Japanese GP: Gresini Racing race report

SIMONCELLI TAKES GIANT STEP BUT ANOTHER SETBACK FOR MELANDRI Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli took a huge step forward in his MotoGP development today with a another top six finish, the second of his rookie season. The Italian...

SIMONCELLI TAKES GIANT STEP BUT ANOTHER SETBACK FOR MELANDRI

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli took a huge step forward in his MotoGP development today with a another top six finish, the second of his rookie season. The Italian wasn't quite able to match the pace of the top four but he wasn't far off as he battled throughout the race for fifth place, showing a consistently fast pace. There was more disappointment on the other side of the garage however as Marco Melandri continued to struggle with his Honda RC212V and it looks like it will be a tough end to the season for the experienced Italian.

Marco Simoncelli (6th) "That was a really nice race for me and to be honest after the warm-up I thought I could have done even better and been a little closer to the front guys. I got a bad start though and couldn't manage it. Anyway, I had a positive race, setting a good pace until the end, when I had a few problems with my forearms and had to back off, losing touch with Colin Edwards. I would have liked to attack him again at the end of the race but I am happy and now the objective is to improve again in the next race."

Marco Melandri (11th) "That was terrible -- another race just like all the rest. I got a good start but didn't have any grip. The tyres were cold from the first lap and I had a lot less traction than the guys around me. Even when I thought they were up to temperature there was no change and they felt like they were spent. The usual problems with the bike continue and I just can't get it stopped. When Spies passed me I tried to push and stay with him but I just ran wide. It is a depressing situation and we have been completely forgotten about. Honda aren't helping and I can't understand why."

Fausto Gresini "This has been an important Grand Prix for Simoncelli, who made a good start and had a good race. He set the lap times we expected from him for the whole race, even though we knew he wouldn't be able to run at the front. This is definitely his best race in MotoGP and it was an important day for us and Honda, who have provided us with an extra engineer here, which helped speed the job up. Marco has taken another big step forward in his MotoGP education and it should give him a confidence boost. I am happy and confident for him and his future. Melandri was unable to get the most out of the package beneath him and that's a shame. He is complaining but as far as we are concerned we are doing everything we can with the help of Honda to put him in the best possible conditions but at the moment I think he is lacking the confidence and positivity people need to keep working with determination. On behalf of the team and Honda we are all determined to help him so I am disappointed that he sees it differently. We will keep doing our bit to help him get the best possible result until the end of the season."

-source: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Marco Simoncelli