New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Mixed feelings for Repsol Honda Team

Mixed feelings for Repsol Honda Team

Mixed feelings for Repsol Honda Team

Repsol Honda Team riders Max Biaggi and Nicky Hayden finished the Grand Prix Alice de France in fifth and sixth place respectively in front of 75,000 racing fans today, but the riders had mixed emotions about Le Mans.

Biaggi had an incredible weekend. In the all-important warm-up this morning the four-time world champion lost the rear end of his RC211V on the fourth lap and suffered impact to his back and left side in the incident. He was treated in the medical centre where serious bruising was diagnosed to his lower back, left knee and the left ankle he broke last November. He was passed fit to ride with the benefit of painkillers administered by the Clinica Mobile and lined up the 28-lap race some two and a half hours after the incident.

Biaggi ended the first lap in ninth place and slipped to 10th by the third. The Italian then dispensed with Alex Barros (Honda) then Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki). A battle then ensued with Marco Melandri (Honda) in which he had the upper hand, five laps before the end of the race. The 33-year-old ended the race being helped from his bike from Dr Claudio Costa in the Repsol Honda garage having crossed the line in fifth place earning 11 valuable championship points.

"A very, very hard race, said Biaggi. "After the warm-up crash I didn't think I could race. The pain never left me. When I put on my leathers my back was in such a bad condition that I never thought I could make it to the chequered flag. Then, adrenaline and my big desire to do well gave me incredible fuel. Anyhow at the end of the race I almost couldn't get off the bike.

After this I can only be happy about this fifth place: these are 11 important points for my team and me. Our job starts again from tomorrow. There is a lot to do to come back competitive in time for the Italian Grand Prix."

Hayden was buoyed by his performance in the morning's warm-up when the 23-year-old finished third fastest – and fastest Michelin runner. However, in the race it was not to be and although the American held second place behind compatriot Colin Edwards (Yamaha) for the opening eight laps he slipped frustratingly down the field suffering from chatter problems on his RC211V that made cornering painfully slow.

"Just really, really disappointed," said Hayden. "I got a good start and it all felt great but about 10 laps from the end it started to feel like last week in the rain. I got a lot of chatter as the race went on. We don't really know why. We need to find out! It's a pretty lame excuse but the bottom line is I just went backwards.

"It's been a hard weekend but I felt we were in with a chance after all the great work the team put in. It felt good to be running up front but I want to do that throughout every race. I'm not looking forward to a three-week break now. I just want Mugello to come next weekend!"

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE, Repsol Honda Team

Other updates you may be interested in ›