Progress for Melandri at Donington
The threat of rain held off at Donington to allow Casey Stoner and Marco Melandri to make full use of the first free practice sessions for the British Grand Prix. The Australian was the fastest man on track in both, taking advantage of
improvements made with the electronics of his GP8 during tests at Barcelona last week. Melandri found a promising set-up and is looking forward to refining it tomorrow after lapping fourteenth fastest.
Casey Stoner : (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st - 1'28.253
"I'm really pleased with today. In the past few rounds we've had trouble getting power to the ground - every time I opened the throttle the bike wanted to buck and that made the chassis look a lot worse than it really was. The bike has never been slow and we've been running for podiums, which isn't bad, but we always felt there was something missing. In the Barcelona test we tried something with the electronics that both Vitto (Guareschi) and myself really liked straight away.
It is great to see that the improvement has transferred here to Donington and I believe there is still more to come yet. I'm not sure if this change to the electronics will have such a major effect in wet conditions because that is more to do with adapting your set-up to get weight on the rear but we already have a good wet setting anyway so I'm confident we can be competitive whatever the weather decides to do. I'm pleased that the circuit organisers have done some work to combat the terrible grip here from last year. To be honest in some areas it is a lot better than last year whilst in other patches it's just as bad, but overall I think they've done a pretty good job."
Marco Melandri : (Ducati Marlboro Team) 14th - 1'29.856
"This weekend as started out in a more positive fashion. We started with two similar bikes, both with a fairly good setting and we continued to work by making small changes and testing tyres. We found something that worked well so I'm quite happy. We hope that the weather stays favourable tomorrow so that we can continue working. Track conditions were good today, they've 'roughed up' a couple of sections that were slippery and there are less bumps. The grip seems fine to me and it's good to say that we can at least compete in dry conditions. I remember last year that in the wet it got really slippery but we'll have to wait and see what happens if it rains tomorrow."