Catalunyan GP: Gresini Racing preview

LEAD ROLE THE TARGET FOR BARCELONA The MotoGP World Championship continues unabated on the back of the Grand Prix of Italy as the teams and riders prepare themselves for another challenge at the Grand Prix of Catalunya this weekend. It's a...

LEAD ROLE THE TARGET FOR BARCELONA

The MotoGP World Championship continues unabated on the back of the Grand Prix of Italy as the teams and riders prepare themselves for another challenge at the Grand Prix of Catalunya this weekend.

It's a race against time for the paddock staff to make it to Montmelò for the seventh round of the season. The circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, has become a firm fixture on the MotoGP calendar and its layout remains unchanged for motorcycle racing, despite the alterations made for Formula 1.

Following on from his incredible fightback at Mugello, Honda Gresini rider Toni Elias is ready to tackle another demanding weekend, this time at his home circuit. Toni's hometown of Manresa is only 30 minutes from Montmelò - an extra boost for the Spaniard, who is determined to get a top result in front of his home supporters.

Marco Melandri is looking forward to getting back on track in Catalunya and putting the events of Mugello firmly behind him. The second of six races in just seven weeks leaves little time for reflection or distraction.

TONI ELIAS: "A good result at a circuit as technical as Mugello has given me a lot of confidence and helped me fully get over the disappointment of my bad results in France and China. Now it is the turn of the Spaniards to race at home. Riding in front of so many fans in Barcelona gives you an incredible feeling and that extra motivation can help me get a top result this weekend. I feel confident and highly motivated. I know it will be tough because Montmelò is a demanding circuit, with a very long straight that will make things even harder."

MARCO MELANDRI: "Barcelona is a circuit I've always liked a lot. I scored my first MotoGP podium there but I also have the bad memory of the big crash last year. It's a nice circuit but the slow corners followed by hard acceleration and a start-finish straight of over a kilometre in length do not play in our favour. Luckily we'll be going to a few more favourable tracks after Barcelona. In any case I feel motivated and I'm looking forward to putting the Mugello race behind me."

FOCUS: HONDA AND TEAM GRESINI PUT THEIR FAITH IN YOUTH

The "Honda Italian Racing Project" was presented by Honda Italy and HRC at Mugello, a programme designed at uncovering the next generation of riders in collaboration with Team Honda Gresini. In partnership with the FMI, the Italian Motorcycle Federation, the project will give 9-13 year olds the opportunity to enter a free trial in either the north or south of the country and claim one of 21 places. They will be taught about tactics and race strategy, as well sports psychology, and will receive athletic training. They will even gather experience in the world of MotoGP, with a work experience placement up for grabs at the San Marino GP with the Gresini Honda Team. The course will take place over the summer and autumn of 2007 and will be repeated in 2008. The youngsters will race on four-stroke Honda NSF100 machines -- the Tokyo factory's latest gem.

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Toni Elias