Sepang : Fortuna Honda - Day 1
The sound of MotoGP four-stroke machines bellowed around the Sepang circuit today after a three-week break as the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix got underway in searing heat.
Fortuna Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni
Elias endured something of a difficult day and were forced to settle for eleventh and sixteenth place respectively.
Marco Melandri, who enjoyed a positive first session in the morning, when he lapped fourth fastest, suffered a crash in the afternoon which he blamed on the fatigue caused by the demanding climatic conditions.
His team-mate Toni Elias spent the day working through a series of set-up difficulties that prevented him from setting a better lap time.
Marco Melandri (11th , 2'03”248): "In the morning we did a good job but in the afternoon when we tried something new we didn't get the result we were hoping for. Despite that I am still confident I can have a good race on Sunday. We're not far off the top times and we have room for improvement. Ten minutes from the end of the session I got the wrong gear and crashed but luckily I wasn't hurt."
Toni Elias (16th, 2'03”908): "It's been a tough start, especially because of the difficult conditions we had to ride in today. We still have a day left and we need to use it to improve on my speed through the corners. I'm confident and I think we can look forward to a good race."