Team Honda Gresini's riders gave their maximum in today's race as they tried to put the shine on a difficult weekend.
Marco Melandri was the star of a spectacular race as he battled bravely with Nicky Hayden for fourth place before scrapping it out with
John Hopkins for fifth. Marco rode around his set-up problems to overcome the American in a gripping race.
Toni Elias made a good start and was up to eighth position when his race was spoilt somewhat on the fourth lap when he was touched by another rider and forced off track, causing him to drop to thirteenth place. Showing his typical determination and character, Toni fought back to clinch a creditable eighth place.
MARCO MELANDRI (5th in the race, 6th in the championship on 137 points):
"The problems we had in practice resurfaced in the race and the chattering meant that I couldn't ride the bike as I wanted to. I had two good battles with Nicky and then with John, where I was faster in the first part of the track but then lost out in the second part. I think we went with a rear tyre that was a little too hard for the conditions and the track characteristics today but I gave my best and now I'm looking forward to Motegi."
TONI ELIAS (8th in the race, 11th in the championship on 71 points):
"It has been a tough weekend. We've had traction problems since Friday and only partially solved them.
Then in the race I had to deal with another rider punting me off track when I was in eighth place after making a good start. I went straight and came back onto the track in thirteenth but I put together a good recovery and got back to my original position. I'm disappointed because this is a circuit I like a lot and I could have done much better."
"Marco had a great race and gave it his all. Unfortunately a chattering problem that we were unable to solve has spoilt his race. As far as Toni is concerned, he was limited after being sent wide by another rider but he showed the tenacity that we all know he has to fight back from thirteenth to eighth."