2006 MotoGP Championship - Round 12 - Brno, Czech Republic - August 18/19/20 - Coverage by MCNEWS.COM.AU
Fortuna Honda Day 3 Report
|Loris Capirossi (Ducati) won this
MotoGP race easily from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in second with Dani
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) third. World Championship leader Nicky
Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) was ninth, his worst result of the
And the title implications, although not that far-reaching yet, suggest that this season’s World Championship chase may yet have more twists and turns to it. With Capirossi likely to be strong again in Japan and Malaysia, Nicky cannot afford to drop points to this extent with Dani just
25 points behind and Rossi now just 13 behind Dani.
Capirossi had so much more pace than anyone here that he finished nearly five seconds ahead of Rossi at the flag, and even held a seven second lead on lap 15 of this 22-lap encounter run in cloudy conditions at 24-degrees with the track at 36-degrees.
The Italian Ducati man led into turn one on lap one and never looked back until the final lap when he took two, long lingering gazes backwards to see just how far out of touch his pursuers were. Far away they may have been, but the action was frantic as they fought for the remaining places.
Hayden held second on lap one from Rossi who soon deprived the American of that spot and set about trying to stay with Capirossi. Nicky gradually slipped down the race order when a clutch problem compounded a lack of traction as his team-mate Dani moved up from fifth on lap one.
Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V), who eventually finished sixth, was another man who was up with the early action in fourth place on the opening laps. The Aussie rookie would finish more than 15 seconds down on the leader, but locked in massive group fight for fourth to ninth place.
By lap three Dani was in fourth past Stoner and he would leave that group behind as he began to close on his team-mate Nicky in fourth. Hayden fought hard to hang onto his place, but Dani dislodged him in the space of a lap and began to work on Rossi for second.
It was an intense battle and one in which neither rider was prepared to yield. There was contact, sheer bravery, tests of nerve and feints to deceive – everything race fans wanted to see between these two stars of the scene. But it was Rossi who prevailed this time to hold onto runner-up spot in this race.
Further downfield the scrap for fourth was every bit as monumental as the tussle further up ahead, with Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V), Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V), Stoner and Hayden all involved with Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) and John Hopkins (Suzuki).
The verdict went to Roberts with Melandri fifth, Stoner sixth and Nicky a frustrating ninth. Hayden can only hope that this will remain an aberration in what has been a copybook season for him so far.
Dani said, “Third was good for me seeing as I started from ninth. I made a good start, although it could have been better. And I was strong on the brakes and could overtake. When I caught Valentino I waited because it was quite early in the race and Capirossi was already gone. We made some good moves, all very aggressive. We were pushing hard, but I made a mistake, lost a second and could not recover the time.”
Nicky said, “I had a few issues in the race, but I’m not going to go into them. The bottom line is that this is not the sort of result we wanted here this weekend. One week you win and the next week you’re ninth – that’s the level of competition we’re dealing with here. I’ve had some tough results before and battled through, and that’s what we’ll try to do again.”
Kenny said, “I hated to see Nicky (Hayden) back there, because he’s leading the championship, and I know every point for him is valuable. Once I got past him he was boxed in. I had a chance to get past Casey (Stoner) and Marco (Melandri) later on the same lap. It’s hard following people all race long, then to try and open up a bit of a gap when they’re trying as hard as they can. So I just tried to keep it tidy, and we made it.”
Fifth-placed Marco said, “Considering my position on the grid, I have to be satisfied. However, I expected a better result at this circuit. After making a good start I climbed through the field and made it up into fourth position. I had a good rhythm and was lapping strongly but could not attack when I wanted. Pedrosa and Rossi pulled away from me and I could not catch them again. I have closed the gap on Nicky by four points although I wanted a better result. All the team did a good job.”
“That was hard race,” said Stoner. “There was a lot of overtaking going on sometimes three times in one lap. But I didn’t have enough rear tyre left to race for fourth place. They’d already destroyed themselves when I was behind Hayden. That was close racing and while I would have liked a better result sixth will have to do for now. I really needed an extra Red Bull this morning.”
Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) finished 11th and said, “I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done, but I can’t be happy with the result. I didn’t start well and had no rhythm over the first ten laps. It was then I started to lap better and felt more comfortable. The team did a good job and I hope that continues over the next couple of days testing we’re going to do here.”
Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) was 13th. He said, “My start was not so bad but after three – four laps the rear wheel was spinning and I had little traction, I could not go forward. Then I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike and dropped back. Then in the middle part of the race I was getting more traction and the bike felt much better and I could get closer to the group ahead of me.”
The World Championship points table looks like this: Hayden 201, Pedrosa 176, Rossi 163, Melandri 161, Capirossi 151. And in the Constructors’
Championship Honda has 262 points to Yamaha’s 201 with Ducati on 160.
The 250cc contest belonged to Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia). He won comfortably from his main series rival Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) who stole second place from Hiro Aoyama (KTM) at the final turn on the final lap.
Aoyama led out of turn one on the opening lap, before Alex de Angelis
(Aprilia) took the lead and then crashed out on lap four handing the reins to Lorenzo. Aoyama and Dovizioso briefly took turns to lead, but as the final laps approached Lorenzo steadily pulled clear to win by two and a half seconds.
Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) finished sixth and his team-mate Martin Cardenas (Repsol Honda RS250RW) was seventh. Lorenzo heads the World standings with 199 points to Dovi’s 192, while the injured and out of action Takahashi remains third with 133 points. Aprilia heads the Constructors’ series with 246 points to Honda’s 209.
Dovi said, “To get second here is not a bad result, but we can’t be happy with that. We want to win and we need to win if we’re to have a chance of the World Championship. We’ve got to win the next race and win again if we’re to keep this season alive.”
Aoyama said, “My main aim was to finish the race so I wasn’t able to be as fast as I wanted at the beginning of the race. Then I found my pace and tried to stay in the second group, but I finally lost contact and wasn’t able to catch up with them again. I’m not really satisfied because I expected more from this race.”
The points table now shows Lorenzo on 199 to Dovi’s 192 and in the Constructors’ table Aprilia with 246 to Honda’s 209.
Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) won the 125cc race and further tightened his grip on the series. The Spaniard had to fight hard to fend off the attentions of Mika Kallio (KTM) on the final lap, but the speed of his Aprilia told on the sprint to the line. Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) was third.
Bautista was the pace man from the lights and Kallio did all he could to reel in the flying Spaniard and get on terms by the final lap. He dived inside at the final turn on the final lap, but did not have the speed to deny Bautista as the finish line loomed.
Talmacsi was delighted with his hard-fought third in front of many Hungarian fans who had made the trip to Brno. It was especially sweet as he beat local man Lukas Pesek (Derbi) to the final podium place when Pesek lost the front-end of his machine on the exit of the final turn. Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) was fifth.
Talmacsi said, “I never expected a result like this. This has been my dream since the beginning of the season, and to achieve this result in front of 20,000 Hungarians who are here is amazing. I can hear them all celebrating.”
Luthi said, “It has not been easy this season. I need to qualify on the front two rows to stand a chance of the podium but here I could not get on either row. The race was a big fight and I was a little lucky in the end to get fifth place. I have to qualify better in Malaysia.”
Bautista now leads the World Championship by a massive margin. He has 230 points to Kallio’s 161. Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) lies third with 147 points. Aprilia lead the Constructors’ Championship with 253 points to KTM’s 166 with Honda lying third on 124 points.
Honda GP rider quotes: Race quotes GP Czech Republic Sunday August 20.
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd. “I think we did a great race and third place is very good for me because I started from ninth on the grid. I made a good start but I think it could have been even better and I could have made up even more places into the first corner. When I caught Valentino I was waiting because it was very early in the race. By that point though, Capirossi was already gone – he was too fast for us today. So we were battling for second place and we did some very good overtaking manoeuvres, some of them very aggressive. We were pushing very hard. With three laps remaining I made a mistake at one corner and lost a second that I couldn’t recover, so for the last lap I decided to finish third. I’m looking forward to the next races.”
Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda: 4th.My riding position is still not great, and the full fuel tank affected me in the beginning. I was riding as hard as I could but I wasn't able to brake as hard as I needed to or open the throttle as soon as I needed, so I lost positions in the early stages. Once the balance came back as the fuel load burned off, it got better. I was right with the group, then I got an opportunity to get past those guys at the end, and I took advantage of it. I was in the right place at the right time. I hated to see Nicky (Hayden) back there, because he's leading the championship, and I know every point for him is valuable. Once I got past him he was boxed in. I had a chance to get past Casey (Stoner) and Marco (Melandri) later on the same lap. It's hard following people all race long, then to try and open up a bit of a gap when they're trying as hard as they can. So I just tried to keep it tidy, and we made it. We need to figure out some things tomorrow. I wanted to be within five seconds of the leader if I could, but it didn't work out that way.
Kenny Roberts Sr. - Team Owner. I still think we need to improve our race pace, but I've been saying that for the last two races, and every raced we have improve it ... so if we keep going in that direction I don't think we really have a problem. If you would have said at the beginning of the year that we would get fourth here, we'd have said - yeah, we'll take it. We're getting closer and closer. For a team with just one rider, we're doing pretty good. We didn't use the new gas tank today, although it gives a better riding position. Every time you make a gas tank, the fuel filtering is very, very critical. wu have to get some miles on it. We had trouble yesterday ... we knew there was a chance of that happening, but when you're trying to develop things as quickly as we are sometimes you take the chance.
Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda: 5th "Considering my position on the grid, I have to be satisfied. However, I expected a better result at this circuit. After making a good start I climbed through the field and made it up into fourth position. I had a good rhythm and was lapping strongly but could not attack when I wanted. Pedrosa and Rossi pulled away from me and I could not catch them again. I have closed the gap on Nicky by four points although I wanted a better result. All the team did a good job."
Casey Stoner, LCR Honda: 6th “That was a hard race, there was a lot of overtaking going on, sometimes three times in one lap. At the end I just didn’t have enough rear grip to race for fourth position against Melandri and Roberts -- the tyres had slowly destroyed themselves when I was stuck racing in the group behind Hayden. There was some really close racing and while I would have liked a better result, sixth place will do for now. I made a great start and was fourth at turn two but then went backwards to seventh - - I just needed an extra Red Bull this morning to pep me up before the race.”
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 9th. “I was going pretty good for the first part of the race. I made a good start and was feeling comfortable running in third. The result’s frustrating and we had a few little issues in the race – but I’m not going to dwell on that. The bottom line is that the result is not what we wanted this weekend, but that’s racing. One week you win and the next you’re ninth – that’s the level of the competition in MotoGP. We’ve had some tough results this year and we’ve bounced back so we’ll regroup and do that again. I’ve got some great support from fans at home and abroad and that means a lot to me. I knew it was going to be hard work but me and my boys are strong so we’ll put in a couple of days testing and come back fighting for the next one.”
Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda: 11th "I am satisfied with the work we have done, but I can't be happy with the result. I did not start well and had no rhythm over the first ten laps. It was then I started to lap better and felt more comfortable. The team did a good job and I hope that continues over the next couple of days testing we are going to do here."
Makoto Tamada, Konica Minolta Honda: 13th. “My start was not so bad but after three – four laps the rear wheel was spinning and I had little traction, I could not go forward. Then I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike and dropped back. Then in the middle part of the race I was getting more traction and the bike felt much better and I could get closer to the group ahead of me.”
Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 2nd. “The four points difference between second and third are really important for the championship. This track is a bit difficult for us and it favourites a lot Aprilia; the only chance to beating Lorenzo was to stay close to him. But when Locatelli caught me and pass me, I lost the contact with him and couldn’t do anything else. I have to be happy with this and wait more favourite circuits like Motegi and Estoril. This second place is for sure a good result, and I gathered important points in the last curve, but I’m not completely satisfied because I want to win and not arrive second. In the last lap I didn’t think I was able to beat Aoyama; then, though, I brake hard in the last corner being able to stay close and keep a good speed in exiting. He, probably, didn’t expect it and didn’t close the way. The championship is still open; I believe I can do it at 100% because we have just 7 points gap and my team works very well. My bike is always competitive as far as chassis concern”.
Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: Did not race due to injuries sustained at Suzuka 8 Hours.
Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 6th. “I’m not really happy. I made a bad start and at the beginning of the race I wasn’t really able to push as much as I wanted. I hadn’t a good feeling and I didn’t want to crash. My main aim was to finish the race so I wasn’t able to be as fast as I wanted at the beginning of the race. Then I found my pace and tried to stay in the second group, but I finally lost contact and wasn’t able to catch up with them again. I’m not really satisfied because I expected more from this race.”
Martin Cardenas, Repsol Honda: 7th.“I made a very good start today and I have been able to be in the top group from the beginning which was of great help for the result. I didn’t want to take any risk during the race because my main aim was to finish. During one or two laps I had a nice fight with Barbera, Debón and Shuhei, but as I said, I didn’t want to take any risk. I was finally seventh and considering that the aim was finishing the race, I think that it’s a very good result.”
Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda:14th. “The race was so – so for me I pushed at maximum today. The set up was good and the bike handled well in the race but I am a little down on top end power. In general everything worked better than in qualifying but we need to find some more speed before Malaysia where the track is very fast in places.”
Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 15th. “In the morning warm up we changed the set up so the bike was a little closer the one we raced at Sachsenring. It was not the perfect bike but better than in final qualifying. I didn’t make a good job of the start the bike reared up and a lot of riders steamed passed me into the first corner. I was not too fast with a full fuel tank but once the fuel level dropped I felt more comfortable on the bike and started to find a good rhythm and enjoyed the battle for 15th place. I didn’t score any points in the last two races so I am pleased to get one today after the problems I had in qualifying.”
Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: 16th. “I started from the back of the grid because I missed the start of warm u lap. I had to fight hard to get with the group I was racing with towards the end. I was close but after 15 laps the front tyre was completely finished and the front end kept turning in on me and I could not stay with the group ”
Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – crash. “I am quite happy even though I crashed out of the race. Now I know I can ride with the fast factory team riders. But I had to be late on the brakes to stay with them and eventually I made a mistake braking – the front end turned in and I went down. I am sorry for the team who did a good job and gave me a great bike for the race today. I am looking forward to Malaysia.”
Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 3rd. “I was dreaming to get on the podium today, but actually I didn’t expect it. In the first part of the season, we had some problems with the bike set-up, but during this summer break the team and I thought a lot about what to do and we made some important changes. Today the bike was working well and for this I want to thanks HRC and my mechanics, who made a great job during this weekend. It is for me a great emotion getting on the podium in front of all my supporters. Now my goal for the last five races is to be always competitive and achieve the sixth place in the final classification”.
Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 5th. “I am happy with myself and the way I rode today but I am a little angry because I just could not pass anybody on the straights, not even from the slipstream. I lose too much down the straights here I have to work too hard in the corners to make up positions. I need to get alongside a rider to outbrake him, I cannot do it from behind. It has not been easy this season. I need to qualify on the front two rows to stand a chance of the podium but here I could not get on either row. The race was a big fight and I was a little lucky in the end to get fifth place. I have to qualify better in Malaysia if I hope to be on the podium.”
Fabrizio Lai, Seedorf Racing World: 10th. "I don’t like very much this track but after a perfect start and some good laps, the engine performance wasn’t good any more. I tried to follow the leaders, like Taclmacsi, but the gear problems prevented me to maintain the same rhythm of the Aprilia in front of me. I finished 10th but I think to have lost a chance".
Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: 11th. “I got a perfect start but Bradl passed me on the first straight and we were together the whole race. His bike was really fast today but I could get alongside him at some places and outbrake him but he would come passed again. At the of the race I got him at one of the right hand corners at the bottom of the circuit and just held him off to get 11th place.”
Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: 13th. “This morning the track was wet and it dried during the warm up. I felt very comfortable on the bike and I finished in 10th position. I also made some starting tests that were very beneficial for the race. I took a very good start and it allowed me to get a good position at the beginning of the race. Then, I was with Sandro Cortese and Stefan Bradl, fighting for the 11th place. I could easily follow them but in the last laps, I missed a gear and I lost places. But I’m happy because this track has always been difficult for me and the level is very high this season. We improved a lot this weekend especially on the chassis and engine and I’m confident for the Grand Prix in Malaysia.”
Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 25th. “I’m reasonably happy with my race the set up was not as good as in qualifying just little things, the bike did not steer so well today. My start was OK and the engine was fast but after one lap I noticed I was not as fast as I could have been but I gave it my best so I can do no more than that. ”
Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 26th. “I couldn’t find the right set up. I had problems with the front and I was very slow in the corners. I need to do more sessions to understand the best set up for my bike and during the week end we haven’t much time".
Stefano Musco, replacement rider for Lorenzo Baroni at Humangest Honda:
33rd. “Of course, I’m very happy about today as it is the first race ever in the MotoGP World Championship. Riders are all very fast and it hasn’t been easy for me, but I knew before coming here it would be like that. I finished the race and, for now, I’m happy with it. I had fun to race in such beautiful circuit and in front of so many people. I want to thank Humangest Racing Team for this chance”.
Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: Did not race due to broken arm sustained in qualifying.
Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR: dnf – technical problem. “My start was very good and the bike was fast. Then after two laps I started to hear noises from the engine and it was difficult to change gear. I went back wards slowly then the engine stopped on lap six and I was out. Very disappointing because I had a very fast bike today.”