MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 07: Catalunya GP > Race Results
MotoGPCatalunyaJune 10, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo

Fighting third keeps Dani Pedrosa in championship hunt

Qualifying >>

An intense MotoGP race fought out over 25-laps of Montmelo went to Casey Stoner (Ducati) who held off a fierce challenge from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who finished second with valiant local idol Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) a close third.



Dani Pedrosa


Marco Melandri


A crowd of 112,000 race fans witnessed one of the best battles in recent premier class history as the three main contenders for World Championship honours pulled clear of the field to contest a three-way dice for what may prove to be one of the more significant races of what is already a tense season.

With the track at a heady 43 degrees and ambient temperature nudging 31 degrees, the lights went out and Dani made it to turn one at the head of the field. The first lap passed without any of the multiple crash drama that marred last year’s race and it was Stoner who led across the line for lap two having edged past Dani.

The Aussie Ducati man held an advantage of just 0.2 seconds as Dani harried Stoner with Rossi in pursuit, the Yamaha rider in turn pursued by John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V). Stoner and Pedrosa had pulled clear of Rossi by half a second as lap six began – and it was soon clear that these four were setting a pace no others could match.

Hopkins set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight at 1m 43.252s and by mid-race distance just 1.4 second covered the top four of Stoner, Rossi, who had found a way past Dani, and Hopkins, who would eventually find the going just too hot to handle in the closing laps.

Elias, who had been running in sixth place, dropped out of the race on lap 16 with a machine problem as Stoner headed Rossi by just by 0.2 seconds with Pedrosa shadowing their every move from third place. Hopkins was by now losing ground and this race would now rise to a frantic intensity as the three leading contenders in the World Championship fought it out around this challenging 4.727km track.

Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki), in fifth, was 9.3 seconds behind Hopkins in fourth as all eyes were fixed on the all-out war for the podium positions. On the penultimate lap Stoner led into turn one and held it for the lap although all three riders were clearly prepared to ride right on the edge to grab maximum points.

Stoner had showed his ability to ride under significant pressure in Turkey when pressed by Rossi, and he again failed to wilt under a last lap onslaught from the Italian. Dani lurked behind them in prime position to pounce should a mistake hamper one or both of his rivals, but he had to settle for third at the flag, just 0.321 seconds behind the winner.

Pedrosa said: “Third is OK and I finished right with the leaders so I’m happy for that. It was difficult to keep up with Casey and Valentino, especially in the middle of the race, but with 10 laps remaining I was able to get close again. I was actually enjoying watching them because they weren’t overtaking each other in typical places and that’s why I wanted to get in there too! However, in one part of the track I was losing a lot and I needed the other part of the track to recover, so all the time I was right there with them, but I couldn’t fight with them.”

Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) finished ninth and said: “We’re going through a rough patch. The team is giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren’t coming. The bike doesn’t give me any confidence and I can’t ride it how I want. I'm really disappointed. We’ve struggled with the front-end all weekend and after a few laps I lost
confidence in it. We’ll have to make some drastic changes.”

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) was 11th. The reigning World Champion said: “The race was a tough one. Somewhere along the way it looks like the rear tyre became unbalanced and started to vibrate and chatter really badly – especially in the last five or ten laps, I could hardly ride it. After that I just started losing positions and it wasn’t a fun race because it was hard to tip it into any of the corners. We didn’t need that problem today so we’ll just have to look into why it happened and move on to the next one at Donington.”

A dejected Elias, who failed to finish, said: “I’m really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like fifth place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap. I don’t know exactly what it was. These things happen in racing but I’m really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans.”

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) came home in 15th place and said: “It was a very frustrating and difficult race for me. I said yesterday that I had a good feeling in hot conditions but we just didn’t have that today for some reason. When I pushed hard the bike would run wide in the corners. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and having more time out on the track so we’ll be working hard again to make more improvements.”

“I’d never seen them race like that at this level,” said Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR212V), who finished 16th “It would be better if we were racing further up the field instead of where we are at the moment. It's apparent that the motor doesn’t accelerate, but then we have no grip. I think we’re learning, but it’s going to take six weeks to build something different.”

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) split the Roberts brothers as 17th finisher. He said: “This is a difficult moment for me, I cannot remember when I had a worse feeling in a race and this is not the result I wanted. Everyone in the LCR team has worked very hard over the weekend but we could just not find the balance or feeling that gave me any confidence to push. It is not fun to race like this but now we must look forward and hope the situation can improve.”

“I was just hung out to dry,” said Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) in 18th. “Just sliding the thing everywhere. I knew I was catching Checa, but Kenny, when he passed me, I thought I screwed up. I didn’t even realize he was towing me along that good. But it was fun. When you watch Little Kenny, he’s Mister No Mistake and I made a lot of mistakes.”

The World Championship points table looks like this after seven of 18 rounds. Stoner has 140 points after four wins, Rossi is on 126, Dani lies third on 98 and Marco Melandri has 75 points in fourth.

The 23-lap 250cc race was the preserve of Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia). Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) was second and Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) third. It was Thomas Luthi (Aprilia) who hit turn one in the lead from the lights but the pace was such that the Swiss rookie could not live the men who established the race rhythm.

Lorenzo, de Angelis and Dovizioso took control by mid-race distance and as the closing laps drew on Lorenzo held second-placed de Angelis at bay by 2.2 seconds with Dovi 1.2 seconds adrift of the Italian Aprilia man in third.

Lorenzo took the flag to record five wins from seven races so far this year and extend his World Championship lead Lorenzo has 153 points with Dovizioso in second place on 117 points. Alex de Angelis has 115 points in third with Alvaro Bautista on 100 fourth overall.

Dovizioso said, “On one hand I must be happy because the race pace I ran was fantastic – very, very fast. On the other hand I must say the level at the front this year is so high. I gave 100% but also the competition is at the same high level so it's hard racing. My team and I did a fantastic job this weekend we cannot give anymore. The bike handles really well and helps me a lot but we have to work hard to find a little more power.”

Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished tenth and his team-mate Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) managed 11th. “It’s been a very complicated weekend,” said Simon. “To be honest, the race did not go very well. I made a good start and I had the chance to be in the front during the first few laps but I lacked a lot of engine power. It’s not a good result but at least I got some points.”

Tommy Koyama (KTM) recorded his first ever win in the 125cc class in a tight four-rider dice for the podium positions. Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) was second and the Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher (KTM) was third.

Hector Faubel (Aprilia) led into turn one with Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) in close attendance before Talmacsi shoehorned himself into second. As the luckless Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) fell on lap two, Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) held sixth place as an eight-rider group began to leave the field in its wake.

By the halfway stage of this 22-lap race, just 1.1 seconds covered the eight-rider breakaway, and Smith soon began to drop off the leading seven before Lukas Pesek (Derbi) and Faubel tangled and fell. This left Gadea, Randy Krummenacher (KTM), Koyama and Talmacsi heading the field in that order.

This would then be a four-way fight to the flag. On the final lap Gadea led into turn one as Talmacsi leap-frogged Gadea for third. Koyama burst through for the lead as his team-mate Krummenacher took third from Gadea and Talmacsi then managed second at the flag. Smith finished sixth. Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 12th.

Bradley Smith said: “I pushed really hard from the first lap to stay with the front group. I passed Pasini in the first corner through the outside and then Koyama through the inside. I had made a really good start, looking forward to make a good race. It was much better than in Mugello during the first few laps and that’s something to be happy about. It’s been a shame because every time we got to the straight and I was in front of the group, they would pass me and I would fall back again. So it’s been very difficult for me to overtake them, because I lost a lot of time on the straights. I tried really hard to outbrake them but I made a mistake. I’m looking forward to the next three races, and I hope we’ll be able to make the bike be faster.”

Smith’s team-mate Tito Rabat said: “I made a very good start but there were lots of us together right after that and I fell back. The bike worked well, not so the chassis. I lost a lot in the fast corners and the rear end gave me trouble when I opened the throttle. I did all I could, but my hand hurt a lot when braking. In any case I want to thank the team for helping me.”

Talmacsi heads the World Championship points table with 115, Hector Faubel lies second with 102, Pesek is third on 94.



Nicky Hayden


Andrea Dovizioso


MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
"Third is OK and I finished right with the leaders so I'm happy for that. It was difficult to keep up with Casey and Valentino, especially in the middle of the race, but with 10 laps remaining I was able to get close again. I was actually enjoying watching them because they weren't overtaking each other in typical places and that's why I wanted to get in there too! However, in one part of the track I was losing a lot and I needed the other part of the track to recover, so all the time I was right there with them, but I couldn't fight with them. I just had to wait until the last laps and hope I could find something but I wasn't quite close enough. I want to say thank you to all the crowd who came this weekend because they gave me a lot of support and created a great atmosphere. I've had some good results in recent races and the performance is steadily getting better so I hope keep improving for the next races."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 9th.
“We’re going through a rough patch. The team are giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren’t coming. The bike doesn’t give me any confidence and I can’t ride it how I want. I’m really disappointed. We’ve struggled with the front end all weekend and after a few laps I lost confidence in it – it was skipping around and it was really hard to ride. We’ll have to make some drastic changes.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 11th.
"Through this weekend I'd been moving up and getting faster and faster in every session and going up a few places. I got a decent start in the race and I was looking to get a decent result here because my pace in the warm-up was reasonable too. The race was a tough one though. Somewhere along the way it looks like the rear tyre turned on the rim and unbalanced it, which meant it started to vibrate and chatter really badly - especially in the last five or ten laps I could hardly ride it. After that I just started losing positions and it wasn't a fun race because it was hard to tip it into any of the corners. We didn't need that problem today so we'll just have to look into why it happened and move on to the next one at Donington."

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 15th.
“It was a very frustrating and difficult race for me. I said yesterday that I had a good feeling in hot conditions but we just didn’t have that today for some reason. When I pushed hard the bike would run wide in the corners. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and having more time out on the track so we will be working hard again to make more improvements. This is important as we still have a further two races to come this month.”

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR212V: 16th.
“Kurtis did really good. He was much quicker than I was in the beginning of the race and I was squaring off all the corners and I couldn’t get any grip to stay with them guys. And then my bike…the power started coming around, the grip level started getting closer front and rear. Just was trying everything I could to get up with him. Once I got within a second, from then on I was just trying to pass him, if he made a mistake at all. And he didn’t make a mistake, didn’t get off line. He was braking hard, going through the corner the same speed as me, but accelerating smoother, because I was trying to get a jump on him, so I would just spin. And I finally was able to get a draft off him down the front straight. And then I concentrated on Carlos (Checa) ahead and then he had something go wrong with his tire or bike.”

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 17th.
"This is a difficult moment for me, I cannot remember when I had a worse feeling in a race and this is not the result I wanted. Everyone in the LCR team has worked very hard over the weekend but we could just not find the balance or feeling that gave me any confidence to push. It is not fun to race like this but now we must look forward and hope the situation can improve."

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 18th.
“Yeah, it was the first time I’ve ever been in front of Kenny. That probably screwed me up more than anything, because I thought I heard him back there. But what really screwed me up halfway through the race, just for like a lap-I thought he was right behind me the whole race-and it was plus 1.6 seconds. Because I’d see his lap times and I wasn’t paying that much attention to the lap board at first. And I would see he’d have a faster one than me. I figured he’d be right behind me. And then he kind of caught me off guard. And trying to catch (Carlos) Checa, I started rushing everything a bit. I just didn’t have any grip from the start. I was just hung out to dry, just sliding the thing everywhere. I knew I was catching Checa, but Kenny, when he passed me, I thought I screwed up. I didn’t even realize he was towing me along that good. But it was fun. When you watch Little Kenny, he’s Mister No Mistake and I make a lot of mistakes.”

Kenny Roberts – Team Principal.
“I’d never seen them race like that at this level, of course, but it would be better if we were racing further up the field instead of where we are at the moment. It’s apparent that the motor doesn’t accelerate, but then we have no grip. I think that we are learning, but it’s going to take six weeks to build something different. We just have not been anywhere all year, because it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. When they turn it on, it just doesn’t go. Of course the motor isn’t the best. But it’s still not as bad as what we’re riding. The tires I think are actually a little more of a problem than the motor, because we can’t seem to get grip. So either the chassis’s not getting grip or the motor’s not getting grip, but we don’t know which one that is.”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: dnf – technical problem.
"I’m really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like 5th place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap. I don’t know exactly what it was. These things happen in racing but I’m really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans.”


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 3rd.
“On one hand I must be happy because the race pace I ran was fantastic, very, very fast. On the other hand I must say the level at the front this year is so high. I gave 100% but also the competition is at the same high level so it’s hard racing. My team and I did a fantastic job this weekend we cannot give anymore. The bike handles really well and helps me a lot but we have to work hard to find a little more power.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 10th.
“It’s been a very complicated weekend. To be honest, the race did not go very well. I made a more or less good start and I had the chance to be in the front during the first few laps. I tried but I lacked a lot of engine power. The truth is that the bike wasn’t fast enough and I just wasn’t able to reach the front group. I joined Barberá, Bautista and Aoyama during a few laps. I fought hard to stay at their tyres but then I had a muscle problem in my arm. It didn’t get completely well and I lost contact with the group. I was finally caught by Simoncelli and finished tenth. It’s not a good result but at least I got some points. As regards Donington, we’ll have to gather this fury for having finished tenth and to try to do it the best possible.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 11th.
“I managed to start better than in the previous race and I was able to follow the leading riders in the early stages. But that was just during a few laps because then I had trouble controlling the front end. The feelings were good this morning because we had found a good configuration in the different practices. However, during the race, I think that it was due to the heat, it was much more difficult and I wasn’t able to follow the leading group. I had no problems with the brakes but I was close to loosing control during the corners. I’m very sorry for the sponsors and for the team’s work.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 17th.
"It was a very special day for me, as there were people from my country supporting me, including people from A.P. Honda and the media. We knew it would be a tough race because of the high temperatures and we knew this track wouldn't be easy for us. Obviously I would have liked to score points, but I couldn't. However the experience we gained this weekend will prove useful in the near future."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 19th.
"I made up five positions on the first lap and was hoping to stay in the group with Jules Cluzel who finished 13th. But on hot days we seem to have a chassis problem that affects rear grip and my rear tyre was spinning up a lot, it felt like the track was wet. And the engine was cutting out just after the start, so things could have been much better for me."

Yuki Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: dnf – crash.
"On the last lap of the race I was in 12th place behind Shuhei (Aoyama). I tried to pass him on the inside but there was not enough room so I switched to the outside but used too much rear brake and slid to the right side on to the gravel and crashed. Pity because I was running consistently good times considering my body condition."


125cc.
Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 6th.
“I pushed really hard from the first lap to stay with the front group. I passed Pasini in the first corner through the outside and then Koyama through the inside. I had made a really good start, looking forward to make a good race. It was much better than in Mugello during the first few laps and that’s something to be happy about. It’s been a shame because every time we got to the straight and I was in front of the group, they would pass me and I would fall back again. So it’s been very difficult for me to overtake them, because I lost a lot of time on the straights. I tried really hard to outbrake them but I made a mistake. I was just pushing too hard, trying to recover too much and when I lost the slipstream it was just impossible to stay in the group. I managed to catch them in twisty sections but as soon as we got on the straight off they went again. I’m happy because this sixth position is the best result of the season. I have to be happy for it and because I gave my very very best. I’m looking forward to the next three races, and I hope we’ll be able to make the bike be faster.”

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 12th.
“I made a very good start but there were lots of us together right after that and I fell back. The motorbike has worked well, not so the chassis. I lost a lot in the fast corners and the rear end made trouble when I opened the throttle. I did all I could, but my hand hurt a lot when braking. There’s nothing more I could do because it really hurt a lot. It’s been a whole bunch of things that did not allow us to do any better. In any case I want to thank the team for helping me.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 16th.
“I'm so angry not to collect at least one point for my team after the difficult week-end I just put them through! My Honda was working well, the tyre choice was good. For sure we made the bike setup in the warm-up and was lapping 1'53s, whilst I was in 1'52 during the race, which means the chassis setup wasn't ideal. I didn't catch a good pace at first but nevertheless gave it all I had, especially in the closing stages despite tyre wear under the scorching heat. I tried all I could to pass Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter, but things just didn't work out! And yet I felt better mentally today.” “I'm going to give it a good break before the next Grand Prix, first isolate myself for two days, try to forget everything and start my physical and mental training again to have the right approach for the British Grand Prix. I need to fight my way back and work for the future. I'm happy to race in Donington next, I like the track which has plenty of acceleration and braking ­ and I'm quite good at braking!”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: 19th.

“I am very disappointed with my race today. We had a lot of detonation after just four- five laps and I just could not run with the fast group after that. It is very strange because we ran the same settings as in qualifying and the engine temperature was the same, it’s a mystery we will have to take a good look at the data to see what happened.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 26th.
“I got a so – so start and was in a group with Terol, Muresan, Hugo (Van den Berg) and a wild card rider. There were a couple of crashes in font of us on the first couple of laps so we wee held up a little. The engine was a little down on power today but I managed to cut 7/10ths of a second off my qualifying time so that was a positive. I couldn’t get out of the group and we had a good race. The wild card rider crashed out leaving the four of us. Finishing 26th is not a good result but I finished the race and learned a few things.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: dnf – crash
“I got my usual super start and passed a few riders but Ranseder did not he was trying too hard to catch up and hit me sending me off the track and out of the race. There is nothing else to say – I didn’t even get to complete one lap!”

Dino Lombardi, Kopron Scot Honda: dns – due to injuries sustained in qualifying. Lombardi broke his left ankle.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo


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



Dani Pedrosa
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
4 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
5 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
6 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
7 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
8 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
9 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
10 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
11 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
12 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
13 Jules CLUZEL (Angaia Racing)
14 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
15 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
 
125cc
1 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
2 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
3 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)
4 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Campetella Aprilia)
6 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
7 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
8 Joan OLIVE (Polaris World)
9 Stefan BRADL (Blusens Aprilia)
10 Michael RANSEDER (Ajo Motorsport)
11 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
12 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
13 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
14 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Team Sicilia)
15 Dominique AEGERTER (Multimedia Racing)
 


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