DISAPPOINTMENT FOR TEAM HONDA GRESINI AT PHILLIP ISLAND The Australian Grand Prix was an unlucky affair for Team Honda Gresini, who were unable to get the most out of their package at Phillip Island as a host of technical problems haunted Marco...
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR TEAM HONDA GRESINI AT PHILLIP ISLAND
The Australian Grand Prix was an unlucky affair for Team Honda Gresini, who were unable to get the most out of their package at Phillip Island as a host of technical problems haunted Marco Melandri and Toni Elias.
Melandri, who launched himself from twelfth on the grid up to seventh at the start, became embroiled in a spectacular battle with Pedrosa and Capirossi to put together an unlikely challenge for the podium. Marco, who had found an improved feeling with his bike after some changes to the geometry during warm-up, set an incredible pace for two thirds distance, even clocking the second fastest lap of the race with a time of 1'30"806. However, from the 18th lap he started to drop his pace due to a technical problem and could only fight to hang on to the best position he could manage.
It was an equally tough race for his team-mate Elias, who started from the sixth row and struggled through a host of problems to pick up a single point down in fifteenth place.
With a disppointing weekend in Australia now behind them, Team Honda Gresini are looking forward to getting back on track at the next round in just five days time at Sepang, Malaysia.
MARCO MELANDRI (10th in the race, 6th in the championship): "Today we were in good shape to finish on the podium. After a good start from the fourth row I was able to battle virtually for the whole race in the top five. I had a good pace and the bike felt really good. I could have fought for second but unfortunately I had a problem with the rear tyre that we didn't expect and it slowed me a lot. I tried to finish the race as best as I could. I'm disappointed with tenth place because we had the potential for a much better result at a circuit I love and where I have already won in all three classes, as well as lifting the 250 title here."
TONI ELIAS (15th in the race, 11th in the championship): "It has been a difficult weekend and today I suffered from a few different problems that prevented me from riding as I can. I had problems with the front tyre from the start, then at the halfway stage we developed a problem with the electronics and I just tried to finish the race. I want to put this behind me now and just think about Malaysia. Sepang is one of my favourite circuits so hopefully we can have a much better result there."
-credit: gresini racing