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Bad Day For Honda


Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) won the 125cc race by 6.7 seconds from Mika Kallio (KTM) who just managed to overhaul third-placed Sergio Gadea (Aprilia) as the pair broached the finish line. Bautista has now posted back-to-back wins in the first two races of the season. It was Gadea who made the early running in this 18-lap race until Bautista upped the pace by lap five, stealing the lead and then setting a fastest lap of 2m 8.591 seconds as he stretched away from the rest of the field.
Most Honda riders would prefer to forget this race. Mike Di Meglio (FFM Honda RS125R) retired at the start of the second lap, Sandro Cortese (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) tangled with Juan Olive (Aprilia) and fell on lap two, while reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) managed a seventh place finish.

Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) finished 11th after running with the leading group on the first few laps, but the Hungarian dropped back as the race unfolded and he was nearly 30 seconds adrift of the winner at the flag.

Luthi said, “For some reason I was not good at the last two corners and the run onto the start finish straight. But we made a big step this weekend after a bad experience at the start of the season. We have some points and we can now make progress.”

“Unfortunately we couldn't find the right balance,” said Talmacsi. “We need better suspensions settings as I struggled too much today. Also, I wasn't fast in the straight and 11th place is the best I could do today. The important thing, anyway, is that we have scored some more points in the World Standings.”

Bautista leads the World Championship with 50 points after his perfect start to the season. Kallio has 33 points and Pasini 29 as the Turkish round looms at the end of April.

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda: 8th

"I'm more happy than unhappy with this result. My target was to get a good start and be with the lead group. I managed to do it I could race with Faubel and Rodriguez but when Nieto came passed us I mad a small mistake and it cost me two seconds. For some reason I was not good at the last two corners and the run onto the start finish straight. But we made a big step this weekend after a bad experience at the start of the season. We have some points and we can now make progress, as I said I'm happy in the circumstances."

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda: 11th

"I did my best but the bike was competitive for a couple of laps not for the whole race. Unfortunately we couldn't find the right balance during the weekend and the wind increased the problem. We have to adjust better the suspensions settings as I struggled too much today. Also, I wasn't fast in the straight and 11th place is the best I could do today. The important thing, anyway, is that we have conquered some more points in the World Standings."

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR: 17th

"Not so bad when you look at my bad practice and qualifying sessions. I had a small problem with the clutch off the start and was only 20 - 21 at the end of the first lap. I was racing with Koyama but he was a little quicker than me today. I could hold him till the last few laps when my rear tyre started sliding and I had to let him go. I didn't want a crash at the end of a bad weekend for me."

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda: 22nd

"The start was OK. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. I only lost a couple of places but the first corner was awful. I just got in there; I guess I was thinking too much, being really cautious. I looked at all the riders and it made me so nervous. I just need to get the blockage out of my head and be clear and go right into the corner. There were people around me that moved up to sixteenth on the first lap and I was back in thirtieth. It is possible I just need to be able to do it. The race was good, I made it up to nineteenth, the eighteenth was just in front and then I could see seventeenth and sixteenth in the distance, a few seconds ahead so I kept on pushing. Then I went wide in turn thirteen. I brought the bike back onto the track but pushed too much into the next corner. The bike got a bit squirrelly and then I had to go straight. I lost so much time and places. After that I just kept on putting my head down making sure I was putting in consistent laps to try to catch the riders in front. Now I'm just thinking what could have been but we're going to sort everything out for Turkey."

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda: 27th

"I got a good start and caught the group ahead of me on the grid and enjoyed the race much more than at Jerez. The beginning of the ace was good and I caught and passed a lot of riders. Then on the sixth lap I made a mistake, ran wide nearly onto the grass. I had to close the gas and lost contact with the group. The engine was good but I had a small problem on set up. But things are definitely going in a good direction for me. Now I'm really looking forward to Turkey."

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda: 30th

"I'm not really happy with today's race. We have had many problems with the front of the bike all over the weekend, we didn't solve them for the race and the wind today didn't help us at all. I started well but at the first turn I brake a bit too early and so the other riders passed me. In the final lap, I was fighting with two riders but I made a mistake with the gear and so I lost time. So, this is a race to forget, but it is good for gathering experience."

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda: dnf - crash

"Not very good at all, I crashed with Olive. I was running my normal line in the corner when Olive came across in front of and I hit him, I had no place to go. I'm very disappointed because that's twice I have crashed so far. Pity because I got a good start and the bike was running good."

Mike Di Meglio, FFM Honda: dnf - brake problem

"What an eventful race that was and I only lasted one and a half laps! Even then it was a big fight. My start was not so bad but one rider hit me in turn one and then I couldn't keep the right line because of the wind. On the second lap the rider behind ran into me and hit my brake lever knocking it forward so I had no front brake and I had to pull in. Pity because we had found a good compromise on rear end settings and the chatter problems we had in qualifying were gone."

Fabrizio Lai, Valsir Seedorf Racing: 14th

"I tried to do my best with this bike. I started very well and I recovered many positions. During the second lap I touched Pesek and I lost the front mudguard and consequently I lost in performance. The bike wasn’t very fast in the straight, even in slipstream I couldn’t have the same pace of the other riders. In this conditions is not easy to be competitive."

Michele Conti, Seedorf Racing World: 28th

"Our Honda are not ok. In straights all the riders of my group could pass me very easily. Then I could overtook them in curves. I need to learn to ride faster, but also the bike need to grow in power."

Related Links www.world.honda.com/motorsports

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