MotoGP > MotoGP 2007 Round 16: Australia GP > Race Results
MotoGPFranceOctober 14, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australia Grand Prix at Phillip Island

Pedrosa Finishes Fourth in Hard Race for Honda Men

Qualifying >>

World Champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) MotoGP emphasized his talent with a lights-to-flag win at Phillip Island, with his team-mate Loris Capirossi second and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) third. This is Stoner’s ninth win of the season so far.



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)


Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) rode as hard as he ever has to manage fourth place after his team-mate Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) was forced out of the 27-lap race on lap 13 with a mechanical problem.

Stoner rocketed off the line to lead into the only turn one on the superb MotoGP circuit with a sea view. He was pursued by the fast-starting Hayden, who leapt from fourth to second in that short burst from the line. Poleman Dani Pedrosa lay third with Rossi on his tail.

Dani and Rossi spent the first few laps juggling third place between them, while Nicky stalked Stoner. Both of those riders were desperate for victory, former World Champion Nicky to record the first win of his troubled title defence season, Stoner to win in front of his massed fans.

Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) made a fantastic start to move up to fourth place from 12th on the grid and set a fastest lap of the race while doing it. As the field settled down to engage in the fastest race of the season, it was clear Stoner was unassailable here barring disaster.

The fight would be for scraps behind the Aussie Champ. By mid-race Rossi had relieved Hayden of second, with Stoner already enjoying a 2.5 second lead. Dani held fourth, with Merlandri now fifth and Capirossi sixth. Here, from approaching mid-race distance, Capirossi would begin his charge.

But mid-race too would spell disaster for Nicky and it was an angry Hayden who trudged back to his pit garage when his RC212V expired. Having qualified in the top four for six successive races, Nicky was again working hard for a result here.

By lap 15 Stoner had put five seconds between himself and Rossi with Dani third and a determined Melandri fourth, but on the next lap Melandri ran wide and let Capirossi through to take his place. Dani took second back off Rossi on lap 17, but there was more action to come as the strain on tyres took its toll here.

The three way dice for second, third and fourth places was a highlight of the race with Capirossi taking both Rossi and Dani’s places in the space of the final turn on lap 19 and the entry to turn one on lap 20 – and racing doesn’t come much more spectacular than that. Rossi then stole third off Dani on the same lap.

Stoner was well away by now and at the flag he was 6.763 seconds ahead of his team-mate. Dani in fourth was 11 seconds away from the Aussie victor. Melandri would drop to 10th at the flag as his tyres deteriorated towards the end of this gruelling race.

Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) finished 11th, Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) 13th and Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) 15th. Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) brought the KR machine home 17th.

Dani, still fighting Rossi for second overall in the Championship with 201 points to Rossi’s 230, said: “This is not really the result we wanted here. We had an issue with the machine on my practice start in the warm-up this morning and so I was racing my second bike today. The feeling was not perfect but still I was able to push hard and fight for positions for most of the race. However in the last ten laps the grip from the tyres began to fall away quite quickly and I had a lot wheelspin and the machine was sliding when I tried to open the throttle. Casey was very fast again here and I don’t think we could have stayed with him today but it’s a shame not to be on the podium today.”

The 250cc race was the domain of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who won from Alvaro Bautista (both Aprilia) with Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) third. Lorenzo was more than 19 seconds ahead of a gaggle of chasing riders fighting for the remaining podium places.

Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished sixth and Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) eighth while Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda RS250RW) stole in the top ten in tenth.

Dovi said: “Lorenzo was impossible to catch, anyway I hoped to get second position, but instead Bautista beat me by a few thousandths of a second. I'm sorry because every earned point is important for us with two races to the end of the Championship. Lorenzo hasn’t won it yet and we can still fight in the last two races and this motivates me. To be sincere if I had to go in Malaysia with the Championship already ended I would have been very demoralized. It will be very difficult to make up 45 points though in two races.”

Lukas Pesek (Derbi) won the 125cc race taking the second win of his career ahead of Joan Olive (Aprilia) and title contender Hector Faubel (Aprilia) third. Esteve Rabat (Repsol Honda RS125R) rode a great race to fifth, less than a second off the winner’s pace at the flag. Mike di Meglio (Scot Honda) took 14th place while Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 16th.

The World Championship is a straight fight between Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia), who finished eighth here, on 237 points, with Faubel now on 236 with two round remaining.



Nicky HAYDEN(Repsol Honda Team)


Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)


MotoGP.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“This weekend I actually felt very comfortable at this circuit which is positive because in the past it hasn’t been one of my favourite tracks. So having taken pole position yesterday of course this is not really the result we wanted here. We had an issue with the machine on my practice start in the warm-up this morning and so I was racing my second bike today. The feeling was not perfect but still I was able to push hard and fight for positions for most of the race. However in the last ten laps the grip from the tyres began to fall away quite quickly and I had a lot wheelspin and the machine was sliding when I tried to open the throttle. Casey was very fast again here and I don’t think we could have stayed with him today but it’s a shame not to be on the podium today. We’ve had two pole positions in a row and haven’t converted them into very good results so hopefully we can change this for the next race in Malaysia next weekend.”

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 10th.
“Today we were in good shape to finish on the podium. After a good start from the fourth row I was able to battle virtually for the whole race in the top five. I had a good pace and the bike felt really good. I could have fought for second but unfortunately I had a technical problem that I didn’t expect and it slowed me a lot. I tried to finish the race as best as I could. I’m disappointed with tenth place because we had the potential for a much better result at a circuit I love and where I have already won in all three classes, as well as lifting the 250 title here.”

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 11th.
“The start and opening laps were the best for me and I did my fastest lap of the weekend on lap seven. I was still suffering from a lack of turning, especially in the very fast turn three, plus it was difficult to stay ahead on the front straight. I had a lot of fun in the fight with West, Vermeulen and Edwards, it is more enjoyable than riding alone. The team worked hard to improve the bike but this was the best result possible today.”

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 13th.
“My start wasn’t too bad – it’s nice to start from the third row for a change. Initially I found I could stay with the middle group at the start of the race. My pace at the start wasn’t too bad – I was actually faster than during practice – so I was enjoying myself. Unfortunately from the middle to the end of the race I couldn’t keep my rhythm going. Our problem was chattering from the front-end of the RCV211V when under hard braking for the two hairpin corners. I think what we need to do is start Friday with a faster lap-time and then make changes from there to find a setting that works better when we’re going faster in the race. That’s what I want to do next weekend in Sepang. I like the track a lot and want a good result for the team and myself.”

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 15th.
"It has been a difficult weekend and today I suffered from a few different problems that prevented me from riding as I can. I had problems with the front tyre from the start, then at the halfway stage we developed a problem with the electronics and I just tried to finish the race. I want to put this behind me now and just think about Malaysia. Sepang is one of my favourite circuits so hopefully we can have a much better result there.”

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 17th.
”This weekend's been tough just because of the weather conditions. And it's the first time I've been here in ten years. We had as good a set-up as we could get, with only one session and today's warm-up without any rain in the middle of it. We did as much as we could. I probably could have ridden a bit better, but I tried my hardest and ended up just losing out to Tamada and Elias right at the end. I'd got ahead of Tamada, but I just left the door open coming down the hill on the last lap. He pulled alongside and I went round the corner right with him. I thought I could out-drive him on the way out, but he had more grip. My bike was spinning there the whole race. I tried again in the last corner, but I went sideways.”

Chuck Aksland - Team Manager Team Roberts.
“It's a decent result from where we started the weekend, so we have to be happy with that. Kurtis and the team worked hard to make the best job we could. We didn't make many changes from this morning - just got into race mode, and Kurtis rode better as the temperature increased and he got more comfortable. That and time on the race-track helped him as well. He did a good job again.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: dnf – mechanical problem.
“That’s a tough one to swallow. That hurts because we were having a really good race and the bike was feeling by far the best it has all season without a doubt. Stoner was setting a hot pace – he was a little bit quicker in some places and I was quicker than him in a few places. I was trying to hang in there and ride smoothly and try to preserve the tyres and not get too crazy too quickly. It’s easy to speculate on what would have happened at the end of the race… After a few laps I was still right on him but all of a sudden the engine started to get tight and started slowing down. I was nervous but it kept running and I wasn’t going to pull over so I kept one hand on the clutch. Eventually she tied up and that was it – another goose egg in the points column. It’s really frustrating – it seems like the deck’s stacked against us at the moment, but we’ll hang in there and hopefully get a bit of luck going our way soon. We’ve got two more tries.”


250cc:
Andrea Dovizioso, Scot Honda: 3rd.
“We knew that for us it would have been a difficult race, probably it has been even more. Lorenzo was impossible to catch, anyway I hoped to reach second position, instead Bautista beat me by a few thousandths of a second. I’m sorry because every earned point is important for us with two races to the end of the championship. Anyway it is important and meaningful the fact that the championship is still open and we can still fight in the last two races and this motivates me. To be sincere if I had to go in Malaysia with the Championship already ended I would have been very demoralized, for sure it will be very difficult to make up for 45 points but it is not finished and the hope is always with us. We have to be happy for the improvements that we keep on making with my team and because we made a very hard race always in the lad group.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 6th.
“My start was not so good, when I changed into second gear the revs dropped off and I was slow off the line. Then I pushed and pushed hard and caught the lead group. I was faster in the race than qualifying. The engine was not so bad today and the tyres good almost to the end of the race. I was just a little down on acceleration with the KTM. Congratulations to my team I have to thank them for a positive weekend.

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 8th.
“My start was good and I had a very good feeling with the bike. I got up to second place by lap seven but the next lap I pushed the front tyre too hard and ran of the track. I thought I was going to crash but somehow I got it back onto the track but I was eleventh, I think, and had to work hard to catch the group in front of me. I tried very hard and took eighth place at the finish.”

Yuki Takahashi, Scot Honda: 10th.
“That was a very hard race for me. My start was not so bad and I was pushing hard but in the middle of the race my rear tyre was sliding really bad – I was almost high-sided and I thought I would crash it was a difficult situation, so I took it a little easy after that. The engine was so-so today but my problem was the rear tyre.”

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 16th.
“I’m happy with that result even though I’m just one place out of the points. I got to 15th passing guys through the fast corners and on the brakes at the hairpin but once as tyres dropped off it was difficult to keep that pace, plus I had some pain from my knee which I hurt in training.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT-SAG: 19th.
"It was a pretty poor weekend. I knew Phillip Island was a challenging track and things only got worse when I crashed yesterday. My right hand bothered all through the race and the pain was increasing as the laps went by. This and a poor start prevented to get into the points. We have to think about what happened and focus on bouncing back next Sunday at Sepang."


125cc.
Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 5th.
“My start was not too bad and I got myself into a good position on the first lap. When the group closed up it became a little difficult racing in the strong wind but the race was good right from the first few laps to the end. The bike worked good from the start but the engine slowed a little in the last few laps. The only small problem I had was in the last few laps with the rear end sliding on the long left corners before the finish line. I have to congratulate my team and thank them for giving me such a good bike, they have worked hard fr me all the weekend.”

Mike Di Meglio, Scot Honda: 14th.
“I didn’t get the good start I needed and from then on it was not possible to catch the leading group. The engine was fast but I was having problems on the last left corners because I chose to use a longer third gear ratio and that cost me some time coming onto the straight I could not get myself into a position to pass anybody down the straight. The tyres were sliding but that was controllable. Now we go to Malaysia and I hope I will ride as well at Sepang as here and the bike is just as fast.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 16th .
“I got a good start and in the firsts few laps I was in eighth place from 13th on the grid but I couldn’t find a way to stay with the top group. No way could I run the same pace as them. The front end was just the same as in qualifying I just don’t know what the problem is. We went with the H type front tyre and the same suspension settings, maybe that’s what is was we have to analyse the situation before Sepang next week. I eventually got to the front of the group I was racing with but putting in so much effort for 16th isn’t really what I wanted from this race. But I have to stay positive, I just hope we can find the solution for the problem we had this weekend.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 17th.
“A super race for me, everything was good. I got a fast start and made up places and was in a good fight with Danny (Webb) Smith and Zanetti. But Zanetti outbraked me at a very unusual place and we lost the slipstream of Smith and Bonsey. My engine was fast on top speed and the bike was steering rally good. Normally a few riders crash or fall out but today the only riders to stop were behind us. But still, I am happy with my best GP result to date.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: dnf – crash.
“Indeed I had a poor start, which means I wasn’t in the right place for the first corner and got somewhat pushed around. I gave it all I had to recover and was able to move up to 16th position and lead the second group. Halfway through the race, Bradley Smith and Danny Webb slipstreamed past me and as I was about to pass Webb on the brakes he crashed right in front of me, forcing me out of my racing line. I lost ground on my opponents and was back down in 24th spot. As I was pushing to recover I lost the front end of my bike and crashed in the right hand hairpin. It's a pity because I could easily have scored some championship points. I tried as much as I could but it is difficult to move up the field when you're not in the good pack.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: dnf – crash.
“I really enjoyed the race even if I did crash near the end I was racing with Joey (Litjens) Bradley Smith and Zanetti. We were making some serious moves on ach other out there. The bike was really good today, the suspension could have been a bit better but it wasn’t a big problem. My target was to get a good start and be with Joey because he always gets flying starts. I was not too good but I was fast in the first two corners and got with him. Normally a few guys drop out but not today. Pity because we could have been racing for points.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16
Australia Grand Prix at Phillip Island


line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
3 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
6 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
7 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
10 Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
11 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
12 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
13 Shinya NAKANO (Konica Minolta Honda)
14 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3)
15 Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)
 
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
6 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
7 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
8 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
9 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - Mapfre Aspar)
10 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Team Scot)
11 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
12 Jules CLUZEL (Angaia Racing)
13 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
14 Aleix ESPARGARO (Blusens Aprilia Germany)
15 Dirk HEIDOLF (Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing)



Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
125cc
1 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
2 Joan OLIVE (Polaris World)
3 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
4 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
5 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)
6 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
7 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
8 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
9 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
10 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
11 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Campetella Aprilia)
12 Randy KRUMMENACHE (Red Bull KTM 125)
13 Nicolas TEROL (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
14 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Team Scot)
15 Stevie BONSEY (Red Bull KTM 125)
 


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