ROSSI CLINCHES CRUCIAL SECOND PLACE AT BRNO 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...
ROSSI CLINCHES CRUCIAL SECOND PLACE AT BRNO
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 season!"
COLIN EDWARDS (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."