Bridgestone Day 3 Report
|2006 Bridgestone-shod Ducati
riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi dominated the Valencia Grand
Prix at Circuit Ricardo Tormo this afternoon taking a sensational
1-2 as the 17-race season draws to a close, Ducati and Bridgestone’s
best ever result.
World Superbike Champion Bayliss has made his MotoGP return for a one-off race appearance this weekend which marks his debut on Bridgestone tyres.
The victory, Ducati and Bridgestone’s fourth of the season, ensures Bridgestone tyres have taken top and tail wins in Spain this year with the season-opener in Jerez won by Capirossi and today’s dominant performance by Bayliss in Valencia.
After a trio of wins, including Brno and Motegi, Capirossi was content to settle for his fourth second position of the year to add twenty valuable points to his season tally.
His final total of 229 points elevates him to third in the riders’ championship, the highest position ever attained by a Bridgestone-shod rider in MotoGP. He also claimed the quickest lap of the race, 1m32.924s, a standard only matched by newly-crowned World Champion Nicky Hayden and race winner Bayliss.
Shinya Nakano was able to use his Bridgestone race tyres to good effect to claim a seventh place finish. Team-mate Randy de Puniet’s rookie season ended after just five laps after he crashed out.
Suzuki ended their successful season with John Hopkins continuing his run of points-scoring finishes to take 11th, which confirmed his place in the top ten of the riders’ classification on equal points with Portuguese GP race winner Toni Elias.
Chris Vermeulen was also unable to complete full race distance eventually dropping out on lap 13 from a strong top ten position.
Bridgestone capped off its strongest season to date in MotoGP with its best ever result, four victories, eleven individual podium positions, six pole positions and a total of 695 points with its three teams. The season claimed its debut wins on European soil, three in total with two in Spain and one in the Czech Republic, a third consecutive win on home ground in Motegi, Japan, as well as pole positions with four of its riders and front row starts in 15 of this year’s 17 races.
In attendance at today’s momentous GP, Hideo Hara, Bridgestone Corporation, Vice-President and Officer, Motorsport commented: “Today was a very positive result for Bridgestone and I would like to say thank you and well done to the Ducati team for their excellent victory and second place. This result is the perfect way for Bridgestone to end its most successful season. I think we can be satisfied with our results but I am confident of achieving more MotoGP success in 2007.”
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Racing: “That was an amazing race for Troy, Loris, the Ducati team and, of course, Bridgestone. We knew from Friday that our tyres were working well at Valencia, but we could only really evaluate the performance over 20 laps, so there was a question mark over their performance in full race distance. In the end, Troy and Loris showed that the tyres were race-winning material, quick, consistent and durable. It was our first ever one-two and a very emotional way for us to end our best ever season. We came into 2006 without any victories in Europe and we managed to start and end the year with Spanish success and helped Loris to finish third in the championship. I would like to say thanks to each of our teams and riders for their hard work, co-operation and dedication over the season which has helped us become more competitive in an increasingly competitive field. The 2006 season ends today, but the 2007 season starts already tomorrow with new bike and tyre regulations. We certainly relish the challenges that are coming our way and are more motivated than ever.”
Troy Bayliss – Ducati Corse – Race Winner: “It’s been a fairytale weekend, I’m still pinching myself. I’ve had a great year, winning the World Superbike championship was a good start! Then just when I was kicking back, I got a phone call to ask if I was interested in doing this ride. I was something I couldn’t knock back because I started the Desmosedici project with Loris at the end of 2002, so to be able to come back and finish off the story at the last 990 race was incredible. To take a win is incredible – I’ve showed I can still ride around in circles pretty fast.”
Bridgestone Race Results
Weather: Dry. Air 32°C, Track 43°C, Humidity 11%