MICHELIN MEN MONOPOLISE CATALUNYA PODIUM Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) continued his resurgence in Spain today, winning a crash-strewn, restarted Catalan Grand Prix. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) took ...
MICHELIN MEN MONOPOLISE CATALUNYA PODIUM
Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) continued his resurgence in Spain today, winning a crash-strewn, restarted Catalan Grand Prix. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) took a strong second-place finish to regain the World Championship lead, while Kenny Roberts Junior (Team Roberts KR211V-Michelin) scored a well-deserved third-place result to complete an all-Michelin podium.
The race was restarted after a terrifying first-corner accident that claimed five riders - Sete Gibernau (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici), Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici), Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) and Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-RR). Pedrosa and de Puniet were able to take their places at the restart, though both later fell again without injury. The other three riders were unable to restart, Gibernau suffering concussion and a broken collarbone, Capirossi badly battered and bruised and Melandri sustaining concussion and a dislocated collarbone.
"First of all, we would like to wish all the injured riders a speedy recovery, that was a nasty accident," said Nicolas Goubert, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The bad luck continued after the restart with several more crashes, but luckily there were no further injuries. "Valentino was very much in control here. He dominated all weekend, with a very fast qualifying lap and a very strong race pace. Nicky rode a good race too, riding the fastest lap, a new lap record. Finally, we would like to congratulate Kenny Roberts' team for its first MotoGP podium, it's great to see such dedicated and determined people rewarded for all their hard work. From a performance point of view it was a good weekend for us, with pole position, race victory, lap record and a full-house on the podium."
Rossi and Hayden dominated the restart after early leader Casey Stoner (Honda LCR RC211V-Michelin) slid off after he had lost the lead to Rossi. For much of the remainder of the 24 laps Hayden stayed right with the World Champion, only easing off in the final laps.
"There was a bad feeling after the disaster of the first start but before the second start Dr Costa told me everyone was basically okay," said Rossi who won by 4.509 seconds and moved from fifth to third in the points chase. "It was more difficult to keep my concentration and I made a few mistakes after the second start. Also, it was difficult to overtake with a full tank but I found my rhythm. My bike worked very well here and my tyres stayed strong to the end, so my championship position is now much better."
Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) took fifth place and Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V-Michelin) finished seventh.