Yesterday's high hopes failed to materialise in the French sunshine this afternoon for Marco Melandri, with the Italian and his Team San Carlo Honda Gresini team-mate Marco Simoncelli unable to move up the classification in this afternoon's decisive ...
Yesterday's high hopes failed to materialise in the French sunshine this afternoon for Marco Melandri, with the Italian and his Team San Carlo Honda Gresini team-mate Marco Simoncelli unable to move up the classification in this afternoon's decisive qualifying session. Melandri admits he has plenty of work to do before tomorrow's race although Simoncelli was more optimistic as he reflected on his encouraging race pace.
"It was a difficult session and the things that we found that worked at Jerez didn't really happen today. Unfortunately we are down on corner speed because I am struggling to get off the brakes on the way into the turns. We struggled with this yesterday and even though I thought we'd found the solution we had similar problems again today. My riding style relies on corner speed so we need to work on this. Tomorrow will be a tough race and we may have to be on the defensive."
"I'm pretty happy to be honest because we did a good job this morning and I thought I could have done a better time on the softer tyre. Unfortunately a couple of problems emerged with the rear end and I wasn't able to make the improvement that could have lifted me a few places on the grid. Having said that I am still confident because my race pace is decent -- not quick enough to go with the front guys but certainly to improve on my position on the grid. I think I can improve on my eleventh place finish from Jerez and with a bit of luck maybe even challenge for the top eight. That would be great!"
"Everybody was really on the pace today and even though our lap times are not far off we are still a little way down the grid. After yesterday's session I was expecting a bigger improvement from Melandri but he struggled with his corner speed. Tomorrow we'll try and give him a bike that he feels better with. Simoncelli has taken another step forward with his lap times but even that wasn't enough to move him up the grid. He has a good race pace though and I think it could be a good one for him."
French GP: Bridgestone qualifying report
French GP: Series qualifying report