MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 13: San Marino GP > Qualifying
MotoGPSan MarinoSeptember 1, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misano Qualifying

Hayden on Front Row in Tightly Fought Session

Race Results >>

After yesterday’s washout following torrential rain, today’s one hour of MotoGP qualifying took place in bright sunshine at the new look Misano track. Championship points leader Casey Stoner (Ducati) took his fifth pole position of the season so far with former world champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) alongside him as second fastest man and reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) completing the front row.



Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

With the track at 42-degrees and with an ambient temperature of 23-degrees, the newly laid surface was ‘green’ after the Friday deluge, with what little rubber had been laid washed away in the torrent - two and a half inches of rain fell and turn eight was under four feet of water.

Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) endured a massive crash in the extended two-hour morning free practice after the cancellation of the scheduled Friday free training. The Italian lost control of his RC212V and the somersaulting machine leapt the crash barrier and nearly cleared the catch-fencing in the incident. Melandri was back on track for the final 20-minutes of that session then qualified a brave 12th this afternoon.

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) topped the timesheet early in this session before Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) and then Stoner went top. Stoner put in a time of 1m 35.39s that would be an early benchmark. The early order was Stoner, De Puniet, Checa, Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki), the super-resilient Melandri, and then Rossi.

Then de Puniet signaled his intent with a 1m 35.254s lap to go pole with 43 minutes to go. As rubber began to get laid down on the racing line, the times started to tumble, and Rossi hoisted himself to fourth in the mid-session order. Melandri and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) were eighth and ninth at this stage.

With twenty minutes to go de Puniet still held on to the top spot but as the pace got hotter it was his Kawasaki team-mate Anthony West who sped to the head of the grid to displace the Frenchman. John Hopkins (Suzuki) got into the action going second fastest and his team-mate Chris Vermeulen grabbed fourth place.

The Repsol men Pedrosa and Hayden lay 11th and 12th as the session entered the final ten minutes. By the time qualifying rubber had been fitted they would enter the reckoning for the first two rows of the grid, but Dani could only manage the sixth fastest time at the close.

Less then one second covered the top ten men as Vermeulen tore round the 4.18km circuit with a 1m 34.813s time to go pole with nine minutes remaining. Nicky Hayden was now flying on his Honda V4 and managed third fastest time behind Vermeulen and de Puniet with Rossi lurking in fourth.

But Stoner was on a charge and the Aussie pulled a 1m 34.540s lap out of the bag to put his name at the front of the order with seven minutes left on the clock. He had even more speed left to exploit and would be the only rider to dip below the 1m 34 second barrier at the flag.

De Puniet had more left to give and elevated himself to second with five minutes left. Vermeulen too was not yet finished and the Aussie managed third fastest as three minutes remained. The action was now frantic with nearly all riders out on sticky qualifying rubber trying to shave crucial fractions off their times.

With just two minute left on the clock Hayden looked as if he had the measure of the track when he went pole with a 1m 34.469s lap. But Rossi swiftly bettered the American’s time with a 1m 34.094s effort. Then with six seconds remaining Stoner bested them all with a 1m 33.918s time that could not be beaten.

Hayden, on the front row for the second time this season as third fastest qualifier, said: “I’m happy we squeezed onto the front row, which obviously is going to be really important around here because it’s a tight track. Tomorrow’s race is going to be a bit of an unknown for us and there are a couple of tyres I haven’t even tried yet. I quite like the track and I’m sure it’s going to be a good show - the atmosphere here is unbelievable - and I need to be a part of it.”

Dani Pedrosa, sixth on row two, said: “Well the second row is not so bad, though I have to say I was expecting more from this qualifying session. We haven’t found the ideal race set-up and tyre choice yet and this means tomorrow’s warm-up is going to be crucial to give us a chance for the race. At the moment my pace and rhythm on race tyres is not really where it needs to be. The track is very bumpy in parts and this is giving us some stability issues, which as yet we haven’t been able to overcome. This is an important race as we go into the last part of the season, so I’m determined to fight for the best result here.”

Carlos Checa, heading row three as seventh fastest man, said: “Overall I’m happy despite the problems I had on a qualifying tyre. I had no engine braking or traction control because of a faulty front wheel speed sensor, the front wheel was locking up on the brakes. It’s a pity because on a qualifying tyre on my second lap I finished only 0.2 seconds off the front row. In the morning we did a lot of good work on the set up on race tyres and I’m happy with the lap times even though the track is very bumpy in some areas. Now there is no time left and so we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow.”

Melandri, 12th fastest, said: “It’s like a dream to be back on track after the terrible accident this morning. I made a mistake when the track conditions were not very good. The bike went onto the kerb and then the artificial grass. The bike flew over the tyre wall and I was lucky to slide. My race rhythm is not so bad but I didn’t find a good feeling with the qualifying tyres here.”

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) qualified 14th and said: “Today was much drier! Yesterday we had such terrible weather, so thankfully the conditions were much better today. This morning our problem was that we couldn’t get a good feeling from the bike. Maybe it was due to the track conditions and also the settings. We improved a little bit this afternoon, but we are still looking for more braking stability and rear traction overall.”

Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V), still not fully fit after breaking his leg as Assen in June, managed 15th, and said: “My physical condition is better than at Brno but this weekend I’m struggling more than at the last GP. My leg is very bad because of the frequent changes of direction here and from the hard braking. Tomorrow I’ll try and spare some energy in order to finish the race with a better result than at Brno.”

Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) qualified 18th. He said: “We’re getting better. It’s hard to make leaps and bounds at a race weekend, but we had one test day after Brno, and that helped. For the race, things are looking better. We were faster than Elias the whole session, and I think we’ll be right there with Nakano and Tamada. Overtaking will be difficult here, especially without a speed advantage, but if we get a good start I’m hoping for a good result. I think we can get more out of the bike, set-up wise.”

Series points leader Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) grabbed pole in the 250cc class with a 1m 38.395s lap, his rival Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) chasing him all the way to line up alongside him on the grid as second fastest man with a time of 1m 38.558s.

Hector Barbera (Aprilia) qualified third fastest with Hiro Aoyama (KTM) completing the front row. Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) qualified eighth fastest with his team-mate Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) 11th on the grid.

Dovizioso said: “I don’t especially like this track. It’s a bit bumpy in places and also a bit dangerous, particularly where Marco had his crash. But the bike is running really well - at its optimum for the race. I have the chance of fighting for the win with Lorenzo tomorrow.”

Simon said: “These were some tough training sessions but I think we’re at a good level. I like the circuit a lot and I feel comfortable riding here. We still have some work to do on the set-up, work we will have to do in the warm-up tomorrow morning. I am on the second row and I have a good pace to stay in the chasing group. I just hope we make the right tyre choice.”

In the 125cc class Lukas Pesek (Derbi) notched his first pole of the season with Hector Faubel second fastest, Mattia Pasini third on the grid and Gabor Talmacsi (all Aprilia) completing the front row as fourth fastest qualifier.

Honda teamsters Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) and Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) managed seventh and ninth while Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda RS125R) qualified 11th.

Rabat said: “Qualifying was not so bad. I like the track and it’s my first time on row two since Qatar. I set my best lap time alone and that has given me great confidence. I have tried to set a fast time before when alone but have never been as quick as this. The track was cold and dirty this morning but in qualifying it was much better.”

Smith said: “In the wet yesterday the track was better than a wet Donington Park but I still took it easy hoping for better in the afternoon, but it didn’t happen. This morning the track was not at its best but in qualifying it was good, it felt like a completely different track. Every lap I found something - but we only had one and a quarter hours track time. Ninth is not so bad, and if we can sort out a few bits on the suspension and I stop making small mistakes we’ll have a good race.”



Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)


Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda)

MotoGP:

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 3rd.
"I'm happy we squeezed onto the front row, which obviously is going to be really important around here because it's a tight track. Tomorrow's race is going to be a bit of an unknown for us and there are a couple of tyres I haven't even tried yet. I quite like the track and I got up to speed pretty quickly this morning, though when it came to doing 1m 35s and 1m 34s laps I haven't been able to make that next step. We struggled a bit in the afternoon with the first qualifying tyre and so on the second one I knew that, man, I had to reach down and take a few chances to pull something out. I had a lot of chatter on that lap but the qualifying Michelin tyres were really good. I know those guys have been working hard and it hasn't been easy on them so I appreciate the effort they've put in. Hopefully my crew can tweak on the machine settings tonight and we can get things a little bit better. There are parts of the track where I'm ok and a few where it's not so good - but I've got a lot of faith in my boys and hopefully we can be up there at the front fighting tomorrow. I'm sure it's going to be a good show - the atmosphere here is unbelievable - and I need to be a part of it."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 6th.
"Well the second row is not so bad, though I have to say I was expecting even more from this qualifying session. We haven't found the ideal race set-up and tyre choice yet and this means tomorrow's warm-up is going to be crucial to give us a chance for the race. At the moment my pace and rhythm on race tyres is not really where it needs to be. The track is very bumpy in parts and this is giving us some stability issues which as yet we haven't been able to overcome. We'll look at the data from today and try to come up with a solution quickly in the warm-up. Starting from 6th on the grid is not perfect because the first part of the lap here is very tight and twisty, which means overtaking and making up places in the first laps will be difficult. Still, we'll give it our best shot. This is an important race as we go into the last part of the season, so I'm determined to fight for the best result here."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 7th.
"Overall I’m happy considering the problem on my first qualifying tyre when I had no engine braking or traction control because of a faulty front wheel speed sensor. The rear wheel was just locking-up on the brakes. It’s a pity because on my second qualifying run I finished only 0.2s off the front row. In the morning we did a lot of good work on the set-up with race tyres and I’m happy with the lap times even though the track is very bumpy in some areas. But now there is no time left so we will see what happens tomorrow, it will be an interesting race this track."

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 12th
"Its like a dream to be able to be back on track after the terrible accident of this morning I made a mistake this morning when the track conditions were not very good. The bike went onto the kerb and then the artificial grass. The bike flew over the tyre wall and I was lucky to slide I had a big bang on lumber region but saving my neck after the x-ray that excluded any fractures I could get back on track for the last 20-minutes. My race rhythm is not so bad but I didn’t find a good feeling with the qualifying tyres here not so much time in total to prepare the bike but anyway I will do my best in the race even if I now demanding."

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 14th.
"Today was much drier! Yesterday we had such terrible weather, so thankfully the conditions were much better today. This morning our problem was that we couldn’t get a good feeling from the bike. Maybe it was due to the track conditions and also the settings. We improved a little bit this afternoon, but we are still looking for more braking stability and rear traction overall. Having had some time on the track, I enjoy it a lot, but it’s harder to learn than some tracks, thanks to the combination of low and high-speed corners. We may try a different front setting tomorrow to get more confidence under braking. I will need a good start tomorrow as at Misano it’s not easy to overtake as it is a high-speed but narrow track."

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 15th.
"My physical condition is better than at Brno but this weekend I’m struggling more than at the last GP. My leg is very bad because of the frequent changes of direction here at Misano and from the strong braking. Tomorrow I will try and spare some energy in order to finish the race and with a better result than at Brno."

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 18th.
"I think we’re close on race tyres, and there’ll be some guys to race with, but I was only three tenths faster on qualifying tyres. Until three races back, every time we used a qualifier it’d chatter off the race track. In Germany was the first time it didn’t, and we picked up a second and a half. Today the thing was hopping off the race-track again - not chattering, just hitting some bumps and taking off. With this track, it needs to accelerate out of the slow corners onto the straightaway. We’re struggling to get from point A to point B as fast as we need to, and there’s nothing within the team we can do to help that. But we’re getting better. It’s hard to make leaps and bounds at a race weekend, but we had one test day after Brno, and that helped. For the race, things are looking better. We were faster than Elias the whole session, and I think we’ll be right there with Nakano and Tamada. Overtaking will be difficult here, especially without a speed advantage, but if we get a good start I’m hoping for a good result. I think we can get some more out of the bike, set-up wise."

Chuck Aksland - Team Manager - Team Roberts.
"I don’t think our qualifying position is as good as it deserves to be. Kurtis was running strongly on race tyres, and with the qualifier he was only four tenths off at the half-way point. Then he ran into some chatter problems, more from the bumps than anything, and lost more time. But on race tyres he was competitive with a group of the satellite-team Honda riders, and he could have a good race with them tomorrow. There’s a definite pattern of improvement, and Kurtis is working hard to get the best out of what we have."


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 2nd.
"I don't like this track too much its bumpy and a little bit dangerous, particularly at the place where Marco (Melandri) crashed The bike is really very good, its optimum for the race. I have the possibility to fight for the win with Lorenzo tomorrow."

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 8th.
"These were some tough training sessions but I think we have got a good level. I like the circuit a lot and I feel comfortable riding here. We still have some work to do on the set up, work we will have to do in the warm up tomorrow morning. I am on the second row and I have a good pace to stay in the chasing group. As always, I am going to do my best and so try and get a good result here. I just hope we make the right tyre choice."

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 11th.
"This morning things did not go too well, but my sensations were not too bad. In the afternoon, in the timed session, I got better sensations but on the last few laps when I was attacking to get my grid position I made a mistake thinking that I still had another lap to try and set a better time, but I lost time on the previous lap and in the end I was not able to do it."

Yukio Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: 12th.
"I was alone in the free practice and thought my lap times were quite good until I cm into the box and found several riders were faster than me. In the qualifying session In the group I was with in qualifying session it was a little dangerous at the hairpin corner, one rider pushing too hard ran across the front of me and at the same time another ran up the inside on braking. The bike does not have a good balance and acceleration is not so good and I do not have a very good feeling. Tonight we will work to find some solutions to try in the warm up."

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 16th
"I'm pleased with this result and with what we achieved today - being just 2s off the pole position pace on 4 km-long track is not bad! I believe I could have gone quicker but I don't really mind. It's a new track for everybody and our current position and the work we did over the past two days with the team in terms of bike set-up are satisfying and clearly prove our potential."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 18th.
"I like the track even though it’s a bit bumpy and there are some good places on the brakes for overtaking, so I’m hoping to score some points. In the rain yesterday things didn’t go well but today I found a good chassis balance and feeling for the track."


125cc:

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 7th.
"Qualifying was not so bad. I like the track and this is the first and its my first time on the second line since Qatar. I set my best lap time alone and that has given me great confidence. I have tried to set fast times before when alone but never been as fast as this. The track was cold and dirty this morning but in qualifying it was much better. Now we have to work a little tonight to find some solutions to small problems. We have to change the gearbox ratios to get more acceleration and stiffen up the rear suspension to stop h sliding. Tyre choice is limited here but we will make decision after the warm up."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 9th.
"In the wet yesterday the track was better than a wet Donington Park but I still took it easy hoping for better in the afternoon but it didn’t happen. This morning the track was not at its best but in qualifying it was good, it felt like a completely different track. Every lap I found something but we had only one and a quarter hours track time. Ninth is not so bad and if we can sort out a few bits on suspension and I stop making small mistakes we will have a good race."

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 27th.
"It’s too bad! I felt comfortable on my Honda right from the early morning. We’d fine tuned the bike set-up and selected the adequate gearing, the grip was in progress and all the right conditions were there for a good performance. I had a good pace right from the early stage, even riding alone. I really thought I was going to improve because I knew I had some more potential to come in two corners. But this engine failure wrecked our expectations. By the time I was back in the pits to take my second machine which didn't have the same settings, to go out on the track again and find the right pace again, I was only able to do two flying laps. I will try and have a good start tomorrow in order to pass as many riders as possible in the first lap, as I've already done in the past. But I know that things won’t be easy."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 31st.
"I am satisfied with my qualifying session. I like this track and the bike is really good. I am surprised by the pace today. We did not change much from yesterday just two gearbox ratios to find more acceleration. In the qualifying session I was not in the fastest of groups - if I had been I could have run 1m 45.5s but now there are three of us at 1m 46.1s. Tomorrow I need on of my best starts to make a good race."

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 33rd.
"In free practice the bike was not accelerating at all, I was losing half a second down the straight to the fastest bikes. The tam changed the gearbox ratios and fitted a different exhaust pipe and it’s much better. It worked out well because in the first three laps this afternoon I was one second faster than my previous best time. Towards the end I got a bit excited and on the last lap set my fastest time."


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misano Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
6 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
7 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
8 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
10 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
12 Marco MELANDRI (Team Honda Gresini)
13 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
14 Shinya NAKANO (KONICA MINOLTA Honda)
15 Toni ELIAS (Team Honda Gresini)
16 Makoto TAMADA (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
17 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
18 Kurtis ROBERTS (Team Roberts)
19 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antin)
 
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Scot Honda)
3 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
7 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
8 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250)
9 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
11 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250)
12 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Scot Honda)
 
125cc
1 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
2 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
3 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
4 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
6 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
7 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
8 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
9 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
10 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
 

< MotoGP
Related Links

· Honda Worldwide | MotoGP - FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
· San Marino


Page Top

Honda Worldwide site

Home | Site Map | Site Index | About this Site

Copyright, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.