2005 MotoGP Jerez Results

April 10, 2005
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

Gauloises Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi muscled his way past MoviStar Honda’s Sete Gibernau in the final turn, knocking the Spaniard off the track and winning the opening round of the 2005 season in the process. The move wasn’t widely accepted as a legit pass by the 127,000 Spanish fans or Gibernau for that matter. Marco Melandri joined his Telefonica teammate on the podium in third place after Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden crashed out of the battle for the lead late in the race. Until his untimely crash, Hayden had been the only other rider able to keep the lead duo in sight.

On the last lap  Rossi  46  punted race-leader Gibernau  15  off the track on the last turn and stole the win - Jerez
Valentino Rossi: “We touched, but motorbike races are sometimes like this. I know Sete is not happy but there are going to be 16 more races this year and there will be many more hard battles.”

The battle between Rossi and Gibernau did have the fans on their feet and screaming their brains out for nearly the entire 27-lap race. The rivals battled back and forth, passing and repassing in an amazing display of riding that hopefully will set the tone for the type of competition we’ll have this year.

Rider and Team Quotes:
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) – 1st
“That was an amazing race, an incredible victory and really difficult, especially after the fall I had this morning in the warm-up. Luckily I wasn’t hurt and the team did a great job to fix the problem and set up my other bike for the race. Gibernau set a fast pace from the start but I just tried to stay with him and then attacked at the end. I got in front but I made a mistake on the last lap on the braking and Gibernau got past. We passed each other again in the fast rights but I got a better exit and there was enough space for me to pass him in the final corner, it was the only place where I could pass. We touched, but motorbike races are sometimes like this. I know Sete is not happy but there are going to be 16 more races this year and there will be many more hard battles. The level of this race was really high.”

Sete Gibernau (MoviStar Honda) – 2nd
“We set a really fast pace throughout the race and in the end I slowed down a little to see where Valentino’s strong points were. We pressured each other hard and in the end I have the peace of mind that I did everything I could and that in general we’re already at a high level at the first race. It’s going to be a long and hard championship. I don’t want such a great race to be reduced to what happened in the final corner. I love this sport and I don’t want to get involved in politics, I just want to stay strong and calm and remain focused on our dream. I led the race from the start, I wanted to have a look at Rossi’s pace and I think it was the right strategy. We have to keep going now.”

Marco Melandri (MoviStar Honda) – 3rd
“To make my Honda debut at Jerez and finish on the podium is more than I could have dreamed of. I’d never been on the podium at this circuit and I want to share the moment with Gresini, Honda, Michelin and MoviStar. At the start of the race I tried to follow Sete but his pace was incredible so I just focused on my own race and tried to hold my position. Then Hayden made a mistake and I moved up to third. A front row start and a podium finish give me a lot of confidence for Estoril.”

Alex Barros (Camel Honda) – 4th
“I can’t say I’m satisfied with fourth place, especially because of how it came about. I’m happy when I fight at the front, for podium positions, not when I’m so behind. If I was fourth and one second behind, then fine, I can say I was there or thereabouts, that I lost the battle with the others, looking to win it. But so far away, I can’t say that I’m happy. I paid a high price for my start, when I made the mistake of not engaging the electronic start system and I was caught in the traffic. Then I ran wide as I tried to go past, and at the end it took me half a race to get up to the right pace: by then the front group was much too far away. Nevertheless, this is only the first race, and now I have to do better in Estoril.”

Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) – 5th
“This is a fantastic start to the season for Kawasaki’s new big-bang motor; I’m obviously very happy. All the engineers at Kawasaki have done an excellent job, the engine was strong and there is more performance to come. Also my Bridgestone tires were very good in these conditions. From the start I pushed very hard, but I just could not stay with the leading group, it was difficult to keep pace riding alone. I kept pushing until the finish and even when Barros overtook me I could follow his pace and I didn’t lose any more positions.”

Troy Bayliss (Camel Honda) – 6th
“I’m quite happy. I think that sixth isn’t a bad result for the first race with a new bike. I’m happy for the team too. We still have a long season ahead of us, and I need and want to get on that bike and do some good races. I feel good, now my motivation is even greater and I can’t wait for the Portuguese GP next week.”

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) – 9th
“The setting we found for the bike at the tests and during qualifying didn’t seem to work after the change in conditions, and with the wind and the dust this morning we decided to make some adjustments. We basically went back to the base setting we’d found at the Phillip Island and Catalunya tests but it didn’t work in the way we had hoped. It was a difficult race; it was hard for me to get any traction down. Despite that I was in the fight for sixth until another rider sneaked past on the inside and I lost touch with the group I was following. We were searching for something and didn’t find it but we’ve learnt a lot as a team this weekend. Now we have to move on and put this lesson to good use at Estoril.”

Max Biaggi (Repsol Honda Team) – 7th
“This is not a GP to forget about: this is a GP to remember very well. It’s not the situation to describe my race. In Italy we say that you don’t have to move the knife inside the scar. I don’t want to do it. From the place we started our result could have been much worse. I’m not even satisfied with my coming back. But I’m serene, because I know I gave the best until the chequered flag. Anything more could not be possible. With my riding condition it’s already a result that I didn’t fall. I leave with a big question mark on my shoulder, heavy like rock. Not only for me, I hope.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda) – 8th
“Unluckily I have lost some positions during the start and this didn’t allow me to try to remain with the fastest group. After some laps I have conquered back some position by keeping a good rhythm, but just after half of the race I hade some complications in entering each turn. For this motive I had to fight until the last lap without the full potential of my RC211V to don’t risk to lose all the hard work done during the Spanish weekend.”

Carlos Checa (Ducati) – 10th
“To be honest, I didn’t even expect to finish the race. At first things weren’t too bad, but then Tamada made contact with me while trying to pass on the brakes. That hurt the shoulder again, then Barros and Bayliss came past and I couldn’t stay with Biaggi and Edwards when they attacked. Physically and technically it’s been a tough weekend, so all things considered, this isn’t such a bad result.”

Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki) – 11th
“That was a tough battle in the wind and on a very dusty track. I didn’t make my best start, but I was able to make some moves and be eighth on lap one . It was a very fast pace at the front and I had a very good race with the group that included Edwards, Checa and then Biaggi. I was able to run the same pace through most of the race and had no problems with the new big-bang motor or the Bridgestone tyres. I think I showed my potential today against the guys I raced with.”

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) – 12th
“First of all I’m really happy because I finished my first MotoGP, and I finished it in the points. It all went as we had hoped and I even had a chance to have a good battle with a few quality riders at one stage. Right now I need to keep progressing in this way… keep learning and developing as I have until now. I believe it was a really positive day and I’m even surprised that my physical condition at the end of the race was so good, because it wasn’t as physically demanding as I had expected.”

Loris Capirossi (Ducati) – 13th
“My thanks to the Clinica Mobile who made it possible for me to race. I did my best but unfortunately I wasn’t able to ride the bike the way I like to ride it. I had problems shifting gears and so I made a few mistakes. I tried as hard as I could and I managed to finish. The result isn’t great but two or three points are always better than none.”

John Hopkins (Suzuki) – 14th
“I’m really upset with today’s race as it’s not where I wanted to finish. All that said and done though, I am pleased to have finished the first race of the season with some points. We did have a few problems with the wind and I could have gone with harder tyres, but that was my choice because I wanted to use the softer-compound Bridgestone race tires. Portugal is now 100 per cent in my sights and we have to take all the positives from this race and funnel them into next weekend.”

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) – 18th
“This was not an easy weekend! I wanted to start my first race with Yamaha in a steady way but I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong. I don’t know what happened in the last corner but clearly I made a mistake. I feel so bad for my team and my fans, that’s why I attempted to get back out there to do my best despite being so far back. I hope this won’t be repeated next weekend.”

Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) – DNF
“I felt the bike make a sudden, unexpected movement and knew straight away that I would have to come in. Up until that point, the bike felt ok. I’m disappointed for the team that we couldn’t finish. I am now looking forward to Portugal and the next race. We can definitely do better.”

Telefonica MoviStar Hondas Sete Gibernau led Rossi  46  nearly the whole race - Jerez
Sete Gibernau: “It’s going to be a long and hard championship. I don’t want such a great race to be reduced to what happened in the final corner. I love this sport and I don’t want to get involved in politics, I just want to stay strong and calm and remain focused on our dream.”

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team) – DNF
“I’m just so frustrated! Most of the weekend we had been going real well. I gotta’ good start and was right there. The boys pulled a bit of a gap but I managed to close it up again. It all felt pretty comfortable really. I had a good lead on fourth but I was pushing and in the end crashed on the brakes at the last corner. I’m so disappointed. We all worked so hard over the winter and to be so close at the first race and get no points is hard. My thumb’s a bit of a worry. I need to get it checked out.”

Sito Pons (Camel Honda )
“I am quite satisfied with our beginning to the season, it was a great team result in the first race, with two new riders and a lot of highs and lows during the winter. Alex made a great fightback today, after a weekend of problems and above all after a not too brilliant start. I’m happy for him. I’m also happy for Troy, because he had a great debut race after a tough off-season. I really think he is finding a feeling for the new bike and I think that he is getting the confidence with it, the best is surely yet to come. We’re on the right tracks though!”

Harald Eckl: Team Manager
“A very good start to the season with Shinya and Alex in the points, both with very consistent performances. This race has confirmed the performance potential of our new firing order motor and the Bridgestone tyres. Thanks to the work of everyone in the Kawasaki Racing Team we now have a very strong platform on which to build for the rest of the season.”

Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi’s crew chief
“In spite of the problems we had this morning, everything came good for the race – especially Valentino. He rode very intelligently behind Gibernau and then passed him at the end. He opened out 0.3 seconds in the first section and looked comfortable but he made a small mistake, which set up a brilliant finale. It’s a great start to the year for us – pole position, a new lap record and the race win. We couldn’t ask for more.”

Claudio Domenicali – Ducati Corse CEO
“A big thank you to Carlos and Loris, it must have been a very tough day for both of them. Of course, their injuries didn’t make things easier for the team as a whole, plus we have had a busy weekend testing our new engine-braking control system. In the end we decided to race with the standard system because after warm-up we found that the bikes had suffered excessive chain stretch when the riders made their usual practice starts. We hadn’t encountered this problem during testing with the new system. We stay here to test tomorrow, after which we will decide which system to use at Estoril next weekend.”

MotoGP Results:
1.Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
2. Sete Gibernau (Honda)
3. Marco Melandri (Honda)
4. Alex Barros (Honda)
5. Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki)
6. Troy Bayliss (Honda)
7. Max Biaggi (Honda)
8. Makoto Tamada (Honda)
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
10. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
11. Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki)
12. Toni Elias (Yamaha)
13. Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
14. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
15. Roberto Rolfo (Ducati)
16. James Ellison (Blata)
17. Franco Battaini (Blata)
18. Ruben Xaus (Yamaha)