Fortuna Yamaha practices with a motocross day

Fortuna Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri took advantage of being on their 'home turf' to enjoy a short stint of extra training at the Donington Park motocross track today. Both riders are UK residents and went out on their...

Fortuna Yamaha Team riders Carlos Checa and Marco Melandri took advantage of being on their 'home turf' to enjoy a short stint of extra training at the Donington Park motocross track today. Both riders are UK residents and went out on their Yamaha YZ450F motocross machines along with British motocross rider Jamie Dobb.

The two MotoGP racers spent nearly an hour on the hilly Donington track, which is located next to the Donington Park circuit where both riders will line up to contest the British Grand Prix this Sunday.

Checa has lived in England for several years, formerly close to London and now in Great Ayton in North Yorkshire. Whenever the Catalan-born rider's hectic schedule allows him to, he enjoys a variety of leisure pursuits in his home county, which have recently included wake-boarding and kite-surfing. Checa currently lies eighth in the MotoGP World Championship, and has taken fourth place at the last two races. He is hoping to continue to improve his form this weekend with a podium finish at the track which he considers his second home.

"This motocross track was not the kind I am used to, as it is very bumpy," said the Fortuna Yamaha rider. "I didn't want to push too hard this close before a race, so I took it easy. I am already thinking about the race on Sunday but this is a good way to warm up! It's good to have Marco and Jamie living here in the UK as well, because I can come and train with them whenever I want to. Perhaps in the winter we can get a routine in place to ride together regularly."

Marco Melandri, Checa's team-mate, is no stranger to the Donington motocross circuit as he resides only thirty miles away in Derby. Melandri moved here in November, encouraged by his great friend, British motocross rider Jamie Dobb. The pair often train together at circuits in the local area when their different Championship calendars do not conflict.

"It's been great fun today" beamed 250cc World Champion Melandri. "It's not so easy as the track is quite slippery because of the hot weather, which is the opposite to MotoGP where for me it's easier when it's dry. I lived in London for almost two years and then Jamie persuaded me to move to Derby. I prefer it here because not only is it peaceful but it is also easier for me to train at tracks like this. The countryside here also reminds me of my home in Italy. This weekend is like my second home Grand Prix and I just hope that the weather will be as good as it was today because I don't like wet conditions at all."

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Carlos Checa , Marco Melandri