MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 02: Spanish GP > Race Results
MotoGPSpainMarch 25, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez Race Results

Dani On Podium With Hard-Earned Second Place

Qualifying >>

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won the Spanish Grand Prix from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) with Colin Edwards (Yamaha) third. In front of a passionate 138,000 crowd in perfect racing conditions, this race was never quite as close as the tight-fought qualifying session promised it might be.



Dani Pedrosa


Dani Pedrosa


Dani hit turn one in the lead from pole with Rossi right on his rear tyre and Edwards just behind. With track temperature at 31 degrees and with a 19 degree ambient temperature the atmosphere was set for a close contest. Especially when Rossi slipped past Dani at the first hairpin to take the lead.

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) was up to fourth after starting from 11th on the grid with Casey Stoner (Ducati) in fifth ahead of Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) and John Hopkins (Suzuki) in seventh ahead of Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) and Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V).

Hopkins set an early race fastest lap of 1m 40.938s as he moved up to fifth place, while Stoner dropped back and Melandri charged up to seventh. Dani was hanging onto Rossi comfortably at this stage even though the Italian had set a new fastest lap on lap five.

As Dani kept in touch with Rossi, Edwards dropped off the pace and by lap 11 Rossi led Dani by 0.75 seconds while the pair enjoyed a 1.1 second cushion over Edwards who led Nicky and Hopkins by 2.5 seconds. Melandri was now sixth and Elias seventh.

The leaders would not switch position now until after the flag, but at mid-race distance there was still plenty of action to unfold behind the podium places. Hopkins fell while holding fourth place on lap 17. This elevated the flying Elias from fifth. Hayden had now slipped back to seventh.

Dani pressed on after Rossi but the Italian was in control here. His team-mate Edwards couldn’t haul Dani any closer, but behind them Stoner had closed in on Hayden and stolen fifth from the reigning World Champion.

Rossi would win by 1.2 seconds at the flag (having set a lap record of 1m 40.905s), and Edwards would cross the line 2.7 seconds behind the winner. This was a high-speed procession of a race, but one in which Dani stayed in touch at the sharp end of the overall points standings.

The points table after two rounds shows Rossi in front on 45 points, Dani and Casey Stoner tied in second with 36 points each, Edwards fourth on 26 with Marco Melandri on 19 points.

Dani said, “I’m very happy to be on the podium for the second race in a row and we’ve had a good weekend here at Jerez since first practice on Friday. At the beginning of the race I was trying really hard not to lose too much ground to Valentino. From the middle of the race to the end I was a little bit slower than him so I just tried to keep my focus and not make any mistakes. I feel a little bit sorry for the fans here because I really wanted to win for them. I think they enjoyed the racing today and this crowd supports everybody, not just the Spanish riders. The result is very good for the team because they have been working hard for me, so a big thanks to them.”

Fourth-placed Elias said, “I’m really happy. I didn’t get a good start and in the beginning it was hard to get the tyres up to temperature. I just tried to maintain a constant pace and make up as many positions as possible. The pace of the front guys was incredible but when the others started to have problems I was able to maintain my pace and get past Stoner, Checa, Melandri and Hayden. I’m the first Bridgestone rider home so it’s a good result. We’ve worked well together and we still have some room for improvement.”

Carlos Checa finished sixth and said, “The lower track temperatures today did not give me the same feeling with the rear tyre as I had in practice, but even so it feels good to finish my home race and score some points. I made a good start but I was not decisive enough on the first lap and lost some positions – that cost me valuable time. I enjoyed the fight with Casey and Toni, this was the best part of the race, but when they pushed with five laps to go I did have the tyre grip to respond.”

“I got a good start and the first few laps were decent’” said Nicky in seventh. “I was pushing really hard though I didn’t really have the set-up to run at that pace. It felt good to be up front and see what those boys were doing but I was taking a few chances and I probably used up my tyres too much in the first few laps trying to work my way forward. It’s a little frustrating because at the last race in Qatar we got faster as the race went on yet here it was the opposite.”

Marco Melandri was eighth. He said, “It’s a disappointing result at a circuit where I should have done much better. This morning we were really quick in the warm-up and I was confident but unfortunately in the race I suffered with the same problem as in Qatar – to pass people I need to brake in a really aggressive way and that takes too much out of the front tyre. Tomorrow we have a day of tests to try a few different solutions and we’ll work particularly on the forks ahead of the race in Turkey, a circuit that holds a lot of good memories for me.”

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) finished tenth and said, “Another difficult race. I made a good start, but didn’t push so hard from the beginning, so I lost a few places. When I started to get a better feeling from the bike, I tried to push harder again but we were having some chatter problems from the front. I tried to follow other riders and hung in there and on the final lap overtook Barros for 10th. Towards the end our rhythm wasn’t so bad, but now I’m looking for more entry speed in the corner.”

Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR212V) had to make do with 16th place. The American only just made it over the line and said, “I don’t know exactly what went wrong, but something happened – either the chain, or the transmission. It happened suddenly, and I went sideways for about half-a-second in third gear. I was going to pull in, but I was able to make the last few laps. Up until then, I felt I had a little bit better pace than the guys in front of me, that I was saving for the last couple of laps. But I don’t think that matters now.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) won his second race of the season with a calculated victory in the 250cc class. He beat Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) into second place and Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) was third after leading a large part of the race.

Lorenzo lead off the line from pole with Dovi in close attendance. Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) who had qualified third made a poor start and was left way behind as the leaders peeled into turn one.

Within a lap a pattern had been set with Dovi out front leading Lorenzo, Hector Barbera (Aprilia) and Bautista. But on lap 16 Barbera fell at the final turn to leave just three riders dicing for the lead. The trio swapped places at least nine times on lap 22 before the final tour of this 26-lap encounter loomed.

Lorenzo had established just enough of an advantage to win by 0.218 seconds. Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) was seventh and Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) eighth. The luckless Simon fell on lap 13 having clawed his way up to sixth place after a terrible start.

Dovi said, “I’m very happy with my race at a track I don’t really like. My pace was good it is always very important to run at the front of the race, especially here. My problem is a lack of power against my rivals. If you stay behind the others it is very difficult in a race like today. Alvaro (Bautista) was quick in some parts of the track and I was faster in others but that helped Lorenzo get away from us. Once he had a one second lead it was always going to be very difficult for me. But I have to be happy with this result at this track.”

“The crash was a shame,” Simon said, “I have to apologize to the whole team because we made a great job throughout the weekend. I made an awful start. Then I reached a group that was lapping more or less like me, although I think that I was a bit faster than them. I took the lead of the group and began to open a gap and once I had escaped I lost the front-end on the left-hander after Dry Sack and wasn't able to avoid the crash. The team has worked brilliantly and I haven't been able to do the same.”

Aoyama said, “I made a good start and did well in the first two corners, but then the three leading riders began to push harder. I tried to be faster, but wasn’t able to keep their pace and they escaped. I tried to follow the front group, but just couldn’t. Halfway through the race and towards the end I tried to push harder, but it was so difficult. I had some problems with the suspension and tyre settings, but the problem is mine, because I haven’t been able to set them the way I like during practice.”

The World Championship points table shows Lorenzo out in front after two wins on 50 points, Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) is on 33 points and Dovi lies third with 27 points.

Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) won a very tight 125cc Grand Prix from Lukas Pesek (Derbi) with Hector Faubel (Aprilia) a distant third. Pole man Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) failed to complete the sighting lap and was forced to start from the back of the grid.

Pasini then collided with Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) as he tore through the field. Both riders managed to restart, Pasini to retire at the end of the lap with Smith eventually finishing 26th. But the fight for the win was strictly between Talmacsi and Pesek.

Talmacsi led throughout the 23-laps with Pesek playing a waiting game until the final lap when he pounced on the Hungarian. But Talmacsi kept tight on Pesek and managed to draft him over the line to take the win by just one hundredth of a second.

Joey Litjens (Arie Molenaar Racing Honda RS125R) finished in 21st position and was the leading Honda finisher. Talmacsi leads the World Championship with 45 points after two rounds. Faubel sits in second on 41 and Pesek in third with 36.

“I made a very good start,” said Smith. “And the truth is that I was feeling quite good. I made a small mistake in turn four and the group got away. Then we got to turn six, Pasini wanted to get through the inside but when he did he crashed and threw me off. These things happen some times. Now I only have to maintain the belief that I’m able to lap with the front group, because my lap times weren’t bad.”



Toni Elias


Carlos Checa


MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd:
“I am very happy to be on the podium for the second race in a row and we’ve had a good weekend here at Jerez since first practice on Friday. At the beginning of the race the pace became very fast and I was trying really hard not to lose too much ground to Valentino in the early laps. From the middle of the race to the end I was a little bit slower than him so I just tried to keep focussed and not make any mistakes. The bike felt good today and the Michelin tyres too, and I enjoyed the battle, even though I wasn’t able to fight for the win. I feel a little bit sorry for the fans here because I really wanted to win for them because they are very passionate. I think they enjoyed the racing today and this crowd supports everybody, not just the Spanish riders. The result is very good for the team because they have been working hard for me, so a big thanks to them.”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 4th:
“I’m really happy. With respect to the race in Qatar we have grown a lot and together with the team we’ve done a great job. I didn’t get a good start and in the beginning it was hard to get the tyres up to temperature. I just tried to maintain a constant pace and make up as many positions as possible. The pace of the front guys was incredible but when the others started to have problems I was able to maintain my pace and get past Stoner, Checa, Melandri and Hayden. I’m the first Bridgestone rider home so it’s a good result. We’ve worked well together and we still have some room for improvement.”

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 6th:
“The lower track temperatures today did not give me the same feeling with the rear tyre as I had in practice, but even so it feels good to finish my home race and score some points. I made a good start but I was not decisive enough on the first lap and lost some positions, that cost me valuable time. I enjoyed the fight with Casey and Toni, this was the best part of the race, but when they pushed with five laps to go I did have the tyre grip to respond."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 7th:

“I got a good start and the first few laps were decent – I was pushing really hard, though I didn’t really have the set-up to run at that pace. It felt good to be up front and see what those boys were doing but I was taking a few chances and I probably used up my tyres too much in the first few laps trying to work my way forward. It’s a little frustrating because at the last race in Qatar we got faster as the race went on yet here it was the opposite. Hopefully we can get two good days of testing and really try to make a big step before the short break. The issue is still getting the front end to turn, especially when the front tyre gets a little worn. Thanks to my team and to Michelin because those guys have been working hard and did some stuff to help me – and even though the result isn’t a lot better I do feel like we made some progress this weekend and we’re going to keep fighting to get up front.”

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 8th:
“It’s a disappointing result at a circuit where I should have done much better. This morning we were really quick in the warm-up and I was confident but unfortunately in the race I suffered with the same problem as in Qatar – to pass people I need to brake in a really aggressive way and that takes too much out of the front tyre. Tomorrow we have a day of tests to try a few different solutions and we’ll work particularly on the forks ahead of the race in Turkey, a circuit that holds a lot of good memories for me.”

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 11th:
“Another difficult race! My warm-up crash happened when I tried to carry more speed into the corner and lost the front. I made a good start in the race, but after a crash it’s not so easy to push so hard from the beginning, so I lost a few places. When I started to get a better feeling from the bike, I tried to push harder again but we were having some chattering problems from the front. I tried to follow other riders and hung in there and on the final lap overtook Barros for 10th. Towards the end our rhythm wasn’t so bad, but now I’m looking for more entry speed in the corner. Overall the engine is good and working consistently but now I just need to find a better feeling from the chassis. It’s been an up and down weekend, but the team are helping me and we will work together to solve our problems. It’s important to get these points, but as soon as we have the bike to my liking, then I will push much harder.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 16th:
“I don’t know exactly what went wrong, but something happened – either the chain, or the transmission. It happened suddenly, and I went sideways for about half-a-second in third gear. I was going to pull in, but I was able to make the last few laps. Up until then, I felt I had a little bit better pace than the guys in front of me, that I was saving for the last couple of laps. But I don’t think that matters now.”

Kenny Roberts Snr – Team Owner:
“We don’t know exactly what happened … seems there was a problem in the transmission. Whether it be the clutch, gearbox or chain, we don’t know. We’ll have to see. Until then, it was not as fast as we need to go. We have to work on more speed.”


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 3rd:
“I’m very happy with my race at a track I don’t really like. My pace was good it is always very important to run at the front of the race especially here. My main problem is a lack of power against my rivals. If you follow the leaders it is very difficult to get to the front in a race like today. Alvaro (Bautista) was fast in some parts of the track and I was faster than him in others but that helped Lorenzo get away from us. Once he had a one second lead it was always going to be very difficult for me. But I have to be happy with this result at this track.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 7th:
“I made a good start and did well in the first two corners, but then the three leading riders began to push harder. I tried to be faster, but wasn’t able to keep their pace and they escaped. I tried to follow the front group, but just couldn’t. Halfway the race and towards the end I tried to push harder, but it was so difficult. I had some problems with the suspension and tyre setting, but the problem is mine, because I haven’t' been able to set them the way I like during the practices. I’ll have to improve my performance during practices.”

Yukio Takahashi, Scot Honda: 8th:
“I got a good start and that allowed me to stay in the second group for almost the whole race. But at themed-race point I lost contact with the rider I was following and to recover in that situation is not as simple as it seems. I made some errors while braking because of the problems with my leg. But I am satisfied because I put in a better performance in the race than in practice. I’m also happy with my fifth place in the world standings.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 12th:
"At the start, two riders ahead of me blocked me and I couldn't get a better line for the first corner. After that I struggled a bit to get in a good rhythm, but midway through the race I began to improve my lap times and I was able to cut the gap with the riders ahead of me. It's a technical track and leaving with another four points is very important, it shows we're doing a good job."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 14th:
"I could have done even better without my arm problems, I was up to 12th with ten laps to go but then I had to back-off. I had to use new leathers after my crash yesterday and didn't realise they were so tight on my forearms. I knew I had to be brave on lap one and it paid-off, this result is a great boost for me."

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: dnf. – crash:
“The crash has been a shame. The truth is that I have to apologize to the whole team because we made a great job throughout the weekend. We had the bike ready to make a great race, with a good pace, but it just hasn’t been possible. I tried to keep the bike at 10,000 revs at the start, but it went too high and when I released the clutch the bike almost stalled. I made an awful start; I was one of the last to start and began to recover. Then I reached a group that was lapping more or less like me, although I think that I was a bit faster than them. I took the lead of the group and began to open a gap and once I had escaped I lost the front end on the left-hander after Dry Sack and wasn't able to avoid the crash. The truth is that the team has behaved excellently and I haven’t been able to do the same. Fortunately I didn’t hurt myself and the collarbone is OK, which is actually the most important, so we’ll be back in the fight in Turkey.”


125cc.
Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 21st:
“Things went a lot better for me than before, I easily bettered my previous best time. I got a good start and won nine places on the opening lap and was sitting in a good position in the race. It’s a pity I used too much tyre grip running in 1m 51s. If I could have run those times in practice maybe I would have chosen harder compound Dunlop tyres. But I have made a big step forward in comparison to last year – I’m now very close to the top 20.”

Dino Lombardi, Scot Honda: 23rd:
"This was the first race for me and so I'm quite satisfied, but of course I could also get better. I made an error on the exit from a turn that slowed down me and then we found some problems with suspensions, in particular when I make the fast turns, but overall the bike was good."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 26th:
“I made a very good start and the truth is that I was feeling quite well. Actually, I cannot say much about that because I was there for only one lap, but it didn't seem as if they would be doing anything spectacular. I made a small mistake in turn 4 and the group got away. Then we got to turn six, Pasini wanted to get through the inside but when he did he crashed and threw me off. Such are races, these stupid things happen some times. Now I only have to keep the confidence that I am able to lap with them, because my lap times weren't bad. My feelings from the beginning - as long as I’m able to make a good start - are that I’m able to be with them, so we’ll see what happens in the next race.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: dnf – technical problem:
“My engine seized on lap 18 of the race. It happened at the short straight I felt it tighten up. Pity because even if the back end was moving about the bike was running fast. Up till then I was enjoying a good race in the same group as my team-mate (Joey Litjens).”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: dnf – crash:
“After my poor start I was able to move up the field gradually. I felt good and when I passed Cortese and Olive I could see a group of riders about 3 seconds ahead of me. My idea was to catch them, it was worth the try. That's when my brake problems started, they weren¹t reacting normally. I tried to modify the set-up with the adjusting screw on the bars but the feeling was always different. My opponents started to pass me on the brakes. I lost concentration, my lap times became erratic and as I was turning the adjusting screw to try and improve the brakes, the setting I dialled in was more violent than what I expected, and I lost the front. This crash is difficult to accept because the whole team did a great job throughout the week-end.”

Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat, Repsol Honda: dnf - crash:
“I made a very good start and I was able to overtake a few riders in the first corner. But then I tried to brake late in turn two and touched another rider. I went straight, towards the wall and there was nothing I could do. I crashed and wasn’t able to rejoin the race. The lesson I learned from this race is that you have to start eager and strong but always keeping calm.”

Mike Di Meglio, Scot Honda: dns:
Di Meglio did not start the race due to injuries sustained in final qualifying.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 02
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez


line
MotoGP
1 Valentino ROSSI / Fiat Yamaha Team
2 Dani PEDROSA / Repsol Honda Team
3 Colin EDWARDS / Fiat Yamaha Team
4 Toni ELIAS / Honda Gresini
5 Casey STONER / Ducati Marlboro Team
6 Carlos CHECA / Honda LCR
7 Nicky HAYDEN / Repsol Honda Team
8 Marco MELANDRI / Honda Gresini
9 Chris VERMEULEN / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
10 Shinya NAKANO / Konica Minolta Honda
11 Alex BARROS / Pramac d'Antin
12 Loris CAPIROSSI / Ducati Marlboro Team
13 Randy DE PUNIET / Kawasaki Racing Team
14 Makoto TAMADA / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3
15 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3



Dani Pedrosa
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - MVA Aspar
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Scot Racing Team
4 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - MVA Aspar
5 Alex DEBON / Aprilia Racing
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM 250
7 Shuhei AOYAMA / Repsol Honda 250cc
8 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Scot Racing Team
9 Anthony WEST / Team Sicilia
10 Dirk HEIDOLF / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing
11 Fabrizio LAI / Campetella Racing
12 Ratthapark WILAIROT / Thai Honda PTT-SAG
13 Alex BALDOLINI / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing
14 Eugene LAVERTY / Honda LCR
15 Karel ABRAHAM / Cardion AB Motoracing
 
125cc
1 Gabor TALMACSI / Bancaja Aspar
2 Lukas PESEK / Valsir Seedorf Derbi
3 Hector FAUBEL / Bancaja Aspar
4 Pol ESPARGARO / Belson Campetella Aprilia
5 Sergio GADEA / Bancaja Aspar
6 Pablo NIETO / Blusens Aprilia
7 Sandro CORTESE / Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia
8 Joan OLIVE / Polaris World
9 Michael RANSEDER / Ajo Motorsport
10 Lorenzo ZANETTI / Team Sicilia
11 Stefano BIANCO / WTR Team
12 Andrea IANNONE / WTR Team
13 Steve BONSEY / Red Bull KTM 125
14 Nicolas TEROL / Valsir Seedorf Derbi
15 Simone GROTZKYJ / Multimedia Racing
 

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