''I gave my best''
Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri took fifth place in the Grand Prix of China with a determined performance in a race that proved to be particularly demanding because of the characteristics of the circuit.
After getting a good start Melandri moved
up to second place on the second lap and fought hard to stay with the lead riders. The Italian rode with his typical grit and determination to combat technical problems as the race wore on, eventually crossing the line in fifth place to move up to fourth in the World Championship standings on 41 points.
It was an unfortunate race for Toni Elias, who was forced to retire after a crash on the first lap. The Spaniard now lies sixth in the championship on 35 points and is keen to put this race behind him as he looks forward to better fortune in the next round at Le Mans.
MARCO MELANDRI (5th in the race, 4th in the championship on 41 points):
"I'm pleased because I gave my best, but I can't deny that I'm aiming for better results than this. I got a good start and felt comfortable with the bike, it felt good at the start of the race. I was able to move up to second place but after a few laps I started to suffer a little with chatter and it didn't help. We have a lot of hard work still to do because at the moment we're behind."
TONI ELIAS (DNF, 6th in the championship on 35 points):
"I'm disappointed not to finish the race because in the warm up the bike had improved a lot compared to yesterday. We found a much better solution for the tyres and I think it could have been a nice race for me.
Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Hayden when he was closing his line towards the kerb and I had no choice but to collide with his rear wheel and crash. These things happen in racing - especially when everybody is so close but I'm disappointed to miss out on some important points. This race is behind us now and I only want to think about Le Mans."
"Marco had a good race and gave his best - I don't think you can do any more than that. We certainly have some work to do to take that next step forward. It's a shame Toni's race ended on the first lap because I think he could have had a good race. Luckily we've not lost out too much in the championship standings - Marco is now fourth whilst Toni is sixth. It's a long season and there is still plenty of time to recover."