SUMMER HOLIDAYS CUT SHORT AS MOTOGP RETURNS AT BRNO As has been tradition for a number of years the Czech Republic Grand Prix signals the end of the summer holidays and a return to work for the MotoGP paddock, which pitches up at Brno this week...
SUMMER HOLIDAYS CUT SHORT AS MOTOGP RETURNS AT BRNO
As has been tradition for a number of years the Czech Republic Grand Prix signals the end of the summer holidays and a return to work for the MotoGP paddock, which pitches up at Brno this week after a short break following the USGP at Laguna Seca. Marco Melandri is hoping the extra weekend off has served to put him in better physical shape, having recovered mobility in his injured shoulder and the strength to muscle his Honda RC212V around the track. Brno will be another opportunity for Melandri and his team-mate Marco Simoncelli to continue to improve their feeling with the new electronic package provided to Team San Carlo Honda Gresini by HRC at Laguna Seca. "Super Sic" crashed three times over the weekend in California but the rookie also showed constant improvement and he is hopeful of taking another step forward on more familiar territory, at a circuit where he won the 250cc race last season. The Czech track has been a fixture on the calendar since 1993, having been opened in 1987 on a section of the old 14km road circuit -- an event that was dominated by Italian legend Giacomo Agostini, a seven-time 500cc race winner there.
Marco Melandri "I expected to do better at Laguna Seca but unfortunately I was forced to accept that physically I wasn't up to it. My shoulder wasn't painful during the race but after ten laps I was exhausted. I had no feeling on the way into the corners and I couldn't ride as fast as I'd hoped. Since then I took a short holiday near the sea but I've continued with constant physiotherapy in the hope that I can be back to full fitness for Brno. I like the circuit and if I have recovered as well as I hope and I can stay strong over race distance then I should be fighting near the front. I am not happy with the current situation because I don't like to be making up the numbers in MotoGP!"
Marco Simoncelli "The crash at Laguna left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. To be honest after practice and qualifying I thought I could do really well but I struggled more than I expected in the race and then I crashed, which wasn't good. Whenever that happens you head home with your tail between your legs but I took a short break in Sardinia and then began to prepare myself for this weekend because it is going to be a very important Grand Prix for me. Brno is a circuit I like a lot and I have always had good races there -- especially the last two years, finishing third in 2008 and winning last year [in the 250cc class]. The Czech Republic has been kind to me in the past so I hope I can be strong again this weekend. We have more confidence now with the electronics package given to us by Honda in America so we should get more performance out of the bike. "
Fausto Gresini "Brno has always been a good Grand Prix for us and I hope that tradition continues this season. The circuit is well suited to the characteristics of our bike and with the experience we gathered of the new electronics package given to us by HRC in America we should be able to take another step forward. We struggled a little at Laguna but with the continued support of Honda in the Czech Republic I'm sure we will be able to improve the feeling and make the most of the undoubted potential of such a fundamental technical aspect of the RC212V. We should also have Melandri in better physical shape at Brno, ready to fight for the positions he's been close to in recent weeks. Simoncelli will be looking to make up for the disappointment of the race at Laguna Seca, even though he made progress in practice. Brno signals the start of the second half of the championship and I am confident that we can start picking up the results that have escaped us so far. On paper the top results are within our grasp -- we have been close to them already and maybe just need a little more luck."
-source: gresini racing