News Report 16 July 2006

2006 MotoGP Sachsenring

View results Track information
3671 m
att 95000
07 / 16 / 2006
Time to be confirmed

Italy celebrate in Germany again as Rossi takes sensational win


Just seven days after Italy won the football World Cup with a dramatic victory against France in Berlin, Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi produced an equally stunning performance to seal another success for his country on German soil thanks to a remarkable MotoGP win at the Sachsenring circuit near Dresden. Starting from tenth place on the grid after struggling to find the right set-up for his YZR-M1 machine in practice, the odds were stacked heavily against Rossi as he aimed to close the gap on series leader Nicky Hayden (Honda) with another win. However, the reigning World Champion again confounded all the predictions with his superb skill and dogged determination.
Already shifted up one place on the grid from his qualifying position of eleventh after Casey Stoner (Honda) was ruled out of the race through injury, Rossi continued to make his way forward as soon as the red lights were out, passing four riders by the end of the first lap to immediately get in contact with the lead group. After carefully picking off Kenny Roberts (Team KR) and Makoto Tamada (Honda), Rossi set about the lead group of Hayden, Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Marco Melandri (Honda) and by lap 13 of 30 he was in front. The Italian held on to a slim lead for all but one of the remaining laps, when Melandri made one of his many attacks stick, before holding off a barrage of attacks from all three rivals in a dramatic final corner to seal his fourth win of the season.

Whilst Rossi was able to rescue a dismal situation in practice, unfortunately the same could not be said for his team-mate Colin Edwards, who was unable to make any further progress with his bike setting in the morning warm-up and struggled to eleventh place.

Valentino Rossi (1st; 41’49.248)
“That was an unbelievable race for me and my team. The first thing I have to say is ‘sorry’ to my M1 because last night was the first time in our relationship that I ever doubted her! But she was true to me once again and for this I owe a huge thank you to Jeremy and all my mechanics and engineers. Last night I didn’t think I could win this race but we made a change in the morning warm-up and then again before the race in the afternoon and today my M1 flew. In some parts of the track it was very, very fast. We also did a great job together with Michelin and at the start I realised that my rhythm was good enough to battle for the win. Once I got to the front I knew I was probably two or three tenths faster than the other guys but it wasn’t enough to escape and I had to battle with Dani, Nicky and Marco – each one was a great fight. Marco was so strong at the end of the race and I have to give my big congratulations to him, but thankfully I got the right line in the last corner and I was able to win. Italy became World Champions in the football last weekend and I won today; Germany is a good country for us!”
Colin Edwards (11th; + 29.308)
“What can I say? I guess I’m just slow around here. The guys worked their butts off all weekend trying to give me something but we simply couldn’t get the bike working and I never had the pace. It looked like Valentino was in the same situation but today he pulled out something like his 700th miracle and you can only take your hat off to a great champion. We changed some things for the warm-up this morning but I wasn’t comfortable so we went back to the setting from yesterday, which we knew wasn’t ideal either. The first few laps were okay but I struggled to pass Toni Elias and by the time I got past him we were way back. From there on it was just a battle to keep the bike on the track and there wasn’t much more I could do but bring it home.”

Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team Director
“Valentino was unbelievable today, fantastic. This was a very important victory for the championship because we’ve collected a lot of points but more than that it is a big psychological boost to win a fight in this way. This victory is a fruit of the hard work from the engineers, the team and Valentino – we have a great group of people here and they never give up. We always try to win races and today Valentino made it possible. Colin wasn’t able to recover a difficult situation but now he has seven days before getting a big chance to turn things around in his home Grand Prix.”
Sachsenring provides huge step forward for Tech 3 Yamaha Racing Team
With another top 10 finish and a result that saw Carlos Checa finish closer to the leaders that at any other race of the 2006 season, the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring circuit provided a huge step forward for the Tech 3 Yamaha Team and the performance of the team’s Dunlop tyres. Checa was involved in a tense battle throughout the race to miss out on seventh place by just 0.389 of a second to eventually finish ninth in an enthralling race won by fellow Yamaha rider and defending world champion, Valentino Rossi. Carlos was only 17 seconds in arrears after the 30-lap battle. In another positive result, Checa’s best lap of 1’23.097 was just 0.424 of a second off the fastest lap of the race. Englishman, James Ellison had to overcome handling problems in his quest to finish 13th, picking up some valuable points for himself and the team.

Carlos Checa (9th, +17.097 secs Fastest lap 1’23.779)
This has been a very good result for us and I am very happy. The gap to the winner was the closest we have ever been this year, so that is another positive step considering that we had some chatter and after 17 laps something went wrong with the engine. This is no excuse of course but, basically overall our consistency and speed is good. The first race of the year we were 59 seconds behind the winner, now we are 17 seconds and also we were with other riders fighting for positions so this has been a very big improvement. I’m quite satisfied. We started with the tyre we knew from practice and overall we are working quite well. Now I hope that Yamaha will help us with the chatter and maybe the engine a little bit. On the chassis side, the tyres are getting better and better but we need to work on the chassis as we can see the official team is struggling as well. I think it is a general problem with the Yamaha we must work together and even us with different tyres we are finding this problem but we will continue to work hard and hopefully we can continue to progress and improve the way we have done in the last four races. “.

James Ellison (13th +1’02.029 Fastest lap 1’25.634)
“I wish I could say I was happy but that would be far from the truth. I had very bad chattering for most of the race. The whole balance of the bike was really good but I couldn’t run it into turns very fast because of the chatter so I had to pull back and I couldn’t run the speed I wanted to. The tyres were working well but I couldn’t get the times I wanted. At the start I could see Colin and the rest of the boys and I kept them close for 10 laps or so but then the chatter starting getting worse and worse and it started happening in more areas of the track. I just had to bring it home so I’m happy I did that and got some more points for myself and the team but that’s about all I’m happy about as I’m pretty disappointed. I’ve had a chat to Carlos about the chatter as he has dealt with things like that for years. He told me that if you try to carry the speed going into the corner it just gets worse so you have to brake as hard as you can and then throw it in because he knows it’s going to chatter. I’ve just got to change my riding to adapt to it because, it takes a while as if a bike is chattering the last thing your brain is telling you is to just throw it in because you think you will crash. I’ve just got to get on with it and see what I can do. I really hope the next race at Laguna Seca is different because this year has become extremely frustrating. I can’t tell you how much I want to improve and get up to a pace I know I can run at.”

Herve Poncharal - Tech3 Yamaha Team Director
“Altogether, a very good weekend and the very best weekend for us so far this season. We were only 17 seconds behind the winner at the end so for sure this is by far the best result we have had. We were a bit worried about the second part of the race but the tyre was really stable and we have definitely gained on performance and durability of the Dunlop tyres. At the end of the race we were in front of Hopkins on the Suzuki and on Bridgestones. We were catching Vermeulen but just a bit too late to pass him – another lap and we would have! We could’ve been seventh, that’s no big deal but clearly we are happy we improving. To be 12 seconds in front of Edwards was another positive sign for us. We are not talking about Valentino because he is on another planet after what he has done today. To be the second Yamaha in the race, second Yamaha on the grid and fastest Yamaha in morning warm-up was extremely satisfying for everyone so it confirms that the Yamaha/Dunlop combination worked very well here at Sachsenring and the improvements are getting bigger and improving all the time. We have another race before the summer break so we hope to continue at this same pace and to be able to fight again for a top 10 finish. James rode a steady race as he didn’t finish that far from Colin which is ok. Both our riders were in the points. In the team’s championship we move up, Carlos is gaining some more points so we are happy.