THIRD AND FOURTH ROW STARTS FOR SIMONCELLI AND MELANDRI AT SACHSENRING After a positive first day yesterday hopes were high of better grid positions for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two riders today but it wasn't to be, with Marco Simoncelli...
THIRD AND FOURTH ROW STARTS FOR SIMONCELLI AND MELANDRI AT SACHSENRING
After a positive first day yesterday hopes were high of better grid positions for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two riders today but it wasn't to be, with Marco Simoncelli unable to repeat his fifth place and Marco Melandri still struggling to rediscover form and fitness on the Honda RC212V. Eighth place for Simoncelli is still a positive result and it equals his best grid, set in the last race at Barcelona, but he is not completely satisfied. His race pace is good, however, and further improvements in tomorrow's warm-up should see him mount a strong challenge in the race. Melandri starts from the fourth row and is hoping to be in better shape by the time the afternoon race comes around. The Italian is still feeling the effects of his injuries from Assen and has not been helped by the notorious physical demands of Sachsenring.
Marco Simoncelli (8th 1' 22" 624):
"Eighth place isn't bad and I'm happy even though to be honest I was hoping to improve at the end of the session and qualifying on the second row. It wasn't to be and if we want to achieve our objective of running with the top five tomorrow we have to take another step forward. I'm half pleased and half disappointed. Like yesterday we had difficulty finding rear traction when I open the throttle and I couldn't find a good feeling. Tomorrow in the warm-up we'll try and find a solution to improve our race pace. The crash this morning obviously didn't help but these things happen and we'll see what we can do tomorrow. "
Marco Melandri (10th 1' 22" 917):
"It was a really difficult session for us and we struggled to find the right way forward. We went back to our setting from yesterday and things improved but I'm still not happy with how I'm riding the bike and we we'll try and make a change to the bike that gives us a bit more feeling in corner entry, which is where I am slow. Physically I feel quite good although the race will be a different story -- it will be long and tough. I haven't really had any problems doing short runs in practice though."
"Simoncelli followed up his excellent pace from Barcelona in practice and that is a big positive, although to be honest after yesterday's performance I was hoping for a little more. Hopefully the result we were hoping for today will happen tomorrow instead. His pace is good even though he is still a little off the front guys but race by race he is getting closer. Clearly the crash didn't help but this happens in racing. If he gets a good start he can be fighting at the front at a difficult circuit, where you never get a rest. Melandri is struggling but he's doing well to bring home the results despite still not having recovered 100% from his crash at Assen."