|Valentino Rossi picked up 20 vital
points in the Czech Republic today after taking second place in a
race which saw series leader Nicky Hayden (Honda) stumble to ninth -
a result which reduces the gap between the pair to 38 points with
five rounds remaining. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) took a dominant
victory, leading from the first corner to finish with a 4.902 second
advantage, whilst Rossi had to fend off a valiant challenge from
rookie Dani Pedrosa (Honda) four laps from the end before
comfortably sealing the runner-up spot.
It was an even tougher afternoon for Colin Edwards, who started out
in equally impressive fashion to his team-mate but faded in the
second half of the race to finish in tenth. The Texan started from
eighth on the grid and was keen to get in touch with the leading
riders as soon as possible, making up three places on the opening
three laps. However, his efforts took their toll on the rear
Michelin tyre of his YZR-M1 machine and, without the perfect set-up
to rely on in the latter stages of the race, he was forced to drop
back and settle for another top-ten finish.
Valentino Rossi (2nd; + 4.902)
"It was a good race today and I am very happy with the weekend.
Obviously starting from pole position you hope that you can win but
today Loris had a completely different pace to the rest of us and I
couldn't believe the gap he made! We weren't perfect today and we
still had a few problems, but anyway I was able to do a good race
and fight hard to the end. I had a great battle with Pedrosa with
many good overtakes, which was great fun, especially since I finally
managed to finish in front of him! Even though I didn't win today
this is a very important result for the championship; we are now
third and we've gained on Pedrosa and Hayden. After this weekend the
situation is much clearer for us with the bike and the tyres and now
we have two days of testing, during which we have some new things to
try in order to help us be even more competitive for the final five
races. This weekend my M1 worked well from Friday morning, which is
very encouraging after the problems we've had during practice this
season. Everyone at Yamaha has worked so hard to come back to this
level so I want to thank my team and all the engineers. Now there
are five more races and five riders who can still fight for the
championship, so I think it's going to be a very exciting end to the
Colin Edward (10th; + 19.435)
"At the beginning things felt alright and over the first few laps I
was actually quite excited. I was able to be quite aggressive and
pass a few people, but then after a while things just went downhill.
The balance of the bike didn't feel right and I just couldn't keep
the same level. Then the tyre started to go off after about eight
laps and that just acted as a limiter and my pace went right down. I
was fighting really hard just to keep the pace I was running and it
was nowhere near fast enough to be competitive. The bike didn't feel
perfect under braking either and that makes life difficult here!
We've spent all weekend playing around, trying to find the right
balance but we just couldn't find exactly what we needed. Honestly
we've worked hard all weekend but things just weren't right today.
We've got two days of testing now and plenty of work to do if we're
going to improve for the final few races."
Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team
Director "This has been a good weekend, despite the fact that we
didn't win. We've achieved the most important goal of taking a lot
of points back from Hayden and also gaining on Pedrosa. Valentino
starting from pole position is a great improvement after the
previous weekends and it's a good sign for the final part of the
season. There are five riders now that can win the championship and
it's clearly going to be a hard fight to the end, for which we need
to be fully prepared! This weekend has shown how well Yamaha can
react to problems and everyone has worked extremely hard to solve
them, so a big thank you to the mechanics, engineers and of course
Valentino! Colin made some big changes before the race and in the
first part of it he looked very good. Unfortunately he couldn't keep
that pace up and now these two days of testing for him will be very
important in order to come up with some things that can help him
finish the season well."
Tech 3 Yamaha Team find
satisfaction after a difficult weekend
Fifteenth place for Carlos Checa on his Yamaha YZF-M1 may not be the
position that the Tech 3 Yamaha Team desired today, but after the
difficulties of the previous day, the team is satisfied with the
result attained in the Czech Republic Grand Prix at the Brno circuit
in a race won by Loris Capirossi (Ducati) as teammate James Ellison
struggled with his own problems to finish 17th.
With a difficult race now behind them, the Tech 3 Yamaha Team is
looking ahead to the two-day test at the circuit to endeavour to
eliminate the problems that have surfaced after the positive results
of the previous two races in the USA and Germany.
Carlos Checa (15th, Fastest lap
1'59.630) "Considering yesterday nothing worked, today we should be
satisfied with the job we did. We changed quite a lot on the bike
but we were not too radical with the alterations we made. This
morning the bike felt a lot better but in the different conditions
this afternoon after a few laps we again had chattering and it
increased during the race so by the end we had quite a lot. The tyre
wasn't so bad even though I was getting some movement in the
acceleration area but the chattering was the main limitation.
"We knew it was going to be difficult today because many were doing
1" 58s lap times and we were struggling to match those times but we
did quite a lot of laps in the 59 sec bracket and to keep that pace
until the end was the most positive thing we can take from here.
Also keeping in mind that we couldn't race with the tyres we have
been using for the last two races, with the chattering problems we
are having, today's race was fine."
James Ellison (17th Fastest lap
2'00.608) "That result was not what I wanted at all. I'm really
disappointed. After yesterday I was definitely hoping for a top 15
finish but I was secretly thinking that a top 10 might happen. To
finish 17th is a huge let down. I know I can do it - that's the
frustrating thing to me. My lap times to Carlos weren't too bad for
a few laps. He could keep that consistency with his times but after
four or five laps my times dropped off. I lost traction on the rear
exactly like what happened at Donington. I was getting a little bit
of chatter but it was mainly rear wheel grip making it spin up
Tomorrow during this test I will get to test the frame Carlos is
running so hopefully, we will be able to find a cure to these
problems we have been having and move forwards pretty quickly so I
can score some decent results that I know I'm capable of getting
Herve Poncharal - Tech 3 Yamaha Team Director Truthfully after the
very average qualifying session yesterday, it was quite a good race.
We had a lot of problems during the weekend that didn't help for the
race but it is always a big handicap to start from so far back. We
lost many seconds during the first two laps but we were able to
fight back so Carlos was nine seconds behind Colin (Edwards) at the
end of the race. Our pace was quick enough to be with the group
fighting for 10th position so we're not happy with the position but
we are happy that we were consistent with our lap times until the
The bike still chattered but not as much as during practice and the
gap to the guys in front of us was not that big. 15th is not a great
result but there were no crashes and guys in front of us stopped so
it's reasonable. The work we have done here is going to be helpful
for Dunlop. Let's hope we can qualify better so we can have he
results of the previous meetings.
A positive point for Carlos is that he has scored points in every
race but before going to the next three Grands Prix on the other
side of the world, we have two days testing here to find solutions
to these new problems and finish off the year on a good note.