Qatari GP: Gresini Racing Friday notes

TONI ELIAS FOURTH ON THE GRID The Spanish rider will start from the second row in Qatar whilst Melandri will aim to recover positions with a good start. Toni Elias will start the opening race of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship from the...

TONI ELIAS FOURTH ON THE GRID

The Spanish rider will start from the second row in Qatar whilst Melandri will aim to recover positions with a good start.

Toni Elias will start the opening race of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship from the second row of the grid after qualifying in fourth place for the Grand Prix of Qatar. After suffering during winter testing, Toni has worked hard on the set-up of his Honda RC212V this weekend and was able to get the best out of his Bridgestone qualifying tyre. Just over three tenths of a second behind pole man Valentino Rossi, Toni was also three tenths inside Casey Stoner's previous pole record set last year on the 990cc Honda.

Marco Melandri, finished 10th, is hopeful of a good start as he aims to make up important positions in the race. The Gresini Honda rider set a good pace in practice and has faith in the Honda -- Bridgestone tandem as he starts from the fourth row.

TONI ELIAS (4th , 1'55"358): "I'm really happy with this result after such a difficult winter. We've worked hard on the set-up of the bike to try and create a solid base with the Bridgestone tyres. This afternoon we just worked right to the end of qualifying and found a compromise that allowed me to make the most of the qualifying tyre. Te be in fourth place, at the front of the second row, is important for the race -- especially at a circuit where it is difficult to overtake. Hopefully I can get a good start! We still have a little work to do to improve the race pace."

MARCO MELANDRI (10th, 1'56"222): "I am satisfied with the bike and the tyre choice for the race. Unfortunately I made a mistake with my choice of qualifying tyre, which is why I haven't qualified a little closer to the front. We didn't find the right feeling with the first qualifier and I didn't feel comfortable, which meant I couldn't get the best out of the second tyre. Hopefully I can get a good start and make a few passes over the opening laps to make up positions. I'm confident about it all because we've worked hard towards the race and the rhythm is good. In the test on Sunday I'll work on the qualifying tyres because it is always important to start near the front if you want to battle for a top position."

-credit: gr

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Marco Melandri , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner