Originally published by Julian Ryder on Sunday, September 24, 2006
|Nicky Hayden got a dreadful start, the bike hopped about off the line, then had a good first lap but got stuck behind Elias for too long. When he did get past the Spaniard he worked hard to get up to Nakano and Gibernau…|
Not much to report about the race that you can’t gather from the Quote Factory: Capirossi was untouchable although Melandri had a go, but he made a mistake doing it and dropped back into Rossi’s claws. Sete rode well, again, and the Suzukis and Kawasakis had a bad day. Stoner crashed showing at the front and then starting to drop back. Nicky Hayden got a dreadful start, the bike hopped about off the line, then had a good first lap but got stuck behind Elias for too long. When he did get past the Spaniard he worked hard to get up to Nakano and Gibernau, it looked like he wasn’t going to make a pass then Shinya dropped it trying to make a pass on the last lap.
That gifted Nicky what might be a precious extra point come Valencia. Much more interesting were the politicking before the race and the first public tests of most of the 800s tomorrow. Nicky intends to do a few shakedown laps on the Honda before getting on with the serious business of sorting out his 990. Most action surrounded the ongoing bad feeling over the yellow flag problem in Oz. The GP Commission sat yesterday and had what they called ‘free and frank’ discussions, and decide to start their campaign of action by writing to the Phillip Island authorities to point out that their officials started the who problem. Which kind of avoids the issue. Mr Kanazawa’s letter to FIM President Zerbi effectively calling for changes in race Direction was not addressed by the press statement issued. Two of the four-man Race Direction committee, Paul Butler and Claude Danis, sit on the Commission. That diverting sideshow apart, the rest of the action concerned who’s where next year. After the Motegi round of gossip, Nakano is thought to be going to Konica Minolta Honda and taking Bridgestone tires with him, while Marco Melandri is the hot tip for the second Ducati seat. That might keep Toni Elias in a job at Team Gresini. On Monday he’ll get to see the Ducati and Honda 800s on track together, which might concentrate his mind.