As Honda riders struggle in the 125cc Japanese GP
Mika Kallio (KTM) won the 125cc race from Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia), denying the newly crowned World Champion an eighth victory of the season. Hector Faubel (Aprilia) was third.
The 2005 World Champion Thomas Luthi
(Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) fell on lap four of this 21-lap race while lying in 11th place leaving a four-rider pack, which included Lukas Pesek (Derbi) in fourth, to fight for the win in the closing stages.
Bautista and Kallio had then left Faubel six seconds behind as the final laps unfolded and it was Kallio who overhauled the Spanish World Champion to take the win on the final lap.
Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) rode a fine race to finish in eighth place. This is the first top ten of the rookie British rider's season and he also finished as first Honda.
Bautista has already secured the Riders' title for 2006 with a 300 point haul, Kallio lies second on 226 points while Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) has 185 points. Aprilia leads the Constructors' Championship with 323 points to KTM's 231 with Honda third on 153 points.
125cc HONDA RIDERS QUOTES :
Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda - 8th): “It's definitely been better than expected. With a ninth position start it's been very good for me. I know how to crack on in the first three laps, but I didn't really, I sat and watched the group in front but after Di Meglio and Luthi went down I knew that I had to go with the group because they had already broken away. I pushed and I pushed and I caught Koyama and I brought Koyama to Talmacsi and I passed him. I was trying a 120% to get away but it just weren't to be. It's so difficult leading from the front without a slipstream they can always stay in the area, never pass you, just stay there. I tried to break away for about twelve laps. I'm pretty tired now but over the moon with the result.
Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda - 9th): “After this morning's warm up I was confident for the race as we have found a better set-up of the bike compared to the practice. But, during the race I had the same problems with the front as in the practice sessions and so I made too many mistakes. Anyway, I did my best and at two laps to go I couldn't recover any further positions.”
Fabrizio Lai (Seedorf Racing World - 11th): “This morning I felt a marble statue. Then I recovered slowly, helped by the doctors of the Clinica Mobile and so I tried to come up my bike: the pain was incredible but I have decided to take the start. During the race, the bike seemed to be very heavy and I wasn't able to ride it: I lost positions until the twentieth. But, after ten laps, I began to feel better because the bike was lighter with less gasoline. So I set my teeth and advanced one position after another. At the end it's not so bad: sincerely I didn't think to be able to finish the race, indeed I'm eleventh too.”
Tito Rabat (Wurth Honda BQR - 12th): “I got a good start and could follow Olive and Terol. but Terol went away from us. Later I passed Olive and got away from him. and was racing with Lai. And we passed each other a few times but on the last lap he passed me again and I could not get passed him again. A good fun race but I really wanted to beat Lai. My team gave me a good bike and I thank them very much. The engine was strong and the chassis very good.”
Hiromi Iwata (Plus One Honda - 27th): “I was going OK for the first lap but after that my lap times didn't improve. I couldn't shift down well and went out of the track. I couldn't improve my position till the finish. My machine was slower than the others and I was slow at the corners. Because I wasn't doing well, my determination went down as well. I have to use the experience I gained during this weekend to the All Japan Championship races.”
Michele Conti (Seedorf Racing World - 28th): “I was not able to learn this track with its narrow corners. So we tried to use the large rear tyre in the race (the bike is easier to drive) but the situation isn't changed: I was in a group of faster Aprilia and I was not able to overtaken them.”
Joey Litjens (Molenaar Honda - 29th): “That was a really painful race for me my back is very sore. 21- laps round here has left me completely exhausted but I finished. Everything about the bike was good – the only problem was the pain in my back.”
Toshihisa Kuzuhara (S-Way Honda - 30th): “I am very tired but I really enjoyed the weekend. I was following one rider and then he let me go in front. But when I got in front of him, I lost my rhythm. It was a good experience for me and was a good practice for my All Japan races.”
Iori Namihira (Honda Suzuka Racing - 31st): “This morning's warm-up was a little better than before. During the race, it was a fight among three riders and I tried to get in front but failed. Although my result is not so good, I learnt a lot from them and I will try my best to get on the podium regularly for the All Japan championship races.”
Thomas Luthi (Elit Honda – dnf: crash): “The crash was my mistake – I made a small mistake before the start finish straight and lost contact with the group. Even before the crash I knew I had problems its important to stay in the slipstream here but once I lost the slipstream I was in trouble. That meant I had to be really hard with the brakes but I lost the font end real quickly and could not save it, then the back end went and I crashed with Di Meglio – it was my mistake.”
Kazuma Watanabe (Humangest Honda – dnf): “I was doing a pretty good race improving lap by lap even though my rhythm wasn't enough good to recover more positions. Anyway, the bike was working good and for this I want to thank the team for the chance they have given to me and for working very hard during this weekend. In the last lap I high-sided and lost the control of the bike so I crashed out, luckily I got a light contusion on my right ankle; I'm very sorry for the mistake I made.”
Press Release HRC