MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 13: San Marino GP > Race Results
MotoGPSan MarinoSeptember 2, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misano

Hardman Melandri Takes Fourth As Stoner Wins

Qualifying >>

This was perhaps the race that established Casey Stoner (Ducati) as MotoGP World Champion elect 2007. The Aussie won from Chris Vermeulen with John Hopkins (both Suzuki) third. A lap one incident ruined the chances of Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) and put his team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) out of the race.



Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)


Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)


This 28-lap showdown at the revamped 4.18km Misano got underway in bright sunshine with the track at 42-degrees and with an ambient temperature of 26-degrees. Stoner was red-hot away from the lights and led into turn one from Hopkins and Vermeulen with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) on the chase in fourth followed by Loris Capirossi (Ducati).

In a tightly-bunched lap one field, Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) hit Pedrosa the crashing duo forced Hayden and Kurtis Roberts (KR212V) into the gravel trap, and this episode wrecked the race for all four riders. Pedrosa and de Puniet were down and out, the determined Hayden and Roberts rejoined the race, but the best Hayden could do was struggle to an eventual 13th place with Roberts finishing 15th.

Hopkins was working his bike hard to keep Stoner in his sights and the American set an early fastest lap of the race on the third tour at 1m 35.043 seconds. But it would be lap five that proved more significant in terms of the possible destination of the World Championship – Rossi slowed and then entered pitlane with a malfunctioning Yamaha M1.

With just five races remaining the former World Champion’s retirement and failure to score points here gives Stoner’s already credible World Championship bid a massive boost. As Rossi saw his slim chance of regaining the title he lost to Nicky Hayden last season all but evaporate, Vermeulen snatched second from his team-mate Hopkins and then set a fastest lap of 1m 34.709 as he worked on closing down his fellow Aussie Stoner.

But the Ducati man was never going to relent in his attempt to deliver a ‘home win’ for the Italian factory. By lap seven he held a 0.8 second advantage over Vermeulen and by lap ten it was a full second.

Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V), whose terrifying crash on Saturday morning left him relatively unscathed as his machine wreaked havoc on the trackside furniture, had started from 12th on the grid, but the durable Italian was now fourth and sparing no effort in hounding Hopkins for third.

Vermeulen meanwhile was making inroads into Stoner’s lead and as mid-race distance loomed he had cut Casey’s cushion to 0.788 seconds. But this proved a mere hiccup in Stoner’s full-on charge to the flag. By lap 16 his superiority was re-established at 1.8 seconds.

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) fancied his chances here after a successful testing stint at Brno. And despite some technical troubles that prevented him from qualifying as high up the grid as he would have liked, the evergreen Spaniard was riding a strong race in sixth, where he would finish.

So too was Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V), still only at 60% of full fitness while recovering from a broken leg. The resilient Spaniard held seventh place – and he was not going to let that go, finishing the race in just that slot to remind the paddock what a fully fit Elias is capable of.

Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) ended the race tenth, equaling his best result of the season thus far. Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) came in 15th after the first lap incident then encountering some problems with his bike’s electronics early in the race.

The World Championship points table shows Stoner in a commanding position now with five races left to run. He has an 85 point lead now over Rossi and with both the former World Champion and Pedrosa both recording DNFs here, Rossi retains second position overall with 186 points to Dani’s 168. Vermeulen lies fourth on 144.

Fourth-placed Melandri said: “I couldn’t have hoped for a better result considering my physical condition and starting position. This morning we made a few modifications during the warm-up that didn’t have the effect we had hoped for so we changed a few more things and went out with an even more different setting in the race. The whole package felt good and allowed me to ride comfortably despite the physical problems. Loris (Capirossi) was close but I kept my focus for the whole race and then pushed again over the final few laps to make sure of fourth place.”

Carlos Checa equalled his best result so far this year with sixth and said: “In the circumstances I’m very satisfied with this result thanks to the support of Honda with the engine update, and the work we’ve done with the chassis and tyres. After passing Edwards and West I could stay with Loris, right on his rear wheel, but gradually he pulled away as the front-end of my bike started to push a little in the curves. I played with the engine map setting but in the end decided to make sure of sixth place and be the first Michelin rider.”

Tough Toni Elias, seventh, said: “I’m satisfied with this result. In the warm-up we made a few improvements to the bike and that allowed me to take a step forward with my pace. I’m really tired now because the leg was so painful – especially in the second half of the race. From a physical point of view, Misano is very demanding but I stuck in the group and just tried to make up positions. Now I’ve got another two important weeks to rest before Estoril.”

Tenth-placed Nakano said: “I didn’t get too bad a start at all. I saw the accident on the second corner and managed to escape that and was also able to overtake some other riders so that was OK. In the middle of the race my lap times were probably better than any other time over the weekend, which make me feel quite positive. Just at the end of the 28-lap race I tried to follow Colin Edwards but couldn’t close the gap to him, then during the last few laps I lost my rhythm a little and got overtaken by Alex Hofmann, but he out-braked himself and I was able to hold my 10th position to the line.”

Gritty Nicky Hayden, 13th, said: “What can I say? Another first corner incident. I didn’t get a good start and there’s really no excuse for it when you’re on the front row. I’ve made such awesome starts lately, but I muffed that one up. I lost a few positions and then the first corner incident pretty much ended our race. I just saw it all happening right beside me and I absolutely had nowhere to go. I thought I was going to have to lay it down before I hit the tyre-wall but luckily I stayed on. Then when I got back on track I was so far behind. We’d had a good roll going from Brno and we’ve proved this year we’re not going to give up.”

His marginally less fortunate team-mate Dani Pedrosa said: “It’s a real shame about this crash because I made a good start and had a chance to get away with the leaders. I was just turning into turn two when I was hit on the inside and really that was the first I knew about it. There’s always a chance this kind of crash can happen in the first few corners of a race, especially at a tight circuit like this. It’s just unfortunate that this is the second time it’s happened to me this season because someone hit me in Turkey as well. The only positive thing is I’m not hurt.”

Roberts said: “In warm-up today we had the same problem as at the start at Brno, with the electronics not working properly and the engine bogging down, so I tried to start without the launch control, and I screwed it up a little. Then going through the first corners de Puniet bowling-balls everybody, and Hofmann stops right in front of me. I don’t know why, but I just tapped his rear wheel and ran off the track. We had a mistake from other people that sent us off into the gravel, and then I made a mistake that ended my race, really. After that, the only reason I stayed out was because I was in the points. Otherwise I would have pulled in and jumped on the sword.”

The 250cc race belonged to Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia), his eighth victory of the season so far. But this was handed to him when his fiercest rival Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) succumbed to machine trouble on lap 19 while battling for the lead with the Spaniard. Hiro Aoyama (KTM) finished a distant second and Hector Barbera (Aprilia) was third.

Italian home hope Dovi led the field into turn one from the lights, closely followed by Lorenzo, with Barbera hot on their heels. Lorenzo’s Spanish rival then squeezed past the World Championship points leader for second while Dovi concentrated on carving a 0.8 second lead for himself over Lorenzo who would shortly retake second.

An eight-rider lead group comprising Dovi, Lorenzo, Barbera, Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia), Mika Kallio (KTM), the convincingly local San Marinese rider Alex de Angelis (Aprilia), Hiro Aoyama and Tom Luthi (Aprilia) were the only riders who could match Dovi’s pace.

But the group would splinter either through mechanical misfortune, in Dovi’s case. or crashes, as befell Bautista on lap ten, and Kallio who high-sided spectacularly on lap 22 while disputing second place with his team-mate Hiro Aoyama.

Lorenzo won at a canter when Dovizioso dropped out, he was 3.6 seconds clear of Aoyama at the flag. But the fight for third between Barbera, Luthi and de Angelis was frantic. So was the dice for sixth place with Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) getting the verdict to finish as the best-placed Honda rider – for so long the preserve of the usually rapid and reliable Dovizioso.

Aoyama said: “This weekend I had good sensations all through the training sessions. Yesterday I could not set a good fastest lap because I made a mistake, that would have let me start nearer the front. But the feeling was good and today in the race, in spite of not being able to keep up with the leading group, I concentrated on going fast lap after lap and in the end I finished sixth. This is not a bad result but I have to carry on working so that I can go faster.”

A dejected Dovizioso, denied the chance to fight for the win at his home race, said: “The corner before the bike stopped I felt the engine hesitate, then it stopped going into the next corner. We don’t know what it was and the mechanics are checking it now. I feel really sorry for the team and myself. We did everything point-by-point race-after-race and we never had a problem – the team doesn’t deserve this. I can’t accept this ending in my home race where I really could win or at least fight for the victory until the end. Now I’m 55 points behind Lorenzo and it’s a very difficult situation.”

It is. Lorenzo now has 241 points. Alex de Angelis has taken second place in the overall standings from Dovi with 187 points to the Italian’s 185, while Bautista lies fourth with 135.

Local man Mattia Pasini won the 125cc race comfortably by 4.7 seconds from Gabor Talmacsi (both Aprilia) with KTM rider Tommy Koyama third. Pasini led off the line and although both Hector Faubel and Simone Corsi (both Aprilia) got ahead of him in the early stages before the Italian found his winning rhythm, they would both fall in the closing stages.

Pasini managed his lead with maturity throughout the 23-laps and the Italian was 4.8 seconds clear of Talmacsi at the flag. The Hungarian rider was involved in an intense fight for the podium places with Faubel and Corsi, until on the penultimate lap that pair tangled and both went down, gifting Talmacsi the second step on the podium.

Faubel remounted to finish 17th, but crucially, out of the points scoring places. He has now surrendered his World Championship points lead to Talmacsi who has 189 points to Faubel’s 179, with Koyama third on 145 points. Lukas Pesek, who fell on lap 21, is now fourth with 129.

Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) was the first Honda runner home in eighth place after languishing in 16th in the early laps. His team-mate Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 11th and Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda RS125R) 13th.

Smith said: “I was so slow in the first five laps, lots of riders passed me before turn seven. I’m always like this – I don’t know why. I have to sort it out as it’s costing me too much time. Slow away, then my team-mate hit me and pushed me wide. I caught the big group ahead and as the race went on I was faster and faster and passed a lot of riders. I just wish my first five laps could be as fast as my last five. I set my fastest lap of the race on the last lap. The bike was OK but I was having some chatter problems.”

Rabat said: “I made a poor start today and was in the second group where I stayed all race. I pushed hard to get away from the others in the group and was in front of them. But then I made a mistake and three riders caught me. I tried to pass them all in one go at turn seven but ran wide and didn’t make up any places. The engine was not as fast today as it was in qualifying and towards the end the rear was sliding a lot, and in the last few laps the front tyre too.”



Shinya NAKANO (Konica Minolta Honda)


Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)


MotoGP.
Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 4th.
"I couldn't have hoped for a better result considering my physical condition and starting position. This morning we made a few modifications during the warm-up that didn't have the effect we had hoped for so we changed a few more things and went out with an even more different setting in the race. With a good performance in the race I wanted have to apologise to the team for my mistake in practice on Friday that could have compromised our potential this weekend. The team gave me a bike that has worked well here and Bridgestone came up with the tyres. The whole package felt good and that allowed me to ride comfortably despite the physical problems. Once I got past West, Edwards and then Capirossi, I ended up on my own for almost the entire race. Loris was close but I kept my focus for the whole race and then pushed again over the final few laps to make sure of fourth place. This is a fun track but there aren't many places to overtake."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 6th.
"In the circumstances I'm very satisfied with this result thanks to the support of Honda with the engine update, and the work we have done with the chassis and tyres. After passing Edwards and West I could stay with Loris, right on his rear wheel, but gradually he pulled away as the front end of my bike started to push a little in the curves. I played with the engine map setting but in the end decided to make sure of sixth place and be the first Michelin rider".

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 7th.
"I'm satisfied with this result. This morning in the warm up we made a few improvements to the bike and that allowed me to take a step forward with my pace. I'm really tired now because the leg was so painful - especially in the second half of the race. From a physical point of view, Misano is very demanding but I stuck in the group and just tried to make up positions. Now I've got another two important weeks to rest before Estoril."


Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 10th.
“I didn’t get too bad a start at all. I saw the accident on the second corner and managed to escape that and was also able to overtake some other riders so that was OK. In the middle of the race my lap times were probably better than any other time over the weekend, which make me feel quite positive. Just at the end of the 28-lap race I tried to follow Colin Edwards but couldn’t close the gap to him, then during the last few laps I lost my rhythm a little and got overtaken by Alex Hofmann, but he out-braked himself and I was able to hold my 10th position to the line. The bike felt OK after we made the modification this morning and had quite a good feeling from the front, so from this I was able to make the improvement in lap time and the overall set-up wasn’t bad at all. I’m OK with a top ten, as despite being disappointed with how things went after first practice, a top 10 was what I was aiming for from this weekend.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 13th.
"What can I say? Another first corner incident. I didn't get a good start and there's really no excuse for it when you're on the front row. I've made such awesome starts lately, but I muffed that one up. I lost a few positions and then the first corner incident pretty much ended our race. I just saw it all happening right beside me and I absolutely had nowhere to go. I thought I was going to have to lay it down before I hit the tyre wall but luckily I stayed on. Then when I got back on track I was so far behind. We'd had a good roll going from Brno and we've proved this year that we're not going to give up. So we'll come back tomorrow and get rolling again with some testing before the next one in Portugal."

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 15th.
“In warm-up today we had the same problem as at the start at Czech, with the electronics not working properly and the engine bogging down, so I tried to start it without the launch control, and I screwed it up a little. Then going through the first corners de Puniet bowling-balls everybody, and Hofmann stops right in front of me. I don’t know why, but I just tapped his rear wheel and ran off the track. Nicky Hayden was ahead of me, and I passed him. We were together for three or four laps, but his bike is quite a bit faster, and I couldn’t keep making up the difference on brakes. I did outbrake him a few times after he would pass me on the straightaway, but the accordion effect just kept building, and I kept over-riding it, until I ran off the track. After that I was frustrated because I was so far behind. I’m not sure if I’d bent the front wheel a bit, but it started kind of hopping going into the corners, and that was it. Unfortunately we had a mistake from other people that sent us off into the gravel, and then I made a mistake that ended my race, really. After that, the only reason I stayed out was because I was in the points. Otherwise I would have pulled in and jumped on the sword.”

Chuck Aksland – Team manager Team Roberts.
“The race was over quite early, with the incident on the first lap putting Kurtis in the gravel. It’s really unfortunate, because he put in a great effort the whole weekend. The lap times were chipping away, and the whole combination was getting closer and closer. I really think he could have had a good race and scored some decent points not just by way of attrition but by racing some guys. It’s a long way from where we were a few races back, and it shows that we’re going forward. But you can’t control incidents like that –that’s racing; it happens. We’re staying to test tomorrow, and hopefully Michelin will give us some tyres, and we can help them with their development.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash.
"It's a real shame about this crash because I made a good start and had a chance to get away with the leaders. I was just turning into Turn Two when I was hit on the inside and really that was the first I knew about it. There is always a possibility that this kind of crash can happen in the first few corners of a race, especially at a tight circuit like this. It's just unfortunate that this is the second time it has happened to me this season because someone hit me in Turkey as well. The only positive thing is that I am not hurt. It's a disappointment, but we must put it behind us and continue to fight for the best championship position we can get. Let's hope for some better luck in Portugal."

 

250cc:
Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 6th.
“This weekend I had good sensations all through the training sessions. Yesterday I could not set a good fastest lap because I made a mistake, that would have let me start nearer the front. But the sensations were good and today in the race, in spite of not being able to keep up with the leading group, I concentrated on going fast lap after lap and in the end I finished sixth. This is not a bad result but I have to carry on working so that I can go faster.”

Yuki Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: 9th.
“I didn’t make a good start, than I tried to recover riding fast, but it’s not easy. When Bautista crashed down and came back into the track in front of me I could follow his pace and learn a lot from his driving style. I finished 9th and the 7 points I gained are very important for me and for the team, I hope I can improve more and more during the remaining races.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 10th.
“This was not a good race and I do not really know what happened. I was battling against my teammate and I saw that I was not able to reach the top speed that he could on his bike. This meant it is very difficult to keep up with the riders in the group I was riding alongside. It was a pity because today I thought the race could go really well but it was not to be. I want to thank the team because they have worked very hard over the weekend. Now I want to think about Estoril and to find solutions so that I can round off the races and get good results, something that I have not been doing lately.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 13th.
"It's a good result as I'm back into the points; it's a nice reward for the hard work we did over the weekend. Today, my start was okay; I struggled a bit to get past Abraham and lost time that could have allowed me to get a better result, but anyway we're pretty happy with the way this GP went. Also I was able to beat my qualifying time during the race by three tenths of a second."

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 15th.
"I took my brain out on the final lap and Vazquez braked early, the final corner really isn't a normal place to overtake but I got him. I pushed 100% although the handling was difficult in tight corners but good in the fast curves. I was aiming to score points and I'm happy with this result."

Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: dnf – technical problem.
“The corner before the bike stopped I felt the engine hesitate then it stopped going into the next corner. We don’t know what it was the mechanics are checking it now. I feel really sorry for the team myself and for my fans. We made everything point by point for race after race and we never had a problem, the team don’t deserve this. I can’t accept the this ending in my home race where I really could win or at least fight for the victory until the end. Now I am 55-points behind Lorenzo, it’s a very difficult situation.”


125cc.
Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“I made a good start but I was so slow in the first five laps and many riders passed me before turn seven. I’m always like this I don’t know why. I have to sort it out its costing me too much time. Slow away then my teammate hit me and pushed me out. I caught the big group ahead of m and as the race went on I was faster and faster and passed a lot of riders. I just wish my first five laps could be as fast as my last five. I set my fastest lap of the race on the last lap. The bike was OK but I was having some chatter problems. ”

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 11th.
“I made a poor stat today and was in the sconed group where I stayed all race. I pushed hard to get away from the others in the group and was in front of them but then made a mistake and three riders caught me. I tried to pas them all in one go at turn seven but ran wide and didn’t make up any places. The engine was not as fast today as it was in qualifying and towards the end the rear was sliding a lot and in the last few laps the front tyre also.”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: 13th.
“My bike was very good today and I was racing in the second group but with Espargaro and Rabat but Espargaro was a little slower than me at the tight hairpin so I tried to go round the outside but ran wide and a few riders passed me. We were all running very similar lap times so it was difficult to move forward and I had to settle for 13th – but without the mistake I would have finished in the top ten. ”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 21st.
“Given the circumstances, I mean the small number of flying laps I had during qualifying practice owing to a technical failure, my poor grid position and Federico Sandi's crash in front of me in the opening lap, the end result could have been much worse. I did some good consistent laps on my own, at the same pace as the guys riding between eighth and twelfth. The Dunlop tyres lasted well and I'm rather satisfied with the bike, especially chassis-wise. The engine was slightly down compared to some other bikes and I had to brake much later at the end of the straight line. Therefore I made a few mistakes, especially in the penultimate lap when I missed a gear downshifting I ended up in neutral and had to go straight in the grass. I’m disappointed because I had a good rhythm throughout the weekend, but the mechanical failure in practice ruined everything. I can’t wait to be in Portugal a fortnight from now for the next Grand Prix. The small Estoril racetrack should suit my Honda.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 27th.
“I got a brilliant start from 31st on the grid and made up at least seven places the Sandi crashed Tamburini and me were right behind him and had to brake hard to miss him and we lost the group we were in. The group we wee racing with were running very inconsistent lap times but it was difficult to break away from them. Pity because my bike was really good today.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 30th.
“I didn’t ride well in the first few laps and I need to get my brain sorted out. But today I felt much more at home on this track than in practice and settled down and ran consistent low 1m 46-second lap times. We changed the carburation to slightly leaner before the race but it was not better than in qualifying. In the race I was battling with Hugo (Van den Berg) but we slowed each other up by passing and repassing each other. I tried really hard at the end and beat him”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misan


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
3 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
4 Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
5 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
6 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
7 Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)
8 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
9 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
10 Shinya NAKANO (Konica Minolta Honda)
11 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antin)
12 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
13 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
14 Makoto TAMADA (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
15 Kurtis ROBERTS (Team Roberts)
 
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
3 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
4 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
6 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
7 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
9 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Team Scot)
10 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
11 Jules CLUZEL (Angaia Racing)
12 Aleix ESPARGARO (Blusens Aprilia Germany)
13 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT-SAG)
14 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
15 Eugene LAVERTY (Honda LCR)
 
125cc
1 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
2 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
3 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
4 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
5 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Campetella Aprilia)
6 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)
7 Stefan BRADL (Blusens Aprilia)
8 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
9 Raffaele DE ROSA (Multimedia Racing)
10 Michael RANSEDER (Ajo Motorsport)
11 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
12 Joan OLIVE (Polaris World)
13 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Team Scot)
14 Andrea IANNONE (WTR No Alcol Team)
15 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
 


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