A HOPEFUL RETURN FOR TEAM GRESINI AT BRNO The MotoGP World Championship circus returns from its summer break this weekend with the teams and riders ready to tackle what promises to be a demanding second half of the season with renewed ...
A HOPEFUL RETURN FOR TEAM GRESINI AT BRNO
The MotoGP World Championship circus returns from its summer break this weekend with the teams and riders ready to tackle what promises to be a demanding second half of the season with renewed energy.
This Sunday marks the now traditional return to action at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the twelfth round of the season, at the Brno circuit. Two weeks later the chase for honours continues in Italy at the Misano circuit.
Team Honda Gresini's riders both have extra reason to look forward to Brno with added motivation for this latest challenge.
For Toni Elias the race represents his first competitive action in two months, since breaking his left femur at Assen. As well as forcing him to miss the race in Holland, the injury also ruled him out of the final two races before the summer break in Germany and the USA.
Marco Melandri has also spent the summer in recuperation following a practice crash at Laguna Seca, where he battled through intense pain to finish on the podium in third place. After the race, it was discovered that Marco had actually fractured his left astragalo bone (ankle) in the accident but after a three-week break he is now in better shape to tackle Brno.
After getting the green light from doctors, on Monday the Team Gresini pair made a 2 hours test on CBR 600 machines at Misano in order to make a final check on their fitness before returning to competitive action and also to assess the most comfortable riding position. Melandri needed just ten laps before returning with positive news: "The foot is still painful but the situation is much better than Laguna." Elias rode for longer with a special carbon fiber protector for his leg: "I am happy with my feeling on the bike and today I made the final checks with Dr. Costa."
MARCO MELANDRI: "After the race in the US I stayed on for a holiday in California with some friends. The ankle was still hurting me so I went for further medical checks and they found a fracture in my left astragalo. I returned to Italy and began my rehab therapy. It is still not quite right but I'll go to Brno and try for a top result. Because of the characteristics of the Honda it could be that the Czech circuit is not as favourable to us as Sachsenring and Laguna Seca but I am calm. To get back on the podium at Laguna Seca after a difficult weekend with the crash was really important to me - it was a third place that felt like a win. Our bike is working well now, I have a good feeling and I want to produce a really strong finish to the season. I want to give some more good memories to Fausto Gresini and the whole team. They have given me so much and even during difficult times they always worked to their maximum and stayed close to me. I'm going to Brno with lots of motivation and will to work hard for a top result."
TONI ELIAS: "When I crashed at Assen I set myself the target of returning at Brno and I think I can do it. Of course I won't be 100%, you could say I'll be more like 60%, but now is the time for me to go back to work - to get out on the bike and ride again. The corners at Brno could prove difficult for my leg but I want to try. I've gone through so much rehab in Spain and I think it has done the job. It has been a painful process trying to get fit again but sometimes in this job you have to deal with pain."