MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 04: China GP > Race Results
MotoGPChinaMay 6, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai

Fighting Fourth Place For Dani As Stoner Wins

Qualifying >>
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode a determined race to keep himself in the title hunt with a fourth place in China as Casey Stoner (Ducati) won from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in second and John Hopkins (Suzuki) third. A sparse crowd watched the action unfold in dry conditions.



Dani Pedrosa


Marco Melandri


Hopkins hit the front from the start and on lap one the luckless Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) had to take severe avoiding action when Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) crashed. The American World Champion dropped down to 16th place as he rejoined the track and fought his way back up the field.

By lap two Stoner was in front, the speed of the Ducati giving the Australian a big advantage on the two long straights at this 5.281km track. Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) lay third and would then overhaul Rossi to grab second by the end of lap three.

Stoner reeled off two early fastest laps as he led a five-rider group consisting of Melandri, Rossi, Hopkins and Dani, with Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) losing touch in sixth. Rossi then inched past Melandri for second place on lap four as Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) and Makoto Tamada (Yamaha) tangled and fell at the hairpin.

Rossi took the lead on lap eight of this 22-lap race, but he didn’t hold onto it long, Stoner grabbing it back as the Italian ran wide into the hairpin. A lead trio of Stoner, Rossi and Hopkins had by now begun to drop Melandri and Dani – a gap of five seconds opening up by mid race.

These three riders would take the race to the flag but not without incident. On lap 16 Rossi ran wide into the hairpin under braking handing an advantage to Stoner and Hopkins. But it was only Stoner who had the speed to make Rossi pay for his mistake. The Aussie put 2.7 seconds between himself his pursuers and held it to take the flag just over three seconds ahead of Rossi who managed to get past Hopkins on lap 18.

Stoner set the fastest lap of the race on lap 15, his time of 1m 59.856 seconds marginally slower than the best lap of last year’s race set by Dani at 1m 59.318 seconds. Dani had to work for his fourth place, as did Marco for fifth. And with a tough series of European races to come beginning with Le Mans in two weeks time, both Honda men will be hoping for better.

Dani said, “Well, we’ll take the points for fourth place because these are useful for the Championship, even though it would have been nice to be on the podium today. My start was quite good and I could ride with the leaders for the first few laps. However the riders in front were very fast today and in the end the pace was just too quick for us. For the middle part of the race I had a battle with Melandri and when I was able to get past him they had made a gap. Still, I don’t think I could have stayed with them today.”

Marco said, “I’m pleased because I gave my best, but I can’t deny that I’m aiming for better results than this. I got a good start and felt comfortable with the bike, it felt good at the start of the race. I was able to move up to second place but after a few laps I started to suffer a little with chatter and it didn’t help. We have a lot of hard work still to do because at the moment we’re behind.”

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) finished tenth and said, “I’m satisfied with this result because I knew this would be a tough race as we had a top speed disadvantage on the straight and it is difficult to fight in this condition. I rode as fast as possible and after I passed Edwards I was able to match the pace of Capirossi and de Puniet ahead of me. In the first corner I had to stop and run wide to avoid hitting Hofmann, it was better to do that than crash and then I just tried to make up time. Now I’m looking ahead to the Le Mans race.”

Nicky was 12th. The reigning World Champ said, “This morning I was fifth fastest in the warm-up and I was definitely looking to get my best result of the year, so it’s a pity about that first corner incident. I got a decent start and going round the inside I felt pretty good and was in a decent position. Then somebody just drilled me from behind and I was lucky to stay on the bike. I was out of the saddle, then my feet were dragging on the ground and I was pretty much cowboying it through the dirt and trying not come back on the track in the middle of the bunch. By the time I was pointing the right way everybody was gone.”

Kenny Roberts (KR212V) managed 15th place. The disappointed former World Champion said, “It seems that everybody else has made improvements, because you hear about everybody talking about all the improvements they made for here. From here, I’m going to go to Le Mans in my same mentality and if we have a good weekend, we do. I can only go this hard, because the front tyre’s going to fold or the back tyre’s going to spin out and I’ll crash. So the physical part, like I used to do on a 500, is not there. It’s like a go-kart almost, but at the moment I’m just not setting my go-kart up right, I guess.”

“I’m disappointed not to finish the race,” said Elias. “In the warm-up the bike had improved a lot compared to yesterday. We found a much better solution for the tyres and I think it could have been a nice race for me. Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Hayden when he was closing his line towards the kerb and I had no choice but to collide with his rear wheel and crash. These things happen in racing – especially when everybody is so close, but I’m disappointed to miss out on some important points. This race is behind us now and I only want to think about Le Mans.”

Nakano said, “Firstly I would like to say I’m happy that neither Makoto nor myself is injured. I’ve banged my right hand in the crash, but it will be OK in a couple of days. Makoto and I are fine, it’s a racing accident and crashes happen. It’s a shame because our race set-up was the best of the weekend. I made a good start and was riding in 10th position but couldn’t follow the top guys. Then at the end of the back straight Tamada-san missed his braking point and clipped my rear tyre. I’m so sorry for the team that the crash happened and we couldn’t get a result.”

The World Championship points table looks like this after four of 18 rounds: Stoner 86 points, Rossi 71, Dani 49 and Marco fourth overall with 41 points.

Jorge Lorenzo won the 250cc race from Alvaro Bautista (both Aprilia) with Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) third. This is Lorenzo’s third win from four races and puts the Spanish rider in firm control of the World Championship points table with 95 to Dovi’s 68.

Mika Kallio (KTM) got the holeshot into turn one and made the early running before Lorenzo remorselessly hunted down first place after running wide early on and slipping from second to sixth. Dovi led until lap seven when Lorenzo took over and was never headed to win by four seconds.

Dovi fought hard to preserve his second place from the attentions of Bautista, but the Aprilia rider squeezed him into the braking area for the main straight and forced him wide on the exit of the tight right-hander at the end to secure second.

“During the warm-up this morning I knew the race would be very hard for me because Lorenzo was fast. During the race my machine was OK but I had rear grip problem. I also thought Bautista’s move on me was too hard,” said Dovi. “Before he braked he changed line and I had to move to avoid him. I was lucky not to crash and the whole episode was too near the limit.”

Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished seventh after a stint with the leading group early in the race while Thai rookie Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing Honda RS250RW) finished 12th while Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) crashed out and Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda RS250RW) did not race after injuring his left forearm in a practice crash.


Simon said of his race. “I made a good start and that’s important, because it was one of the aspects to be improved. I was able to stay in the group during the first few laps, but even my team and some people were able to see that I did not have enough top speed. I passed Dovizioso in the first lap but then he passed me back. I was fighting with Barberá and Kallio, but their top speed was higher and I had no chance to stand up to it. I passed them, but they would pass me back in the straight and I wasn’t able to catch Dovizioso and De Angelis.”

Lukas Pesek (Derbi) won his first ever 125cc race when he triumphed in the 19-lapper over Hector Faubel (Aprilia) and Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) who was third. This was Rabat’s first podium in a typically hard-fought encounter.

A nine rider group emerged by mid-race distance to dispute just three podium places and although Rabat led the group two laps from the end it was Pesek who fought his way to the front to win by just two tenths of a second from Faubel at the flag.

“I didn’t expect that,” said a delighted Rabat. “On Friday the team worked really hard for me and even in warm-up I thought I’d be able to be somewhere near the front. But when I was actually leading I didn’t know what was possible – I’m really excited about my first ever podium.”

Rabat’s Repsol Honda teammate, Bradley Smith said. “The start was good, I even managed to be second, but we chose the wrong rear tyre today. I was one of only two riders having this problem today. It’s been a shame because I could have been even faster than the pace set by the top group. But the tyre did not work at any moment. I was skidding a lot and after a few laps I saw where I could be fast and where I shouldn’t, this is how I managed to be faster than the others.”

Alex Masbou (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) managed 13th place and Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda RS125R) 14th. The World Championship points tally shows Pesek out front with 71 points, Gabor Talmacsi with 69 and Faubel third on 57 points.



Carlos Checa


Nicky Hayden


MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th.
"Well we'll take the points for fourth place because these are useful for the Championship, even though it would have been nice to be on the podium today. My start was quite good and I could ride with the leaders for the first few laps. However the riders in front were very fast today and in the end the pace was just too quick for us. For the middle part of the race I had a battle with Melandri and when I was able to get passed him they had made a gap. Still, I don't think I could have stayed with them today. They were going even faster than the pace in the practice sessions which we were not really expecting. I tried very hard to the end of the race and the Michelin tyres worked quite well today but I just didn't have the speed to stick with them so I settled for fourth place. I'm sure the team will be putting in a lot of effort so we can have a good result in Le Mans."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 5th.
“I’m pleased because I gave my best, but I can’t deny that I’m aiming for better results than this. I got a good start and felt comfortable with the bike, it felt good at the start of the race. I was able to move up to second place but after a few laps I started to suffer a little with chatter and it didn’t help. We have a lot of hard work still to do because at the moment we’re behind.”

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 10th.
"I'm satisfied with this result because I knew this would be a tough race as we had a top speed disadvantage on the straight and it is difficult to fight in this condition. I rode as fast as possible and after I passed Edwards I was able to match the pace of Capirossi and De Puniet ahead of me. In the first corner I had to stop and run wide to avoid hitting Hofmann, it was better to do that than crash and then I just tried to make up time. Now I'm looking ahead to the Le Mans race."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 12th.
"This morning I was fifth fastest in the warm-up and I was definitely looking to get my best result of the year, so it's a pity about that first corner incident. I got a decent start and going round the inside I felt pretty good and was in a decent position. Then somebody just drilled me from behind and I was lucky to stay on the bike. I was out of the saddle, then my feet were dragging on the ground and I was pretty much cowboying it through the dirt and trying not come back on the track in the middle of the bunch. By the time I was pointing the right way everybody was gone. I wasn't sure how much damage there was on the back of the bike and there was some vibration after the hit. Right now a lot of guys are evenly paced and these things can happen in turn one, but it's frustrating for sure. I recovered as best I could, caught some guys and made a few passes but it was a pretty lonely race after that. We've just got to stay focused and look forward to getting back to Europe and the next race at Le Mans. Hopefully we'll get a result that the team deserves because those guys are all working hard."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 15th.
“It seems that everybody else has made improvements, because you hear about everybody talking about all the improvements they made for here. From here, I'm going to go to Le Mans in my same mentality and if we have a good weekend, we do. I can only go this hard, because the front tire's going to fold or the back tire's going to spin out and I'll crash. So the physical part, like I used to do on a 500, is not there. It's like a go-kart almost, but at the moment I'm just not setting my go-kart up right, I guess.”

Chuck Aksland: Team Manager.
“It was the rider, bike, tires combination. It just wasn't there. We had a meeting with Michelin about what to do for France. And obviously I think Honda understands the part that needs to come from them. Hopefully in France we can make a better run at it.”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: dnf – crash.
“I’m disappointed not to finish the race because in the warm up the bike had improved a lot compared to yesterday. We found a much better solution for the tyres and I think it could have been a nice race for me. Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Hayden when he was closing his line towards the kerb and I had no choice but to collide with his rear wheel and crash. These things happen in racing – especially when everybody is so close but I’m disappointed to miss out on some important points. This race is behind us now and I only want to think about Le Mans.”

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: dnf – crash.
“Firstly I would like to say that I’m happy that neither Makoto nor myself is injured. I’ve banged my right hand in the crash, but it will be OK in a couple of days. Makoto and I are fine, it’s a racing accident and crashes happen. It’s a shame because our race set-up was the best of the weekend. I made a good start and was riding in 10th position but couldn’t follow the top guys. My lap time was not so bad and I was concentrating on keeping that position to take advantage of any situation ahead, but then at the end of the back straight Tamada-san missed his braking point and clipped my rear tyre. I’m so sorry for the team that the crash happened and we couldn’t get a result.”


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 3rd.
“During the warm-up this morning I knew the race will be very hard for me because Lorenzo was very fast. During the race may machine was OK but I had a rear grip problem. For the last seven laps I was trying really hard because I knew Bautista and De Angelis were following me closely. At the final corner on the final lap Bautista changed his line before he braked and we touched. It was dangerous.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 7th.
“I made a good start and that’s important, because it was one of the aspects to be improved. I was able to stay in the group during the first few laps, but even my team and some people were able to see that I did not have enough top speed. I passed Dovizioso in the first lap but then he passed me back. I was fighting with Barberá and Kallio, but their top speed was higher and I had no chance to stand up to it. I passed them, but they would pass me back in the straight and I wasn’t able to catch Dovizioso and De Angelis, who were leading the race until Lorenzo came. This is where my race trying to be in the front, ended. I had a small fight with Kallio, but eventually didn’t manage to pass him, nor Barbera. I’m not really happy with the final result, but the weekend has been positive in general, we have worked well and the team is giving me everything to be able to be in the front in some race.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 12th.
"It's a shame I didn't get off to a good start because I could have secured a better result, but I think my race pace was good, I'm generally satisfied and pleased with scoring another four points today. I tried to beat Espargaró and Lai in the last few laps, but I was losing time in the corner which leads to the back straight as I didn't have much grip. Anyway, I'm very happy with the race and the result."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 17th.
"My start was OK and I passed four riders on the first lap but missed my braking point in the back straight, the wind pushed deep into the corner, and then I ran wide because of the crash in front of me. It was difficult to repeat my practice times, I didn't have a smooth feeling with the rear of the bike."

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: dnf.- crash.
“I made a little mistake at the start, the front tyre went a bit up and I quickly lost some positions. But I felt very well on the bike. Bit by bit I managed to pass some riders and followed Luthi and Bautista. Then Bautista opened a gap so I had to pass Luthi. I tried to push harder to make it but then I crashed at the end of the straight, while being quite fast. My right knee is hurting because I hit it when I crashed, before tumbling. After the crash, I lost the slider and scratched a bit of skin, but nothing is broken and I’ll be ready for France.”

Yukio Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda:
Did not start following a crash in practice. Yuki sustained a fractured forearm and bent the metal plate in the same arm, a legacy of a previous accident. He has flown home to Japan for treatment.


125cc.
Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
“I just couldn’t believe it when the race was over and I still don’t really know what I'm feeling. During the race I only thought about moving forward and nothing else. I felt very comfortable, but I was a bit tired towards the end and I lost the two leading riders. I didn’t want to settle for third, but I made a few mistakes and they went away. Every time I put myself behind another bike, I was able to pass them if I managed to get out well of the corners before a long straight, because the bike worked really well. The tyres worked also well and even if the bike was skidding a bit towards the end and I had a few frights, I was able to have the situation under control and continue pushing. I always thought that the top riders are from a different world, but now I know that they are just like me.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“The start was good, I even managed to be second, but we chose the wrong rear tyre today. I was one of only two riders having this problem today. It’s been a shame because I could have been even faster than the pace set by the top group. But the tyre did not work at any moment. I was skidding a lot and after a few laps I saw where I could be fast and where I shouldn’t, this is how I managed to be faster than the others. I’m very disappointed because we had the chance to make a good race and we had been working very hard at all the practice sessions. A single wrong decision made a race that could have been good go wrong. But, well, the positive thing is that despite a bad race I've been able to finish 2.7 seconds from the lead, eighth again, but equalling my best result. Now I’m only looking forward to Le Mans, because I know that I can be in the front. I hope to take the right decisions there and to make-up for this bad race.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 13th.
“Today was better than yesterday, especially the first part. My start was not so bad and I was 16th at the end of the first lap. From then on I was overtaking many riders and was lying 9th , at the top of second group. May machine was feeling so good. Then after the middle of the race, I made a mistake at the end of straight and was passed by many riders. Then I was dicing with Espargaro and went out of the track two times. My rear tyre started to slide so at the penultimate lap I thought I would rather finish this race than crash because at Turkey I crashed. As I am very comfortable with my machine now, after changing the direction of machine set-up, I am really looking forward to Le Mans, my home GP.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 22nd.
“I had some strange problem with my front tyre. It started to wobble and the feeling of the machine was not perfect. Also I lost some power in the middle of the race and top speed was slower than before. Wind was also very strong but the condition was equal for everyone. I am not happy with 22nd place although the way I rode was not so bad. Now I am looking forward to Le Mans.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 23rd.
“My left toe was OK today but the race itself was not so good. Some one hit me at the end of the back straight then I had a tough fight with Joey and Aegerter. We changed position many times at the end of back straight. Then my rear tyre started to slide toward the end of the race.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
4 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Marco MELANDRI (Team Honda Gresini)
6 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
7 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
9 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antin)
10 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
11 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
12 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
13 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
14 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
15 Kenny ROBERTS JR (Team Roberts)
 
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
4 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
5 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
6 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
7 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
8 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
9 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
10 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
11 Aleix ESPARGARO (Blusens Aprilia)
12 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT-SAG)
13 Anthony WEST (Team Sicilia)
14 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
15 Arturo TIZON (Blusens Aprilia Germany)



Andrea Dovizioso
125cc
1 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
2 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
3 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
4 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
6 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
7 Michael RANSEDER (Ajo Motorsport)
8 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
9 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Campetella Aprilia)
10 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World )
11 Andrea IANNONE (WTR Team)
12 Raffaele DE ROSA (Multimedia Racing)
13 Alexis MASBOU (FFM Honda GP 125)
14 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Team Scot)
15 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Team Sicilia)
 


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