ELIAS STORMS TO SECOND AT ISTANBUL PARK Another great fight back from Marco Melandri The Grand Prix of Turkey remains a special event for Team Honda Gresini after another magnificent display from both riders to end a tough weekend for the team.
ELIAS STORMS TO SECOND AT ISTANBUL PARK
Another great fight back from Marco Melandri
The Grand Prix of Turkey remains a special event for Team Honda Gresini after another magnificent display from both riders to end a tough weekend for the team. Whilst Marco Melandri has won here for the past two seasons, today it was Toni Elias' turn to step up to the podium after taking second place behind Casey Stoner.
A perfect start from row four allowed the Spaniard to battle with the leading riders and Elias slid his way spectacularly through to second place by the tenth lap, a position he maintained to the end of the race.
There was also a stunning charge from Marco Melandri, who went from 14th on the grid to fifth. Despite his lowly grid position the Italian set an extremely competitive pace throughout the race which allowed him to come out of what promised to be a difficult day with some solid points.
TONI ELIAS (2nd in the race, 4th in the championship on 35 points): "It was like a 125 race with some unbelievable passes. I concentrated on getting a perfect start and made as many passes as I could on the opening laps but I got stuck behind Hopkins for too long. Once I got past him my pace was good and I was also able to take Rossi. I couldn't challenge for the lead because Casey was so fast so I decided to focus on maintaining my position. I have to thank the team and Bridgestone for the faith they have shown in me. I feel mature and confident because I still think we can improve even more."
MARCO MELANDRI (5th in the race -- 5th in the championship on 30 points): "I got a good start but I also lost a lot of time behind Hopkins because he was braking on the limit. I had a good pace and was able to fight for the podium with Capirossi and Barros but the bike started to vibrate and that slowed me down. I have to thank the team because they've done a great job and so have Bridgestone -- the tyres were fantastic today."