MELANDRI AND ELIAS ON REDEMPTION TRAIL The opening day of the Grand Prix of Portugal proved to be tougher than expected for the Honda Gresini Team. Marco Melandri, who finished fourth in the last race at Misano, started out with a similar base...
MELANDRI AND ELIAS ON REDEMPTION TRAIL
The opening day of the Grand Prix of Portugal proved to be tougher than expected for the Honda Gresini Team.
Marco Melandri, who finished fourth in the last race at Misano, started out with a similar base setting and worked hard to adapt it to the characteristics of the Estoril circuit. Unfortunately this proved to be a difficult task and he was unable to ride to the best of his abilities, finishing tenth in the morning free practice and sixteenth in the afternoon. The Italian will be looking for major improvements tomorrow.
Toni Elias' return to Estoril brought back memories of his first ever victory in MotoGP here last season -- a result he would love to be in a position to repeat come Sunday.
TONI ELIAS (15th, 1'38"843): "Physically I feel better compered to Misano so today I tried to ride without any painkillers and I struggled a little. I'm at about 80% fitness now but I could feel the pain and tomorrow I'll have to take something again. I like this circuit a lot and I've had some great times here. I'm sure we can get a top result here but we still have a lot of work to do. Today we weren't able to get the best set-up for the bike's characteristics and we're struggling mainly under heavy braking. Tomorrow we'll also keep working on the cycle part."
MARCO MELANDRI (16th, 1'38"919): "We started out with the base from Misano and some of the good solutions we found in the test on Monday. Unforunately we've come up against a chattering problem here that doesn't allow me to ride as I like. We're struggling in some of the hard braking that characterises this circuit. Tomorrow we'll keep working. According to the weather forecasts the temperature could be up and that could be favourable for us because we went for a slightly harder tyre choice than we needed today. We know that this track is demanding and together with the team we're working to find the best solution."