250 and 125cc GP Results

Elliot Strong
by Elliot Strong
From Honda Racing Information

250 and 125cc GP Results from the Czech GP:

Robby Rolfo (Fortuna Honda Gresini NSR250) lost out on an almost certainpodium finish in the final stages of the 250cc Grand Prix, crashing afterlosing the front in his pursuit of eventual race winner Marco Melandri(Aprilia).

Taking the lead on lap five, Rolfo headed 12 of the 20 laps, beforesuccumbing to Melandri and then the fates on lap 18. Clearly disappointedwith his misfortune Rolfo stated; "In the early part of the race riding ina group was breaking my concentration. Everyone was taking so manydifferent lines, so I decided to push to the front early."

Rolfo continued; "I am sorry to have crashed and obviously I am not happyabout it but I only wanted to win, nothing less, and I pushed hard to takethe win. After Melandri passed me I was studying where I could pass him andI made a small mistake, holding the front brake on too long going into acorner. The front closed on me and my dream ended."

Despite his misfortune, Rolfo maintained his third place in the championship with his 127 points, 68 behind Melandri's total of 195 and 31adrift of Aprilia rider Fonsi Nieto's 158.

David Garcia (Fortuna Honda Gresini NSR250) finished his first 250 race of the year in tenth place, a sterling effort from Emilio Alzamora's temporaryreplacement in the Fortuna camp. Garcia was enthusiastic about hisperformance, especially after a long lay-off from GP racing.

"The plan before the race was just to finish, especially after falling onSaturday morning and losing some set-up time," he said. "So for me tofinish in the top ten is a good achievement first time out on the NSR. Ihave not been in a 250GP for a year, and I think it shows people what I canstill do."

After Rolfo's untimely exit Haruchika Aoki (Arie Molenaar Racing HondaRS250R/W) had the honour of taking top Honda slot, in ninth. Riding anevolution of the privateer RS250R/W, Aoki said; "The bike felt good in thewarm-up, in the race a little slower. But we did some really good laptimes, so I am not so unhappy. I benefited from the exit of Checa andBattaini, and gained a couple of places; I'm not so happy to be beaten overthe line by Matsudo."

The top fully private Honda was ridden by Jason Vincent (By QuerosenoRacing Honda RS250R/W) who took 12th place, with his team-mate Leon Haslam17th. The last two finishers, in 19th and 20th places, were Henk van denLangemaat (De Graff Grand Prix Honda RS250RW) and Gabor Rizmayer (BirdRacing Team Honda RS25R/W).

Daniel Pedrosa (Telefonica Movistar Jr Team Honda RS125R) took second placein what transpired to be another desperately close 125cc race, with thelast five of the 19 laps being contested like they were the final one.

The young Spaniard was leading at one stage, until the multi-rider fightfor supremacy temporarily demoted him to eighth. A clever strategy saw himresurgent in the final laps and fight back to be in a podium position atthe flag.

"I am happy with second because there were so many riders in the leadinggroup, so much overtaking and touching of fairings that I did not want tobe in the middle of it on the last laps," said Pedrosa. "I tried to get tothe front with two or three laps to go, but I couldn't quite get into thelead. I was sliding a bit by that time so I could not try for the win onthe last few corners."

The race was won by Lucio Cecchinello (Aprilia), and with WorldChampionship leader Manual Poggiali (Gilera) in fifth, Pedrosa made someground in the overall championship chase. Poggiali now leads Arnaud Vincent(Aprilia, third in Brno) 171 points to 169, with Pedrosa close behind on 160.

Joan Olive (Telefonica Movistar Jr Team Honda RS125R) crashed out afterfalling on lap seven, undoing the good work he had done to jump from 12thon the grid to fourth after a single lap.

Olive gave it his all, but paid the price of being forced to override inthe later stages. "The crash was a pity because I made a good start andeven got as high as third," said the Junior team rider. "I saw I could runwith the leading group without problems, but the bike started to slide tothe point where it became unrideable. I had to take a lot of risks to keepthe pace and eventually crashed."

An all Honda battle between Mika Kallio (Red Devil Honda RS125R), GaborTalmacsi (Pev Moto ADAC Sachsen Honda RS125R) and Masao Azuma (Tribe byBreil Honda RS125R) finished in that order, with Kallio eventually tenth.

Team Honda Quotes:

250cc:
Haruchika Aoki, DeGraaf RS250R-W Honda, 9th: "The bike was very good in themorning warm up, better than yesterday but in the race it was a littleslower. It was difficult to make a really good lap time. Still, I'm not sounhappy. I was lucky with the crash between Checa and Battaini, which gaveme two places, but I'm not happy about being caught by Matsudo. We aremaking progress each time we take the bike out and I pleased with that. Weshall see more improvements by Estoril."

David Garcia, Fortuna Honda Gresini, 10th: "I'm really happy to finish 10that such a difficult track, and the first time on an NSR250. I think that Iused Emilio Alzamora's bike very well. Now is the time for Emilio toreturn. Next Sunday I race in the Spanish Supersport Championship. I saygoodbye to grand prix racing but you will see me again in Valencia, on aKR3 Proton MotoGP machine."

Roberto Rolfo, Fortuna Honda Gresini, crashed: "I'm so sorry because I washaving a great race. I stayed in the group for some time and then attackedwhen I understood that I could maintain my line and my concentration. Therace finished in a way that I couldn't imagine: after Melandri passed me Iwas studying where I could pass him and I made a mistake holding the frontbrake too long going into the corner. The front end closed on me and mydream ended. Anyway my objective was only a victory and I can say I tried."

Fausto Gresini: "Roberto went very well because he tried to win. Unluckilyduring the race anything can happen. My congratulations to Garcia: he madea good race and showed he is really professional."

125cc:
Dani Pedrosa, Telefonica MoviStar Honda, 2nd: "We made some goodimprovements in practice, but we still had some doubts about the raceperformance of the bike. In fact from the sixth lap, it started to slide, but the problem didn't get any worse. The front group was big, and changingplaces constantly, which made us ride at a slower pace, but with a lot ofrisk. Three laps from the end I decided it was time to fight for victory.It wasn't quite possible, but these 20 points are very valuable. It's agood way of starting the second part of the championship after the summerbreak, and I am looking forward to getting to Portugal to keep up the hardwork."

Mika Kallio, Red Devil Honda, 10th: "I got a good start but on lap one Uiran wide and took me with him. It cost me about four places but moreimportantly I did not get on the back of the lead group. After that it wasalways going to be a difficult race for me. The bike was very good and Icould run the same lap times as the leaders, so I'm happy about that."

Gabor Talmacsi, PEV Moto ADAC Sachsen, 11th: "I'm little bit disappointedwith my result. I normally make good starts but not today. Points are veryimportant at this stage of the season but the bike was just not fast enoughtoday. It's a pity because many fans came here from Hungary to watch merace."

Joan Olive, Telefonica MoviStar Honda, crashed: "The crash was a pity,because I made a good start, and even got as high as third. I saw I couldrun with the leading group without problems, but the bike started to slide to the point that it was unrideable. I had to take a lot of risks to tryto keep the pace, and finally I crashed. Such a pity, because immediately afterwards the group started to ride a second slower, which would have played to my advantage. The team has been working to the maximum to try to solve our problems, but this time it wasn't possible."Results:

250cc:

Race Classification 250cc (20 laps = 108.06 km)Pos/Rider/ Nation/ Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h1/Marco MELANDRI /ITA /MS Aprilia Racing/APRILIA /41'41.572/155.5082/Sebastian PORTO /ARG /Petronas Sprinta Yamaha TVK/YAMAHA /41'48.595/155.0733/Toni ELIAS /SPA /Telefonica Movistar-Repsol/APRILIA /41'49.707/155.0044/Fonsi NIETO /SPA /Telefonica Movistar-Repsol/APRILIA /41'49.879/154.9935/Casey STONER /AUS /Safilo Oxydo Race LCR/APRILIA /41'52.894/154.8076/Randy DE PUNIET /FRA /Campetella Racing/APRILIA /41'53.208/154.7887/Roberto LOCATELLI /ITA /Tu Racing Team/APRILIA /41'58.560/154.4598/Naoki MATSUDO /JPN /Dark Dog Yamaha Kurz/YAMAHA /42'02.556/154.2159/Haruchika AOKI /JPN /DeGraaf Grand Prix Team/HONDA /42'02.574/154.21310/David GARCIA /SPA /Fortuna Honda Gresini /HONDA/42'11.831/153.65011/Ralf WALDMANN /GER /UGT 3000 - Abruzzo/APRILIA /42'11.929/153.64412/Jay VINCENT /GBR /Cibertel Honda BQR/HONDA /42'12.377/153.61613/Alex DEBON /SPA /Campetella Racing/APRILIA /42'25.164/152.84514/Dirk HEIDOLF /GER /Aprilia Germany/APRILIA /42'25.713/152.81215/Raul JARA /SPA /RFME Equipo Nacional/APRILIA /42'32.085/152.430Fastest Lap = Marco MELANDRI - 2'04.039 - 156.811 Km/hWorld Championship Positions:1 MELANDRI 195, 2 NIETO 158, 3 ROLFO 127, 4 ELIAS 102, 5 PORTO 94, 6BATTAINI 88, 7 LOCATELLI 87, 8 DE PUNIET 86, 9 MATSUDO 65, 10 ALZAMORA 63,11 DEBON 52, 12 STONER 44, 13 AOKI 42, 14 YUZY 38, 15 MIYAZAKI 25

125cc:

Race Classification 125cc : (19 laps = 102.657 km)Pos/Rider/ Nation/ Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h1/Lucio CECCHINELLO /ITA /Safilo Oxydo Race LCR/APRILIA /41'18.287/149.1212/Daniel PEDROSA /SPA /Telefonica Movistar jnr Team/HONDA /41'18.489/149.1093/Arnaud VINCENT /FRA /Imola Circuit Exalt Cycle Race/APRILIA/41'18.565/149.1044/Hector BARBERA /SPA /Master-Aspar Team/APRILIA /41'18.781/149.0915/Manuel POGGIALI /RSM /Gilera Racing/GILERA /41'18.782/149.0916/Steve JENKNER /GER /UGT 3000 - Abruzzo/APRILIA /41'19.004/149.0787/Simone SANNA /ITA /Tu Racing Team/APRILIA /41'19.188/149.0678/Alex DE ANGELIS /RSM /Safilo Oxydo Race LCR/APRILIA /41'19.596/149.0429/Gino BORSOI /ITA /UGT 3000 - Abruzzo/APRILIA /41'23.866/148.78610/Mika KALLIO /FIN /Red Devil Honda/HONDA /41'25.378/148.69511/Gabor TALMACSI /HUN /PEV Moto ADAC Sachsen/HONDA /41'25.647/148.67912/Masao AZUMA /JPN /Tribe by Breil/HONDA /41'32.613/148.26413/Stefano BIANCO /ITA /Bossini Sterilgarda Racing/APRILIA /41'32.632/148.26314/Mirko GIANSANTI /ITA /Scot Racing Team/HONDA /41'35.277/148.10515/Max SABBATANI /ITA /Bossini Sterilgarda Racing/APRILIA/41'36.393/148.039Fastest Lap : Lucio CECCHINELLO - 2'08.903 - 150.894 Km/hWorld Championship Positions:1 POGGIALI 171, 2 VINCENT 169, 3 PEDROSA 160, 4 CECCHINELLO 116, 5 JENKNER106, 6 SANNA 67, 7 NIETO 65, 8 DE ANGELIS 63, 9 UI 54, 10 BORSOI 54, 11 OLIVE 51,12 AZUMA 50, 13 KALLIO 43, 14 GIANSANTI 39, 15 DOVIZIOSO 32.
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