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Nicky, Nicky, Nicky, only 23rd?! :) Looks like the cube and Colin and doing good in 9th.
 

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not to mention that Nicky fell off hard before the qualifing. At least he made the show. As we all know that is one of the hardest tracks to learn. Colin has a HUGE advantage over all of the other so called "Rookies" at this track, having won the 8 hour race there many times.
 

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Re: Nicky Hayden ...

Nicky can be fast, but it seems like he can't really do it when he's riding by himself. I noticed this earlier this year in a testing session. On the first day, he was riding by himself and was about 3-4 seconds slower than Rossi. On the second day, following Rossi, he was within a half-second. However, if he can't go fast by himself, then that makes me question if he can lead a race and stay at the front.
 

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Re: Nicky Hayden ...

In fairness, Nicky was pretty respectable (don't recall just where he stood) in the free practice -- the qualifying session was mixed wed and dry and results are more about the luck of having the right tires at the particular moment than any measure of bikes' or riders' performance.

Also, Nicky crashed very hard and, while uninjured, was reportedly very very sore (and probably a bit gun-shy in the wet) for the qualifying session.

From what I read, most started on intermediates/cut slicks, then as the track dried, some came in for slicks. Those who did so at the right time ended up with the best times. Many (eg Barros, Capi, Colin) switched to slicks just as the rain dumped again.

Bob
 

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Melandri Crashes Badly

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Yamaha) crashed very badly -- highsided and reportedly the bike landed on him -- and was seriously injured. Qualifying was red-flagged while he was airlifted to a local hospital. Reports on his injuries are somewhat conflicting, but at least he suffered compound fractures of the leg and ankle, and by some reports, his foot was badly mangled. It also is reported that he broke his nose and may have fractures several bones in his face and/or skull. He reportedly lost a great amount of blood.

Much of this information comes from several Italian language sites, and as I don't really read Italian, I am reporting this second hand from others who do.

Hell of a way for one of the most promising of the new crop of riders to start his season. He will certainly miss at least the next several rounds. No official word on who will replace him, but there is speculation that Abe, who is the Yamaha test rider this year, and who is racing as a wild card this weekend on the prototype M1 might get the slot.

Bob
 

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You are absolutely right. However, it is even worst than that -- the fact that the conditions kept changing and that it would be dry one lap and very wet the next really confused things. Q-times ar more a matter of which riders happened to have slick at the time the track was dry the whole way around.



If it had just been raining the whole time, everyone would have been on rain tires, and at least the times would mean something.



The free practice times (which were mostly dry) are probably a better measure of where the riders and bikes stand.
 

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According to Crash.net, he had a mechanical problem on his #1 bike so they had to switch his #2 to the wet settings. I think he only got in 1 lap. Hopefully he will have a better chance tomorrow.



Bob
 

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Re: Nicky Hayden ...

Even when he was winning the AMA title last year and competing for before that, he rarely took the pole position (if ever). His qualifing times placed him at the front row or two, and he would then take it durring the race. Not that its any excuse for 7 seconds, but his style is to race the race and just be good enough at qualifing.
 

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KTM MotoGP

Provisional qualifying in 16th spot for the first time out is not bad at all -- of course it helps to have the reigning class champion as a rider.

Word is they will tackle MotoGP for 2005. I wouldn't take them too lightly!

Bob
 

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News to Brighten KPaul's Day ;-)

A bit off topic, but still racing-related....

In the first Superbike practice session at Fontana, the Suzuki GSX-R 1000's took the top three spots Yates, Spies and Mladin, followed by EBoz in the Kwacker (I think with the 800cc motor). Larry Pegram was quickest twin (Ducati), followed by Roger Lee Hayden (Honda 954). Quickest RC51 was Roberts in 8th.

If this is indicative of the way the season will go, expect to see a lot of the big gixxers this year!

Bob
 
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