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VD. Goorbergh takes sixth in debut – the biggest surprise yet of 2005

VD. Goorbergh takes sixth in debut – the biggest surprise yet of 2005

VD. Goorbergh takes sixth in debut – the biggest surprise yet of 2005

Dutch rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh left the MotoGP world astonished yesterday when he took sixth place in the first ever Chinese GP in his MotoGP debut.

The Dutch rider – riding for Konica Minolta as a stand-in for injured rider Makoto Tamada – started the water-logged race far back in a distant nineteenth position before running a strong and consistent race to finish in sixth place behind veteran riders Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau.

Having moved into the world of MotoGP just one week ago from the world of Supersport, the Dutchman's result in the historic Chinese GP stands as the most unexpected and astonishing result of the season so far.

"I'm very happy with my performance," said Goorbergh after the GP. "It was really hard in the first few laps because there was a lot of water on the track and it was impossible to see who I had in front of me, but thanks to the great setting we found during the warm up I managed to pass many opponents.

"The bike had a great balance which allowed me to be fast, constant and without wearing out the tyres. Therefore, after having reached the fifth position I felt I could aim for the podium. But in the last few laps I decided to don't jeopardize the hard work carried out during the weekend and I controlled the situation of the race. I have to thank the Team for how they have welcomed me and for their competency in approaching the race."

The sixth place finish for Van den Goorbergh also added another ten points to the Konica Minolta team score to put them into eighth place in the world standings on eighteen points.

"I'm very satisfied about Jurgen's performance and with how the Team made it to concretize today's result," said Luca Montiron, Konica Minolta Honda Team Manager.

"From the beginning of the warm up we understood that we had good opportunities to conquer a good position in the race, which could have become even better if we had more time to try different solutions of tyres we had at our disposal.

"We were aware of Jurgen's reliability and I think his sensibility and his experience made the difference on this race with such a wet track. I think our Konica Minolta Honda Team supported the rider in the best way possible during the weekend of competition to prepare the bike in the best race configuration for him.

"We all know how hard it is to pass from one category to another in just a few days like Jurgen has done, but thanks to the excellent Honda RC211V and the hard work that we have lavished we have reached an unexpected result. I want to thank Konica Minolta, Honda and Michelin for the trust they gave us."

"The teams delight at the Dutchman's outstanding result was echoed by Technical Director Giulio Bernardelle. "Valuable performance by Jurgen. We were preoccupied about the rear tyre wear out but the setting of the bike defined this morning permitted us to end the race without any problems.

"Van der Goorbergh's race gains even more value if we consider that before the race he had only ridden our bike in the five sessions of the Chinese GP."


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