And hope for a good race
The Australian Grand Prix, which gets underway at 3 o'clock local time tomorrow, promises to be a demanding race for the Fortuna Honda riders.
Marco Melandri and Toni Elias worked well on the set-up of their bikes today, improve their race
setting and general feeling. Unfortunately the Gresini pair were unable to make the most of the qualifying tyre and tomorrow Marco will start from seventh place whilst Toni has to battle through from the fifth row.
Nevertheless Marco Melandri remains confident about his chances for the race and sure that he can repeat his performance from last season, when he started from the third row but fought with the lead group and only just missed out on the podium.
His Spanish team-mate Toni Elias is also confident of making a good start and making up plenty of positions to challenge for a good result.
MARCO MELANDRI (7th, 1'29”949):
“Today we worked a lot on the weight balance of the bike and the feeling on the front in particular has improved. We still need to work with the suspension to try and get a bit more confidence in the fast corners and get a bit more traction in the corners that are most important to a good lap time. I set a decent pace but unfortunately I lost a few vital tenths on a qualifying tyre and tomorrow I'll be on the third row. We've still got a few modifications to try in the warm- up. I'm still confident I can fight for the podium because this is a track where you always fight to the end.
Last year that was the case – I started from eighth and fought for the podium, finishing fourth.”
TONI ELIAS (14th, 1'30”498):
“The feeling with the bike setting has improved a lot and compared to yesterday we have taken a big step forward. I set quite a good pace but I wasn't able to build on the good work we did on a race tyre by making the most of the qualifying rubber. Hopefully I can make a good start in the race as I did in Malaysia. I'm confident – I like the track a lot – but I hoped to be higher up on the grid”.