At Le Mans
Team Honda Gresini made an ideal start to proceedings in the Grand Prix of France at the legendary circuit of Le Mans, host this weekend to the fifth round of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.
Marco Melandri, winner of this very race last season, started
in perfect fashion and after lapping well in the morning free practice he went on to clock the fastest time overall in the afternoon. The Italian was delighted with the performance of his bike, in particular the handling, and is confident about his chances in Sunday's race.
It was also a good day for Toni Elias, who was less than half a second behind the pace of his team-mate in seventh place. The Spaniard is happy with the base setting the team have found today and is looking forward to improving his performance tomorrow.
The weather forecast is typically unpredictable here and a few raindrops fell throughout today, making for changeable track conditions.
MARCO MELANDRI (1st, 1'35"319):
"I'm satisfied with this result. The team prepared a good base setting for the bike and my feeling has been really positive right from this morning. We've improved the feeling with the front, thanks to the work we've done with the forks and the new front tyre Bridegestone have brought here. The handling of the bike is superb and that is important at a circuit with so much hard braking. I'm very happy with the tyres. Tomorrow I'll try and improve our performance on a qualifying tyre because my target is to qualify on the front two rows and fight for the podium.
TONI ELIAS (7th,1'35"818):
"I'm happy with the job we've done today at a circuit where we had so many problems last year. Seventh place is a good result considering how close we are to the front. There is room to improve so we'll keep working hard tomorrow. The tyres are working really well."
"I'm happy for Marco, this first place is important for his morale and I hope it's a good sign for the rest of the weekend. From the free practice this morning Marco's been able to make the most of all his potential and that of the bike. Toni is also doing a great job. Our objective is to continue improving and fight for the top positions."