MotoGP > MotoGP Round 17: Malaysia GP > Race Results
MotoGPMalaysiaOctober 21, 2007
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG

Melandri Takes Hard Fought Second, Dani Third

Qualifying >>

In searing heat under tropical sun Casey Stoner (Ducati) recorded his tenth win of the season, hounded all the way by Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) who finished a brave second with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) third.

Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

These 21-laps of this 5.548km Sepang track were extremely hard work for riders and despite the tough conditions no one fell, although Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) had to take to the run-off when he overcooked his entry to the final turn on lap 12.

Stoner made a rapid getaway from the lights and led Dani into turn one, these two closely followed by Marco Melandri and Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki). Both Stoner and Pedrosa made errors at the final turn on the opening lap, but the pair stayed on and stayed at the head of the pack.

As the field settled down, the top four were covered by just one second by lap seven and this looked as if it might be a very tight race – so it proved to be, Melandri making strenuous efforts to get on terms with Dani as he kept the pressure on Stoner.

Stoner was doing everything he could to shed his pursuers and on lap nine he recorded an early fastest lap of the race with a 2m 02.309s effort. Rossi was holding fifth but he was 3.2 seconds adrift of the leading four-rider group.

As mid-race distance drew close Stoner had carved out a 1.5 second lead as Melandri successfully challenged Dani for second. Nicky meanwhile had survived his off-track moment but had dropped from seventh to tenth place.

Stoner kept a rapid pace at the front recording another fastest lap of the race at 2m 02.108s as De Puniet closed on Pedrosa for third place. The Aussie Ducati man confessed to making a few errors in this race but he never let his lead slip to more than a second, and his 1.7 second margin at the flag was comfortable enough.

Toni Elias (Gresini Honda RC212V) finished in sixth place but he was more than 17 seconds off the winner’s pace, while Nicky brought his RC212V home in ninth spot. Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) was 14th, Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda RC212V) 16th and Kurtis Roberts (Roberts KR212V) 20th.

Hiro Aoyama (KTM) won a thrillingly hard-fought 250cc race by 2.251 seconds from Hector Barbera, with Jorge Lorenzo (both Aprilia) finishing third and doing enough to clinch his second successive World Championship in the class.

His only possible rival to the crown was the dogged Andrea Dovizioso (Scot Honda RS250RW) who could only manage 11th place here after leading and then becoming the victim of a Mika Kallio (KTM) mistake. Julian Simon (Repsol Honda RS250RW), however, was sixth, and Dovi’s team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Scot Honda RS250RW) ninth.

The Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing Honda RS250RW) finished 16th at what amounts to his ‘home’ race. Lorenzo now has 303 points and Dovi on 247 cannot catch him with just one race remaining in Valencia next month.

Gabor Talmacsi won the 125cc race with his title rival Hector Faubel (both Aprilia) third. Tommy Koyama (KTM) was second. The Hungarian Talmacsi now has a ten-point lead over Faubel with just one race left to run.

Talmacsi took the lead on lap two and then worked his advantage into a comfortable 6.57 second lead at the flag. British rider Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished ninth while Alex Masbou (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) was tenth.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)

Marco Melandri, Gresini Honda: 2nd
“We had a very good warm up this morning and I was very confident for the race. I made a stupid mistake on the warm up lap trying to adjust the valve on the water feed into my helmet, I pushed it too hard and broke it every time I braked the water came into my helmet. I was very nervous on the start line and didn’t make a good start but after a few laps I said to myself; ‘Concentrate’ I found a good rhythm but it was difficult to pass Dani (Pedrosa). I was strong in the twisty part of the track but Dani had incredible acceleration better than Ducati. I tried to pass him as quick as possible to try and pass Casey (Stoner) and I made a mistake and lost one second. But I pushed to catch him and was at one second with six laps to go. But I couldn’t do it so with two to go I concentrated on preserving my position. That got me fourth place in the championship. We had a very good package of bike and tyres today and I’m happy with this first podium at this track. When we came here I felt that this would not be a good track for us but this race proves that if you have a good bike and tyres you can go fast at every track. This is like a win for me. I’m happy and want to thank Fausto and the team for their great cooperation. The asphalt is very bumpy but it had good grip.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
"I pushed very hard at the beginning because from what we'd seen in practice I was expecting the grip level from the tyres to fall away towards the end of the race. My plan was to make a gap if possible and handle the grip situation as well as I could. For the first laps I was quite consistent behind Casey but when I started to brake later with a full tank of fuel I was losing the front end, so I dropped back a little and that's when Marco passed me. At that stage I was trying to maintain my rhythm and, as the race went on and the fuel load came down, I began to get a better feeling at the front of the machine under braking. I was really surprised about the high pace in the final part of the race because we didn't expect to maintain these lap times based on what we'd seen in practice. So I must say thank you to Michelin because we were able to get on the podium today thanks to the consistency of the tyre performance. Now I'm looking forward to Valencia because it's a home race and I'd like to get good result for the fans. I hope we can take another step forward and get even closer to taking the win."

Toni Elias, Gresini Honda: 6th
"I'm happy with this result. Everything was working well in the warm-up and improved even further with the higher temperatures in the afternoon. I had some good battles out there as I came through the pack Once the tyres went off, I just focused on hanging on for a top result. Compared to Phillip Island, we've made a big step forward here and I'm now looking forward to the last race at Valencia, in Spain, in front of my fans."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 9th
"The team did a really good job this weekend and the bike was working very well in the race. Unfortunately I didn't get a great start and on the first lap or two I got boxed in everywhere and I always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That cost me a lot of positions but once things settled down I started moving forward and was going well. Then, passing Elias at the end of the back straight, I got in too hot and it was a silly mistake which I'm not happy about. I was in the draft and just got into the corner a little too fast. After that I got back on the track, put my head down and I'm actually proud of the way we recovered and started setting some really quick laps. First I caught Colin and lost a little time getting by him. Then I was able to catch Hopkins and Vermeulen on the last lap but we ran out of time to pass them. Still, I think I had the fastest lap of the race for a while which is encouraging considering how things were going earlier this weekend. Our speed and rhythm was way better than 9th place today and that's encouraging, but it was rider error that cost us a better result today. We've got one more chance to get the job done in Valencia in two weeks."

Carlos Checa, LCR Honda: 14th
”I knew this was going o be a difficult race but it was better than I expected and I did the maximum. During practice and qualifying I never found a good feeling with bike and set-up for this track but it was little better in the race and I was able to constant lap times. The best was 2’04.1 and our target was to get into high 2’03s so that was a little disappointing. Now I’m just looking ahead to the final race of the season in Valencia in Spain.”

Shinya Nakano, Konica Minolta Honda: 16th
“Today has been very difficult for the team and myself and I am very disappointed with the result as Sepang is one of my favourite tracks. This morning we improved some settings on the front of the bike and it did feel better than before. I was fighting with Carlos Checa and Nobuatsu Aoki but I couldn’t follow them so finally I just tried to keep my lap times consistent and hold position to get that last point. In the last couple of laps Anthony West passed me for the last point. During the race we once more had chattering problems from the front-end of the bike and the machine hasn’t turned as well as I would have wanted. As a result my corner speed has been slow and we’ve struggled a lot. We will all work hard to turn this into a positive result for the last race at Valencia.”

Kurtis Roberts, KR212V: 20th
“I ran off the track after the first six or seven laps, and when you're already at the back then you lose that much time, then you're about a minute behind. It kind of sucks as far as that goes. But I just tried to stay in there and get more used to the bike, changing settings, and figuring out what to do for Valencia to make it better. Maybe we can reward everyone's work. The mechanics and crew guys have all worked really hard, so like to give them something to cheer about. I started changing the traction control settings, and I found what worked. I took it all the way off, then I could turn the bike better, and it improved the lap time. This is my first year of riding with traction control. I've never liked it, but you can find a way to ride round the problems and maybe get rid of it, get the set-up better and maybe go faster. The fastest lap I did all weekend was with it off.”

Chuck Aksland: Team Manager - Team Roberts.
“Kurtis tried different settings to help understand what the bike is doing overall. We played around with that at the beginning of the year, with Kenny Junior, and you learn something every time you switch a button and try something new. He said it did do some positive things. We'll go to Valencia and start with similar settings, and see if it works positively there. If not, we'll work again to try and find what suits that circuit.”

Julian Simon, Repsol Honda: 6th
“My start was not so bad but Simoncelli was too aggressive and pushed me wide and I lost ground. I passed him and tried to catch the top group. I got on to the back of them but my engine was not fast today and I had to make up for lack of speed with hard braking. The cassis and suspension helped me but with ten lap to go my arm started to pump up and I had to relax for a lap before I could push hard again. The back tyre was very good but the front was turning in a little. I gave my best.”

Yuki Takahashi, Kopron Scot Honda: 9th
“There is not much I can say about my race. The bike was good and the tyres also. But I could not find a good rhythm I was running wide in the corners loosing time. The problem for me started on the first lap when I clashed with Alex de Angelis and I lost my concentration and a big gap developed between me and group ahead.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Kopron Scot Honda: 11th
“I’m really sorry because even if I knew that Lorenzo was going to win the World Championship, today I wanted the victory so I’m more disappointed for the race rather than for the title. Things happen in a race but the fact that it was today and on this circuit really hurts a lot. We have been unlucky as it happened at other times this year and we have to accept it even if it isn’t easy.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 13th
“The bike was better than in qualifying because we softened up the front suspension a little for the race. My start was not so bad and I passed a few riders and was following the second group. Then after ten laps I started to eel pain in my right knee and it was difficult to make the bike change direction. I just couldn’t run the pace and as I had no feeling in my foot so I had to do everything with the handle bars it was hard and my hands have many blisters on the palms. This result is so bad ”

Eugene Laverty, LCR Honda: 17th
“I made good start and was up to 12th on lap one but I was having problems on the brakes with full fuel tanks and ran wide. Against the factory bikes it was impossible to hold the slipstream, but I’m happy with the result, I just did not have the pace to catch Wilairot at the end.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 9th
“I was really fast off the start and it’s a long way to the first corner and I had already made up my mind that I would run a wide line to get into the second corner in the best place. Obviously I would lose out on the straights to the fast bikes in the group and they could pass me but the front end of my bike was good today and I could out-brake them into the corners We had raised the centre of gravity and put in slightly stiffer springs for the race and it worked the bike was better in the fast corners, I had some chatter but I could handle it. I was in the top ten for the first time since Misano and that’s better than fighting for 15th or 16th.”

Alexis Masbou, FFM Honda: 10th
“Everything turned out well throughout the week-end. We started of with a good basic set-up and fine tuned the Honda’s settings session after session, right up until the race. I had a good start and got pushed around slightly in the first corner, but stayed with the same group to close on the faster guys little by little. My lap times were good throughout the race despite the difficulty of those long straight lines. I think I had a good fight and never stopped pushing and fighting with Smith, De Rosa, Terol and Nieto. Before Valencia we will be working hard again to make the most of the season's last race in Spain.”

Tito Rabat, Repsol Honda: 15th
“My start was normal but on the second lap a rider crashed in front of me and I had to brake too hard and that made it impossible for me to catch the group I started in. Then on the fifth lap my quick shifter started to miss gears and I lost my rhythm. I pushed so hard off the corners and my rear tyre was sliding everywhere. But the biggest problem was the rider – I did not ride well when I had problems.”

Mike Di Meglio, Kopron Scot Honda: 14th
“My start was OK but at turn 11 Bradl pushed m wide and that made it hard for me to get back to the group I had been with. I had some engine problems not pulling as well as it should – it was running a little hot and was not as fast as in qualifying. My real difficulty was braking braking at the end of the straights, the front wheel was chattering. But the chassis and tyres were good and I had no slides today. It was a lot of hard work for the two points I scored.”

Danny Webb, Molenaar Honda: 22nd
“My start was bad and I was near the back at the first turn. I quickly made up positions but had lost the chance to get into a fast group ahead of me. Two laps from the end Muresan made a mistake and I lost time on Tamburini. At the last corner I repassed Muresan and beat him to the flag by 0.008s.”

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 24th
“Not my weekend here in Malaysia. We ad a lot of problems all weekend and I never got to put ten laps together before the race. In the warm up the engine did not have enough power. The team worked well for the race but with losing so much time. I didn’t get the good start II needed and I took a long time get into the group Danny (Webb) was in because I could not get passed Cyril Carrillo, I just lost too much time in the battle with him.”

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda: 25th
“A Grand Prix is extremely difficult, I’d never experienced something like that before! The pace is very fast, the race is long and on top of that it was extremely hot! Things weren’t easy but I’m satisfied because I improved my lap times by two tenths compared to practice and because I fought with other riders from the beginning to the end. My integration within the team went well, I’ve known them for a while now since I am part of the federal road racing outfit. Furthermore, they regularly welcome me within their team when I attend the Grand Prix to race in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG

1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
3 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
6 Toni ELIAS (Honda Gresini)
7 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
10 Colin EDWARDS (Fiat Yamaha Team)
11 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
12 Alex BARROS (Pramac d'Antin)
13 Nobuatsu AOKI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
14 Carlos CHECA (Honda LCR)
15 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)

Marco MELANDRI (Honda Gresini)
1 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
2 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte Aprilia)
6 Julian SIMON (Repsol Honda 250cc)
7 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
8 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
9 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Kopron Team Scot)
10 Aleix ESPARGARO (Blusens Aprilia Germany)
11 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Kopron Team Scot)
12 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
13 Shuhei AOYAMA (Repsol Honda 250cc)
14 Alex BALDOLINI (Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing)
15 Dirk HEIDOLF (Kiefer - Bos - Sotin Racing)
1 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar)
2 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 125)
3 Hector FAUBEL (Bancaja Aspar)
4 Joan OLIVE (Polaris World)
5 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar)
6 Lukas PESEK (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
7 Simone CORSI (Skilled Racing Team)
8 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
9 Bradley SMITH (Repsol Honda 125cc)
10 Alexis MASBOU (FFM Honda GP 125)
11 Nicolas TEROL (Valsir Seedorf Derbi)
12 Pablo NIETO (Blusens Aprilia)
13 Stefan BRADL (Blusens Aprilia)
14 Mike DI MEGLIO (Kopron Team Scot)
15 Esteve RABAT (Repsol Honda 125cc)

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