Shanghai : Gresini Honda – Day Two
Marco Melandri is ready to go on the offensive from the second row of the grid in the Grand Prix of China after qualifying in his best position of the season at Shanghai.
The Honda Gresini rider continued his recent improvements
by making the most of his qualifying tyre and finishing two positive days of progress with the sixth fastest time. Marco is now confident of making a good start in the race and sticking with the front group throughout.
His team-mate Toni Elias faces a more difficult challenge after qualifying in twelfth place. After his stunning performance in Turkey the Spaniard is struggling to find a tyre that suits his own demands and those of the Shanghai circuit.
MARCO MELANDRI (6th, 1'59"863): "I'm satisfied with this result. We have met our primary objective, which was to qualify on the front two rows. We are improving a lot and with the first qualifying tyre I set a good time without realising I was going that fast. On the second lap I made a couple of mistakes which meant I wasn't able to improve the time. We still have a little work to do on the suspension but I'm happy with how the bike is working at this demanding circuit. Tomorrow I hope to get a good start in order to stay with the lead group from the beginning. It will be a really tough group race because there are a lot of fast riders out there. For this Grand Prix I'm using a special helmet inspired by this country. The idea is to bring Europe and China together. Also, red and yellow are the colours of Ravenna, my home town."
TONI ELIAS (12th,2'00"205): "We have improved a little compared to yesterday but we're still having some small problems that are not allowing me to ride as I like. Unfortunately it seems our tyre choice for this race is not the best but tomorrow I will do all I can to get the best result possible."
FAUSTO GRESINI: "For Marco this is his best qualifying of the season and that shows that we are on the right lines to make him a consistent challenger. To start from the second row is really important in a race like this, which looks like being extremely close. Toni is having a little more trouble but I'm sure his grit and determination will carry him to a good result."