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drthompson65 04-04-2003 03:11 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Nicky, Nicky, Nicky, only 23rd?! :) Looks like the cube and Colin and doing good in 9th.

badsac 04-04-2003 03:13 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
It's been raining. You'd be carrying on to draw to many conclusions from that.

MoeMoe 04-04-2003 03:38 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
not to mention that Nicky fell off hard before the qualifing. At least he made the show. As we all know that is one of the hardest tracks to learn. Colin has a HUGE advantage over all of the other so called "Rookies" at this track, having won the 8 hour race there many times.

ValkBandit 04-04-2003 05:23 AM

Nicky Hayden ...
hayden is nearly SEVEN SECONDS off the pace. that, boys and girls, is an eternity. it appears the youngster has a long way to go. here's hoping he learns fast.

captainwhoopass 04-04-2003 06:12 AM

Re: Nicky Hayden ...
Nicky can be fast, but it seems like he can't really do it when he's riding by himself. I noticed this earlier this year in a testing session. On the first day, he was riding by himself and was about 3-4 seconds slower than Rossi. On the second day, following Rossi, he was within a half-second. However, if he can't go fast by himself, then that makes me question if he can lead a race and stay at the front.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 06:13 AM

Re: Nicky Hayden ...
In fairness, Nicky was pretty respectable (don't recall just where he stood) in the free practice -- the qualifying session was mixed wed and dry and results are more about the luck of having the right tires at the particular moment than any measure of bikes' or riders' performance.

Also, Nicky crashed very hard and, while uninjured, was reportedly very very sore (and probably a bit gun-shy in the wet) for the qualifying session.

From what I read, most started on intermediates/cut slicks, then as the track dried, some came in for slicks. Those who did so at the right time ended up with the best times. Many (eg Barros, Capi, Colin) switched to slicks just as the rain dumped again.


captainwhoopass 04-04-2003 06:13 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
BTW, what happened to Jeremy Mcwilliams? I know Melandri crashed and broke his leg, but did McWilliams crash too?

rsheidler 04-04-2003 06:22 AM

Melandri Crashes Badly
Marco Melandri (Fortuna Yamaha) crashed very badly -- highsided and reportedly the bike landed on him -- and was seriously injured. Qualifying was red-flagged while he was airlifted to a local hospital. Reports on his injuries are somewhat conflicting, but at least he suffered compound fractures of the leg and ankle, and by some reports, his foot was badly mangled. It also is reported that he broke his nose and may have fractures several bones in his face and/or skull. He reportedly lost a great amount of blood.

Much of this information comes from several Italian language sites, and as I don't really read Italian, I am reporting this second hand from others who do.

Hell of a way for one of the most promising of the new crop of riders to start his season. He will certainly miss at least the next several rounds. No official word on who will replace him, but there is speculation that Abe, who is the Yamaha test rider this year, and who is racing as a wild card this weekend on the prototype M1 might get the slot.


rsheidler 04-04-2003 06:28 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
You are absolutely right. However, it is even worst than that -- the fact that the conditions kept changing and that it would be dry one lap and very wet the next really confused things. Q-times ar more a matter of which riders happened to have slick at the time the track was dry the whole way around.

If it had just been raining the whole time, everyone would have been on rain tires, and at least the times would mean something.

The free practice times (which were mostly dry) are probably a better measure of where the riders and bikes stand.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 06:39 AM

Melandri Update
Apparently Melandri's highside was at 125 mph! Looks like reports of head injuries (other than broken nose) are not true -- fortunately. For more info

rsheidler 04-04-2003 07:37 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
According to, he had a mechanical problem on his #1 bike so they had to switch his #2 to the wet settings. I think he only got in 1 lap. Hopefully he will have a better chance tomorrow.


nokneedragin 04-04-2003 07:42 AM

Re: Nicky Hayden ...
Even when he was winning the AMA title last year and competing for before that, he rarely took the pole position (if ever). His qualifing times placed him at the front row or two, and he would then take it durring the race. Not that its any excuse for 7 seconds, but his style is to race the race and just be good enough at qualifing.

KPaulCook 04-04-2003 08:11 AM

KTM MotoGP bike picture

rsheidler 04-04-2003 08:46 AM

Provisional qualifying in 16th spot for the first time out is not bad at all -- of course it helps to have the reigning class champion as a rider.

Word is they will tackle MotoGP for 2005. I wouldn't take them too lightly!


Steven_Verschoor 04-04-2003 09:04 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Interestingly, it was Capirossi who was out front during the free practice.

His time of 2:04.604 put him 0.02s ahead of Valentino Rossi.

KPaulCook 04-04-2003 09:11 AM

ROAD RACING - U.S. MOTO GP Confirmed in 2004

rsheidler 04-04-2003 09:58 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
I understand that he was one of the many to get caught with the wrong tires at the wrong time -- intermediates while the track was drying and switching to slicks just as it started raining again.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 10:05 AM

News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
A bit off topic, but still racing-related....

In the first Superbike practice session at Fontana, the Suzuki GSX-R 1000's took the top three spots Yates, Spies and Mladin, followed by EBoz in the Kwacker (I think with the 800cc motor). Larry Pegram was quickest twin (Ducati), followed by Roger Lee Hayden (Honda 954). Quickest RC51 was Roberts in 8th.

If this is indicative of the way the season will go, expect to see a lot of the big gixxers this year!


rsheidler 04-04-2003 10:10 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
I understand that this was a REALLY hard crash -- he highsided in 4th gear and the bike cartwheeled over the retaining wall! Damned lucky he didn't end up like Marco or worse!

nokneedragin 04-04-2003 10:19 AM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
I can't keep up with Eboz's ride. One test the 800 the next back to the 750, and I think there is an intermediate desplacement bike he was testing also.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 10:34 AM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
You too?

They just finished the SuperSport practice -- Ben Spies was quickest followed by a bunch of Yamahas -- I think quickest Honda was 6th (I didn't save the ama live timing page and can't find results posted yet).

Looks like that obsolete POS little gixxer ain't dead yet! Spies looks like hot sh!t -- he is now leading the FX practice as well (now under red flag)


rsheidler 04-04-2003 10:56 AM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
SuperSport times now posted CLICK HERE

SuperStocks are now on track, but Sean doesn't yet appear on the live timing -- there are apparently a bunch of transponders that don't match to a rider name/number (I assume because they are newly licensed)

rsheidler 04-04-2003 11:09 AM

Where is Sean?
All the transponders seem to have rider names attached now, and still no Sean on the live timing.

Tommy Hayden is at the top on the Kawasaki 636 so it looks like the concept works. Where is our Sean?

hucaby 04-04-2003 11:34 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
I guess to all of you who said that Ducati was faster and better than Aprilia, let me just say: it shows! Edwards=9th, Bayliss=13th, and Capirossi=15th. Are you guys still gonna bet against the Aprilia? C'mon! Let's be real! The only way Ducati is gonna win is if they have their own series and rules, kinda like SBK. When was the last time they won an AMA championship? They even can't do that anymore. The only resemblance they have with Ferrari is the use of colors, not racing heritage!

Steven_Verschoor 04-04-2003 11:44 AM

Re: Where is Sean?
Thanks, Bob. Keep this info coming. I'm on the edge of my seat.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 11:54 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Of course if you go by the free practice which was dry, Capirossi was first, and Haga was 7th with Colin 8th.

If you believe that the qualifying times in those screwy weather conditions are valid measures of bike/rider capability, I guess you think that Kenny Robert's Suzuki is better than Alex Barros' Yamaha! Or maybe that proves that Bridgestone tires are better than Dunlops and most Michelins since Tomada was faster than all the Dunlop riders and all but 4 Michelin riders. I guess that also means that Burns WCM is faster than Nicky's RCV?

I am not yet prepared to say which bike is currently better, but both are one hell of a lot better than anyone could reasonably have predicted a few months ago. Either can conceivably get on the podium right now.

Regards (yeah, right!)


KPaulCook 04-04-2003 11:56 AM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Yipee, I am just glad it won't be like WSB, the Ducati Cup. AMA did something right. Diversity is good thing.

KPaulCook 04-04-2003 11:59 AM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
I am just happy there is a Ducati and Apilia in the race along with Kawaski.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:09 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Unless something changed at the very end, Tommy Hayden put the 636 up front for that practice session (I actually had to do some work -- how inconsiderate of my co-workers) and didn't catch the final minutes.

Superbike qualification is underway now -- Mladin and Yates have been trading spots up front, while BBoz seems to have pulled his head out of his ass and in in a close third (he was 10th this morning). Opps, now BBoz is in second!

No sign of Pegram, after being 5th this morning. Oh, he is now out on the track. Has done 4 laps but not yet matching this morning's times.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:14 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Where is Ben Spies? He was 2nd fastest this morning, and fastest in almost everything else (Supersport and FX). Maybe he is sitting our this session to concentrate on the 600 Supersport qualification which comes in a few minutes.

There is a second qualifying session for Superbike tomorrow, but only the one for Supersport and Superstock.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:22 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
I agree with you in principal (that AMA did a much better job than WSB) but the actual diversity is not all that different. Count the percentage of the AMA field on Suzukis and compare to the percentage of Ducatis in the WSB. I have not actually done this, but perhaps it is not as far off as you might think. Of course if you look at the top 10 fastest, you get, well, probably about the same thing also. OK, right now at Fontana we have Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki and Duc in the top 10, while at Phillip Island, we had only 3 different makes -- Ducati, Suzuki, Proton.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:29 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Damn, Matt is on a tear! 3/4 sec faster than Yates and almost 1-1/2 sec ahead of Ben! Wonder if this time is valid. There are some glitches with the transponders -- they showed some guy named Jensen having done a 23 sec lap! Fixed that now.

Holy sh!t, Pegram just grabbed third! 1-1/2 sec faster than Gobert on the other Duc!

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:30 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Now Gobert responded and took over a sec off his previous time to move to 4th, ahead of Ben! Damn, I wish I was there!

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:40 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Session is red flagged with about 10 minutes scheduled time.

Note that Ben Spies' 600 Supersport time this morning would be fast enough to have in in 12th currently in Superbike! Not bad for an obsolete POS!

As of this time, the top spots are SUZ, SUZ, DUC, DUC, HON, HON, KAW, so I guess KPaul has a good point about diversity in AMA.

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:51 PM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Kawasaki is in the race? Just pulling your chain a bit!

Who is your pick for the win? Per, 90% chance of rain tomorrow (so probably today's Q-times will stand for most) but 0% Sunday.

If it is dry, I'm picking Kato to win. If it is wet, it could be Ukawa or one of the other Japanese riders, or Sete, Rossi or Barros (in more or less that order of priority).

I predict that both Ducati and Aprilia will be in the top 10, wet or dry. The best Kawasaki will beat the WCM but not the best Proton. Oh yeah, if it is dry, Hopper beats his teammate Kenny what's his name)!

rsheidler 04-04-2003 12:54 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
Now Roberts and Duhamel have pulled it out and leapfrogged into 3 and 4. SUZ SUZ, HON HON, DUC DUC

rsheidler 04-04-2003 01:01 PM

Re: News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)
At almost the last moment, EBoz pulls our a fast lap to move to 4th (from something like 8-10th),

Mladin 1 25.123

Yates 1 25.928

Kurtis 1 26.146

EBoz 1 26.259

Pegram 1 26.308

Duhamel 1 26.408

GoShow 1 26.460

BBoz 1 26.496

Chandler 1 28.081

Higbee 1 28.738

One more session tomorrow morning. Damn, Mladin is effin fast!

captainwhoopass 04-04-2003 01:15 PM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Okay, hiccup, if you read about this you'll see it was in intermittent rain, where tire choice makes far more difference than what bike you are on... if it dries out, you will see the Ducati go faster.

It also helps that Colin has raced at Suzuka 8 or 9 times vs. 0 for Bayliss...

captainwhoopass 04-04-2003 01:22 PM

Re: Where is Sean?
It looks like Sean is running around 18th (of 40), according to

I think he's #727.

Steven_Verschoor 04-04-2003 01:23 PM

Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times
Found Sean. He's done 10 laps and is currently in 17th place. He's running with the odd-numbered plates. I guess when you factor in the next heat, he'd be somewhere around 34th.

C'mon, Sean!

PS: his plate number 727

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