SHORT BUT INTENSE FINAL DAY AT VALENCIA FOR TWO MARCOS
The third day of testing at Valencia was short but intense for Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli, with the track open from 10am to 1pm but action not getting underway until the asphalt was up to an acceptable temperature at around 11am. However, it was a positive couple of hours for the pair, who improved their lap times from yesterday and gathered important information for the future. Melandri improved his lap time and consistency, whilst Simoncelli continued to build up his confidence with the four-stroke machine. The youngster was able to learn more about the working process of Honda's engineers as well as addressing his difficulties in braking and corner exit. Whilst Simoncelli will be eligible to take part in a test exclusively for rookies at a place and time yet to be determined in the near future, Melandri heads for a well-earned break before the first preseason test of 2010 at Sepang, Malaysia, on 4-5 February.
Marco Melandri (1'32"935; 36 laps) "It was another good day today but it was just a shame we didn't have many tyres available to complete more work. At the start I though we had a problem with the setting but on reflection it was probably more to do with the fact we were using a used hard tyre. When we put a fresh one on the bike felt unbalanced but I still managed to improve my lap time. Anyway, I'm happy because we have been able to gather a lot of useful data that will help us in a variety of circumstances during the season ahead. It has been a good three days - not easy but we have worked well and now I just hope that the new bike works and adapts well to the new tyres because my objective is to be back challenging for the podium. A little rest won't do any of us any harm now!"
Marco Simoncelli (1'33"857; 35 laps) "Even though I was pretty tired today I had fun and went faster than yesterday, my rhythm wasn't bad either - not quite up there with the fast guys yet but I'm still happy with it. My confidence in the bike is increasing even though I still don't feel totally comfortable - especially in braking into the first part of the corner and then getting out of the corner, although I think the main problem is in braking. All in all I am satisfied because I've been setting the lap times on my own out there. I have also learned a lot over the three days about the working methods in this category and have also developed a good relationship with the Honda engineers - they are very open and honest with their thoughts and equally open to listen to yours. It is a good way to work towards joint success and I think we are all pulling in the same direction. Now the "MotoGP Rookies test" has been confirmed we just have to wait and find out where it'll take place."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I'm delighted with three positive days for us, which have given us high hopes for the future. Melandri has been riding hard, not looking for lap times but working calmly on finding a good pace and transmitting a lot of optimism. We know how he works and it is good to see that he is the same determined and precise rider as before. I have also been pleasantly surprised by Simoncelli, who has made progressive and constant improvements and gradually learnt how we work in this team. There is a perfect synergy between him and his mechanics that has allowed them to respond to his feedback. As well as all that we have positive feedback from our Moto2 machine, which Elias has ridden for us today with another demonstration of his professionalism and outright speed - clocking a very interesting lap time of 1'36"914. The Moto2 project is looking good and we hope to define our plans shortly."
-credit: gresini racing