Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Words and comments from a crash-happy 125cc event at Philip Island

Words and comments from a crash-happy 125cc event at Philip Island

Words and comments from a crash-happy 125cc event at Philip Island

Only 17 riders survived the skating rink at Phillip Island on Sunday and while a Bridgestone tyre gamble paid off for the Ajo Honda team, many other stars of the junior class were resigned to a muddy bath.

Casey Stoner led his home GP for six laps and was defying the odds of the lottery, hopeful for his first ever race win before crashing out. The newly turned 18 year old said after his untimely exit: "I would have loved to have won today but I am not too disappointed as in the wet it takes a lot of luck and this was not my day. In the race the bike felt good and I was very comfortable. Going into Honda corner I made a mistake and the rear locked up, on the exit it felt like it was dragging. Then going through Lucky Heights the bike came around on me unexpectedly and I crashed."

The factory KTM team were chasing their highest ever set of results with Roberto Locatelli and Mika Kallio holding 6th and 7th respectively for several laps, but the tricky conditions caught the young Finn as well as the former World Champ. Kallio was first to go: "The opening laps were terrible; there was a lot of water on the track. Then after about six laps the rain eased and the lap times came down and I started to push but when I opened the throttle on the exit of the first gear hairpin, the rear end slid out and that was it, my race was over." Followed by Locatelli several laps later while in 5th: "For the first time this year I was in a good position and hoping for a good result. I was riding conservatively because the conditions were horrible, a lot of spray and water, and then the front end just went away, I don't what happened but perhaps something went wrong with the bike. I'm happy to be at least up the front during the race."

Andrea Dovizioso was a first lap faller and did his chances of taking the number two plate no good at all (he now sits 17 points behind Alex De Angelis, who crossed the line in 7th). However the ‘first crash of the day' award easily goes to Youichi Ui who slipped off on the warm-up lap! The Gilera team quickly repaired his bike on the grid and the veteran was more cautious in the race to successfully complete the distance in 11th: "It was very tricky out there. The day began badly because I lost control on the warm-up lap. I managed to make it back to the grid and the mechanics were able were able to fix the bike in record time so it was possible to start. I carefully negotiated the first few laps but then I found a decent rhythm and was able to fight-back."

Spanish team-mate Hector Barbera and Pablo Nieto are currently squabbling for 5th place in the standings and Barbera's 6th position yesterday helped him to a 9 point gap after Nieto was among the crashees. "I am not happy at all with how the day went and obviously my crash," reflected the latter. "During the race the rear tyre was giving me very little and there wasn't much feeling. Nine laps from the end I hit the ground and this is an outcome you simply have to accept when there is so much water. I was only 20 points away from the vice-champion position before but after this crash there is no chance."

Stefano Perugini has had a miserable couple of weeks with two DNFs in a row and now has a seven point deficit to make up to De Angelis if he wants second position overall. Mirko Giansanti sadly lost his distinction of being the only rider to have scored points at every GP when he also sampled the Aussie dirt four laps from the chequered flag while ninth.

Lucio Cecchinello has become the epitome of sinking confidence with yet another race crash. The Italian won two GPs in the first five rounds but since then has only scored points in two of the following ten races.

Lastly, on a positive note, former World Champion Emilio Alzamora finished the 23 laps down in 14th. The two points he scored was his first of the year at the 15th round and his best result of 2003.

125cc, 2003

Other updates you may be interested in ›