News Report 2 July 2006
United Kingdom

2006 MotoGP Donington

View results Track information
Donington Park
4023 m
att 65000
07 / 02 / 2006
Time to be confirmed
27°

Rossi takes sensational second at Donington

Race

Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi produced one of the performances of his life today as he rode through the pain of hand and ankle injuries to take a simply sensational second place in the British Grand Prix. Roared on by a partisan local crowd, who have taken the Italian to their hearts after a string of victories at this circuit, Rossi started steadily from twelfth on the grid but soon got into his rhythm and began passing riders with the flamboyance and determination that has already taken him to five consecutive MotoGP World Championship titles.

With the series leader before today’s action, Nicky Hayden (Honda), struggling to seventh place today, Rossi’s incredible charge comes into sharper focus with a glance at the championship standings. With eight rounds remaining the Yamaha man trails the American by just 35 points and the destiny of the title is now back in his hands. Rossi remains in third place overall, however, after a second victory of the season for Dani Pedrosa (Honda) saw the Spaniard consolidate second spot.

Rossi’s team-mate Colin Edwards also produced a determined ride as he made up four places from his qualifying position to take sixth despite also struggling to find the correct set-up for his machine during practice. The American now heads to Japan to prepare for the Suzuka 8-Hour race he will contest on 30th July, before returning for the next round of the MotoGP season at Sachsenring, Germany, two weeks from now.
Valentino Rossi (2nd; + 3.864)
“That was an amazing race and a very important result for me. I am in a better position as far as the points are concerned and that is more important than winning the race. To be honest after Assen I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to fight for a top result here but I wanted it so much because Donington is a very special place to me and the fans give me such incredible support every year. We were really surprised that the bike didn’t work on Friday but the whole team worked really hard to find the right setting and the right tyre.
After qualifying we decided we would try some new things this morning but the wet warm-up meant we had no chance to do that so we just took a gamble with the setting and it worked. It took me eight laps to understand just how good my pace could be and from that point I realised that my goal had to be the podium. I had some hard battles along the way but when I got up to Melandri it got even harder! We had real fun and neither of us wanted to back down. He was faster than me in some places and I was faster than him in others. In the end it came down to the last hairpin and we both braked around 20 or 30 metres deeper than normal. We both ran wide but luckily Marco went even wider than me and I was able to get in from of him. I finished second but today it felt like a win.”
Colin Edwards (6th; + 21.710)
“It just hasn’t clicked for us this weekend and I’m really disappointed, even though sixth place brings in a few decent points. Last year everything came easily here but from the first practice it was clear that it wasn’t going to be the case this time around and we never really found our way, it was as simple as that. The bike wasn’t too bad for the race and I could catch other riders easily but we didn’t have the set-up to get past people on the brakes. That made life really difficult and the race was a struggle from start to finish. It’s been a hard few weeks but now I have a bit of a change of scenery as I will head out to Japan to prepare for the 8 hour. I hope we’ll be in better position to fight at Sachsenring in a couple of week’s time.”

Davide Brivio – Camel Yamaha Team Director
“This was a very important race because despite Valentino’s injury we have been able to close the gap to Nicky Hayden in the championship. Valentino said it was more like a victory and the feeling in the team is the same because of the physical condition he was in and the fact he started from so far back on the grid. There was never any doubt about Valentino’s qualities but he has performed like a true World Champion over a difficult few weeks and he deserves a rest now. Our engineers also did a great job to put everything together in time, they have also been working hard and will enjoy a couple of days off before the next race. Now we have eight races left and 35 points to make up before Valencia.”

Under a blazing summer sun, the Tech 3 Yamaha Team continued the positive progress of the last three weeks to claim some more points with another impressive result to add to the encouraging race finishes of the previous three meetings. Carlos Checa fought hard throughout the race to claim 10th after 30 gruelling laps while team mate James Ellison, who was keen to impress his supporters, also picked up a few confidence-inspiring points as he finished 14th.
With the inspiring results of the last few weeks, due in part to the improved consistency of the Dunlop tyres, the Tech 3 Yamaha Team has more than doubled its points haul from the first six races of the year.

Carlos Checa (10th, Fastest lap 1’30.496)
“It was a very hard race and I was pushing all the time. We changed some things from yesterday but in the warm up we couldn’t test them because of the wet track. At the start of the race with the different settings it took a few laps before I could get the good feeling from the front and rear tyres but then I got the confidence to start pushing the pace. It was not easy to pass Tamada at first, but when I got the rhythm my pace was a bit faster than him and I was able to overtake him and get away. This was a good feeling for me to pass a factory Honda and then to be able to catch De Puniet and pass him as well. It was a question mark for me to know the endurance of the tyre because of the changed settings but basically we’ve been growing and learning more about the set-up with the tyres as the Dunlops improve. We must be satisfied with the result as the starting point here wasn’t easy. We made good progress through the weekend and I’m happy with the job that the mechanics and the team did, as well as the performance of the Dunlop tyres. I wish, I hope and I want to keep going like this and improve overall to get even better results in the next races.”
James Ellison (14th Fastest lap 1’31.402)
“I got a good start but after that it all went a bit downhill. We made a few changes after qualifying so we didn’t get a chance to test them in the morning warm up because of the rain so as a result during the race we didn’t have any grip in the rear. Once we got a bit of wear on the edge of the tyre we started dropping back which was disappointing as I was running wide everywhere. Early in the race I was in front of Carlos and I wanted to stay there to have a good fight with him but it didn’t happen. On the positive side I think we have learnt a lot more about the setup that will help us in a couple of weeks with the nature of the Sachsenring track where we go to next. I was happy to have raced and finish in the points in front of the British crowd but I wish I could’ve done better.

Herve Poncharal - Tech3 Yamaha Team Director
“This was another good weekend after Catalunya and Assen and for sure these three races have been the best since we started the season. Carlos had a good pace in the race. He passed Tamada on a factory Honda with Michelins and De Puniet on a factory Kawasaki with Bridgestones, which is good for us. The last 10 laps he was lapping quicker than Hopkins and Capirossi in front of him so we are happy with the consistency and durability, but definitely we have to qualify better, because the gap we have after five laps - even though we are lapping the same as the guys in front - if we are seven or eight seconds behind them, we know there is no way we can catch them in a class like MotoGP. I’m very happy with Carlos as he was pushing 100% from the first lap to the end. It was really good for him to beat the Honda and come back on De Puniet, who was more than five seconds away at one stage, and put him behind us. It’s another top 10 finish that was almost impossible to dream of at the start of the year.

I’m also happy to see James in the points. For sure he is little disappointed about not doing better in his home grand prix but he also had quite a stable pace but it’s altogether a good result and it’s a good way to end these three races in a row that have been tough for everybody. We got some good points and now Carlos is equal with Vermeulen so the championship is now halfway through and I think if we can continue the way we have been in the last few races and reduce the gap to the leaders a bit more the second part of the championship will be quite exciting.”