MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 08: British GP > Race Results
MotoGPU.K.June 24, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 08
British Grand Prix at Donington Park

Hayden On Pace Before Fall

Qualifying >>

This saturated MotoGP race gave World Championship points leader Casey Stoner (Ducati) another win in treacherous conditions from Colin Edwards (Yamaha) in second with Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) third in front of 85,000 rain-sodden spectators.



Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)


Marco Melandri (Team Honda Gresini)


Reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V), who had put in his best qualifying performance of the season so far, starting from fourth on the grid, was third on lap one and always in contention with the leaders before he fell on lap five. What looked a promising ride ended in the gravel at the tricky Coppice corner. But he proved that he is back near his best.

His team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was also looking like a contender for victory, leading the field until lap four when he was overhauled by Edwards, then dropping down the order to finish eighth. Dani had chosen a rear tyre that proved too soft for the conditions as the track began to dry. He did, however, further destroy the myth that he cannot perform in wet conditions.

Edwards led from the start with Dani right on his rear wheel and at the Melbourne Loop Pedrosa stole inside under braking and headed the Texan into Goddards and over the start/finish line into turn one. The order was Pedrosa, Edwards, Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), John Hopkins (Suzuki), Vermeulen and then Hayden.

Stoner suffered a poor start, but by lap five the Aussie had powered through the field to lie fourth. Another Aussie man Anthony West (Kawasaki) was on the move and held fifth by lap six, the same lap that Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) crashed out of contention.

Stoner set an early fastest lap of 1m 42.414 on the eighth tour of this 4.023km track. While Stoner was gradually getting the measure of the slowly drying conditions, West was a victim of them, running into the gravel at Coppice while fourth, but regaining the track for an 11th place finish.

At mid-race distance of this 30-lap encounter on a drying track Edwards led from Stoner with Rossi eight seconds adrift of the lead duo. Edwards now held only a slender 0.7 second advantage over Stoner. On lap 15 Stoner overtook Edwards into the Melbourne Loop and immediately began to pull clear of the American.

Stoner was away now in a race against the conditions only, a full seven seconds clear of Edwards by lap 23. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) who had made a spirited ride through the field fell while fifth on lap 24 while Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) was improving his pace dramatically in the closing stages setting a fastest lap of the race of 1m 41.4s on lap 25.

Chris Vermeulen finally overhauled Rossi for third slipping inside the former Champion at the Foggy Esses after getting superior drive out of Coppice. Rossi had no answer to the Australian man’s pace and settled for fourth.

Dani, eighth at the flag, said: “At the start of the race things were going quite well and I was able to lead the race and felt quite comfortable. After few laps the track was becoming drier and it turned out we’d chosen a rear tyre that was too soft for those conditions and I just couldn’t maintain the pace. This was definitely a disappointing race for us, although we had a promising performance in practice and qualifying which is positive.”

Marco Melandri, who eventually finished tenth, said: “We tried a few set-up modifications in the warm-up and improved the feeling on the front but couldn’t do the same on the rear. When the track was really wet I struggled because the bike was sliding a lot. Then as it started to dry out the situation improved because the bike felt more balanced. The lap times show that because I went from doing a 1m 46.4s to a 1m 41.4s on the last lap.”

His team-mate Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) was 12th. He said: “It’s been a difficult weekend and it hasn’t ended as we wanted. I struggled in the race because I couldn’t get the tyre up to temperature and find grip. I had problems braking and ran wide a few times, which made me lose time. When the track began to dry I was able to set the fastest lap of the race. The positive thing is we’ve gathered a lot of information in the wet which we’ll be able to use together with Bridgestone and try to solve some of the problems we’ve had this weekend.”

Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) rode a dogged race to 13th. He said: “When I started catching guys – (Shinya) Nakano and (Marco) Melandri I felt good. Then maybe four or five laps after, when a dry line was developing, the bike started moving around a lot on full lean, and was getting worse and worse. The track was so dry in some places, and wet in others. I was searching for water to cool the tyre down. We picked too soft a rear. It was great when it was wet, but once it started drying up it was terrible.”

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) finished 14th and said: “On the first lap I had a slide with the rear tyre and I had to catch it before I fell, this meant I lost a couple of places. For the first ten laps things were OK, but then the conditions began to change and the track started to dry out. This meant that I could not push as hard as I would have liked.”

Nicky Hayden was 17th at the flag after visiting the pits before carrying on to the end. The American World Champion said: “The bike felt really good early in the race and I was trying to be a little bit patient when a few guys came past and I started going back and forth. Still, I felt like I could go towards the front and I was enjoying the race. Then I just got in a little bit hot at the top of the hill and lost the front. It sucks to crash out of the race but it wasn’t as if I crashed while going backwards and struggling – at least I was up front and so I’m going to take the positives from this weekend.”

Faller Checa said: “After four laps I had a better feeling and was able to pass Melandri and was hoping to improve my lap times and gain some confidence. But I lost the front at turn eight just as I was starting to push and I’m not sure why, maybe a little too much front brake. It’s a pity, in the dry I was competitive, but today it rained and I want to forget this race.”

The World Championship points table now shows Stoner on 165 points to Rossi’s 139, with Dani in third place with 106 points. Chris Vermeulen is now fourth on 88.

The soaking wet 250cc race, the first of the day, proved a triumph for Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) whose smooth style and relentless will to win gave him victory over Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) in second and Hiro Aoyama (KTM) third.

De Angelis led from pole from the off but the track was always going to be a danger factor today and among the riders the slippery conditions claimed, series points leader Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) was the biggest. The Spanish rider fell at Coppice on lap 10 while holding second place and could not restart for a points finish. His lead of 36 points is now reduced to just 11 over Dovizioso in the World Championship standings.

After Lorenzo’s departure this became a straight fight between de Angelis and Dovizioso – and what a battle it was. Not for incessant lead swapping and daring moves – but for the unbending pressure Dovi heaped on the leader. Such that on the penultimate lap de Angelis lost the front-end through Craner Curves handing Dovizioso the win.

The lead pair were an amazing one minute ahead of third-placed Hiro Aoyama when this happened. And de Angelis still had enough time to remount and finish second. Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) fell on lap 19 entering Coppice while chasing Hiro Aoyama for third, but got going again to finish seventh.

Dovizioso said: “Sure this is a good result in terms of the World Championship and it was a good race too. It was just so difficult to stay on the bike. De Angelis was riding really well and he was very hard to stay with. I pushed on the last three laps and so did he – but he crashed. I have to thank my team and everyone involved for this win.”

His team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda RS250RW) who finished an encouraging fourth after a series of injuries said: “My start was not so bad and I tried to push straight away but it was difficult to find a good feeling for the track. I eased off a little and when I found a better feeling I began to push again. The bike was good and I had few problems, just some slides.”

Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) was fifth, Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing Honda RS250R) eighth while rookie Eugene Laverty (LCR Honda RS250R) fell on lap six.

In the 125cc class Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) won by a comfortable 3.2 seconds from Tommy Koyama (KTM) with Hector Faubel (Aprilia) third. This was Pasini’s first win since the German Grand Prix last year, despite his five pole positions so far this season.

Pasini was the fastest man out there on a track that had a dry line but was damp off line causing many riders to fall if they drifted off the racing line. By mid-race distance of this 25-lap contest a nine-rider group had broken clear of the field and Pasini was the man in charge.

Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) was involved in a three-rider crash at Goddards corner on lap 14 which ended his involvement, while series points leader Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) retired on lap 16 hoisting Honda men Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda RS125R) and Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) up to sixth and seventh at the flag.

Di Meglio said: “I’m very tired but very satisfied! We had a good race, always fighting towards the higher positions, and I could have fought for the podium too if Talmacsi hadn’t forced me onto the kerb slowing me down and making me lose contact with the leading group. Next week it’s Assen and I hope to ride another good race like this one, if not better.”

Smith said: “This has been a very complicated weekend. I was racing at home and wanted to do a good job. As it went, with the weather and everything, it's been very difficult. I got onto the grid, and it was still raining, but we didn’t really know what to do. I finally chose a soft tyre and it didn’t work out. I wasn’t able to push at a 100% and I’m a bit disappointed because I felt that I was able to do a bit better. But, anyway, we’ve learned from this mistake.”

The World Championship table now looks like this: Faubel 116 points, Talmacsi 115, Lukas Pesek (Derbi), who finished 18th here on 94 points, Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) 92.



Toni Elias (Honda Gresini)


Andrea Dovizioso (Kopron Team Scot)


MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“At the start of the race things were going quite well and I was able to lead the race and felt quite comfortable. After few laps the track was becoming drier and it turned out we'd chosen a rear tyre that was too soft for those conditions and I just couldn't maintain the pace. I tried to stay with de Puniet and I had battle with Barros in the last few laps but I had very little traction at the rear and unfortunately I couldn't hold him off. This was definitely a disappointing race for us, although we had promising performance in practice and qualifying which is positive. It's a pity because, with Casey winning again, the gap in the championship has opened up quite a lot. We'll just have to fight back quickly at the next race. ”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 17th.
“The bike felt really good early in the race and I was trying to be a little bit patient when a few guys came past and I started going back and forth. It felt like I could go quicker, though when Stoner came through I was having quite a hard time seeing because of the spray. Still, I felt like I could go towards the front and I was enjoying the race. Then I just got in a little bit hot at the top of the hill and lost the front. I'd been passed there earlier once or twice and just didn't want to go back any further. I felt really good everywhere except on the brakes where I was quite weak. Some of the guys were really strong on the brakes, although I felt like had better exit grip and better traction. It sucks to crash out of the race but it wasn't as if I crashed while going backwards and struggling – at least I was up front and so I'm going to take the positives from this weekend. Being fastest in the dry on Saturday morning was a big boost for me and I definitely feel that I've been the most competitive I've been all year. ”

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 10th.
“We tried a few set-up modifications in the warm-up and improved the feeling on the front but couldn't do the same on the rear. When the track was really wet I struggled because the bike was sliding a lot. Then as it started to dry out the situation improved because the bike felt more balanced. The lap times show that because I went from doing a 1'46.4 to a 1'41.4 on the last lap. ”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 12th.
“It's been a difficult weekend and it hasn't ended as we wanted. I struggled in the race because I couldn't get the tyre up to temperature and find grip. I had a problem in braking and ran wide a few times, which made me lose time and this meant I couldn't recover positions as I wanted. When the track began to dry I was able to set the fastest lap of the race. The positive thing is that we've gathered a lot of information in the wet which we'll be able to use together with Bridgestone and try to solve some of the problems we've had this weekend. ”

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 14th.
“With the conditions changing so much that was a difficult race. I think my start was not so bad, but then during the first lap I had a slide with the rear tyre and I had to catch it before I fell down, this meant I lost a couple of places. For the first 10 laps things were OK, but then the conditions began to change and the track started to dry out. This meant that I could not push hard as I would have liked, as when the track began to dry, the tyre would slide more. When this began to happen I decided to hang on and get some points for the overall championship positions.”

Kurtis Roberts, replacement rider for Kenny Roberts Jnr. 13th.
“I fell this morning in warm-up, and I’m still pretty sore, so it took me a lap or two to get the confidence back. When I started catching guys – (Shinya) Nakano and (Marco) Melandri, I felt good. Went around them pretty easy. Then maybe four or five laps after, when a dry line was developing, the bike started moving around a lot on full lean, and was getting worse and worse. The track was so dry in some places, and wet in others. I was searching for water to cool the tyre down.”“Once I started losing places again, I was just on salvage mode – just looking at the lap countdown. I couldn’t go any faster – if I leaned it over the thing moved all around. We picked too soft a rear. It was great when it was wet, but once it started drying up it was terrible. But we got points, and at least I didn’t fall off again.”

Kenny Roberts Snr – Team Principal.
“We did better than I thought we were going to do, anyway. It wasn’t a useful day – we didn’t learn anything in terms of what problems we have. You couldn’t with this weather. It looked like we were going forward for half the race, then it dried out and we weren’t good. Which was surprising, because we’re usually better when it starts to get a dry line. That was a tyre issue, but Kurtis was able to get some mileage and get comfortable. Assen should be better. If we get a bit of weather help and improve our set-up, we could start working our way back up again.”

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: dnf – crash.
“After four laps I had a better feeling and was able to pass Melandri and was hoping to improve my lap times and gain some confidence. But I lost the front at turn eight just as I was starting to push and I'm not sure why, maybe a little too much front brake. It's a pity, in the dry I was competitive, but today it rained and I want to forget this race. ”


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 1st.
“That race was very, very difficult the grip level was unbelievably poor. In the race Lorenzo tried to follow De Angelis and was pushing a lot and ended up crashing. There was even less grip today than in the very wet conditions of Friday – and we were faster today! It was so difficult for me to follow De Angelis – he was so fast and running consistent fast lap times. When he crashed I could ease off a little. I am very happy with this victory.”

Yuki Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: 4th.
“My start was not so bad and I tried to push straight away but it was difficult to find a good feeling for the track. I eased of a little and when I found a better feeling I began to push again. The bike was good and I had few problems, just some slides. In the middle of the race I caught Hiro Aoyama and I wanted a podium finish but I could not pass him. Anyway I am happy with this result.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 5th.
“I had a better feeling on the bike this morning during the warm-up and I think that I might have been fighting for a place on the podium. But I wasn’t able to follow the leading riders after the start, because the feelings in the front end weren’t the best. I wasn’t able to enter the fast corners well, but it was good in the slower ones, though I also had trouble in the middle of the corners. In any case, I didn’t crash today, so I managed to score some points and finish happy.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 7th.
“My start was very good and on the second lap I was in fourth place and everything was running really good. When Bautista crashed I had a real race with Hiro (Aoyama) it was real fun. The track conditions were changing all the time and when I crashed I was off line but I got back on the bike and finished seventh – a position I am not really happy about. But it will be good practice for Assen, where it might be a wet race.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 8th.
“It was a very tough race, but the result was worth the effort. From the very start, I knew that I had to settle for a constant pace - I had to be comfortable but also able to gain positions. Today's race was all about not getting hot-headed and avoiding to make any mistakes. In the end I was able to stick with my strategy and I got my best result so far, we did a great job this weekend.”

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: dnf – crash.
“I lost the front, it just tucked from under me, the conditions were terrible. There was so much spray I was probably too careful and lost some positions from the start, and then I got forced wide by Locatelli. It was a silly crash that annoyed me as I was just getting comfortable in the wet conditions.”


125cc.
Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: 6th.
“I’m very tired after that hard race but also very satisfied. I rode a good race always in the lead group. I was fighting for a podium place when Talmacsi forced me wide and I lost contact with the leaders. Anyway, I’m happy and we go too Assen next week and if I an have a race like I did today – maybe I will have a better result. ”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 7th.
“This has been a very complicated weekend. I was racing at home and wanted to do a good job. As it went, with the weather and everything, it’s been very difficult because it rained sometimes and then it didn’t and in the end, we haven’t been able to really set the bike up. Things went OK yesterday afternoon but the rain showed up this morning again. I got onto the grid, and it was still raining, but we didn’t really know what to do. I finally chose a soft tyre and it didn’t really work out. I wasn’t able to push at a 100% and I’m a bit disappointed because I felt that I was able to do a bit better. But, anyway, we’ve learned from this mistake and the good part is that we’re going to be back n the track next Thursday. Let’s hope for a better result there.”

Enrique Jerez replacement rider for the injured Dino Lombardi, Kopron Scot Honda: 14th.
“That was a very difficult race for me as I have never raced here before. The suspension was set up for the wet and I could not push to the limit without taking risks. Many thanks to the team for the good work they have done for me this weekend and the chance to race again for them at Assen were I hope to give another good performance.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 19th.
“I was starting lap two and felt confident. I tried to pass Gabor Talmacsi on the brakes but down shifted too fast. The bike started to wobble immediately and I was unable to slow down enough and stay on the track. I was flung into the dirt and eventually crashed. Luckily I was able to resume the race and I pushed as hard as I could to pass as many riders as possible. But I was too far back and was unable to score championship points. I hope we will be able to perform well in Assen, which is where I achieved my personal best ­ 5th in 2005. Since then the track has been modified and I don’t appreciate it as much. Furthermore, the weather out there can be fickle. It can be very warm or rain like mad. It’s difficult to anticipate on what will happen but my position here during practice is really encouraging.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 21st.
“I raced below my own level today and I am disappointed with the race result it could have been better. Yesterday we had no power off the corners but today it was top speed. If I had a little more power maybe I could have caught the group ahead of me. But I also chose an intermediate front tyre and that was a mistake. We have to improve.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 25th.
“In the beginning of the race I was too cautious I just didn’t have the feel to know how hard I could push. The bike was good and when Sandi passed me I stayed in behind him and we were catching a group of wild card riders we knew would tire. When Sandi crashed I closed on the group but there was not enough time left to get a better result. I chose the wrong tyre but all in all we are on the way up – I’m looking forward to Assen next week.”

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash.
“I made a good start and I was able to remount. But halfway the race I went wide in a corner, touched another rider and crashed. It’s a shame, because the whole work of the weekend wasn't worth anything, I didn't score a single point. But we’re already thinking about Assen. We have to try to get there highly motivated and strong, and above all not to be discouraged after what happened today.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 08
British Grand Prix at Donington Park


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
4 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
5 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
6 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
7 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
8 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antin)
10 Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
11 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
12 Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)
13 Kurtis ROBERTS (Team Roberts)
14 Shinya NAKANO (Konica Minolta Honda)
15 Makoto TAMADA (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
 
250cc
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
2 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
3 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
4 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Team Scot)
5 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
6 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
7 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
8 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT-SAG)
9 Dan LINFOOT (Team Sicilia)
10 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
11 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
12 Dirk HEIDOLF (Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing)
13 Taro SEKIGUCHI (Campetella Racing)
14 Alex BALDOLINI (Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing)
15 Imre TOTH (Team Toth Aprilia)



Andrea Dovizioso (Kopron Team Scot)
125cc
1 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
2 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
3 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
4 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Joan OLIVE (Polaris World)
6 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Team Scot)
7 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
8 Raffaele DE ROSA (Multimedia Racing)
9 Pablo NIETO (Blusens Aprilia)
10 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
11 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Team Sicilia)
12 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
13 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)
14 Enrique JEREZ (Kopron Team Scot)
15 Andrea IANNONE (WTR No Alcol Team)
 


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