enough.”

Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) finished 11th in his first race since breaking his shoulder in Holland. He said, “Our objective was to finish the race so I’m satisfied with my performance considering my physical condition. I raced with pain-killing injections but after eight laps I began to suffer a lot. The solution was to push hard then relax, push hard then relax. Racing that way is very hard especially on a physical track like this one.”

Roberts said, “When I crashed it was at the time I needed to make a move to stay with the leaders. But I got boxed in when I went under Tamada on the brakes. Nicky (Hayden) was on the outside and closing so I had to carry the brakes into the corner longer than I wanted to, I didn’t want them to get away and I lost the front end. It was an aggressive kind of race today. I’m really sorry I collected Tamada, we spoke about it and he’s OK with me about it.”

An unlucky Tamada said, “I really enjoyed that race – until the crash. But I’ve been to the hospital for it and the X-ray nothing is broken and my knee feels OK so I should be fine to race at Laguna Seca. When I was lying in the dirt Kenny asked me if it was a big problem or a small problem – in not very good Japanese. I couldn’t help laughing.”

Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) did not ride after crashing heavily in the morning warm-up.

The World Championship points table shows Hayden still in the lead with 169 points, Rossi second on 143, Dani third with 140 and Marco on 134 in fourth. In the Constructors’ Championship Honda has 221 to Yamaha’s 172 with Ducati third on 127 points.

Honda notched up a total of 200 wins in the 250cc class when Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) achieved his second win of the season. He pipped Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) across the line in a thrilling race. Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) was third and Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) fourth.

De Angelis made the running for most of this 29-lap race and Takahashi stalked him patiently until the last turn on the last lap when he slid his Honda up the inside on the brakes, got on the power early up the hill and broached the line a machine length in front of the San Marinese man.

His win by just six hundredths of a second denies de Angelis a maiden Grand Prix win, but of more significance is the fact that Lorenzo now heads the World Championship point’s standings. He now has 174 to Dovizioso’s 172 with Takahashi now on 133 to de Angelis’ 131.

Takahashi said, “It’s incredible! Another Takahashi rider won the first Grand Prix in 1961 on a 250cc Honda and I clinched the 200th success for the Japanese Manufacturer. This was a great satisfaction for me, it has been a very tough race. At the beginning I struggled a bit, I almost lost the front in the downhill and I wasn’t able ride as I would. Then I changed my riding style trying not to hang off too much from the bike. I did it and my rhythm improved. The team did a great job and my bike was perfect, so that I could push until the end.”

Dovi said, “I’m happy about the rhythm I could get today during the race, but I’m disappointed with fourth place. At the beginning, I had the same pace as the first riders and I knew I could fight for victory. When Yuki and Lorenzo started to push in order to catch De Angelis, Barbera slowed me down in a couple of curves and I lost contact with them and couldn’t recover it. I’m at two points from Lorenzo in the championship, but we have to be more steady.”

Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished ninth while his team-mate Martin Cardenas (Repsol Honda RS250RW) crashed out of the race.

The World Championship points table looks like this: Lorenzo 174, Dovi 172, Takahashi 133, de Angelis 131. And in the Constructors’ Championship: Aprilia 221, Honda 189.

Mattia Pasini won the 125cc Grand Prix from his team-mate Alvaro Bautista (both Aprilia) with Lukas Pesek (Derbi) third. It was a tough race with Pasini and Bautista clashing twice on the last lap, but still allowing Pesek no way through.

It was always going to involve these three riders. No one else had the pace to stick with them. Not Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) who led the pack into turn one on lap one. And not Mika Kallio (KTM) who followed the Hungarian on that opening lap.

Fabrizio Lai (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R) was another man who did his utmost to match the pace but dropped from fourth on the opening lap to finish 11th at the flag. Reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) finished sixth and rookie Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) an encouraging 12th.

Luthi said, “My start was good and I was OK racing with the lead group in the opening laps. Then I made a small mistake and the others got away from me. After that I got into a good rhythm until the last part of the race when I had trouble passing Terol. When I did it was too late to catch Corsi and Faubel but I’m happy to take the points. Now we go on holiday to recharge the batteries before Brno next month.”

“It was difficult,” said Smith. “The rear tyre was the main problem during the race, it was moving all the time. But I think it’s been the same for everyone. I’m happy enough. Maybe if I’d got a better start I could have gone with the top guys. But that’s the way it goes. I have to make sure that I practice some more starts when we come back after the summer break.”

In the overall World Championship points table Bautista leads with 205 points, Kallio, who finished eighth here, has 141, Pasini lies third on 137 points. In the Constructors’ Championship Aprilia leads with 228 to KTM on 146, Honda with 108 and Derbi on 102 points.




Nicky Hayden


Yuki Takahashi


MotoGP: Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 2nd.
“With one lap to go I said to myself, ‘try, you can do it’ and I stayed on the brakes so hard when I could, but then in the last two corners Valentino closed the door. It was fun but it’s still hard to have to say to yourself ‘second will do here’. As the fuel load lightened the bike got better and I know if I can fight like that every Sunday then I will win again.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
“We had a good battle today and I really enjoyed it. Everybody rode well and fought hard and nobody gave an inch. Towards the end I knew these guys were going to fight it out so I thought I had a good chance to get in front. On the last lap I thought Marco would go up the inside and maybe open the door at the bottom of the hill and that’s what I was planning on at the end. I’m not completely satisfied with third because this is a good track for me and I thought I had a shot at the win today, but I enjoyed the battle. The other guys did a great job and also a big thanks goes to everybody in my team. Though we couldn’t quite get off the corners quick enough today, at other spots on the lap the bike was really good. Now I’m really looking forward to going home – and I’m proud to be going to Laguna leading the points. We’ll definitely be trying to get 25 more there.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“It was a good race between all four riders at the front but unfortunately I finished at the back of the group, so of course I feel a little bit disappointed. I was quick for most of the lap except in the downhill corner near the end of the lap where I was losing too much time. I will have to improve myself in the overtaking places because I tried hard in this race to not be overtaken and also to overtake the others, but it was not quite enough. I think I was actually faster than the others, however I wasn’t able to get to the front and that’s why I couldn’t show my true speed today. Still, the season is going well and I’m pretty happy with most of my performance today.”

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 11th.
“Our objective was to finish the race so I’m satisfied with my perforance considering my physical condition. I raced with pain killing injections but after eight laps I began to suffer a lot. The solution was to push hard then relax – push hard then relax. Racing that way is very hard especially on a physical track like this one.”

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: Casey did not race following a crash in the morning warm up.
“I made a small mistake in the warm-up and crashed, but there was absolutely no problem with me -- physically or mentally -- I was capable of racing today. I was cleared by the scans, and it is very disappointing the circuit doctor would not allow me to race. I really feel that I had very strong chance of scoring points here after a very positive practice on the updated chassis which HRC supplied to the team. It’s frustrating and all I can do now is try and regroup for Laguna Seca next week. I’ve never been to America so that should be cool.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: dnf – crash.
“When I saw Kenny Roberts Jr. hitting me from the inside I was nearly desperate because up to that point I was racing well. I had a good start, immediately making up five positions and reaching the first corner in fourth place. I had no problem to turn at the leading group pace and I think overtaking Melandri and Rossi can be a demonstration. Kenny’s error deprived me of the possible good result; I’m sorry for the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team staff because even today the bike was really fast. I suppose I’ll have no physical problems and I’ll be present at Laguna Seca.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: dnf – crash.
“When I crashed it was at the time I needed to make a move to stay with the leaders. But I got boxed in when I went under Tamada on the brakes. Nicky (Hayden) was on the out side and closing so I had to carry the brakes into the corner longer than I wanted to, I didn’t want them to get away and I lost the front end. It was an aggressive kind of race today. I’m really sorry I collected Tamada, we spoke about it and he’s OK with me about it.”


250cc:

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 1st.
"It's incredible! Another Takahashi rider won the first GP in 1961 on a 250cc Honda and I clinched the 200th success for the Japanese Manufacturer. This was a great satisfaction for me, it has been a very tough race. At the beginning I struggled a bit, I almost lost the front in the down-hill and I wasn't able ride as I would. Then I changed my riding style trying not to hang out too much from the bike. I did it and my rhythm improved. I caught Lorenzo and following him I could reduce the gap. But, he made a mistake and so I could pass him; I had only De Angelis in front of me. He was very fast but from behind I could study him and I understood I could beat him. My idea was to pass him at the first corner but I missed it and I get a bit confused. Then, I overtook him at the last turn and eventually win the race. The team did a great job and my bike was perfect, so that I could push until the end".

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 4th.
"I'm happy about the rhythm I could get today during the race, but I'm disappointed for the fourth place. At the beginning, I had the same pace as the first riders and I knew I could fight for victory. When Yuki and Lorenzo started to push in order to catch De Angelis, Barbera slowed me down in a couple of curves and I lost contact with them and couldn't recover it. I'm at two points from Lorenzo in the championship, but we have to be more steady. Anyway, I'm satisfied about the first part of this season as I've been the more consistent rider".

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 9th.
“I’m not happy at all with the race today. The start was rather normal, neither good nor bad but I had trouble following the other riders at the beginning. The setting of the bike’s suspension was not perfect. I had a consistent race pace but the top group was faster and I lost contact with them. I really expected more of this race. We have to work on the suspensions setting for the next race although this one has not been easy at all.”

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 15th.
“Not so bad I’m happy to score a point. Yesterday I ran a 1m 27.1s lap and today I my best was 1m 26.7s so that’s good. I was OK for the first half of the race then the rear end began to slide. I was much faster than the bike today. Anyway I’m improving because with every race I am closer to the factory bikes at the front, this time I was only 52 seconds behind – three races ago it was 1m 20 seconds!.”

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: 17th.
“I got a bad start and on this circuit it is very difficult to pass riders on the first half lap. After about four – five laps I caught the group and was racing with Smrz and Poggiali it was fun. But at half way I started to have some rear heel slides and could not hold on to them. They were lapping about 0.4 seconds faster than me. I didn’t score any points but I’m pleased with my race rhythm because I was faster than my qualifying time.”

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – chain problem.
“I am very disappointed with today, but also very lucky. On the third lap the right side chain tensioner broke and the chain jumped the sprocket. It happened at the fast downhill corner behind the pits I was fighting with a group of riders when it happened. If I had crashed it would have been a big accident, in that respect I was very lucky.”

Martin Cardenas, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash.
“I made a good start; I manager to put myself behind Shuhei, but I’ve been riding at the limit all time. The bike was skidding a lot and in the end I pushed more than I should in one of the corners and lost the front end. Fortunately I’m physically all right.”

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: dnf – technial problem.
“This weekend the team and me worked at maximum. The chassis was really good but the engine power was not there. In the race the engine was really slow and I had to stop. I just hope for better at the next race in Brno.”


125cc:

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 6th.
“My start was good and I was OK racing with the lead group in the opening laps. Then I made a small mistake and the others got away from me. After that I has a good rhythm but in the last part of the race I had trouble to pass Terol. When I did it was to late to catch Corsi and Faubel but I’m happy to take the points. Now we go on holiday and recharge the batteries before Brno next month.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 12th.
“The start was very bad but I made a good effort on the first lap to try and pass other riders to get as far up as I could. It was Ok from then, every lap trying to overtake. Finally I arrived to the group and then I made a mistake which sent me back, but then I came back forward again. It was difficult but the rear tyre was the main problem during the race, it was moving all the time, but I think that it’s been the same for everyone. I’m happy. Maybe if I would have got a better start I could have gone with the top guys. But that’s the way it goes. I have to make sure that I practice some more starts when we come back after the summer break.”

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 11th.
“During the race I had some problems to change gears and as a consequence I lost soon the slipstreams of the leaders. In my group Aprilias (Gadea and Olive) were faster but also Luthi, with Honda, could pass me easily: in race he is faster than in qualifying sessions, I don’t know how he could do this. The race reflects what happened in the qualifying sessions in which I lost 8 tenths each lap.”

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 13th.
“I made a perfect start but at the second corner Faubel came up the inside barked too late and hit me and I lost some places. I was stuck in 11th place behind Lai and he made life difficult he made himself very wide when I tried to pas him. He was also late on the brakes in some places and that made it impossible to get passed.”

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 14th.
“In this morning warm-up the bike was working well, but in the race I struggled a lot in the last two corners and so the other riders could easily pass me. I did my best and I push as hard as I could, but the bike didn’t do what I wanted. The set-up of the chassis is almost okay but the engine is not at the same level of the other bikes.”

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 26th.

“I have improved but, starting from the back, is always difficult to make a good start and recover important positions. I was in a group not very collaborative and we lost the contact with the others. I have to improve my ride style: I always make mistakes in corners because I haven’t a good feeling with the front. The experience is fundamental but it is not easy to gain it.”

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 29th.
“I did a good start and I was very happy about it. But, I couldn’t be very fast in the straight. Also, in the second part of the race, the bike started sliding a bit and moving around too much when I opened the throttle. So, I lost more space from the others. It’s a shame because after the start I really though to make a good race.”

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: 31st.
“I was sliding from very early in the race. We chose a hard compound because the sot tyre would not last the distance. My start was good but at the 180 degree corner somebody crashed and I had to brake very hard into the corner. A lot of riders passed me and it was difficult to recover. I’m not really happy with this weekend.”

Clement Dunikowski, substitute rider for the injured Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: dnf -

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: dnf – injury enforced race retirement.
“It became impossible to ride and I had to stop – the pain was just too much and it got worse lap by lap. I was surprised that I lasted so long.”




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


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI / Camel Yamaha Team
2 Marco MELANDRI / Fortuna Honda
3 Nicky HAYDEN / Repsol Honda Team
4 Dani PEDROSA / Repsol Honda Team
5 Loris CAPIROSSI / Ducati Marlboro Team
6 Shinya NAKANO / Kawasaki Racing Team
7 Chris VERMEULEN / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
8 Sete GIBERNAU / Ducati Marlboro Team
9 Carlos CHECA / Tech 3 Yamaha
10 John HOPKINS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
11 Toni ELIAS / Fortuna Honda
12 Colin EDWARDS / Camel Yamaha Team
13 James ELLISON / Tech 3 Yamaha
14 Jose Luis CARDOSO / Pramac d'Antín MotoGP



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


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