2006 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix

The 2006 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix was the third race of the 2006 Motorcycle Grand Prix season. It took place on the weekend of 28–30 April 2006, at the Istanbul Park circuit. The 250cc race saw a number of riders eliminated at the first corner.

Turkey  2006 Turkish Grand Prix
Race details
Race 3 of 17 races in the
2006 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Istanbul park.svg
Date30 April 2006
Official nameGrand Prix of Turkey[1]
LocationIstanbul Park
  • Permanent racing facility
  • 5.338 km (3.317 mi)
Pole position
Rider Australia Chris Vermeulen
Time 2:04.617
Fastest lap
Rider Spain Toni Elías
Time 1:52.877
First Italy Marco Melandri
Second Australia Casey Stoner
Third United States Nicky Hayden
250 cc
Pole position
Rider Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Time 1:57.841
Fastest lap
Rider San Marino Alex de Angelis
Time 1:58.469
First Japan Hiroshi Aoyama
Second Spain Héctor Barberá
Third Italy Andrea Dovizioso
125 cc
Pole position
Rider Spain Álvaro Bautista
Time 2:04.035
Fastest lap
Rider Spain Joan Olivé
Time 2:03.825
First Spain Héctor Faubel
Second Spain Álvaro Bautista
Third Spain Sergio Gadea

MotoGP race reportEdit

This race was most notable for its thrilling ending, where Italian satellite Gresini Honda rider Marco Melandri overtook the Australian rookie Casey Stoner at the last corner, denying him his first ever win.

After two rounds, Loris Capirossi led the championship at this point, followed by the Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden with 36 and rookie Dani Pedrosa with 30 points. Valentino Rossi - last year's champion - only sat in fourth with a mere 27 points.

Chris Vermeulen took the pole position on Saturday - his first ever - followed by Nicky Hayden in second place and Sete Gibernau in third. Rossi only managed to qualify in a lowly eleventh position, and needed a strong result to stay in the title fight.[2][3][4]

As the lights went out, Vermeulen kept his lead as the pack all took off with no problems or incidents. After about half a lap, Vermeulen still led, with Hayden losing two places and dropping to fourth. Gibernau moved up one place (third to second) and John Hopkins two (fifth to third), as did Casey Stoner (seventh to fifth). Melandri meanwhile recovered a whopping eight positions, with Valentino Rossi only making up one place (eleventh to tenth). During the opening lap, Gibernau overtook Vermeulen - making good use of the speed of the Ducati - and moved past to open up a small gap. However, at Turn 12, Vermeulen retook the lead from Gibernau, using the better cornering speed of his Suzuki to his advantage, to lead the race again going into lap two. Rossi also overtook the Kawasaki of Randy de Puniet for the ninth position.[5]

By lap two, Gibernau overtook Vermeulen on the start/finish straight, with the other Suzuki of Hopkins following suit, relegating Vermeulen to third. Behind them, Stoner made quick work of Nicky Hayden and took fourth from him. Rossi meanwhile ran wide at Turn 7, making him drop back all the way to fourteenth after he made up a few places.[5] At Turn 12, Hayden tried to overtake Stoner but ran wide, allowing Marco Melandri to overtake him in return and Stoner to swoop past both of them to reclaim fourth.

Lap three and Gibernau started to form a small gap to Hopkins, with Vermeulen still in third. Rossi overtook Makoto Tamada for thirteenth around halfway the third lap.

On lap four, Stoner shadowed Vermeulen's moves and overtook him at Turn 7 for third place. Vemeulen tried to fight back in acceleration, but by Turn 8 he was relegated to fourth, with Melandri ramping up the pressure as well after Melandri also took fifth from Hayden. Gibernau and Hopkins meanwhile opened up a significant gap to Stoner. Rossi meanwhile overtook Shinya Nakano for twelfth on the straight before Turn 9. Before Turn 12, Melandri overtook Vermeulen - who started to have tyre problems -, with Hayden following suit at Turn 14.

By lap five, the Bridgestone shod Ducati of Gibernau and Suzuki of Hopkins had a one second lead over Stoner, Melandri, Hayden and Vermeulen, with Stoner's Michelin shod LCR Honda slowly catching up. Rossi was still twelfth. At Turn 12, Hayden overtook Melandri for fourth. Rossi also overtook de Puniet for the eleventh spot.

On lap six, Pedrosa overtook the Yamaha of Colin Edwards for eighth on the start/finish straight. José Luis Cardoso rode into the pits to retire his bike during this lap, choosing not to finish lap five. Rossi crossed the line in tenth after he overtook Toni Elías.

Lap seven and the top runners consist out of Gibernau, Hopkins, Stoner, Hayden and Melandri, with a +1.1 second gap back to Vermeulen in sixth. Pedrosa also overtook Capirossi going into Turn 1 for seventh place. Melandri dove under Hayden at Turn 9 to snatch fourth, with Hayden taking the place back at Turn 14. Rossi is still stuck in tenth place.

Right before lap eight began, Stoner managed to get a better exit speed at Turn 14, allowing him to overtake Hopkins at the start/finish straight.[5] Pedrosa also took sixth from Vermeulen right after them at around the same point. Hayden meanwhile tried to overtake Hopkins going into Turn 3 for third, Hopkins fighting back and forcing Hayden to go the long way around at Turn 4. Hayden held on however, using the better acceleration and traction of his Repsol Honda to eventually pull off the move going into Turn 5. Melandri used this to also force his way past at Turn 7, with Hopkins running slightly wide on exit and Pedrosa sneaking past and grabbing fifth place. Hopkins lost three positions (third to sixth) in just four corners. Both Hayden and Pedrosa use the superior top speed of their Repsol Honda's to try and overtake Stoner and Melandri for second and fourth, but run wide exiting Turn 12, allowing Stoner and Melandri to keep their positions going into Turn 13. However, Stoner himself went a bit too wide and Hayden managed to snatch second from Stoner going into Turn 14.

On lap eight, Gibernau still led, albeit with an ever slimmer margin (+0.7 seconds). Rossi meanwhile still did not manage to move up, as he has a +2,9 second gap to his teammate Edwards.

Lap nine and Stoner took second at Turn 7, with Hayden taking the place back at Turn 8. Stoner himself then got overtaken by Melandri for third place at Turn 12.

By lap ten, Stoner lost yet another position, this time to the other Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa, who overtook him on the start/finish straight for fourth. Melandri overtook Hayden for second at Turn 9, with Pedrosa doing likewise at the straight before the entrance to Turn 12 for the third spot.

On lap eleven, Melandri overtook the struggling Gibernau going into Turn 1. Rossi moved and moved up to ninth after Hopkins fell back to eleventh, and closed the gap to Edwards. Pedrosa also swooped past on the inside at Turn 3 to take second from him, with Hayden trying the same at Turn 4 but failing. Hayden however succeeded when he took a shorter entry going into Turn 8, overtaking Gibernau for third. Going into Turn 9, Stoner then also took Gibernau's fourth place, relegating him to fifth in just a few corners. Pedrosa tries to overtake Melandri for the lead going down into Turn 12, but overshoots and loses the place to Melandri, who retakes the lead going into Turn 13.

Lap twelve - just over the halfway point - and the top six is as follows: Melandri, Pedrosa, Hayden, Stoner, Gibernau and Vermeulen, with a +1 second gap back to Capirossi. Rossi meanwhile has managed to overtake Edwards on the start/finish straight for eighth place, with Elías doing likewise for ninth. However, he still had a +2,9 second gap to seventh place Capirossi to make up by then. Hopkins meanwhile went into the pits to change his rear tyre, dropping him back all the way down to last place. Vermeulen overtakes Gibernau going into Turn 9, relegating him to sixth. Unlike last lap, Pedrosa manages to overtake Melandri going into Turn 12.

On lap thirteen, Rossi cut the gap to Capirossi to +1.8 seconds. Hayden overtook Melandri for second going into Turn 12, but goes just a bit too wide. As Melandri tries the cutback, he bumps into Hayden, allowing him to keep the position going into Turn 13 and 14.

Lap fourteen and it is Repsol Honda 1-2, followed by Melandri and Stoner. Pedrosa starts to pull a gap to his teammate Hayden and James Ellison entered the pits to change his Dunlop tyres. Rossi caught Gibernau - who in turn already was overtaken by teammate Capirossi - and overtook him for seventh place at Turn 9, with Elías following suit before the start/finish straight. Alex Hofmann has also retired.

On lap fifteen, Rossi managed to overtake Capirossi for sixth position at Turn 3. No overtakes happened at the main four, which are Pedrosa, Hayden, Melandri and Stoner.

Going into lap sixteen and both Pedrosa and Hayden start to create small gaps to each other and Melandri. Rossi overtook Vermeulen at Turn 9 and is up until fifth place.[5]

Lap seventeen and both Hayden and Melandri have closed the small gaps. While Rossi is up into fifth, he still has a +6,7 gap to fourth place Stoner, making a podium finish highly unlikely for him. Melandri meanwhile made a surprise move on Hayden at Turn 7, forcing him to go a bit wide and snatching second place from him. Stoner made his move in turn at Turn 9, forcing Hayden to go wide as a result. Melandri then overtakes Pedrosa with more speed at the straight before Turn 12, taking over the lead at the front.

Going into lap eighteen and Stoner makes good use of a small mistake of Pedrosa, who kept his front wheel in the air and lost some speed as a result, overtaking him for second on the start/finish straight. Stoner takes over the lead from Melandri by overtaking him at Turn 12.

On lap nineteen, no overtakes happened at the front. Hayden went wide going into Turn 12, making him lose touch with the top three (Stoner, Melandri and Pedrosa). When exiting Turn 14 however, Melandri went slower than usual - possibly because of a missed gear, allowing Pedrosa to snatch second place from him at the beginning of the start/finish straight.

Lap twenty and Hayden is dropping back significantly, possibly due to tyre problems. Melandri overtakes Pedrosa for second place before Turn 12.

The penultimate lap - lap twenty-one - has begun and Stoner is still leading, followed by Melandri and Pedrosa. Hayden is +1.4 seconds behind in fourth and Rossi +4.8 seconds back in fifth. Pedrosa tries to overtake Melandri for second again at Turn 12, but he blocks Pedrosa off and forces him to try via the outside as they go into Turn 12. He runs wide as a result when he enters Turn 13 and by Turn 14, he has lost ground to the top two.

On lap twenty-two - the final lap -, Pedrosa crashes out of third position when his front tyre let go, going into Turn 1. This gifts Hayden third, Rossi fourth and Elías fifth. Melandri was all over the back of Stoner but he did not make a mistake, making his first ever win seem ever more likely. However, as Melandri closed up on the straight before Turn 12, he made his move going into the turn. Stoner tried to hold out so he could retake the lead going into Turn 13, but Melandri outsmarted him and managed to get ahead. With Stoner not able to make a move at Turn 14, Melandri crossed the line +0.200 seconds ahead of Stoner to win the race - a back-to-back victory for him. +5.2 seconds behind them is Hayden, who crossed the line in third, Rossi - who had almost caught Hayden - in fourth and Elías in fifth. Pedrosa crossed the line in a lowly fourteenth place, being able to get back up on his bike after the fall.[5][6]

During the parade lap back to the pits, Melandri and Stoner congratulated each other and Rossi and Stoner shook hands on the bike. Melandri did a wheelie whilst riding back to parc fermé.

At parc fermé, Hayden talks to his team whilst Melandri celebrates with much joy instead. Stoner is already interviewing the press by then. Stoner and Melandri also shake hands and hug each other.

Before the podium celebrations, the three rides shake each others' hands. The riders come on, the important figures shake their hands, the trophies are being handed to each driver, the Italian nation anthem starts playing and then the riders spray the champagne.[7]

Due to this result, Nicky Hayden takes over the world championship lead from Loris Capirossi by just one point - 52 to 51 -, with Marco Melandri in third place with 45 points. Casey Stoner moves up to fourth with 41 and Valentino Rossi drops one place with 40 points.

MotoGP classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Team Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 33   Marco Melandri Fortuna Honda Honda 22 41:54.065 14 25
2 27   Casey Stoner Honda LCR Honda 22 +0.200 7 20
3 69   Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda Team Honda 22 +5.458 2 16
4 46   Valentino Rossi Camel Yamaha Team Yamaha 22 +6.209 11 13
5 24   Toni Elías Fortuna Honda Honda 22 +6.587 12 11
6 65   Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 22 +16.682 4 10
7 71   Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 22 +16.777 1 9
8 56   Shinya Nakano Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 22 +21.537 8 8
9 5   Colin Edwards Camel Yamaha Team Yamaha 22 +22.847 9 7
10 6   Makoto Tamada Konica Minolta Honda Honda 22 +30.483 13 6
11 15   Sete Gibernau Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 22 +30.543 3 5
12 17   Randy de Puniet Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 22 +34.284 6 4
13 10   Kenny Roberts, Jr. Team Roberts KR211V 22 +45.112 10 3
14 26   Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team Honda 22 +53.525 16 2
15 7   Carlos Checa Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha 22 +59.855 15 1
16 66   Alex Hofmann Pramac d'Antin MotoGP Ducati 22 +1:01.241 17
17 21   John Hopkins Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 22 +1:38.628 5
18 77   James Ellison Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha 21 +1 lap 19
NC 30   José Luis Cardoso Pramac d'Antin MotoGP Ducati 15 +7 laps 18
Sources: [8][9][10]

250 cc classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 4   Hiroshi Aoyama KTM 20 40:02.376 6 25
2 80   Héctor Barberá Aprilia 20 +0.401 5 20
3 34   Andrea Dovizioso Honda 20 +0.467 3 16
4 15   Roberto Locatelli Aprilia 20 +0.641 13 13
5 55   Yuki Takahashi Honda 20 +2.555 4 11
6 50   Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 20 +10.554 8 10
7 96   Jakub Smrž Aprilia 20 +12.534 10 9
8 25   Alex Baldolini Aprilia 20 +16.887 16 8
9 14   Anthony West Aprilia 20 +17.348 12 7
10 19   Sebastián Porto Honda 20 +20.910 9 6
11 58   Marco Simoncelli Gilera 20 +28.425 7 5
12 7   Alex de Angelis Aprilia 20 +35.956 2 4
13 36   Martín Cárdenas Honda 20 +48.291 22 3
14 28   Dirk Heidolf Aprilia 20 +1:00.604 15 2
15 54   Manuel Poggiali KTM 20 +1:03.888 18 1
16 16   Jules Cluzel Aprilia 20 +1:09.340 19
17 24   Jordi Carchano Honda 20 +1:38.360 25
18 22   Luca Morelli Aprilia 20 +1:59.179 23
19 40   Sinan Sofuoğlu Honda 19 +1 lap 26
Ret 21   Arnaud Vincent Honda 8 Accident 11
Ret 57   Chaz Davies Aprilia 8 Retirement 20
Ret 23   Arturo Tizón Honda 7 Retirement 21
Ret 73   Shuhei Aoyama Honda 1 Retirement 14
Ret 41   Michele Danese Aprilia 0 Accident 24
Ret 48   Jorge Lorenzo Aprilia 0 Accident 1
Ret 8   Andrea Ballerini Aprilia 0 Accident 17
Ret 85   Alessio Palumbo Aprilia 0 Accident 27

125 cc classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 55   Héctor Faubel Aprilia 19 39:30.095 4 25
2 19   Álvaro Bautista Aprilia 19 +0.243 1 20
3 33   Sergio Gadea Aprilia 19 +7.240 16 16
4 24   Simone Corsi Gilera 19 +8.340 3 13
5 6   Joan Olivé Aprilia 19 +9.127 9 11
6 14   Gábor Talmácsi Honda 19 +10.749 6 10
7 52   Lukáš Pešek Derbi 19 +18.258 10 9
8 8   Lorenzo Zanetti Aprilia 19 +22.800 12 8
9 71   Tomoyoshi Koyama Malaguti 19 +23.224 20 7
10 10   Ángel Rodríguez Aprilia 19 +23.240 14 6
11 60   Julián Simón KTM 19 +23.521 7 5
12 1   Thomas Lüthi Honda 19 +23.639 11 4
13 32   Fabrizio Lai Honda 19 +23.656 13 3
14 22   Pablo Nieto Aprilia 19 +23.716 8 2
15 29   Andrea Iannone Aprilia 19 +36.240 18 1
16 11   Sandro Cortese Honda 19 +36.311 22
17 75   Mattia Pasini Aprilia 19 +42.922 2
18 43   Manuel Hernández Aprilia 19 +43.248 24
19 17   Stefan Bradl KTM 19 +55.975 29
20 7   Alexis Masbou Malaguti 19 +56.027 25
21 41   Aleix Espargaró Honda 19 +56.352 30
22 44   Karel Abraham Aprilia 19 +56.753 32
23 16   Michele Conti Honda 19 +57.435 33
24 35   Raffaele De Rosa Aprilia 19 +59.703 19
25 21   Mateo Túnez Aprilia 19 +59.842 34
26 9   Michael Ranseder KTM 19 +1:00.567 31
27 18   Nicolás Terol Derbi 19 +1:00.793 21
28 23   Lorenzo Baroni Honda 19 +1:09.219 27
29 45   Imre Tóth Aprilia 19 +1:20.747 23
30 53   Simone Grotzkyj Aprilia 19 +1:22.635 35
31 20   Roberto Tamburini Aprilia 19 +1:28.342 39
32 26   Vincent Braillard Aprilia 19 +1:29.066 36
33 13   Dino Lombardi Aprilia 19 +1:33.910 38
34 37   Joey Litjens Honda 19 +1:34.580 37
35 12   Federico Sandi Aprilia 19 +1:42.683 17
Ret 36   Mika Kallio KTM 16 Retirement 5
Ret 38   Bradley Smith Honda 12 Accident 26
Ret 63   Mike Di Meglio Honda 10 Accident 15
Ret 15   Michele Pirro Aprilia 3 Retirement 28
DNQ 81   Robert Mureșan Aprilia Did not qualify

Championship standings after the race (MotoGP)Edit

Below are the standings for the top five riders and constructors after round three has concluded.[13]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "2006 Turkish MotoGP". Motorsportmagazine.com. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Vermeulen pole completes Suzuki turnaround". Crash. April 29, 2006.
  3. ^ "Vermeulen on pole". Eurosport. April 29, 2006.
  4. ^ "Rossi washed away as Yamaha drama continues". Crash. April 29, 2006.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Melandri beats Stoner in Turkish thriller". Crash. April 30, 2006.
  6. ^ "Stoner second in Turkish GP". www.abc.net.au. April 30, 2006.
  7. ^ "2006 #TurkishGP | Vintage MotoGP". YouTube. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  8. ^ "2006 Turkish MotoGP - Motor Sport Magazine Database". Motorsportmagazine.com. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  9. ^ "2006 Turkish Grand Prix : Classifications : 500cc" (PDF). Resources.motogp.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  10. ^ "GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY · MotoGP Race Classification 2006". Motogp.com. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  11. ^ "2006 Turkish Grand Prix : Classifications : 250cc" (PDF). Resources.motogp.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  12. ^ "2006 Turkish Grand Prix : Classifications : 125cc" (PDF). Resources.motogp.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Standings" (PDF). resources.motogp.com. 2006. Retrieved 2019-08-22.

Previous race:
2006 Qatar Grand Prix
FIM Grand Prix World Championship
2006 season
Next race:
2006 Chinese Grand Prix
Previous race:
2005 Turkish Grand Prix
Turkish Grand Prix Next race:
2007 Turkish Grand Prix