Qatari GP: Michelin race report

MICHELIN MAN ROSSI TAKES HIS FIRST 2006 WIN MotoGP riders claim top two spots at Qatar and dominate top ten Reigning champion Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) made up for a disappointing first race of the ...

MICHELIN MAN ROSSI TAKES HIS FIRST 2006 WIN

MotoGP riders claim top two spots at Qatar and dominate top ten

Reigning champion Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) made up for a disappointing first race of the season by taking victory at the second, fighting off a spirited challenge from Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) but only after overcoming a strong desert wind which affected all the riders. In a race which proved to be over ten seconds faster than the 2005 event, Rossi and Hayden were separated by only 0.900 seconds after 22-laps.

Rossi set a new lap record of 1'57.305s on his third lap, as he chased down early leader, Casey Stoner (Honda LCR RC211V-Michelin), who had started from pole in only his second MotoGP race. Stoner would eventually finish in fifth place, behind Ducati pairing Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau, and one place ahead of Jerez GP sensation, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin).

In an impressive all round performance Michelin riders took the pole position, the new lap record, the race win and a new race record over the Qatar weekend.

Team-mates Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) and Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) ended their 22-laps of effort in seventh and eighth places, with Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Kenny Roberts (Team Roberts KR211V-Michelin) rounding out a Michelin-heavy top ten.

"The race was faster than last year, despite the fact that the leading riders went a lot slower than they showed in the two days of practice," said Michelin motorcycle racing director Nicolas Goubert, "but I think that was only due to the strong winds. "We see Valentino's name at the top of the finishing order again, it was a very good job from Yamaha and Rossi, and that allowed us to be on top again. Congratulations also to Casey, who had a brilliant pole position, and in only his second MotoGP race, he was the second best of all the Honda guys."

-michelin

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Sete Gibernau , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team