Australian GP: Gresini Racing preview

FROM THE HEAT OF MALAYSIA TO THE FRESH AUSTRALIAN SPRING Team San Carlo Honda Gresini left behind the Malaysian Grand Prix with mixed feelings on Sunday night, with disappointment on one hand at the result but satisfaction on the other thanks to...

FROM THE HEAT OF MALAYSIA TO THE FRESH AUSTRALIAN SPRING

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini left behind the Malaysian Grand Prix with mixed feelings on Sunday night, with disappointment on one hand at the result but satisfaction on the other thanks to some encouraging signs during the race. Marco Simoncelli showed a consistently fast pace up until the final third of the race, when he lost touch with the lead group and missed the opportunity to fight for fourth or fifth place as he struggled to cope with the sweltering conditions. However, it was still the best performance of his MotoGP career so far as "Super Sic" continues to show that he is continuing to adapt to the demands of the premier class. Marco Melandri was restricted to a battle through the pack following an off-track excursion that nullified a positive start to the race. In Australia he will be looking to put things straight at a circuit he loves, whilst for Simoncelli the temperatures should be much more to his liking. Springtime at Phillip Island is usually fresh to say the least but both Simoncelli and Melandri have performed well at the track in the past. "Super Sic" took 250cc victory in both 2008 and 2009 and has a wonderful affinity with the Australian circuit. Melandri has a 125cc victory to his name in Australia and clinched the 250cc title with victory at Phillip Island in 2002. His MotoGP win in 2006 will forever be remembered for a spectacular rolling burnout through the final corner.

Marco Simoncelli "I am nice and relaxed going to Australia because apart from the final result at Sepang I learnt a lot and I think I made an important step forward. It definitely wasn't easy at a circuit that hasn't been kind to me in the past and where we had a disastrous winter test, but I managed it and that means we are on the right lines. Phillip Island, on the other hand, is a circuit I really love and so I am very confident I can have a good race there. I am not saying I have made it because we still have work to do but at Sepang we made some important progress."

Marco Melandri "If it wasn't for that off track excursion at Sepang it could have been my best race of the season. I am still disappointed by it because of the problems we had over the first few laps, which caused me to make mistakes. I still had a more consistent pace than a lot of my rivals. However, overall I am satisfied and confident that at Phillip Island, a circuit I love, I will have the chance to make up for it. I want to end the season on a high and take some good memories with me and I am sure after Sepang that I can do that. We will be working with the guys in the team in the hope that we can start from Friday on the right path to a good race."

Fausto Gresini "I was satisfied with everything except the result at Sepang. Simoncelli took a decisive and important step forward and for two thirds of the race he was setting a fast and consistent rhythm and was in touch with the leaders. Unfortunately he struggled a little more than some of the others with the terrible heat of Sepang. Phillip Island will be a different story and it is a circuit he loves, quite unlike Sepang, so I am sure he will capitalize on that and put on a good show next Sunday. He is definitely making progress and a top finish is within his grasp. Melandri also did well and without that off-track moment he would have been fighting for a top finish. Anyway, compared to previous races he had a better feeling with the bike and I think that in Australia at a circuit he loves he can get the best out of himself. With conviction and determination I am sure he can come up with something -- maybe even a repeat of that fantastic rolling burnout in the final corner of his victory in 2006!"

-source: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Marco Simoncelli , Phillip Island