Donington : Gresini Honda – Day one
Heavy rain dominated the proceedings on the first day of the British Grand Prix, the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship.
The Team Honda Gresini riders splashed their way through standing water on the track as they worked
hard on chassis and suspension settings, as well as evaluating Bridgestone's wet tyres, trying to adapt them to the challenging demands of Donington Park.
Melandri again concentrated on the cycle part of his bike as he slashed three seconds off his best lap time between the morning and afternoon sessions.
Local weather forecasts are predicting similar conditions for the rest of the weekend, leaving Melandri and Elias with no option but to continue working hard on their wet set-up in tomorrow's final free practice and qualifying sessions.
MARCO MELANDRI (9th, 1'45.684):
"It's been a difficult day. This morning we started out with the setting from Le Mans but the track conditions were actually very different. The track surface is really slippery and the bike was difficult to ride. In the afternoon we went back to the standard chassis, which we had already tested in the wet. I managed to knock three seconds off my best time from the morning but we still have work to do. I'm fast in the first half of the track, where I can let the bike run, but I'm struggling in the slower final section, where the power comes on a little more briskly.
We'll try and improve that area tomorrow."
TONI ELIAS (15th, 1'47.178):
"The rain made life difficult for us in free practices today. The track was really slippery and I didn't feel comfortable on my bike. I can't say I'm happy because I'm down on the time sheets, three seconds off the top. We're struggling but we'll keep working on the chassis and suspension to see if we can find a better setting for this difficult and technical circuit."