Melandri close behind
Toni Elias and Marco Melandri will start from the second and third rows in the Grand Prix of France tomorrow after the Honda Gresini pair qualified in sixth and ninth place respectively.
The Spaniard was in top form in the morning free practice,
when he set the second fastest time, and made the most of his qualifying tyre in the afternoon to lap just half a second off the pace of pole setter Colin Edwards. Toni is confident that his feeling with the bike and good race pace can translate into a top result tomorrow.
Marco Melandri was unable to make the most of his good effort in free practice once the qualifiers came out in the afternoon. However, the Italian also has good race pace and is typically determined to get a good start and stay with the lead group.
The weather looks unpredictable for tomorrow, with a drop in temperature the forecast.
TONI ELIAS (6th,1'34"125):
"I'm happy to be on the second row - this was our objective. We've done a good job over the last two days of practice. This morning I set a good pace but the situation was a little more complicated when the temperature rose in the afternoon. Hopefully the conditions for the race tomorrow are similar to this morning and I can get a good start and fight with the lead group."
MARCO MELANDRI (9th, 1'34"360):
"We've been working mainly on the race setting and I have to say that my pace is quite good. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the most of the qualifying tyre because I made a mistake on the last lap that cost me a few vital tenths. We'll keep working in the warm-up tomorrow to improve the feeling with the front, which will be really important to make up positions from the first lap. It will be important to get a good start in the race. The weather looks like it could change so we'll wait until tomorrow before deciding on the tyre."