YAMAHA RIDERS UNABLE TO SHAKE OFF JEREZ CURSE An eventful weekend at Jerez ended in disappointing fashion today as both Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got caught in a first corner melee that ended their hopes of glory in the opening round...
YAMAHA RIDERS UNABLE TO SHAKE OFF JEREZ CURSE
An eventful weekend at Jerez ended in disappointing fashion today as both Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got caught in a first corner melee that ended their hopes of glory in the opening round of the 2006 MotoGP World Championship. The Camel Yamaha Team pair made good starts from ninth and tenth on the grid respectively but a collision between Rossi and Toni Elias (Honda) on the inside of turn one saw the Italian knocked from his YZR-M1 and sent Edwards wide into the gravel trap.
Despite some damage to his bike, Rossi showed the character of a true World Champion as he returned to the track, battling his way back into the field and picking off several riders to secure two championship points in fourteenth place. Edwards, meanwhile, fought from second last to eleventh by the end of the 27-lap encounter. Victory went to pole setter Loris Capirossi (Ducati) in a race time of 45'57.733, but he was pushed hard by second-placed Dani Pedrosa (Honda) on his debut in the MotoGP class. Nicky Hayden (Honda) completed the podium.
COLIN EDWARDS (11th; + 37.930)
"I probably made the best race start of my whole life, Valentino got away well too and we went together into the first bend. Elias came up on the inside and I actually saw everything happen but to be honest I thought Vale would be able to stay on the bike so I kept my corner speed and tried to just run it around the outside. Unfortunately he went down and I had nowhere to go but the gravel. It really capped the weekend off for us but the truth is that we weren't fast enough to challenge today. This track has been a real pain for us and I can't wait to get away. We've got a test tomorrow but I'll be happy when we get to Qatar, where the bike worked really well in testing."
VALENTINO ROSSI (14th; + 1'05.766)
"We knew this was going to be a difficult race but maybe not so difficult! I saw Toni come up on the inside and he hit me; this is racing and these things happen. I have known Toni for many years and he is a good rider. He apologised to me after the race so I told him not to worry -- only to remember to brake next time and if it is too late then to hit another bike instead of me! Anyway I came back on the track and had a nice battle with Alex Hofmann. I am disappointed because I wanted to win the first race of the season but there is nothing we can do now. Only work hard to make sure we don't have these problems again and look forward to the next race in Qatar."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"It seems that everything that could go wrong did go wrong for us this weekend. On Friday morning when we needed the time to test it rained and things have gone continually against us since then. We obviously still have a lot of work to do and for some reason our bike clearly doesn't work at this circuit so we are keen to find out why, if we can, in tomorrow's test. The engineers have a lot of data and everyone is working at 100% to find a solution. We were fast at Sepang, Qatar and Catalunya so there is no need to panic and we can look forward to the next race. On a positive note I thought both riders showed character to fight back after the first corner incident and hopefully they will have better luck next time."