“We're in a critical situation”
The Grand Prix of Catalunya ended in disappointing fashion for the Honda Gresini team.
Toni Elias, contesting the seventh round of the season on home soil, got a good start to move straight up to fifth place and establish a fast race
pace. Unfortunately, the Spaniard was forced to retire from the race for a technical problem when he seemed certain for a good finish.
Marco Melandri also tried to make positions up after starting from the third row but he struggled with the same problems he had during practice and could only manage ninth place.
MARCO MELANDRI (9th in the race, 4th in the championship on 75 points):
"We're going through a rough patch. The team are giving their best, working hard, but the results just aren't coming. The bike doesn't give me any confidence and I can't ride it how I want. I'm really disappointed. We've struggled with the front end all weekend and after a few laps I lost confidence in it - it was skipping around and it was really hard to ride. We'll have to make some drastic changes."
TONI ELIAS (DNF , 9th in the championship on 45 points):
"I'm really disappointed because I was having a good race. I got a good start and it looked like 5th place was a real possibility until the engine packed up on the 14th lap.
These things happen in racing but I'm really disappointed because this was my home race in front of all my fans."
"I think this has been one of the toughest races for our team. We're in a critical situation - we need Honda to react and give us a hand so that we can be compeitive again. The fact that Marco was the second Honda rider today shows that the riders and the team are giving absolutely everything to the cause."