MELANDRI BACK ON THE PACE AT LAGUNA SECA, POSITIVE DEBUT FOR SIMONCELLI Marco Melandri returned to the scene of two of his most famous podium finishes today and the Italian was back on the pace after a disappointing outing at Sachsenring last ...
MELANDRI BACK ON THE PACE AT LAGUNA SECA, POSITIVE DEBUT FOR SIMONCELLI
Marco Melandri returned to the scene of two of his most famous podium finishes today and the Italian was back on the pace after a disappointing outing at Sachsenring last weekend. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider experienced less pain in his injured shoulder and more confidence with his Honda RC212V machine in an opening practice that raises his hopes for tomorrow and Sunday. Marco Simoncelli suffered an innocuous crash just a few laps into his debut at the American circuit although he was back out within a few minutes as he continued to find his way around. Both Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders gave positive feedback about the new electronics package they have received for this race, although there is still plenty of work to do on it.
Marco Melandri (9th 1' 23" 021): "It has been a good day, working on two different geometry settings to try and recover some feeling for the front and we came up with some positive solutions. Tomorrow we'll make some more changes to try and take that small step towards the front guys. I feel better than I did in Germany but it will be a tough race because of all the left-handers. It will be hard to keep my pace up to the end of the race but the important thing will be to get the first half right and then grit my teeth to hang in there to the flag."
Marco Simoncelli (12th 1' 24" 002): "A 'smashing' debut! I made a little mistake in turn four on my third lap, shifting up a gear when I was still leaned over too far and I dropped it. It was a shame because I had started well and apart from that I made constant progress throughout the day. My feeling with the bike still isn't great because we have some problems with the front that is making it difficult to hold my line and I don't have enough confidence. We have to improve on that and I'm confident we can do so tomorrow. The new electronics package makes the bike feel sweeter and easier to handle. At the moment I can't say for sure how much of a difference it can make to the lap time but it should be a big help for the race."
Fausto Gresini: "Not bad! The weekend looks to have started well for Melandri, who is back on the pace and in better physical shape, and Simoncelli has adapted quickly to a circuit that is totally new to him. Melandri has always gone well at this track so he will improve and I hope that tomorrow can be another satisfactory day for him. Despite the crash Simoncelli made constant progress and now it's a case of him getting more confident around this track to be in the best possible shape ahead of Sunday's race."
-source: gresini racing