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Discussion Starter #1


Vermeulen takes first pole in drenched MotoGP
qualifying session
MotoGP 29/04/06

Riders, teams and spectators were joined this morning by the
unwelcome presence of rain at the Istanbul Park Circuit in
Turkey. Almost simultaneously starting to fall as the 125cc
riders took to the track, the rain guaranteed that the day would
be unpredictable as the wet weather served as the great
equaliser between bikes.

MotoGP rookie Chris Vermeulen used the adverse conditions to
his advantage, putting in fast laps at the midway stage and
riding with control and poise for his first ever MotoGP pole
position. After a problematic race in Qatar, the Rizla Suzuki
rider is in a strong position to place well in Sunday’s race. His
quickest lap of 2’04.617 was slower than yesterday’s free
practice leading riders in the dry.

The young Australian didn’t have it easy though. In front of a
respectable audience in the Turkish grandstand, American Nicky
Hayden battled for the top spot throughout the last half hour. In
the closing moments of the session, the Repsol Honda rider was
seemingly on course to take the lead with both he and
Vermeulen on hot laps. However it wasn’t to be for the
Kentucky kid, as he went offroad to his obvious annoyance.
Sete Gibernau also made a late surge. His final lap of the
Istanbul Park track resulted in his demoting team-mate Loris
Capirossi to fourth, with both Ducatis having opened the day
well as the two fastest riders in free practice.

To add to Suzuki’s joy, John Hopkins’ steady run ensured that
both of their riders will start tomorrow on the front two rows.
Randy de Puniet, one of the few riders to remain without points
so far this season, put in the sixth fastest time of the session,
ahead of Casey Stoner. LCR Honda’s sole rider suffered two
crashes during free practice as the weather hindered his final
chance of becoming MotoGP’s youngest race winner tomorrow.
Shinya Nakano clocked the eighth fastest time of the qualifying
session, ahead of Americans Colin Edwards and Kenny Roberts
Jr. Edwards suffered a contusion of his left shoulder after falling
in the morning.

World Champion Valentino Rossi is still yet to earn a pole
position in 2006, and as in Jerez will start the race off the front
two rows of the grid having qualified eleventh.

Source: MotoGP
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Interesting facts before the MotoGP race



Interesting facts before the MotoGP race
MotoGP 29/04/06

• Chris Vermeulen starts from pole for the first time in only
his 5th start in the MotoGP class. This is the second
consecutive race that a rookie rider from Australia has started
from pole. Suzuki will be looking to take their first win since the
Valencia GP in 2001 when Sete Gibernau was onboard.

• Vermeulen’s pole is the first for Suzuki since the Rio GP in
2004, when Kenny Roberts started on pole then riding a Suzuki.

• Nicky Hayden is the only rider who has qualified in the top
six using Michelin tyres, all other are using Bridgestone.
Hayden, who is making his 50th start in MotoGP, will be aiming
for a seventh consecutive podium finish.

• Sete Gibernau will be aiming to finish on the podium for the
first time since he was second in Germany last July.

• Loris Capirossi, who missed the race in Turkey last year, will
be making his 50th MotoGP start riding for Ducati. If Capirossi
finishes in the top fifteen it will be his 100th point scoring finish
in the premier-class.

• John Hopkins is starting from his best grid position since he
qualified third in Malaysia last year.

• Randy De Puniet has out-qualified his team mate for the
first time in only his third start in the MotoGP class.

• If Casey Stoner wins the race in Turkey he will become the
joint youngest winner ever in the premier-class, being exactly
the same age as Freddie Spencer (20 years 196 days) when he
took his debut victory at the Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps
in 1982.

• Colin Edwards has finished in the points at every race since
he was second at Qatar in 2004, a run of 23 successive point
scoring finishes. Edwards has out-qualified his team mate Rossi
for just the second time since joining the Yamaha team at the
start of last year.

• Valentino Rossi, who is making his 100th start in the
premier-class, has failed to qualify on the front row for the fifth
successive race. The Istanbul Park Circuit is one of only two
current circuits that Rossi has not scored a victory in the
premier-class, the other being the Laguna Seca circuit in the
USA. If Rossi finishes in ninth place or higher in Turkey he will
become the top point scorer of all time in Grand Prix racing,
taking the record from his great rival Max Biaggi.

• Toni Elias is making his 100th Grand Prix start including 48
in the 250cc class and 35 on a 125cc machine. Elias finished
sixth in Turkey last year, his best result in his Rookie season in
the premier-class.

Source: MotoGP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rain falls on Istanbul Park Circuit



Rain falls on Istanbul Park Circuit
MotoGP 28/04/06

Riders, teams and spectators have been joined this morning by
the unwelcome presence of rain. Almost simultaneously starting
to fall as the 125cc riders took to the track, light drops have
thus far not affected the session. It is hoped that there will be a
swift turnaround in conditions, although the grey skies filled with
heavy cloud bode omniously for the day ahead.

Source: MotoGP
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quotes of the day from Turkey

Quotes of the day from Turkey
MotoGP 29/04/06

Chris Vermeulen (pole position):
Obviously conditions were very different today. We had a quite
a good morning practice and made a few changes to the set-up,
the tyres and with the engine management system and it all
seemed to work really well. From the start of the qualifying
session the bike was working really well and it was comfortable
to ride, even when the conditions got pretty bad and grip was
hard to find. I did a few laps and then came back in and just
watched the weather to see how much rain was about.

Sete Gibernau, 3rd
`I was pushing hard today because it's important to know you
can be fast whether it's dry or wet. If you want to race for the
championship you have to be competitive no matter what. I
think we proved today that we can be up there in the rain as
well as the dry´.

Loris Capirossi, 4th
`Fourth isn't bad at all. I found some traffic, so I wasn't as fast
as I'm sure I could have been, but the fact that I know I
could've been faster makes me feel good. The conditions were
strange, this track isn't too grippy in the dry but it's got good
grip in the wet, though you have to be careful not to touch the
white lines. I hope it will rain for the race because I've not had
much time on a dry track and we still need to work on our dry
settings. A dry race would be more difficult for me´.

John Hopkins –5th
`First off I’ve got to say congratulations to Chris. That’s a job
really well done to get the pole position, and it’s good for Rizla
Suzuki and Bridgestone–awesome! As for ourselves we tried to
get a good rhythm from the start and gradually get our pace
up. We used the same tyres for the whole session even though
I changed from one bike to another to try different settings. We
found a set-up that will help us wet or dry, so we are really
pleased about that´.

Randy de Puniet: 6th -
`Today in the wet conditions I felt
really comfortable on the bike. I didn't have so much confidence
when we started this morning, but then we switched to a
different wet tyre and the bike was transformed. I was able to
get on the gas earlier out of the turns without having to worry
about losing the rear, and that gives you a lot of confidence´.

Casey Stoner 7th.-
`The track conditions were terrible this afternoon and I
struggled for rear-end grip so we still need to improve the setup
for race, especially if it is raining. I couldn’t get the rear tyre
to hook-up and drive forward and hopefully we can find a setup
that will give me more feedback from the tyres. At one stage
I followed Chris Vermeulen and looked good, riding like he was on
a 250cc bike'.

Source: MotoGP
 
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