MotoGP > MotoGP 2009 Round 01: Qatar GP > Race Results
MotoGPQuatarApril 12, 2009
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail Race Results

MotoGP Race Postponed; Aoyama, DE Rosa Fourth And Fifth In 250

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The curtain will go up a day late for the 2009 MotoGP season after torrential downpours forced the postponement of the Qatar Grand Prix just as the MotoGP riders were about to head out for their warm-up laps.

Hiroshi Aoyama Raffaele De Rosa


Hiroshi Aoyama


Raffaele De Rosa


What followed was a lengthy delay, followed by a meeting among race organizers, race direction, and team managers. The resolution was that the race would be run a day later and two hours earlier; the new start time is 9:00 p.m. local time on Monday, April 13, with warm-up at 6:30 p.m. local.

The decision to cancel the race would have helped Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa recover from recent surgery on his left knee, while teammate Andrea Dovizioso was happy to know he’d be able to make his race debut with the Repsol Honda team.

“This has been a really strange situation tonight,” Pedrosa said. “With such heavy rain it would definitely have been dangerous to ride under the floodlights, so the decision to cancel the race was the right one. At first we thought the race was going to be called off completely and I can’t say that this would have been bad for me personally because my condition is not 100 per cent. But we came to Qatar to race so we’ll come back and go for the maximum result tomorrow.”

Fourth fastest qualifier Dovizioso said “For all the adrenalin that built up during practice and qualifying to be followed by the cancelled race was a real anti-climax. So I think it’s good that we race tomorrow night. There may be less grip after the rain that fell on the track tonight, but that will be the same for everybody. Also with the tyres, the situation is equal for all the riders. From the team’s point of view, it will be really useful for us to get the race data, so I’m glad we’re coming back tomorrow.”

In a country where rain is rare and torrential rain is even rarer, the freak storm threw a wrench into every race on the schedule. The 125cc race was stopped by rain on the fifth of 18 scheduled laps and declared official, with results reverting to the end of lap four. The riders were awarded half points.

Andrea Iannone (Aprilia) won the race from Julian Simon (Aprilia) and Sandro Cortese (Derbi). Dutchman Jasper Iwema finished 23rd in his debut with the Racing Team Germany squad.

The 250cc race was postponed by 20 minutes and shortened by seven laps from 20 to 13. But what the race lost in length it made up for in excitement, with a thrilling two-rider battle to the end, a five way battle for third, and a lap record for Honda.

Spaniard Hector Barbera led the first lap and the last, and five in between, but his victory was never assured. His competition came first from Alex Debon (Aprilia), who led laps two and three, before he began a march to the rear. He would finish 14th.

In his place came journeyman Jules Cluzel, a French rider who’d never placed higher than tenth and who scored no points in 2008. Those facts were irrelevant as he rode an ex-Marco Simoncelli machine to the front of the field, taking the lead from Barbera on lap five as the battle for third was 11-strong and included Thai Honda PTT SAG’s Ratthapark Wilairot and Valencia CF – Honda SAG’s Hector Faubel.

The leaders made a break on the sixth lap, easing away from those clamoring behind, and taking their fight to the end. Barbera pulled out of the draft and passed Cluzel as they approached the stripe to end the ninth lap, then quickly built up a small cushion. The lead crept ever upward, though it was never more than a second. The margin of victory was .826 secs.

Scot Racing Team 250’s Raffaele de Rosa (Honda) made a steady move to the front after taking tenth on lap one. The Italian’s progress was nearly linear and he was up to fourth at the halfway point. Then he took second from Debon on lap eight and built almost a two-second gap on his pursuers. But there were late problems with his rear tire and the lead he built up soon evaporated. On the final lap he was taken by 125cc World Champion Mike di Meglio (Aprilia) and Scot Racing Team 250 teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, who admitted he waited too long to make his move.

Aoyama’s consolation came first in qualifying then the race. He qualified second to give Honda their best qualifying performance by a Honda rider in the 250cc class since his brother Shuhei was on pole at Motegi in 2007. And he also clocked the fastest lap of the race on the tenth go-around.

Thai Honda PTT SAG’s Ratthapark Wilairot was in the mix for third before slowing to eighth at the back of the battle for third.

The Valencia CF- Honda SAG team debut ended with Hector Faubel in 11th after a promising start. Faubel was third for the first two laps before falling through the pack to finish just in front of CIP Moto – GP250’s Shoya Tomizawa.

Bastien Chesaux finished one place out of the points in his first 250cc grand prix for Racing Team Germany.

Honda 250cc rider quotes:
Hiroshi Aoyama, Scot Racing Team 250cc: 4th.
“Yeah, that was a completely strange race and I’m a little bit disappointed. I was expecting to make a good race at the front, but unfortunately conditions changed. And unfortunately I had a not so good feeling from the bike and it was hard to push, especially at the beginning. But at the end, with four laps to go, I could go better and better and I tried to catch them, but it was too late to start to catch them up. But anyway we could finish the first race in fourth place, which is not so bad. I hope we can make it better in Japan.

Raffaele de Rosa, Scot Racing Team 250cc: 5th.
“My Honda was very good, but the condition of the track was bad after the rain. It was dirty and salty and the tire worsened very quickly and there was no grip. And then when there five, six laps to go, I had to slow down a little bit to try to make it to the finish line and not to lose too much time against the other riders.

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 01
Qatar Grand Prix at Losail


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MotoGP

MotoGP cancelled due to weather conditions
 
250cc
1 Hector BARBERA (Pepe World Team)
2 Jules CLUZEL (Matteoni Racing)
3 Mike DI MEGLIO (Mapfre Aspar Team 250cc)
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Scot Racing Team 250cc)
5 Raffaele DE ROSA (Scot Racing Team 250cc)
6 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
8 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
9 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
10 Gabor TALMACSI (Balaton Racing Team 250cc)
11 Hector FAUBEL (Valencia CF - Honda SAG)
12 Shoya TOMIZAWA (CIP Moto - GP250)
13 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
14 Alex DEBON (Aeropuerto-Castello-Blusens)
15 Alex BALDOLINI (WTR San Marino Team)
 
125cc
1 Andrea IANNONE (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.)
2 Julian SIMON (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
3 Sandro CORTESE (Ajo Interwetten)
4 Pol ESPARGARO (Derbi Racing Team)
5 Bradley SMITH (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
6 Jonas FOLGER (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A.)
7 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones Team)
8 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
9 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)
10 Esteve RABAT (Blusens Aprilia)
11 Dominique AEGERTER (Ajo Interwetten)
12 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team 125cc)
13 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia)
14 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones Team)
15 Johann ZARCO (WTR San Marino Team)
 

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