Chinese GP: Gresini Racing preview

READY FOR CHINA After the excitement of Istanbul the MotoGP Woirld Championship heads even further east this weekend to China and the circuit of Shanghai, another of design guru Hermann Tilke's dramatic offerings to the world of ...

READY FOR CHINA

After the excitement of Istanbul the MotoGP Woirld Championship heads even further east this weekend to China and the circuit of Shanghai, another of design guru Hermann Tilke's dramatic offerings to the world of motorsport.

Team Honda Gresini are still flying high on the emotion of a stunning second place for Toni Elias in Turkey and a formidable comeback from Marco Melandri, who charged from 14th on the grid to finish in a creditable fifth.

Those results leave the Faenza-based outfit with both riders on the verge of the top three in the championship, with the Spaniard in fourth in and the Italian in fifth. They have also lifted Team Honda Gresini up to third place in the Teams' World Championship, behind the factory Ducati and Yamaha teams and the highest placed Honda outfit.

Marco Melandri: "I'm going to China feeling confident after the race in Istanbul -- not so much for the result but for the way we fought back after a difficult weekend. In the race we recovered the feeling I lost during practice and I was able to ride my Honda in the way I like. Now the objective is to find the right way forward with the set-up from the first session and get a qualifying position that will allow me to fight for a top position in the race.The characteristics of the circuit in China don't really suit our bike but I like the track itself. Bridgestone have demonstrated in the first three races that they can be competitive at different kinds of circuit and I'm confident they will come up with some really good options for us at Shanghai."

Toni Elias: "I like Shanghai a lot and I'm happy to go there after such a great race in Istanbul. I have to thank my team for the work they have done on the set-up and Bridgestone, who have come up with a tyre which is perfect for my riding style. This has raised my confidence in my potential and allowed me to progress. The job still isn't finished though and we still have margin for improvement. I'm pleased to see that my riding style, which many people said would be too aggressive for the new 800cc bike, can be effective and allow me to challenge for victories. The Shanghai straight is the longest on the calendar (1202 metres) and that doesn't suit our bike but I hope we can make up for this with a good set-up in the cycle part."

THE TRACK: "It's a unique circuit," explains Marco. "It has two long straights, one of which measures 1202 metres and is the longest on the calendar. The first corner is probably the strangest because it is so long and you have to change gear whilst banked over down a steep drop. It's important to have a precise line through turns 3, 4 and 5 and a good exit from turn 7 before the long straight. You then have to be prepared for the hardest braking zone in the championship to set up a good finish."

FOCUS: How the World Championship crosses the globe

In Europe the team's material travels across land in the trucks, but how is it transported to Intercontinental venues? Everything is packed into boxes and transported on special charter flights. On their arrival at customs, the boxes and documents undergo strict examination both at the airport and again at the circuit. This procedure takes around 48 hours.

THE NUMBERS:

3 Boeing 747s transport the 945 boxes.

290,000kg of material transported

200kg of documentation

40 trucks transfer the boxes from the airport to the circuit

100,000 kg of MotoGP material

10,600kg of Team Honda Gresini material, packed in 33 boxes

Interesting fact: the total weight of all the bikes in all three classes is 20 tonnes -- just 7% of the entire freight.

The cost varies from track to track. Istanbul to Shanghai costs 3 euro per kilo, whilst the return from Shanghai to Le Mans is more than double.

This information is provided by TEMPORA, who are in charge of transporting MotoGP material outside of Europe. Tempora's operating staff is made up of seven people, who all travel with the cargo.

-credit: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Toni Elias