ELIAS STARTS WELL AT HOME GRAND PRIX Team Honda Gresini started out on the right foot in the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the demanding Montamelo circuit. It was a good day for Toni Elias, who found a good feeling at his home circuit and lapped...
ELIAS STARTS WELL AT HOME GRAND PRIX
Team Honda Gresini started out on the right foot in the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the demanding Montamelo circuit.
It was a good day for Toni Elias, who found a good feeling at his home circuit and lapped at the top of the time sheets in both free practice sessions, clocking the third quickest time in the morning and the fourth quickest in the afternoon.
The high ambient temperatures of 33 and track temperatures of 43 made things difficult in the afternoon. Toni worked hard on his chassis and suspension settings to improve the feeling on the front and will tomorrow look to find better traction on the rear as he tries to deal with the long corners of Montmelò. Toni, who lives just 30 minutes from the track, is focused and determined to give his best in his home race.
It was also a good start for Marco Melandri, who worked on the cycle part of his bike with the target of putting as little stress as possible on the tyres -- one of the most important factors at this circuit, especially with the temperatures as high as they were on this first day.
TONI ELIAS (4th, 1'43.592): "I'm satsified with the job we've done on this first day. We've started the weekend well and been in the top five in the first two sessions and that gives me high hopes. Everything came easily in the morning, but things were more difficult in the afternoon with the higher temperatures.
We worked to improve the front end and I think that will be an advantage tomorrow when we try and improve traction on corner entry and exit."
MARCO MELANDRI (7th, 1'43.811): "Today was difficult. It's the first time this season that we've ridden at a circuit in such heat and I have to say that I wasn't expecting it would be quite this hot. Compared to Mugello we've started out with a different set-up, which we thought would suit this track more.
Today we worked on the cycle part and did some tyre tests. Tomorrow I want to try a different chassis setting to try and improve the feeling with the front -- especially on the way into the corners -- to really get the most out of the tyres."
FAUSTO GRESINI: "Toni has done a great job with the team -- setting a good pace and developing the set-up for these extremely hot conditions. Marco has also worked well and we're optimistic for the weekend. We're also happy with the Bridgestone tyres, who have shown to be very competitive at a circuit which traditionally hasn't favoured them in the past."