Melandri steps up the pace
Telefonica Movistar Honda newcomer Marco Melandri displayed promising performances during the three day test hosted by the Losail International Circuit this week. The Italian increasingly mastered the Honda RC211V throughout the pre-season and was consistently among the fastest in Qatar.
On the last day of testing, he was second fastest behind Makoto Tamada, with a best time set in 1'57.31.
"Today we made some small modifications to the bike and worked a lot on tyre testing. This afternoon I made a race–distance endurance with very positive results: I lapped consistently on low 1'58"even at the end of the race," explained Melandri. "For me it's very important to understand the bike and see how it changes on a race distance."
"This 3-day test session in Qatar was very positive for me, I'm happy of the method of work we have used here. I have learned from the Australian test session and I came here more relaxed and with clear ideas. I believe that, mentally, I have done an important step forward."
Melandri ended the test ahead of Spanish team-mate Sete Gibernau, who made 57 laps on the Qatari track even if he wasn't 100% fit after losing most of the two previous day because of a fever.
"Considering my physical condition, I can be quite satisfied of the work done," said the double MotoGP World Championship runner-up. "We focussed on tyre testing and even if I was not 100% fit, I did the minimum work required for this test session. We are confirming the work done in Malaysia and Australia, there are still some things to improve and I hope that there will be some new things for Barcelona."