Humangest Racing Honda'S Andrea Dovizioso Won A Nail-biting 250cc Race
By: Tasha Crook | Published 19 June 2006, 16:12 | Views: 1,155 | tags: motogp, 250gp, catalunya, andrea dovizioso, yuki takahashi, humangest honda, martin cardenas, arturo tizon, wurth honda bqr, fabrizio perren, stop and go racing, arnaud vincent, molenaar honda, sebastian porto, repsol honda, shuhei aoyama
Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) won a nail-biting 250cc race from Jorge Lorenzo in second and Alex de Angelis third (both Aprilia) to record his first win in the class since moving up as World 125cc Champion in 2004. The Italian qualified on pole and was always convinced he had the speed to shine here. But it was a tough race. Roberto Locatelli (Aprilia) led into turn one and Dovi, who did not get the best of starts, made a masterful manoeuvre up the inside of the pack at turn five to take second.He then set an early fastest lap of 1m 47.420 seconds on lap three and took the lead to head a three-rider group including Locatelli and de Angelis. Alex Debon (Aprilia), standing in for the injured Hector Barbera, was ahead of his team-mate Lorenzo in fourth, but the pair were three seconds adrift of the leaders.
As mid-race distance approached the lead group dropped their pace as first de Angelis and then Locatelli led, and as the final laps were reeled off, a gap that had been more than three seconds had been reduced to 0.5 seconds as Lorenzo, who had overhauled Debon, closed on the leaders.
With the home crowd willing him on, Lorenzo was in touch with two laps to go. Into turn one on the final lap, Dovi leapt from third to first on the brakes, Locatelli was pushed wide and then it was just Dovi, Lorenzo, who was now second, and de Angelis left to fight it out. Dovi held on to a well-deserved lead to win, and match Max Biaggi’s 1996 record of seven podiums in the opening seven races of a season.
Martin Cardenas (Würth Honda RS250RW) was tenth, while Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) crashed out of the race in the early laps. Dovi has now increased his lead at the top of the points table and has 133 points to Lorenzo’s 108, with Takahashi third on 89 points.
Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda: 1st
“At the beginning of the last lap, Aprilia riders overtook me on the straight and so I had to recover in the braking points. I was able to take the lead braking incredibly hard, do my pace and nobody was able to pass me back. It has been quite long time since my last victory and I did it with this incredible overtaking, it is very special for me. But this time I took some risks. At the beginning I tried to go away, but the gap I was able to build in the turns I lost in the straight and so, thinking about what happen in Le Mans, I changed my strategy. In France, I pushed very hard throughout the whole race in order to improve the gap, but I wore out the tyres and so I lost the race at the photo-finish. For this reason, I decided to slow down even though I knew Lorenzo was closing the gap. The last lap has been wonderful and tonight I want to celebrate this victory along with my friends. I’ve been told I matched Biaggi’s record made in 96: this is for sure positive because he has been a great rider in 250cc. Next week we are going to Assen, which is a track I like even though last year I struggled a lot. But this year we are definitely more competitive and the feeling with the team is perfect. I want to thank all the guys that work with me!”.
Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda: 7th
“I made a good start, but in the first part of the race I didn’t have a good feeling with the front of the bike. When I was behind Lorenzo I took some risks and so I slowed down. But then, on the half way on things went much better and I was able to run with the same lap times of the top riders even with worn tyres. For this reason, I’m happy and also motivated for next race. Congratulations to Andrea, he did a great race today”.
Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR: 10th
“That was a very good race for me. My start was not so special and in the beginning I found it difficult to get a good rhythm. The bike was very good today the set up just about perfect and the engine was consistently fast for the whole race. At about half race distance I was riding well and in a very good rhythm I caught the group and eventually managed to get tenth place.”
Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR: 14th
“After my no-so-good qualifying I was fast off the start and was fast enough to catch, then follow the group in front of me. The bike was so much better than qualifying, I had a very good engine today. But as the race went on I could feel the rear tyre sliding and I could not go any faster.”
Fabrizio Perren, Stop and Go Racing: 15th
“I got a good start but the group in front of me were too fast at the start of the race and I could not stay with them. I raced almost all the way with Arnaud Vincent. He has so much experience and I learned a lot from him in that race. We passed and re-passed each other many times. My bike was a little faster than his so I had to check I could pass him out of the slipstream before the line if he was leading into the last lap. I managed to do it. I’m happy for the team because they have worked hard to get me here.”
Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda: 16th
“I gave my maximum every lap and only over the last two laps did I have problems with the ribs I cracked in my Mugello crash. The bike was good today suspension, tyres and chassis set up was good. My engine was better than yesterday but not as good as my best engine.”
Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda
Sebastian Porto has announced his retirement from racing.
Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda: dnf – crash
"It's been a shame. We had some problems this morning with the first bike and I had to take the start of the race with bike number two, so even if the set-up was the same, the bike didn't work the same way. I made a good start but I lost some positions in the first corner; I guess it's because I still have what happened in Turkey in my mind. On lap number four, my bike's steering closed in the last left-hander of the circuit and that was the end of my race. I'm sorry for my team, for Alberto and for Repsol because the race here was like a home race for them."
MotoGP 250cc Round 07 Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo:
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / Humangest Racing Team 2 Jorge LORENZO / Fortuna Aprilia 3 Alex DE ANGELIS / Master - MVA Aspar Team 4 Roberto LOCATELLI / Team Toth 5 Alex DEBON / Fortuna Aprilia 6 Hiroshi AOYAMA / Red Bull KTM GP 250 7 Yuki TAKAHASHI / Humangest Racing Team 8 Sylvain GUINTOLI / Equipe GP De France - Scrab 9 Anthony WEST / Kiefer - Bos - Racing 10 Martin CARDENAS / Wurth Honda BQR 11 Manuel POGGIALI / Red Bull KTM GP 250 12 Andrea BALLERINI / Campetella Racing 13 Jules CLUZEL / Equipe GP De France - Scrab 14 Arturo TIZON / Wurth Honda BQR 15 Fabricio PERREN / Stop And Go Racing Team
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