MotoGP: Camel Yamaha Team progress dampened in Istanbul


Round: 3 - 2006 MotoGP Turkey
Circuit: Istanbul
Date: 29 April 2006
Temp: 12ºC
Weather: Wet

Local weather forecasts predicting heavy rain for today's qualifying session at the Grand Prix of Turkey were borne out today as an early downfall and intermittent afternoon showers thwarted the Camel Yamaha Team's hopes of improving their YZR-M1 machines ahead of tomorrow's 22-lap race. After struggling to find an ideal setting for the demanding Istanbul Park circuit in yesterday's free practices, both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi had hoped to complete some dry laps before this afternoon's crucial grid decider but they were forced to splash their way through the puddles and battle hard for ninth and eleventh place respectively.

Edwards' cause wasn't helped by a heavy fall in the morning session, which left him nursing several bruised joints, whilst Rossi has yet to get comfortable with his bike in either wet or dry conditions. For the second successive race, pole position went to an Australian rookie as Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) showed impressive wet pace with a fastest lap of 2'04.617, holding off the challenge of yesterday's pacesetter Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Sete Gibernau (Ducati), who complete the front row.

Colin Edwards (9th - 2'07.334, 21 laps)

"I had a big highside this morning and came down heavily on my head, shoulders and knee. It was pretty painful but after two laps back on the bike you soon forget about that. To be honest I felt quite comfortable in the wet but if we want to be competitive in this race we have to find another two seconds from somewhere and I'm not quite sure where at the moment. Our tyre rivals seem to have an advantage but I also have to say 'hats off' to Nicky Hayden - I'm not sure how close he was to ending one of those laps on the floor but he showed that Michelin have a good wet tyre so we clearly need to find the performance from our own bike. Wet or dry we have to pull a result out from somewhere tomorrow, but after this afternoon's session I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed for sunshine in the morning."

Valentino Rossi (11th - 2'07.552, 20 laps)

"We're having a lot of difficulty, not just at this track but during this period. Unfortunately the problem with the bike came late in the pre-season and we have not had time yet to fully understand it. It means we are off the pace here in the wet and the dry, but we don't completely understand why. It seems that our tyre competitor is strong here but we can't blame this. Nicky Hayden was very fast all day and after him the next Michelin rider is Casey Stoner; with the amount of MotoGP experience he has in these conditions we should be in front of him. I'm surprised, because last year our bike was really good in the wet and after the new bike worked so well at Catalunya during the rainy pre-season tests I was confident it would be good today as well, but it has been the opposite. I don't have enough confidence in the front to lean the bike over as much as I would like on the entry to the corners and not enough grip on the rear to make it up on the exit. If it's dry tomorrow then we have some things to try in the morning, but if the conditions are the same as today then it's going to be very hard for us."

Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team Director

"We are clearly in a very difficult situation at the moment and we need to first understand our problems before we can work to improve them. The engineers are looking at the data as we speak and seeing if we can come up with something for tomorrow. Our team have shown in the past that they are capable of producing quick solutions and I have full confidence in them; somehow we have to find a better performance in the wet and in the dry conditions."

Rain causews frustration in qualifying for Tech 3 Yamaha Team

The overcast skies and showers that greeted the Tech 3 Yamaha Team at the Istanbul Park circuit today caused many headaches as they searched for a suitable set-up in the miserable conditions at the undulating track. Rainwater pooled at various places on the track during today's sessions, making riding treacherous, but Carlos Checa and team mate James Ellison were determined to work through a variety of options in order to find the best race set-up.

Despite their hard work, the contrasting elements over the two days of practice and qualifying conspired to hamper their attempts for a satisfactory solution, and the pair could only manage 15th and 19th positions respectively for tomorrow's 22-lap race.

Carlos Checa (15th 2'10.322, 20 laps)

"The rain caused many problems for me and I can't say I'm very happy with my qualifying position. We had some settings for the dry to try today but the bad weather changed all of it. If the rain is still here tomorrow it will be important to get a good start to improve my position early. If we can do that and with the direction we are heading in, with our choice of tyres and set-up, we have a chance of a good result. This morning we seemed to have found a good direction in the very wet conditions and this afternoon wasn't so wet but we also made some more good progress, but as I said I am not really happy with the final result. We should remember that Dunlop haven't got very much experience with wet weather tyres on MotoGP bikes, but I think that no matter what the conditions are we have made positive improvements ahead of the race."

James Ellison (19th 2:12.298 19 laps)

"I would be lying if I said I was happy. With the amount of water on the track and the slower times it was impossible for the tyres to hold their heat on the straight so that made it very difficult when I wanted to start pushing hard into the corners. Dunlop is learning all the time and that is part of being with one of those teams that are developing tyres at the same time. With the feedback we are giving them, I'm confident that it will work well for us in the future considering the experience the other tyre manufacturers have in all conditions."

Herve Poncharal - Tech 3 Yamaha Team Director

"It was a good chance to have a proper wet tyre test with many tyres to choose from and we proved to be quite competitive. We now have some useful information for Dunlop in our wet weather tyre development. I am confident that we will have a better result in the race than we have had in the dry and wet sessions of the last two days, because we know now which direction to go, even though we did not have enough time to test everything that we wished to."

Round: 3 - 2006 MotoGP Turkey
Circuit: Istanbul
Circuit Length: 5378
Lap Record: 1' 53.111 (Marco Melandri, 2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 52.334 (Sete Gibernau, 2005)
Date: 29 April 2006
Temp: 12ºC

Session 1 :
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying
1 C. Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 2' 4.617
2 N. Hayden Honda USA 2' 4.823
3 S. Gibernau Ducati ESP 2' 5.003
4 L. Capirossi Ducati ITA 2' 5.540
5 J. Hopkins Suzuki USA 2' 5.700
6 R. De Puniet Kawasaki FRA 2' 6.102
7 C. Stoner Honda AUS 2' 7.277
8 S. Nakano Kawasaki JPN 2' 7.294
9 C. Edwards Yamaha USA 2' 7.344
10 K. Roberts Team Roberts KR USA 2' 7.345
11 V. Rossi Yamaha ITA 2' 7.552
12 T. Elias Honda ESP 2' 7.763
13 M. Tamada Honda JPN 2' 8.143
14 M. Melandri Honda ITA 2' 8.393
15 D. Pedrosa Honda ESP 2' 10.956
16 C. Checa Yamaha ESP 2' 10.956
19 J. Ellison Yamaha GBR 2' 12.298