The fourth round of the MotoGP season did not get off to the best of starts for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two Marcos, Simoncelli and Melandri, who were unable to make noticeable improvements throughout the first free practice despite an encouraging first few laps. Their Honda RC212V machines looked slightly nervous around the Mugello circuit, which is not in ideal shape this weekend, and both riders are struggling to get power to the ground. A long technical meeting this evening should determine a fresh approach for tomorrow, with the team still hopeful of mounting a competitive challenge at their home circuit.

Marco Simoncelli (12th - 1' 51" 717) "Things didn't start out too badly but it's fair to say that the changes we made as the session progressed did not have the desired effect. In the end we have finished twelfth so we need to rejig our ideas for tomorrow on how we work with the bike. The track conditions certainly aren't the best and there are a lot of bumps that mean I can't get the bike to go where I want. We are trying to solve this problem by improving the balance of the bike and get some more confidence in the front."

Marco Melandri (13th - 1' 51" 782) "The Grand Prix has started out in a difficult way. The first run felt okay but after that we tried a few things to make the bike better and it just felt worse. By the end the feeling was terrible. Now we need to analyse the data and try to work out why the path we took was so wrong and what we can do to find the right way forward. The track isn't in good shape - it gets worse every year and has a lot of bumps -- but it is the same for everybody so that is no excuse."

Fausto Gresini "Unfortunately we're a little behind and we are still a long way off finding the right set-up. We have made several changes without finding a way to get the most out of this bike at this track and at the moment both riders are struggling to get the power to the ground. We will have a look at the data from this session and try to work out what we can do tomorrow to get our strategy right. This is obviously an important Grand Prix for us, we want to do well in it and we will do our best to turn things around."

-source: gresini racing