Rio GP Results

Looks like the Honda parade just got bigger, with the top 5 spots covered by Red Riders. Nicky bagging a 5th is really nice. Looks like he's learning. Final results are:

Rio Moto GP Results:

1. Valentino Rossi, Honda, 24 laps, 44:36.633
2. Sete Gibernau, Honda, -3.109 seconds
3. Makoto Tamada, Honda, -7.298 seconds
4. Max Biaggi, Honda, - 9.235 seconds
5. Nicky Hayden, Honda, -11.165 seconds
6. Loris Capirossi, Ducati, -14.826 seconds
7. Tohru Ukawa, Honda, -17.361 seconds
8. Shinya Nakano, Yamaha, -21.239 seconds
9. Carlos Checa, Yamaha, -21.522 seconds
10. Troy Bayliss, Ducati, -22.971 seconds
11. Marco Melandri, Yamaha, -32.910 seconds
12. Alex Barros, Yamaha, -40.136 seconds
13. Colin Edwards, Aprilia, -54.099 seconds
14. Noriyuki Haga, Aprilia, -57.234 seconds
15. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Honda, -57.678 seconds
16. Jeremy McWilliams, Proton, -66.069 seconds
17. Kenny Roberts, Suzuki, -69.444 seconds
18. Andrew Pitt, Kawasaki, -82.461 seconds
19. David De Gea, Harris WCM, -1 lap
20. Garry McCoy, Kawasaki, -10 laps, DNF, retired
21. Nobuatsu Aoki, Proton, -13 laps, DNF, retired
21. Chris Burns, Harris WCM, -16 laps, DNF, retired
22. Olivier Jacque, Yamaha, -17 laps, DNF, retired

DNS. John Hopkins, Suzuki



From a press release issued by Honda Racing Press Information:

Rossi win gives Honda 15th manufacturers' title

Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V) swept all before him at one of his favourite racetracks and scored his sixth race win of the 2003 season. It was enough to ensure that Honda would become champion manufacturer for the 15th time, with four races still to go.

Rossi’s ability to lap Rio faster than his peers was perfectly demonstrated when he passed early race leader Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) on lap nine. He broke the lap record on two consecutive laps, and left Rio with the new best of 1:50.453 to add to his winner’s trophy.

Once past Gibernau only a mistake looked like costing him the race and he won with room to spare in the final analysis, securing a straight six race wins at Rio, four in the premier class.
“That was a very, very good race,” said Rossi “In the past I have made good races here, especially in the big bikes – it’s fun for me and the track is medium fast with long corners, very good for my style. Our set-up was right and the suspension was particularly good. We have had troubles in this area in the past. Now we have a consistent team working in this area and it shows. Today the bike was perfect.”

A wonderful day for Honda put Gibernau second and five Hondas placed in the top five. Every single one of Honda’s seven entries in MotoGP took a points score of some kind.

Aside from Rossi’s excellence Makoto Tamada (Pramac Honda RC211V) was in position to be voted man of the meeting, taking his first MotoGP podium in his rookie season, after a ride through from seventh to third on his Bridgestone tyres.

The only possible cloud on Rossi’s scorching raceday horizon was the fact that Gibernau was a safe and confident second, making a perfect recovery from a final qualifying crash. Second in the championship, Gibernau lost only five points to Rossi overall.

The Spaniard was aware that things could have been a whole lot worse, after his bad luck in qualifying.

“I felt really bad this morning so thanks to the staff at the Clinica Mobile for helping me to race,” said Gibernau. “Valentino had a little more than us today so I rode my own race.”

Tamada, rode the race of his life into third, and set some of his fastest laps in the closing sector of the race.

“A great race,” said an understandably delighted Tamada. “I knew our potential so I just had to get up to the front to make the most of it. I delayed slowing sown for as long as possible and then worked really hard on the brakes. I put all my heart and all my determination into it. Thank you Bridgestone and thank you team!”

Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons Honda RC211V) had to settle for fourth place after experiencing some difficulties. Harried by Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) for a time, he pushed at just the right moment to protect his strong points score.
“I was a little slow today I just couldn’t accelerate and I had too much wheelspin,” said Biaggi. “I don’t understand but I think I have a problem with the engine management system.”

Loris Capirossi (Ducati) was overhauled by an ever-improving Nicky Hayden who took fifth place, for a fistful of Honda success on raceday.

“I guess I should be happier with fifth,” he stated. “I got an awesome start and I was right up there. The bike felt good but it was difficult to hold on when Valentino really pulled the field. I picked up a little vibration about five laps from the end and things didn’t feel right at all. I guess I’m a little disappointed with the result. I’ve had fifth before and I really didn’t think a podium today was unrealistic.”

Tohru Ukawa (Camel Pramac Pons Honda RC2111V) was disappointed with his race at Rio, experiencing similar sensations to his team-mate Biaggi.

“We had a little bit less top speed and there was a lot of spinning from the rear from the start, which did not help,” said Ukawa. “I could only go at a certain speed but my laps were consistent. Towards the end, as other rider’s tyres started to spin, I could move forward to seventh as they dropped back. I tried my best, as always. I look forward to Motegi and my home race.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Team Telefonica Movistar Honda RC211V) secured 15th place and one championship point, but it could have been more according to his own affirmation.

“It was a shame because I had a really bad start to the race,” explained Kiyonari. “I made a big mistake which made me lose a lot of time, but then really gave it everything I had and was able to get in the points.”

Rossi’s win, his third in succession, has put him 51 points ahead of Gibernau, with Biaggi third. The standings after Rio are, Rossi 262, Gibernau 211, Biaggi 174, Capirossi 123, Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 112.
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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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