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Old 04-04-2003, 03:11 AM   #1
drthompson65
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Default Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times

Nicky, Nicky, Nicky, only 23rd?! Looks like the cube and Colin and doing good in 9th.
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Old 04-04-2003, 03:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times

It's been raining. You'd be carrying on to draw to many conclusions from that.
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Old 04-04-2003, 03:38 AM   #3
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Default 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.
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:23 AM   #4
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Default 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.
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:12 AM   #5
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Default 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.
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:13 AM   #6
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Default 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.



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Old 04-04-2003, 06:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Japanese GP Qualifying Times

BTW, what happened to Jeremy Mcwilliams? I know Melandri crashed and broke his leg, but did McWilliams crash too?
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:22 AM   #8
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Default 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.



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Old 04-04-2003, 06:28 AM   #9
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Default 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.
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:39 AM   #10
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Default 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 CRASH.net
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