MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 17: Valencia GP > Qualifying
MotoGPValenciaOctober 28, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Valencia Grand Prix at Comunitat Valenciana Qualifying

Hayden Manages Second Row For Title Showdown

Race Results >>

This final qualifying session for the final MotoGP race of the season was not quite what Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) wanted. On his fastest qualifying lap Nicky was forced off line on the third time split when he encountered a slowing rider and will now start from row two as fifth fastest qualifier. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) starts from pole with Ducati riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi completing the front row.



Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)


Dani Pedorosa(Repsol Honda Team)

Nicky has Kawasaki man Shinya Nakano ahead of him in fourth and his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) alongside him in sixth. Nicky briefly held pole with 15 minutes of the hour remaining – but if his race set-up proves ideal for tomorrow’s 30-lap encounter he would gladly relinquish the top grid slot in exchange for a win.

It was Capirossi who laid down the first marker here with a 1m 32.255s lap as riders worked on race tyre endurance tests in the 50 minutes before the majority of riders fitted ultra-sticky qualifying rubber. But with 25 minutes gone Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) opted for a qualifier to put in an early pole time of 1m 31.914s.

Capirossi then returned the compliment on the half-hour mark with a 1m 31.682s time to hold pole before the pace hotted up. With 20 minutes to go the action started with the order; Capirossi, de Puniet, Bayliss, John Hopkins (Suzuki), Rossi, Hayden and then Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V)

Nakano then rocketed to the second fastest time before Bayliss marked his one-off return to MotoGP with a blistering 1m 31.585s lap to go pole. But delighted as most onlookers were with the Australian visitor’s impact, most eyes were on the more serious business of where Hayden and Rossi would end up.

Nicky hit the front on the 15-minute mark and Rossi went second fastest ahead of Bayliss. With ten minutes left on the clock, Rossi put in a 1m 31.234s lap to snatch pole, the order on the front row being Rossi, Hayden, Nakano.

Then with three minutes remaining Bayliss stole pole again, but only for a matter of seconds as Rossi followed him over the line to record a 1m 31.002s lap that would not be bettered. The placings behind pole would be fiercely disputed though.

Nakano fought back onto the front row in third and it looked as if he might stay there until a fired-up Capirossi charged into third spot relegating Nakano to row two in his final ride in green livery.

Casey Stoner, riding with an injured back, ended the day in seventh place with Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) 12th fastest, Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) 13th on the grid, Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V) 14th and Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V), in his last MotoGP ride, 15th.

Nicky said, “We’re starting on the second row and that means I need a lightning start tomorrow. We’re definitely going all in for the win and it’ll be interesting because there are some guys going really fast out there. I need fast guys – but I don’t need them to be faster than me! I didn’t get on the front row where I needed to be which makes it a bit harder for me – and I’m not thrilled about that. I just need to focus on the race and finish the year strong – whatever happens happens.”

Dani said, “On the qualifying tyres this afternoon at first I was not so fast. I improved a little on my later runs and we finished in sixth place – which is not perfect because Rossi is on pole. From the second row I will need to do a great start tomorrow and get away with the leaders. It’s going to be a big race in front of many, many fans so I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I made a small mistake on my fast lap,” said Stoner. “And lost 0.2s, which would have put me up in the top four positions. But I’m close to the front, and not 14th, which is where I was before I got that new tyre from Michelin. The tyre felt more predictable and didn’t upset the bike. My back is OK when I am riding so that’s OK. This race is always close in qualifying but a lot of riders drop-off towards the end. I’m just going out to do my own thing in the final race of the season.”

Melandri said, “I am not satisfied because it will be a very hard race tomorrow. I hope to make a good start as I have the race rhythm to be up with the front-runners. I did not make best use of the qualifying tyre and could not guarantee myself a good position on the grid. I want to try and get a good result so that I can confirm third place in the Championship.”

Elias said, “I’m not happy with the result because I wanted to be further up. However, I don’t want to write off my chances as in Portugal I started 15th but ended up winning the race. I hope to make a good start and make up as many positions as I can quickly. My race rhythm has improved over the weekend so I hope I can get a good result.”

Kenny Roberts said, “I think the machine is closer than I am at the moment. There’s probably more to come from myself than anything. This morning I did some mid- to low-33s, and felt pretty good. I thought I could go quite a bit faster. I started on used tyres, then we got down to the time that I was doing this morning. I guess if we’d have left the bike with one setting and just kept throwing in tyres I might have been a little bit better off, but we’re always trying to improve it, and just never seemed to hit.”

Makoto Tamada said, “I made a long series of laps with a race bike setting and I have to say that, with these conditions, the set up I’ll have at my disposal tomorrow is really satisfying. When using qualifiers, the feeling with the bike changed completely and, as many times throughout the season, I was not able to make the best use of the grip I had. The bike handling becomes harder in corner entry.”

In the 250cc class Hiro Aoyama (KTM) qualified on pole for the first and last time this season, with series points leader Jorge Lorenzo second fastest qualifier, Alex de Angelis third fastest and with veteran Roberto Locatelli completing the front row (all Aprilia).

The only man capable of depriving Lorenzo of the 250cc World title, Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW), qualified seventh for a second row start. Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) qualified eighth and David de Gea, standing in for the injured Martin Cardenas, (Repsol Honda RS250RW) ninth.

Dovi said, “It’s difficult for me as this track doesn’t suit me at all. The main problem is my riding because I struggled a lot. On top of that, we lose out on acceleration compared to my rivals, especially the KTMs. However, the bike set-up is OK but I can’t take full advantage of the Honda’s potential. The hope for the title is really slim but I’ll do my best until the chequered flag.”

Aoyama said, “I’m not so happy with the result. We had some problems with the suspension. In fact, we managed to improve a bit compared to yesterday and this morning, but it was not enough, the problem is still there. The start position is not as good as I expected, second row, so I’ll have to make a good start in order to be able to keep up with the leading group. I’ll give my best, let’s see what happens.”

His team-mate de Gea said, “The afternoon practice was definitely not as good as in the morning, I was fifth in the morning and ninth in the afternoon. However, we all know that no rider gives it all during the free practices. But I think that the result is good, because we also had a problem during the practice that made us lose some time which I would have needed to get a better pace.”

True to form, Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) was the dominant force in the half-hour of 125cc qualifying. The Spanish World Champion headed the timesheet early and was only knocked off the top spot once during the session by his team-mate Hector Faubel. The front row comprises Bautista, Faubel, Sergio Gadea and Mattia Pasini (all Aprilia)

This is Bautista’s eighth pole of his World Championship season and he made it look easy, improving his time with 18 minutes to go, then besting Faubel’s attempt, before shaving his 1m 39.083s time down to 1m 39.058 on his final lap.

Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) fell four times during qualifying over these two days, the fourth with 20 minutes of this stint remaining. He qualified 23rd, while the best Honda qualifier was Sandro Cortese (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) in ninth on the grid. Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) qualified 12th fastest.

Talmacsi said, “Well it was a positive session this afternoon and we worked well on the race set-up. Unfortunately, we chose the wrong rear tyre at the last turn of the qualifying session and the bike was sliding too much. In general, though, we are almost ready; we’re all very close and tomorrow it could be a spectacular race.”

Smith said, “Tomorrow is when everything counts, so I'll try to make a really good start, give everything in the first few laps and try to keep going until the end, and we'll see what we can get."



Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)


Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)

MotoGP:

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, 5th:
"We're starting on the second row and that means I need a lightning start tomorrow. We're definitely going all in for the win and it'll be interesting because there are some guys going really fast out there. I need fast guys - but I don't need them to be faster than me! I didn't get on the front row where I needed to be which makes it a bit harder for me - and I'm not thrilled about that. On my last qualifier I had a good lap going and then had a bit of an issue with traffic in the last split when I had to pass a guy who was starting a lap while I was still on a hot one. It kinda got me off line and I lost a lot of time in the last split but I don't want to make excuses. We need to tweak on it tonight and see if I can find a little more pace. Regardless I just need to focus on the race and finish the year strong - whatever happens happens."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda, 6th:
"Today we had a good practice in the morning and made some more progress with the race set-up and tyre choice. We more-or-less have the set-up now although we still need to find a few tenths of a second because some riders improved their race pace in the afternoon. On the qualifying tyres this afternoon at first I was not so fast. I improved a little on my later runs and we finished in sixth place - which is not perfect because Rossi is on pole. From the second row I will need to do a great start tomorrow and get away with the leaders. It's going to be a big race in front of many, many fans so I'm really looking forward to it."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda, 7th:
"I did the best qualifying lap I've ever done compared to my times on race tyres after finally getting a decent qualifying tyre. And I made a small mistake on my fast lap and lost 0.2s, which would have put me up in the top four positions. But I'm close to the front, and not 14th, which is where I was before I got that new tyre from Michelin. The tyre felt more predictable and didn't upset the bike. My back is OK when I am riding so that's OK. This race is always close in qualifying but a lot riders drop-off towards the end; I'm just going out to do my own thing in the final race of the season".

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda, 12th:
"I am not satisfied, it will be a very hard race tomorrow. I hope to make a good start as I have the race rhythm to be up with the front-runners. I did not make best use of the qualifying tyre and could not guarantee myself a good position on the grid. I want to try and get a good result so that I can confirm third place in the
championship."

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda, 13th:
"I am not happy with the result because I wanted to be further up. However, I don't want to write off my chances as in Portugal I started 15th but ended up winning the race. I hope to make a good start and make up as many positions as I can quickly. My race rhythmhas improved over the weekend so I hope I can get a good result."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda, 14th:
"I think the machine is closer than I am at the moment. There is probably more to come from myself than anything. This morning I did some mid- to low-33s, and felt pretty good. I thought I could go quite a bit faster. I started on used tyres, then we got down to the time that I was doing this morning."

"We've been trying different settings in both bikes each time I went out. I guess if we'd have left the bike with one setting and just kept throwing in tyres I might have been a little bit better off, but we're always trying to improve it, and just never seemed to hit. We'll change a bit more for the morning and try and get to the low 33s. If we do that, that's pretty good for the race. Just a matter of getting a good start. I was never really in synch with it today, so I don't think it's the end of the world. We were round the same place in Portugal. Get a good start and have a good pace, and that should be us."

Kenny Roberts - Team Owner:
"We've been fighting grip since we got here. Now the package is getting better. It's a combination of not getting it right on day one and practice one, then playing catch-up the rest of the time. We have no experience on the race-track, and if you hit it wrong at the beginning, it's difficult. In Portugal it seemed good right from day one."

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda, 15th:
“I made a long series of laps with a race bike setting and I have to say that, with these conditions, the set up I’ll have at my disposal tomorrow is really satisfying. When using qualifiers, the feeling with the bike changed completely and, as many times throughout the season, I was not able to make the best use of the grip I had. The bike handling becomes harder on corner entry.”

250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda, 7th:
"It is difficult for me as this track doesn't suit me at all. The main problem is my riding because I struggled a lot and this doesn't help. On top of that, we loose in acceleration compared to my rivals, especially the KTMs. However, the bike set-up is okay but I can't take full advantage of Honda potential. The hope for the title is really slim but I'll do my best until the chequered flag."

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda:
Will not start the race due to broken leg sustained in Friday's free practice session.

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda, 8th:
"I'm not so happy with the result. We had some problems with the suspensions. In fact, we managed to improve a bit compared to yesterday and this morning, but it was not enough, the problem is still there. The start position is not as good as I expected, second row, so I'll have to make a good start in order to be able to keep up with the leading group. I'll give my best, let's see what happens."

David de Gea, Repsol Honda, 9th:
"The afternoon practice was definitely not as good as in the morning, I was fifth in the morning and ninth in the afternoon. However, we all know that no rider gives it all during the free practices. But I think that the result is good, because we also had a problem during the practice that made us loose some time which I would have needed to get a better pace. I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow. The position is not bad; I'm the first of the third row, so I'm going to give it all. The bike's setting is very good and I also have a good pace, so I'll try to give my very best."

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR, 15th:
"I'm losing a little confidence with the bike. I had several real bad slides so we tried several different tyres but I got a little confused about what to do with the suspension. We have to work tonight to choose the best option to stop the sliding. My race rhythm is good and I can run 1.36.5s no problem. In the race I need a good start and I will have to pass a lot of riders if I want to get a good result, I am aiming for the top ten. I can run a fast race but not as fast as I was in Portugal."

Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing, 18th:
"Everything is OK. In the final session I had found a very good race rhythm and didn't want to push too hard to chase a time and risk a crash. The track is so - so, not a particular favourite of mine. I can run 1m 37s times all the race and will be OK. The engine, chassis and tyres are working well and all I need to do is get a good start and run my race pace and I will score points."

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR, 22nd:
"The bike was much better this afternoon than in the morning when the suspension settings were causing the rear end to slide badly. The team have found a good solution. The engine is good and with the chassis working well I should have a good race tomorrow. I live less than one hour from the track and know it well, I won a Spanish Championship race here but even then its not one of my favourites."

125cc:

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda, 9th:
"That was my best qualifying session of the season and I'm the best Honda on the grid so I am pleased about that. We did have a few problems in that session. From the start we had carburetion problems but the team fixed that. My engine is good and I could out-accelerate Talmacsi, and I have good top speed. The front suspension was not helping me hold my line but it's now working the way I need it to. Good engine, good chassis so I'm ready to race - I just need another good start tomorrow."

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda, 12th:
"Well it was a positive session this afternoon as we have worked well on the race set-up. Unfortunately, we have chosen the wrong rear tyre at the last turn of the qualifying session and the bike was sliding too much. In general, though, we are almost ready; we all riders are very close and tomorrow it could be a spectacular race."

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda, 13t:
"I was aiming for the second row of the grid but end up on the fourth row. I am down on acceleration and need to slipstream riders but to get the best time you need to slipstream the best and I wasn't in a good group to do that. We will fight in the race tomorrow this is my last race on a 125cc and I want to finish as the top Honda rider in the championship. From my grid position I need a good start and then try to pick them off one by one to get to the front - try and score as many points as possible."

Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World, 14th:
"The bike set up today was better than yesterday and this morning. The bike lacks acceleration but it was always like that this year. I’m satisfied because we are solving some set up problems and tomorrow I can be competitive."

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR, 17th:
"I'm happy with my time, my best ever here, but unhappy with my grid position, the speed is high this year. The bike is pretty good we did have an engine problem - I could feel something was not quite right so I didn't push too hard, it felt as if it was not pulling too hard. I like this track, I was second here in a national race, so when the team fixed the problem I could run very fast today. I need a good start - if I get that then I can have a good race."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda, 23rd:
"Well, today didn't go really as planned. The first crash was really my fault, I didn't allow the front tyre to warm enough. It's a left-handed circuit and I went into the right-hander and the heat wasn't quite in, my line wasn't quite correct and with this mix together I crashed. Then I went out with the second bike and didn't really do so well, though I did the best I could. We made some changes in the afternoon which I thought were ok but from the beginning the rear didn't feel quite right. When I crashed I didn't realise. It was all of a sudden. The rear slid and I went down. I went out on the second bike and improved on my lap time. After three crashes in the weekend and improving with bike number too, it's a slightly positive thing, but negative overcomes everything positive this weekend. Tomorrow is when everything counts, so I'll try to make a really good start, give everything in the first few laps and try to keep going until the end, and we'll see what we can get."

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World, 35th:
"I found a lot of traffic during all the session and I couldn’t do a good lap."

Kazuma Watanabe, Humangest Honda, 36th:
"In this morning session and at the beginning of the qualifier my feeling with the bike wasn't so good and I could not push as I would. Then, we put a different tyre and things went definitely better. In the last two laps, I suffered a small technical problem and couldn't improve further. Anyway, we are going in the right direction."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar racing, 38th:
"I put too much pressure on myself in the qualifying session, I was too focused on a fast lap and was just trying too hard. The high temperatures of today didn't help us, the near 30' robbed us of a little power. The team have worked really well and have given me a bike that works well. They found a solution to the front fork problem we had yesterday and put in a longer first gear. I was 1.1 seconds faster today but I know if I had been relaxed I could have gone 0.5s faster."

Clement Dunikowski, replacement rider for Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda, 39th:
“Today, the practices were more difficult than yesterday. This morning I started the session quite well with a Honda bike that had a very good maximum speed; I was 20th for a while and I quickly improve my lap time of two tenth. Then, I entered a corner faster and I unfortunately crashed. I finished the session with the second machine of the team but my ankle was very painful. After the free practice, I went to the medical centre because I could not walk. However, despite the medical cares, I was not in a good shape for the qualifying session. My ankle was still painful and I had a lot of difficulty to feel comfortable on the bike. I could not do again the lap time realized in the morning and so now, I am in 39th place on the starting grid. ”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Valencia Grand Prix at Comunitat Valenciana Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI (Camel Yamaha Team)
2 Troy BAYLISS (Ducati Marlboro Team)
3 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
4 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Casey STONER (Honda LCR)
8 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Colin EDWARDS (Camel Yamaha Team)
11 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)
13 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Honda)
14 Kenny ROBERTS JR (Team Roberts)
15 Makoto TAMADA (KONICA MINOLTA Honda)
16 Carlos CHECA (Tech 3 Yamaha)
17 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
18 Jose Luis CARDOSO (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)
19 James ELLISON (Tech 3 Yamaha)
20 Garry McCOY (Ilmor SRT)
 
250cc
1 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
3 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
4 Roberto LOCATELLI (Team Toth)
5 Marco SIMONCELLI (Squadra Corse Metis Gilera)
6 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Aprilia)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)
8 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda Team 250)
9 David DE GEA (Repsol Honda Team 250)
10 Alex DEBON (Aprilia Racing)
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
2 Hector FAUBEL (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
3 Sergio GADEA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
4 Mattia PASINI (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
5 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
6 Pol ESPARGARO (Campetella Racing Junior)
7 Lukas PESEK (Derbi Racing)
8 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
9 Sandro CORTESE (Elit - Caffe Latte)
10 Randy KRUMMENACHER (Red Bull ADAC KTM Junior)
 


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