RAIN HITS HOME FOR MELANDRI AND ELIAS The first day of the Grand Prix of Italy was hit by a torrential rainstorm at Mugello, causing an unwelcome setback for Team Honda Gresini's riders, who were keen to get as much dry track time under their...
RAIN HITS HOME FOR MELANDRI AND ELIAS
The first day of the Grand Prix of Italy was hit by a torrential rainstorm at Mugello, causing an unwelcome setback for Team Honda Gresini's riders, who were keen to get as much dry track time under their belts as possible as they adapt their machines to the challenging technical demands of Mugello.
Marco Melandri, who arrives at his home race on the back of an outstanding podium at Le Mans, worked hard on the cycle part of his machine to improve its performance in corner entry during the morning's dry free practice. That job was interrupted when the heavens opened just before the afternoon session. The Italian is hoping for dry conditions tomorrow so that he can finalise his preparations for his home Grand Prix.
His team-mate Toni Elias enjoyed a positive start to the weekend, following up on the good work he completed in the test post- Le Mans and gathering confidence in both wet and dry conditions.
At the end of the afternoon session, Marco Melandri met the Italian Sports Minister Giovanna Melandri. The rider and the Minister had a friendly conversation about the curious fact that they share the same family name.
MARCO MELANDRI (6th, 2'09"319): "It was a difficult first day. We really needed both sessions to be in the dry but the rain has set our programme back. This morning we made we tried a modified chassis and did some comparison test to try and improve the performance of the bike turning into the corners. In the afternoon the rain came and we weren't able to confirm that data so tomorrow we'll keep working on it."
TONI ELIAS (11th, 2'10.413): "I'm happy with this first day of work because even though we still have some work to do on the set-up we are not far off. Tomorrow we need to keep working on the setting. We know what we need to improve in the wet and I had a good feeling with the bike in the dry this morning. The weather forecasts are still uncertain so tyre choice will be both difficult and important."