“I'm quite happy”
Gresini Honda rider Marco Melandri started the Australian Grand Prix on the front foot, clocking the second fastest time on a day that was marked by dramatically changeable weather at Phillip Island.
Marco made the most of the short dry track time
to work with his team on finding a good setting for the bike and at the end of today's two free practice sessions he declared himself pleased with its performance in both wet and dry conditions.
The weather did not play into the hands of Toni Elias, who again suffered weight transfer difficulties and was unable to find a good feeling with his RC212V in the time available.
Variable conditions are again the forecast for tomorrow, with improvements predicted for Sunday.
MARCO MELANDRI (2nd, 1'31"555):
"I'm quite happy with this first day. The characteristics of this circuit are more suited to our bike and my riding style. There are no real heavy braking areas - you have to be smooth with the bike, and I like that. The bike is manageable and is working well. I've got a good feeling with it in the wet and the dry but we have to improve because I'm sure the race pace will increase tomorrow. I'm confident but I just hope the weather stabilises a little because it was really tough to ride today. The wind was really strong and the conditions changed from corner to corner.
TONI ELIAS (17th, 1'34"204):
"It's been a tough day - the weather was a lottery - one minute rain, then sun, then raining again. The track dries quickly because of the wind but it's not the same all over. Unfortunately this didn't help us set the bike up and I was struggling to get weight onto the front and get enough heat into the rear tyre. I'm not happy and I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow in order to improve."