MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 03: Turkey GP > Race Results
MotoGPTurkeyApril 22, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 03
Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park Race Results

Elias Fights To Second, Dani Taken Out On Lap One

Qualifying >>

A dramatic MotoGP race unfolded in front of a 40,000 crowd at Istanbul Park with Casey Stoner (Ducati) winning from Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) with Loris Capirossi (Ducati) third. But a first lap incident took Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) out of the race.



Toni Elias


Toni Elias


Elias started from 10th on the grid after a mediocre qualifying performance, but his race efforts were huge and he willed himself through the field to the podium although he could not catch the runaway Stoner.

In sunny conditions with negligible wind, 23 degrees ambient temperature and the track gradually warming up throughout the day to 38 degrees, the conditions were set for a full throttle encounter over 22-laps of this demanding 5.430km track.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who struggled to reach the flag in tenth at the end, got the holeshot from the lights and led the pack into the tricky off-camber, downhill left that is turn one. His team-mate Colin Edwards was in close pursuit along with Stoner and Capirossi.

But there was to be drama on this opening lap. First leader Rossi ran wide on the exit of the high-speed uphill turn 11 slipping down the order to fifth. But behind him into the final three-turn complex, chaos ensued as Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki) clipped Pedrosa’s front wheel and then cannoned into Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) whose machine then took out Edwards. No rider was seriously hurt, but all bar Vermeulen were out of contention.

Stoner was away. He set a fastest lap on lap four and by lap seven he had a 1.4 second lead over his team-mate Capirossi, with Rossi in third, Elias already up to fourth, John Hopkins (Suzuki) fifth, Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) sixth and reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) seventh.

Rossi shifted past Capirossi on lap nine and Toni did likewise. On the following lap Elias squeezed past Rossi into the final complex as Capirossi slid back through the order before recovering his composure from this mid-race onslaught to climb back to third in the closing laps.

It was Rossi who was in the biggest trouble. The Italian was overhauled by such unlikely candidates as Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) and Alex Hofmann (Ducati) and he was clearly in severe difficulties on his Yamaha.

The unstoppable Stoner was six seconds ahead of Elias in the final laps and Toni himself was comfortably clear of the scrap for third intensifying between Capirossi, Alex Barros (Ducati), Marco Melandri and Hopkins. Barros got his nose ahead of Capirossi on the final lap exiting turn 11 but the dogged Capirossi out-braked him into the complex to emerge from the final turn ahead.

Melandri had to be happy with fifth after a wretched qualifying session, while Nicky rode with the will of a World Champion to secure seventh after a troubled weekend. But it will be young guns Stoner and Elias who will derive the most satisfaction from this episode.

Toni said, “It was like a 125 race with some unbelievable passes being made. I just concentrated on getting as perfect a start as I could and then I was stuck behind Hopkins too long. Once I got past him I took Rossi but couldn’t challenge for the lead because Casey was so fast. I just tried to maintain my position. Thanks to the team and Bridgestone for their faith in me. I feel mature and confident and I know that I can improve even more as a rider.”

Marco said, “I got a good start but lost time behind Hopkins but then I got into a good pace and began to fight for the podium with Capirossi and Barros but then the bike started to vibrate and that slowed me down. But thanks to the team and Bridgestone – the tyres were fantastic.

“My start was decent,” said Nicky. “I made a couple of passes into turn 11 and on lap four I was enjoying the battle and we were having fun. At the end of the race I though I could steal a podium except after halfway I was having real trouble at the fast right-hander. Early in the race it was my best corner. But at the end I just couldn’t get through it. I gave it one last go on the final lap but I has a big moment and barely stayed on.” said Nicky

An unhappy Dani said, “A shame about the crash because I had a good chance of a good result. But this track is not lucky for me. My start was not so good, I had a bit of wheelspin off the line and then got caught in a large group on lap one. When I was braking on the final section I got hit on the inside and went down. I have a bit of pain in my neck and my chest but I should be OK for China.”

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) managed 12th place and said, “That was a very difficult race – harder than I anticipated. I didn’t have a good feeling from the engine or the front-end and in turn 11 I almost crashed which was quite scary. I just decided to finish with no risk.”

Thirteenth-placed Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) said, “My start was OK, but when the big accident happened I was trying to avoid getting caught up in it and then lost 10th place. I knew it was going to be a hard race from then on. We suffered again from a lack of feeling from the front-end of the bike, but at least we got some points and that was one of my targets from this weekend. Our problems have come from a combination of things, but I know Honda and Michelin will work hard together with our team and we’re hopeful of better results in races to come.”

Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR212V) in 16th said, “It felt like the rear tyre went flat. It didn’t feel right on the sighting lap and I thought it might come back, but it never did. I was nervous about the problem and with that type of feeling you can’t be careful enough. And in the last five laps I picked up a vibration which the guys will check out.”

The World Championship table is headed by Stoner on 61 points from Rossi on 51 with Dani still at the sharp end with 36 points to Elias’s 35 in fourth. Marco Melandri has 30 points.

The 250cc race was an epic encounter won by Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) from Jorge Lorenzo in second and Alvaro Bautista (both Aprilia) third. Dovi led into turn one from pole and pulled out a 1.6 second lead over Bautista by the end of lap one – but the Spaniard soon overhauled Dovi setting an early fastest lap as he did so.

A five rider group then established itself at the front: Bautista, Dovi, Lorenzo, Alex de Angelis and Tom Luthi (all Aprilia bar Dovi). Then Bautista and Dovi moved away from the other trio before Lorenzo put in a series of quick laps to get back in touch with the lead duo.

By lap 13 Lorenzo took the lead but he could not perform his often customary disappearing act as Dovi turned in a fastest lap of 1m 57.815 to stay with him. By lap 17 of this 20-lapper Dovi led again before Lorenzo took him at the mid-lap chicane. Dovi fought back to re-pass him both Lorenzo and Bautista passed him on the brakes into the three turn final complex.

The final lap was gripping, Lorenzo leading Dovi and Bautista all the way into the braking area for the final section. Dovi slipped up the inside and held his line for the final two turns stealing a glance inside him before the final left to check where Lorenzo was on track. He powered across the line to record his first win of 2006 and get his title challenge rolling.

He said, “That was a really important race. It was fast and hard fought with quite a bit of contact. This win is vital for the Championship, which starts here for us. It was hard and there will be no easy races for anyone this season.”

Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished seventh 23 seconds off the race pace of the winner. The World Championship order is: Lorenzo on 70 points, Dovi with 52, Alex de Angelis, who was 4th here, on 46 points and Bautista fourth overall with 36.

A thrilling 125cc race verdict went to Simone Corsi, this is the Italian’s second podium finish, but his first ever win. Second was Joan Olive (both Aprilia) with Tomo Koyama (KTM) third.

Corsi led the field into the downhill turn one and established himself in the lead group that was soon headed by Hector Faubel before Mattia Pasini (both Aprilia) took control of the group. Pasini would soon drop out with mechanical problems, likewise Faubel (but not until the latter stages of this 19-lap race).

A seven rider group led the chasing pack with Olive and Corsi never further back than in the top three positions until the halfway stage when the pair pulled clear to dispute the win between themselves. Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) latched onto the leading group of seven as the final laps began.

The 16-year-old British rider hoisted himself to sixth as he got in touch with the group, then fifth, before succumbing to the greater experience of his rivals. He eventually crossed the line in eighth to equal his best ever Grand Prix finish so far.

Honda’s youngest Grand Prix runner said, “Last night we worked a little on the gearbox, a little on the engine and suspension and a little on me too – everything added up to 0.5 seconds in the warm up and the race. I was up to sixth and could see a possible podium place but at the last corner Koyama san touched Talmacsi and he went across the front of me. I thought about passing him on the inside but I went outside and hit the kerb, was up in the air and I only managed eighth.”

The World Championship points table shows Gabor Talmacsi, who finished fifth here, heading the proceedings with 56 points, Faubel second on 47, Lukas Pesek (Gilera) with 46 and Corsi fourth on 36 after three races .



Marco Melandri


Nicky Hayden


MotoGP
Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 2nd.
"It was like a 125 race with some unbelievable passes. I concentrated on getting a perfect start and made as many passes as I could on the opening laps but I got stuck behind Hopkins for too long. Once I got past him my pace was good and I was also able to take Rossi. I couldn't challenge for the lead because Casey was so fast so I decided to focus on maintaining my position. I have to thank the team and Bridgestone for the faith they have shown in me. I feel mature and confident because I still think we can improve even more."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 5th.
"I got a good start but I also lost a lot of time behind Hopkins because he was braking on the limit. I had a good pace and was able to fight for the podium with Capirossi and Barros but the bike started to vibrate and that slowed me down. I have to thank the team because they've done a great job and so have Bridgestone - the tyres were fantastic today."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 7th.
"My start was pretty decent and I made a couple of passes in turn four on the first lap. For a while I was enjoying the battle, dicing with a few guys and having a bit of fun and at the end of the race, with four or five laps to go I was thinking 'you know what, I'm going to be able to steal a podium here'. But after about half race distance I was having real trouble getting through the fast right-hander at turn 14. Early in the race it was my best corner, but at other parts of the track I was braking so deep to make up time that I used up the front tyre a little bit. At the end, and I know it's a pretty weak excuse, but I just couldn't get through that right-hander. That affected my acceleration up that hill and I started losing positions. On the last lap I gave it one last go through there to try to be close on the brakes to let me try to do something down at the hairpin, but when I got in there I just pushed the front to the edge of the track and had a big moment - I barely stayed on. It's another seventh place and I know people will still be on my case about it, but the truth is the team worked really hard this weekend and I rode as hard as I could for 22 laps. I don't' want to play the 'first Michelin' card because my tyres were pretty good. The rear was really consistent, though I had some issues with the front. I really would have loved to give the team a better result this weekend but we've got a test here tomorrow and we'll look to get a few things straightened out."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 12th.
"That was a very difficult race, much worse than I anticipated. I did not have a good feeling from the engine or front-end stability, especially in the fast, fifth gear corner. I almost crashed a couple of times it was quite scary. From then I just decided to finish the race with no risks, I was suffering with tyre grip, engine speed and chassis balance which was much better in practice. We need to analyze these problems and move forward to the China race."

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 13th.
“My start was okay, but when the big accident happened I was trying to avoid getting caught up in it and then lost 10th place. I knew it was going to be a hard race from then on. We suffered again from a lack of feeling from the front-end of the bike, but at least we did get some points and that was one of my targets from this weekend, which is one of the first races in a long season. Our problems have come from a combination of things, but I know Honda and Michelin will work hard together with our team and we’re hopeful of better results in later races.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 16th.
“It felt like the rear tyre went flat. It didn't feel right on the sighting lap. I thought it might come in, but it never did. I thought it was flat and I was kind of nervous about what the problem might be; because when they're not the right pressure and have that type of feeling you can't be careful enough. Around the last five laps I also seemed to pick up a vibration, not sure if the two things are related or not but the guys will check it out.”

Chuck Aksland: Team Manager.
“Obviously there was a problem from the beginning of the race. Watching his lap times it's quite unusual to be so far off the pace at the beginning. It looks to be some issue with the back tyre. We checked the pressure on the grid as usual, and it was normal, but obviously it didn't feel right for him. Michelin are checking it out so we'll wait to see what they find out.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: dnf.
"It's a shame about the crash today because I think I had a chance of a good result here - it seems that this track is not so lucky for me! My start was no so good and I had some wheelspin off the line which meant I dropped back and was in a large group of riders on the first lap. Then when I was braking into the final tight section of the track I was hit on the inside and went down. I have some pain in my chest and neck so I won't be testing tomorrow, but I should be ok to race in China."

 

250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 1st.
“I am happy of course it was a difficult race. I got a good start. I was fast for the whole race distance but in the closing laps I was not sure I would be able to pass Lorenzo. When he blocked my racing line on the last lap I stayed on the inside and out braked him to take the win. This victory was very important for us regarding the championship. Now we have to continue in the same way.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 7th.
“The race was good because I managed to finish, which was our aim after the race in Jerez. But it could have been much better if I wouldn’t have spoiled the start. There’s clearly a problem, I don’t know whether I cannot concentrate or I loose concentration because of the noise of the other bikes and cannot make a good start. In any case, we cannot ruin more races because of that. We’ll try to find the problem and solve it for the race in China. As regards today’s race, the bike worked well, although we continue having some problems we haven’t been able to solve during the weekend.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 15th.
"I'm happy with this result as I remained in the top 15 all race long. This race will be a good reference for us as I never rode here before this Grand Prix and I was still uncomfortable in various sections of the track. It's a shame I couldn't follow Heidolf and Baldolini to attempt a move in the last lap, but I'm satisfied, we're making good progress with the team and things are going well."

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 16th.
“The first thing I have to do is to apologize to my team because I made a serious mistake at the start. After the passing through the pit lane to serve the penalty, I tried to finish and score some points, but I haven’t been able to. Moreover, my left shoulder is still hurting after yesterday’s crash and that conditioned me during the race because I wasn’t able to lean well when braking; it hurt really bad when I entered the corners too fast. In any case, I’ll have to improve a lot in the next race to offer a good result to the whole team.”

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 17th.
"My rear tyre had no grip from about lap nine, and I thought about stopping, it was scary at the end. We took a gamble on the tyre choice, I only did two laps in the warm-up on this tyre, and sometimes these gambles do not pay-off. I could have scored points today."

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Honda: dnf.

“I made a good start, I was beyond the leader group and when I was into the turn another rider touched me and put me out. At that moment I didn’t understand who the rider was. What pity, I’m sorry to finish the race in that way!”


125cc.
Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“Last night we worked a little on the gearbox, a little on engine and suspension and a little on me, everything together added up to 0.5 seconds a lap. In the warm up and the race. I got an average start but got back what I lost. I was at the front of the second group and for once we were smart and stayed in line, not slowing each other by passing and re-passing. I was surprised when Zanetti passed me from the slipstream but he quickly pulled in behind me and we started to close the gap on the leaders. I was up to sixth and could see a possible podium place but at the last corner Koyama san touched Talmacsi and he went across the front of me. I thought about passing him on the inside but maybe the riders behind would have been in my way so I went outside and hit the kerb and was up in the air and I only managed to finish eighth.”

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 14th.
“I got a good start and tried to follow the group ahead of me but it proved impossible for me. We had many problems in practice with the chassis and suspension set up. It is my first race at this track and I had to learn the best lines but because of set up I could not hold the ideal fast line. I fought hard to pass all the riders in my group but it didn’t work out and I ended up 14th. I’m not so happy with my result.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 20th.
“My race was good and I ran a constant pace. The bike was good and I could stay in the slipstream on the straight. My front tyre was really good but the rear went off but it was same for all of us.”

Kevin Coghlan replacement rider for Mike Di Meglio, Scot Honda: 21st.
“I had a good start, I’m quite satisfy about my first World performance. I tried to go fast and I recovered 6 positions from the start. In this week-end we worked a lot and we also improved a lot, I’m very happy about this experience and I want to thanks the team for the opportunity they give me.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 23rd.
“Its good that I finished the race after my two disappointing results in the first two races. My start was good and I was with the group behind Joey (Litjens). A couple of riders passed me and it was difficult to repass them and I took a few laps to do it. Then I made a couple of small mistakes but held on to my place. But by then I had lost contact with Joey’s group. The bike was good today but we were running the same times as the group ahead so we were not going to catch them. Still I enjoyed it and I finished.”

Dino Lombardi, Scot Honda: dnf.

“I’m really disheartened. Lap by lap I was going slower and after 10 laps I came back because after a very bad start I wasn’t able to get a well pace. It’s from yesterday that I’m not in perfect fit, I don’t know what’s happening to me.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: dnf.
“My start was OK but in the first lap it was rough out on the track with the other riders and I lost a few positions. The first half of the race was correct since I managed to move up to 13th after passing Rabat, Ranseder and Krummenacher and my lap times were competitive. Unfortunately my rear tyre started to wear out. Maybe we didn't work enough on suspension settings during practice. Anyway I couldn't manage the rear end anymore. My opponents passed me one after the other and then I had a bigger slide than usual at the end of the straight and crashed. I'm not hurt but the morale could be better.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 03
Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park


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



Toni Elias
250cc
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Scot Racing Team
2 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia
3 Alvaro BAUTISTA / Master - Mapfre Aspar
4 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - Mapfre Aspar
5 Thomas LUTHI / Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia
6 Mika KALLIO / Red Bull KTM 250
7 Julian SIMON / Repsol Honda 250cc
8 Hector BARBERA / Team Toth Aprilia
9 Marco SIMONCELLI / Metis Gilera
10 Fabrizio LAI / Campetella Racing
11 Aleix ESPARGARO / Blusens Aprilia
12 Karel ABRAHAM / Cardion AB Motoracing
13 Dirk HEIDOLF / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing
14 Alex BALDOLINI / Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing
15 Ratthapark WILAIROT / Thai Honda PTT-SAG
 
125cc
1 Simone CORSI / Skilled Racing Team
2 Joan OLIVE / Polaris World
3 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA / Red Bull KTM 125
4 Raffaele DE ROSA / Multimedia Racing
5 Gabor TALMACSI / Bancaja Aspar
6 Lukas PESEK / Valsir Seedorf Derbi
7 Lorenzo ZANETTI / Team Sicilia
8 Bradley SMITH / Repsol Honda 125cc
9 Andrea IANNONE / WTR Team
10 Hector FAUBEL / Bancaja Aspar
11 Pol ESPARGARO / Belson Campetella Aprilia
12 Michael RANSEDER / Ajo Motorsport
13 Pablo NIETO / Blusens Aprilia
14 Esteve RABAT / Repsol Honda 125cc
15 Randy KRUMMENACHE / Red Bull KTM 125
 

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