Motorsport Thoughts

Friday, September 15, 2006

125cc GP Rider-by-Rider 2005

Had this in the archives so thought I'd post it for anyone interested:

2005 125cc MotoGP Review

Team- by team (by total team points, irrespective of number of riders)

1. Red Bull KTM (558 points)

Mika Kallio: 237 points, 4 victories, Championship runner-up
On his day the fastest rider/bike combination thanks to his prior experience with KTM, with 8 poles and 10 podiums in total. However a couple of falls and the odd slip-up meant he lost out for the title in the end.

Gabor Talmacsi: 198 points, 3 victories, 3rd overall
Always in the front bunch of riders as part of the (nearly) all-conquering KTM team, Talmacsi enjoyed by far his best season in the World Championship and looked set to move up with the factory to 250s for 2006. His photo-finish victory over Kallio at Qatar undid all that good work and he was unceremoniously sacked for disobeying team orders. Will land on his feet and be back strong next year.

Julian Simon: 123 points, 1 victory, 7th overall
One of 2004’s most improved riders, a move to KTM for 2005 promised much for the young Spaniard. Overall, despite being consistent, he was too often in the second bunch rather than up with the leaders in races with too many 8th and 9th place finishes. Took an excellent debut victory in the wet at Donington but did no better than 5th elsewhere.

2. Kopron Racing World Honda (245 points)

Fabrizio Lai: 141 points, best result 2nd, 6th overall
Good year for the ever-smiling Italian, although he will be slightly disappointed to not take a win. Not always right at the front in races, but there or thereabouts, building strongly on his end to 2004 with Gilera.

Mike di Meglio: 104 points, 1 victory, 11th overall
Possibly one of the most infuriating riders in the class, thanks to swinging from super-fast to crashing, or simply being down the order for some unknown reason. Took his debut victory in Istanbul after narrowly missing out at Donington, but needs to settle down more to be in contention for the big prize.

3. Elit Grand Prix Honda (242 points)

Thomas Luthi: 242 points, 4 victories, World Champion.
Well-deserved title for the Swiss rider and Czech team after an excellent turnaround from a 2004 season ruined by injuries. Very fast, dominating a couple of races, and only one DNF - through mechanical failure at the opening round – and took on the KTM hordes and won. Well done to everyone involved!

4. Aprilia (237 points)

Marco Simoncelli: 177 points, 1 victory, 5th overall
Another step forwards for the lanky Italian, although again only one victory at Jerez again. Has vastly improved his consistency as well as speed with six podiums, but was never quite a title contender. Is expected to move to the factory Aprilia 250 squad for next year, where his tall frame should suit the larger bike and he could be a front-runner straight away.

Joan Olive: 60 points, best finish 3rd, 14th overall
A step down from 250s to 125s this year for the former Alberto Puig protégé, who has faired less well than his compatriots Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elias. Gained a slightly fortuitous podium at Mugello after the last-corner crash of Kallio and Faubel, but too often was a midfield runner and had some horrendous qualifying positions. Overall, solid.

5. NGS Totti Top Sport Aprilia (195 points)

Mattia Pasini: 183 points, 2 victories, 4th overall
In his second year, the Italian made a big impression on the series after a quietly impressive 2004. He moved to the former Seedorf Aprilia squad and showed off his aggressive style with early season victories to be a genuine title contender for a while. Three crashes in a row ended that hope but is definitely a contender for whatever he competes in for 2006.

Manuel Hernandez: 12 points, best finish 10th, 24th overall
Tough debut year for the Spaniard, who scored in four of the first five events, but none after that. Is difficult to judge potential of a rookie season in such a competitive field, but certainly needs to improve next year if he remains. Moved to Angaia Honda late on in the season.

(R) Daniel Saez 0 points, unranked
Late season replacement for Hernandez for two races.

6. Master-Aspar Aprilia (181 points)

Hector Faubel: 113 points, best result 2nd, 9th overall
Another to step down from 250s to 125s, Faubel had a season of highs and lows. He was always amongst the quickest Aprilia runners, with three podiums and seven top-6s in all, but also seven no-scores and a 15th. Some of these can be put down to bad luck – for instance being brought down by Kallio at Mugello, costing him the win, and a couple of mechanical troubles – so he will be a front-runner again next year.

Sergio Gadea: 68 points, best result 2nd, 12th overall
The Master-Aspar team’s second rider was much improved from 2004, but was probably expecting a better season than turned out. He took a career-best podium at Le Mans after charging through the pack, but like Faubel suffered a number of crashes, including falling with his team-mate in Turkey, and binning it from the lead in Valencia. On the whole, fast and promising but he will be disappointed.

7. Ajo Motorsports Honda (147 points)

Tomoyoshi Koyama: 119 points, best result 2nd, 8th overall
Superb debut year for the likeable Japanese rider aboard the Finnish-run Honda. Two podiums and eight top-sixes in all on unknown tracks mark him out as a possible title contender for 2006. Rookie of the year by a mile, and would have done even better were it not for some mid-season crashes.

Alexis Masbou: 28 points, best result 5th, 18th overall
Decidedly mixed rookie season for the Frenchman, especially when compared to his teammate. Was right at the front contending the win at Assen in a superb race, but couldn’t match that elsewhere. Should move up the order with more experience.

8. Metis Racing Team (Gilera/Derbi) (132 points)

Manuel Poggiali: 107 points, best result 5th, 10th overall
Impossible to know what to make of the double World Champion’s season. He was consistently ahead of other renowned riders on the same bike, but given his past record and experience the year has to be something of a letdown. The performances were quick enough, but he was virtually invisible and didn’t feature amongst the leading pack in most races. Looks to be moving back up to 250s with KTM for 2006.

Lukas Pesek: 25 points, best result 6th, 19th overall
A rider who all agree is fast – but all agree crashes far too much. Pesek completed by far the fewest racing miles this season – around four complete races’ worth less than others on average. His sixth place at Sachsenring shows he has talent that should be nurtured, but too often was unable to keep the bike rubber-side down.

9. Seedorf RC3 Honda (83 points)

Alvaro Bautista: 47 points, best result 4th, 15th overall
Desperately disappointing season for this writer’s pre-season tip for the title, who had an excellent 2004 on an Aprilia. Fourth place at Assen and leading at Donington before crashing twice were the highpoints; there was little else as the team personnel and bikes underwent a change from 2004.

Aleix Espargaro: 36 points, best result 7th, 16th overall
Moderate debut season for the Spanish 125 champion of the previous year. Probably suffered at least as much as his team-mate from the team restructuring and can be expected to improve next season with more experience.

10. Caja Madrid Derbi (67 points)

Pablo Nieto: 64 points, best result 5th, 13th overall
Many people’s pre-season title tip suffered a dismal season back aboard the Derbi he used to ride alongside Youichi Ui. Aside from briefly leading the season opener and taking fifth at Donington – both in the wet – there were few bright spots and a lot of qualifying positions in the twenties.

Nicolas Terol: 1 point, best result 15th, 36th overall
A solitary point at the season opener was all Terol had to show for his debut season. Missed a couple of races through injury.

(R) Enrique Jerez: 2 points, best result 15th, 34th overall
Replaced Terol for a couple of rounds after he was injured, taking a couple of points. Hard to judge his potential.

11. Skilled I.S.P.A Racing Team Aprilia (30 points)

Lorenzo Zanetti: 30 points, best result 5th, 17th overall
Missed the start of his sophomore year through injury, before hitting his stride mid-season and taking an excellent 5th at Brno. Sadly that was the best it got, with no further points from the last six races to end the year on a low note.

12. Team Toth Aprilia (23 points)

Imre Toth: 7 points, best result 9th, 28th overall
A season to forget for the Hungarian, with just 9th at Le Mans to show for it. However, he should be applauded for getting a pair of nationally-backed bikes on the grid.

Vincent Braillard: 0 points, unranked
Rookie who was to be found at the rear of the pack. Injured for two races and replaced by Rodriguez.

(R) Angel Rodriguez: 16 points, best result 8th, 22nd overall
Replaced Braillard for Australia and Turkey and rediscovered his best form, that had been missing for so long. Was in contention for a rostrum at Philip Island but got shuffled back in a blanket finish, and took another impressive result in Istanbul. Please get back on an Aprilia in 2006!

13. Abruzzo Racing Team Aprilia (20 points)

Andrea Iannone: 20 points, best result 10th, 20th overall
Former front-running team Abruzzo scaled back to a one-bike operation and slid way down the grid, although rookie Andrea Iannone did his best and picked up a few moderate points finishes.

14. Angaia Racing Honda (17 points)

Toshihisa Kuzahara: 17 points, best result 9th, 21st overall
Four points finishes for the series debutant with 9th at Mugello being the best, although he was put in the shade by compatriot Koyama aboard a similar bike. Replaced by Manuel Hernandez for the final two races.

Federico Sandi: 0 points, unranked
Completed plenty of racing miles in his debut season, but no points finishes.

Manuel Hernandez: 0 points for this team, 12 for NGS Totti Top Sport
Replaced Kuzahara with no further success late on in the season.

15. Matteoni Racing Aprilia (13 points)

Raffaele de Rosa: 13 points, best result 11th, 23rd overall
Another big team to suffer in 2005, Matteoni also employed a young rookie on a singleton bike. De Rosa, for his part, showed form on occasion, with an 8th place starting slot at Jerez, but more often than not was lost in the pack.

16. Kiefer-Bos Castrol Honda (8 points)

Sandro Cortese: 8 points, best result 14th, 26th overall
Another 2005 debutant, the German rider scored points on five occasions but was not a feature at the front of races. Could be useful with more time on the bike.

17. MVA Aspar Aprilia (6 points)

Jordi Carchano: 6 points, best result 13th, 29th overall
Another underwhelming season by Carchano, who was drafted into the second string Aspar team as it stepped down from 250. He scored two 13th - at Jerez and in the wet at Donington.

Julian Miralles: 0 points, unranked
An unfortunate debut season for the rider who finished runner up to Aleix Espargaro in the Spanish 125 season in 2004 so clearly has talent. Suffered a horrible leg injury partway through the season, and although he made a comeback, was again replaced before the end by Tunez. Needs to recover fully and be given a second chance.

(R) Mateo Tunez: 0 points, unranked
Replaced Miralles for most of the season but didn’t get any points. Did, however, take fastest lap at Motegi by half a second from any other rider, showing that there is talent there.

18. Semprucci AB Cardion Blauer USA Aprilia (4 points)

Dario Giuseppetti: 4 points, best result 13th, 32nd overall
Moderately dreadful season from the former team-mate of Thomas Luthi from last year. The team seemed a little at sea for much of the season with both bikes languishing near the rear of the field. Towards the end things got a little better but unfortunately not to get the riders into the points. Hopefully this upward trend will continue for next year and get the excellently-painted bikes in camera more often.

Karel Abraham: 0 points, unranked
Gained useful experience in his debut year, but no points. Covered more practice miles than any other rider.

19. Malaguti Reparto Corse (3 points)

Michele Pirro: 3 points, best result 13th, 33rd overall
The smallest manufacturer on the grid, Malaguti, fielded a pair of rookies who found it difficult to be competitive. Pirro was the more impressive, consistently being well ahead of his team-mate and taking 13th in the wet in China.

Sascha Hommel: 0 points, unranked
The young German found it very tough going in his debut year, with injury problems not helping. Was replaced by Pellino, and later found himself replacing Schouten.

(R) Giole Pellino: 0 points, unranked
The former Fontana and Abruzzo rider replaced Hommel after injuries, but was unable to get the bike into the points.

(R) Jules Cluzel: 0 points, unranked
The French rider who is part of the Dorna Academy system took part at Valencia as a replacement rider. He looked very impressive, setting 14th fastest lap and with any luck will be part of the series next year.

20. Arie Molenaar Monda (0 points)

Raymond Schouten: 0 points, unranked
A second fruitless year from the Dutch rider, who was replaced before the end of the season.

(R) Sascha Hommel: 0 points, unranked
Replaced Schouten with no more success.

(R) Takumi Takahashi: 0 points, unranked
Brother of 250 star Yuki. Replaced Schouten in Japan.

21. LG Mobile Galicia Team Honda (0 points)

Angel Rodriguez: 0 points scored for this team, 16 for Team Toth
Wretched season for Angel, until he moved to Team Toth and hit form.

(R) David Bonache: 0 points, unranked
Replaced Rodriguez, without success.

Wildcard points scorers

Michael Ranseder, Red Bull KTM Junior Team : 12 points (12th at Catalunya, Assen & Sachsenring)
Dan Linfoot, KRP/ Honda : 7 points (9th at Donington)
Michele Conti, Kuja Racing Honda : 5 points (11th at Mugello)
Christian Elkin, E3 Motorsport Honda : 4 points (12th at Donington)
Stefan Bradl, Red Bull KTM Junior Team: 1 point (15th at Brno)


Post a Comment

<< Home