MELANDRI AND SIMONCELLI MAKE PROGRESS ON SECOND DAY OF TESTS AT VALENCIA
Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli continued to improve their feeling with the bikes they will use to contest the 2010 MotoGP World Championship today on the second day of testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. Taking to the track in the late morning sunshine as track temperatures slowly rose to 23C, the Italian pair quickly racked up the laps as they evaluated the changes the engineers had made to their machines based on their feedback from yesterday. Melandri continued to work hard to adapt to the bike as opposed to looking for a hot lap time, completing 85 circulations of the Spanish circuit with satisfactory results.
Simoncelli also continued his adaptation to the Honda RC212V machine, which is already starting to feel more like his own. He made constant progress as he searched for the limits of the bike and of himself, as well as continuing to learn the working methods involved in MotoGP, which are completely different to 250.
Marco Melandri (1'33"326 - 85 laps) "It has been a top day for us even though the lap time isn't particularly fast yet. For me this is a completely new bike compared to the one I rode in 2007 and it is important to get an understanding for it. We have taken a step forward with our pace and my best lap time came on a tyre that had quite a few laps on it, so that makes me confident and happy. We worked a lot on the geometry yesterday and spent today refining the small things that can improve the traction and general feeling with the tyres, making small but sure steps forward. We still have a couple of ideas to try tomorrow and then it's a case of trying to get the most out of the softer tyre - I wouldn't say today was a waste in that sense but I still haven't tried one with an optimum set-up on the bike. All in all I'm pleased because yesterday I only managed two laps in 1'33"9 and today I did a lot of laps in the low 1'33s on used tyres, so I think we're already on the right lines to get ready for that first race."
Marco Simoncelli (1'34"229 - 78 laps) "It didn't feel like my bike yesterday at all but we made a few changes and after just a few laps I got my confidence together and I think we found the way forward. We obviously still have a lot of work to do but I rode pretty hard out there today and everything felt easier. My lap times aren't particularly quick but I did them on my own so I'm pleased. I was struggling to get a feel for the rear of the bike yesterday but my confidence with the rear tyre improved today and we made a few changes to the setting that allowed me to be more aggressive - yesterday was like walking on eggs and I didn't know from one moment to the next if I was about to make an omelette! I also tried a start today without launch control and even though it felt more like a rocket than a motorcycle it was actually maybe a little easier than a 250. I don't think I did badly but it was hard to tell so I guess we'll find out in the future."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I'm pleased again with today - Melandri worked on his race pace and he's happy and the crew did a good job. He wasn't looking for a fast lap time but a consistent rhythm. As far as Simoncelli is concerned I have to say that it is nice to see him putting so much effort into improving, getting the bike more under control from lap to lap and approaching everything in the calm manner that you need in MotoGP. He did a lot of laps and is starting to understand how the bike works, making the most of all the time available to try and improve. In Moto2 we did some more tests this morning with Simeon to allow him more time on the bike and to see how good the kid is, and then in the afternoon we let Elias out on it, having signed a pre-contract agreement with him until the end of November. He was pleased to ride the bike and his lap time was good (1'37"280). Obviously it is not a MotoGP bike, it is slower and he said that it felt sluggish in comparison but I have to say that he is approaching the project with enthusiasm."
-credit: gresini racing