“It's been a tough weekend”
The Australian Grand Prix promises to be another tough one for Gresini Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni Elias, who are faced with another charge through the pack after a difficult qualifying session.
Melandri, who set the second fastest
time in free practice behind newly crowned World Champion Casey Stoner, was unable to make the most of the dry session to take a final step forward with the set-up of his bike and he will start tomorrow's race from the fourth row.
It has been a difficult weekend all round for his team-mate Elias, who has worked tirelessly with his team but has been unable to get a good feeling for the technical demands of the Phillip Island circuit. The Spaniard starts from the sixth row and hopes in good weather as he looks to get a good start and make up as many positions as possible in the race.
MARCO MELANDRI (12th, 1'31"078):
"Things didn't go as well in qualifying as they did in free practice. We struggled despite all our hard work and we couldn't fix a vibration problem that is preventing me from pushing as hard as I would like. We've got two solutions to try out in the warm-up tomorrow. The race will depend very much on the weather because it is always so uncertain here."
TONI ELIAS (18th, 1'32"442):
"It's been a tough weekend.
We have a major general problem with the set-up. We've worked really hard with the team to fix it but I've just not been able to get enough feeling to ride with the confidence you need on such a technical circuit. Phillip Island is really fast, probably the fastest circuit on the calendar, so it is imperative to have the right setting. Hopefully we can have a dry race tomorrow and I can get a good start and make up plenty of positions."