MotoGP > MotoGP Round 13: Malaysia GP > Race Results
MotoGPMalaysiaSeptember 10, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG

Pedrosa Squeezes Hayden's Championship Lead

Qualifying >>

In another enthralling encounter as a vintage World Championship season reaches boiling point, the Malaysian Grand Prix, played out in front of 43,000 hardcore fans, provided yet another high octane duel won by Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) from the reliably combative Loris Capirossi (Ducati), with red-hot rookie Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) third.



Dani Pedrosa


Kenny Roberts Jnr


After the monsoon-aborted qualifying session, this 21-lap dice got underway in a 33-degree heat haze with the track at a steamy 49-degrees. With just four rounds to go after this critical encounter, the stakes were high, and it was inevitable that the lap record set by Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) last year would tumble. The American’s 2m 02.993s time was bested by Capirossi as early as the fourth lap, the Italian setting a 2.02.376s time as Rossi, overhauled the holeshotter Pedrosa on lap one to make the early running from the Spaniard with Capirossi third, Hayden fourth and Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) in fifth.

Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) made a lightning start from 14th on the grid to hold seventh place on the opening lap. And on the next tour of this demanding 5.548km track, the genial Spaniard was up to fifth. Capirossi meanwhile was working on Rossi, and by lap three he stole underneath him at the final turn to lead.

The Italian made some headway until his compatriot Rossi retook the lead and the Ducati man was then passed by the injured Pedrosa for second. Dani was carrying a broken toe and a badly cut right knee, but these injuries did nothing to dampen his desire, although they may have sapped his stamina.

By mid-race distance Rossi held a 0.755 second advantage over Capirossi who had by then relegated Dani to third. The mercurial Elias had slipped to ninth before falling and ending his race, while Hayden was holding fourth place ahead of Gibernau. Rossi and Capirossi would then steal away from their pursuers to dispute the victory among themselves.

By lap 16 the leading duo had pulled out nearly two seconds on Dani who held a 1.4 second advantage over his team-mate Hayden. In the closing laps the dice for the lead was as furious as anything seen on the sweeping curves of Sepang.

On the penultimate lap Capirossi grabbed the lead into turn one until Rossi snatched it back moments later to set up a gripping finale. Capirossi engaged in the final lap with a 0.6 second lead over Rossi. The pair almost clashing fairings on the high-speed back section as Rossi seized the lead again.

At the final turn on the final lap on the back chute Rossi ran wide offering Capirossi a chance to pounce, but the hard-charger also ran wide allowing the Yamaha man to clinch the win and revitalise his World Championship aspirations. Dani completed the podium postions with Hayden just behind in fourth place.

As the points tally now stands Hayden still tops the table with 214 points to Dani’s 192, with Rossi on 188, Capirossi on 171 and Melandri with 168. Honda heads the Constructors’ Championship with 276 to Yamaha’s 226 with Ducati lying third on 180 points.

Dani said, “In the end I got the result – that’s the important thing. Also I was lucky that the qualifying practice was cancelled – to start from fifth on the grid was really, really important for me today. I have to say thank you to all the guys in the Clinica Mobile because they worked very hard for me and made me believe I could race. They took so much care of me – it was a very special job. Thank you to everybody and I will not forget this day.”

His team-mate Nicky said, “I felt like I rode my hardest and for that I’m proud, but at this level sometimes that isn’t good enough. I’ve got no excuses – the bike, the set-up and the tyres were pretty good, yet we couldn’t quite go at their speed. It didn’t feel great just being off the back that little bit. We’ll keep fighting though – there are four races to go and some tracks I really like coming up. We’re still in it, and we’ll keep working hard.”

Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V), who finished seventh, said, “I got a bad start – just didn’t get off the line well, and that put me in a bad place for the entire race. I was overshooting a lot of these slow corners trying to be aggressive. It took me a while to smooth out and by the time I did, I was where I was at.”

Stoner, eighth at the flag, said, “I think I had a chance at the podium, especially when I was right on Hayden’s butt early in the race. Then Nicky braked early into the final corner and I nearly hit him, he pulled a gap, and five laps later I was worn out. I was really struggling into the corners under braking, I had to use my upper body too much. The problem started when I jinked my back as the bike wobbled under the brakes, up until then I was gaining on the guys in front.”

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V), ninth, said, “It was a very difficult weekend – we didn’t manage to solve the problems with the front-end at all. I tried to give my best in the race, but I did not feel comfortable on the bike and so I did not risk too much and decided to just claim some points that could prove important in the Championship. I am disappointed as I don’t like battling for ninth place, but I hope I will be able to do better in Australia.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V), who managed 14th place, said, “The tyre choice was not good and the front was finished after three laps. That made it a really hard race for me. I like Phillip Island and I must finish well there and try to find good rhythm for Motegi.”

“I made a good start, my best of the season, and quickly found a good rhythm,” said Elias, who fell on lap ten, and failed to finish the race. “I lapped with the lead group and felt comfortable, but when I tried to push harder as we were entering the first corner on lap 16, I braked a bit too late and lost the front end. It’s a shame because we fell when we were riding a good race and I feel sorry for the team.”

The 250cc race was won by Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia), who stretched his World Championship lead over his only realistic challenger Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW), who finished second. Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) was third.

Lorenzo was in charge from the lights and as early as lap two the Spaniard had established a 1.933 second lead over the Honda man who used all his skills to hound the Aprilia rider passing his rival on several occasions rider but one small mistake was enough to give Lorenzo an advantage he held to the flag. Lorenzo has now won seven races in 12 outings this season. He now holds a 12-point lead over Dovi with four races remaining.

Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW), returning from injury, finished fourth and in the Constructors’ Championship Honda has 229 points to Aprilia’s 271.

Dovi said, “I lost only five points, but I should have earned some instead; I still believe in the World Championship title, but if I want to win races I have to go away from the beginning. Today I tried everything to keep the lead. I even tried to set the rhythm, but when I had a bit of an advantage I made a small mistake and Lorenzo could catch me up again.”

Takahashi said, “This has been a very tough race for me, I think one of the most difficult of my career. After five laps, I started feeling pain in my left arm, and then, after a while, I had to lean it on the fuel tank on the straights. The situation kept getting worse and eventually I started shaking from the effort I was making. Luckily I had a good gap from the other riders who were behind me and this let me finish fourth.”

Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished sixth and said, “I made a very bad start and then everything became complicated. At the beginning of the race I had trouble
overtaking the riders in front of me and once I had managed to pass them, the front group had already opened a gap. For some laps I tried to catch up with them but then I decided to stay in the second group. It’s been a really difficult weekend.”

Series points leader Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) won the 125cc race from his nearest World Championship challenger Mika Kallio (KTM) with Hector Faubel (Aprilia) third. The race was stopped and restarted after a second lap crash at the final turn. But Bautista, who led the first lap from the start, also dominated the resumed 12-lap affair too.

Bautista was unstoppable and won comfortably from Kallio who had to fight tooth and nail with Faubel for second. Bautista now has 255 points to Kallio’s 181, with Mattia Pasini lying third with 156 points. Aprilia head the Constructors’ Championship with 278 points to KTM’s 186, with Honda holding third on 132 points.

Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) was the highest placed Honda finisher in eighth, while Fabrizio Lai (Seedorf Racing Honda RS125R) was 11th. Reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) finished in 13th place.

Luthi said, “In the first start I was not so bad but on the first lap I already knew I could not pass faster bikes out of the slipstream. I was going to have to fight with them on the brakes. At the second start it was the same problem and I knew I had no chance. I knew I was able to pass the fastest guys in the corners but I would lose almost one-second down the straights.”





Casey Stoner


Andrea Dovizioso


MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
“The result is very good. The big decision today was whether or not I would race, and until the last moment I was still in doubt about it. We chose to race and they gave me one injection to take away the pain. Although I felt the stitches pressing under my leathers, the pain on my knee was gone. In the race my left foot hurt, and so did my left knee but in the right knee I felt no pain. I got a good start but I was expecting the leaders to pull away and I also expecting the lap times to be a little faster than they were. At the end I was very tired – my bike had just the basic set-up because I lost time in practice so I was riding on the limit in the race. In the end I got the result – that’s the important thing. Also I was lucky that the qualifying practice was cancelled – to start from fifth on the grid was really, really important for me today. I have to say thank you to all the guys in the Clinica Mobile because they worked very hard for me and made me believe I could race. They took so much care of me – it was a very special job. Also to my team because they helped me to race. Thank you to everybody and I will not forget this day.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“It was quite a frustrating day because we didn’t have enough speed today. We got a little bit behind on Friday and yesterday’s qualifying session was washed out which didn’t help, but the bottom line is the guys in front of me were faster today. I felt like I rode my hardest and for that I’m proud, but at this level sometimes that isn’t good enough. I’ve got no excuses – the bike, the set-up and the tyres were pretty good, yet we couldn’t quite go at their speed. It didn’t feel great just being off the back that little bit. We’ll keep fighting though – there’s four races to go and some tracks I really like coming up. We’re still in it, and we’ll keep working hard.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 7th.

“I got a bad start – just didn’t get off the line well, and that put me in a bad place for the entire race. I was overshooting a lot of these slow corners trying to be aggressive. It took me a while to smooth out and by the time I did, I was where I was at.
I just tried to stay smooth. When John (Hopkins) got past and went after Casey (Stoner), I was able to catch Casey too. I passed him, and I wanted to make a run at John, but I needed another couple of laps.

Kenny Roberts Senior – team owner.
“I wasn’t really confident going into it, so I think that was probably the best we could have hoped for. In practice, again we are doing the one or two laps that put us up there, but I think he is disguising at that point some of the weaknesses we’ve got. He was having trouble all weekend getting off the slower corners without spinning, and it just magnifies it in the race, especially after a bad start. When he gets ahead, he’s okay because it slows them down on the corner exit too. We really didn’t have enough time with the new chassis to work that out.”

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 8th.
“I’m not feeling the best, I had a lot of pain in my back from halfway through the race. I couldn’t move my bum across the seat to change direction -- the team did their job today, I could not have asked for more, and I just did not deliver on my side. I think I had a chance at the podium, especially when I was right on Hayden’s butt early in the race. Then Nicky braked early into the final corner and I nearly hit him, he pulled a gap, and five laps later I was worn out.
I was really struggling into the corners under brakes, I had to use my upper body too much. The problem started when I jinked my back as the bike wobbled under brakes, up until then I was gaining on the guys in front.”

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 9th.
“It was a very difficult weekend – we didn’t manage to solve the problems with the front end at all. I tried to give my best in the race, but I did not feel comfortable on the bike and so I did not risk too much and decided to just claim some points that could prove important in the championship. I am disappointed as I don’t like battling for ninth place, but I hope I will be able to do better in Australia.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 14th.
“The tyre choice was not good and the front was finished after three laps. That made it a really hard race for me. I like Phillip Island and I must finish well there and try to find good rhythm for Motegi.”

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: dnf – crash.
“I made a good start, my best of the season, and quickly found a good rhythm. I lapped with the lead group and felt comfortable, but when I tried to push harder as we were entering the first corner on lap 16, I braked a bit too late and lost the front end. It’s a shame because we fell when we were riding a good race and I feel sorry for the team."


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 2nd.
“Today I was at the same level with Lorenzo, because I had a good pace. Then, though, De Angelis slowed me down, so I lost few important meters and it was impossible for me to stay close to Lorenzo. I knew this could have happened and Aprilia riders would try to do it. De Angelis did nothing wrong, he did what he was supposed to do, but that overtaking has been decisive for the race. I lost only five points, but I should have earned some instead; I still believe in the World Championship title, but if I want to win races I have to go away from the beginning. Today I tried everything to keep the leader, I knew it was the right strategy to avoid that somebody put himself in between me and Lorenzo. I even tried to set the rhythm but when I had a bit of an advantage I made a small mistake and Lorenzo could catch me up again”.

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 4th.
“This has been a very tough race for me, I think one of the most difficult of my career. After five laps, I started feeling pain in my left arm and, then, after a while, I had to lean it on the fuel tank on the straights. The situation kept getting worst and eventually I started shaking from the effort I was making; luckily I had a good gap from the other riders who was behind me and this let me finishing fourth”.

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 6th.
“I made a very bad start and then everything became complicated. At the beginning of the race I had trouble overtaking the riders in front of me and once I had managed to pass them, the front group had already opened a gap. For some laps I tried to catch up with them but then I decided to stay in the second group. It’s been a really difficult weekend. We would have needed more time to get everything ready.”

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 9th.
“I’m happy with that race because we have a very good chassis and I was faster in the corners than the people I was racing with. But on the long straights here I was losing time – I had problems staying in the slipstream of the factory bikes. Its not the best conditions for us on tracks with long straights.”

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 11th.
“The lap times were not fast and many riders crashed but I just rode a good constant speed and the tyres performed well. We didn’t do so many laps in practice so the chassis set up was not perfect. The engine was better in the warm than the race but I am happy enough with the way I rode today.”

Martin Cardenas, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash.

“I’m very disappointed because it's been a bad race due to the crash. I made a good start and some riders passed me during the first lap because I wasn’t pushing too hard. In the second lap, in a downward corner I lost the front end and that was the end of the race. Fortunately I'm physically OK.”

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – crash.
“I’m happy with my race even if I did crash. I was holding a safe 11th place right behind Aleix (Espargaro) but on lap but at the end of the straight West out-braked both of us then crashed right in front of us. I had to run wide to miss him. Then I tried to hard and was wide on one corner got on the gas a little too hard and the ear end went away from me and I had a big slide and high-sided off the bike. I hurt my hand but nothing is broken so I should be fit for Australia.”

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: dnf – crash.
“I am disappointed with myself for the crash because that would have been my best ever GP result. I was running 11th and catching Cluzel but with a couple of laps to go the front end turned in and I crashed.”


125cc:

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 8th.
“This has been one of the more tough and incredible race in my career. Two starts put you under pressure and it is difficult both physically and psychologically. Anyway, I did my best, the bike worked well and the team made an excellent job. Despite the Aprilia superiority in the straights, I was able to stay in the top group fighting for the third place. In the last few laps, though, I lost a bit of space as we all riders in the group made some small mistakes, but still I’m the first Honda rider at the checkered flag.”

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 11th.
"I had some engine problems durino the restart of the race. I tried to maintain the contact with the leaders of the race but my Honda has less power than Aprilia. Then Koyama, on Malaguti, slowed me down. I lost the leading group and I tried to maintain the 11th position, that pursue me by now!"

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: 12th.
“I am very happy with my race because yesterday the conditions didn’t help us and I had to start from 26th on the grid. Today we had a very good warm up and I went into the race feeling confident. My start was very good and I got in behind Luthi and passed him. I caught Lai and passed him but late in the race I got a little bit tired and Lai repassed me. I stayed behind him because I preferred not to crash and finish the race. My bike was really good today and I have to thank my team for all their work.This is the happiest day of my racing life.”

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 13th.
"In the first start I was not so bad but on the first lap I already knew I could not pass fast bikes out of the slipstream I was going to have to fight with them on the brakes. The second start it was the same problem I knew I had no chance. I knew I was able to pass the fast guys in the corners but I would lose almost one-second down the straights. Then, two or three times the bike would not rev coming off a slow corner and I don't know why. When Koyama crashed in front of me I had to brake and my race was as good as over. Not a great weekend for the team."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 17th.
“In the first start of the race I was not so bad but on the second lap I lost the front end and crashed. I got a perfect start the second time and was in ninth – 10th place but I was pushed wide at one corner and almost high sided and that cost me a few places. Then later on the same lap Di Meglio crashed right in front of me and I had to go onto the grass to miss him. That left me in 22nd place at the end of the lap - race finished!”

Michele Pirro, Humangest Honda: 24th.
“I’m happy to have finished my first race with the Honda of the Humangest Racing Team. Still I don’t have the best feeling on the bike but it’s positive that I’ve been improving since Friday. At the beginning of the race I wasn’t going too bad, but then I started to struggled and I slow down a bit.”

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 21st.
"If I am faster with a wrist and leg pains and a problem to the fork I will make myself beaten before each race! I found the right feeling during the race and I improved my performance."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda:
Did not race due to injury sustained at Czech Republic GP.

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: dnf – crash.

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: dnf – flat rear tyre.


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG


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



Dani Pedrosa
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team
3 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team
5 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth
6 Shuhei AOYAMA / Repsol Honda
7 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
8 Marco SIMONCELLI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
9 Aleix ESPARGARO / Wurth Honda BQR
10 Jules CLUZEL / Equipe GP De France - Scrab
11 Arnaud VINCENT / Arie Molenaar Racing
12 Jordi CARCHANO / WTR Blauer USA
13 Taro SEKIGUCHI / Campetella Racing
14 Luca MORELLI / Nocable Angaia Racing
15 Anthony WEST / Kiefer - Bos - Racing
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
2 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM GP 125
3 Hector FAUBEL / Master - MVA Aspar Team
4 Julian SIMON / Red Bull KTM GP 125
5 Joan OLIVE / SSM Racing
6 Sergio GADEA / Master - MVA Aspar Team
7 Mattia PASINI / Master - MVA Aspar Team
8 Gabor TALMACSI / Humangest Racing Team
9 Lukas PESEK / Derbi Racing
10 Nicolas TEROL / Derbi Racing
11 Fabrizio LAI / Valsir Seedorf Racing
12 Esteve RABAT / Wurth Honda BQR
13 Thomas LUTHI / Elit - Caffe Latte
14 Pol ESPARGARO / Campetella Racing Junior
15 Simone CORSI / Squadra Corse Metis Gilera
 


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