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Bittersweet double for Movistar Honda

Bittersweet double for Movistar Honda

Bittersweet double for Movistar Honda

Both Movistar Honda riders finished on the podium in yesterday's Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya, with Sete Gibernau taking second ahead of Marco Melandri. Such a performance could have been welcomed as a great result for the 150th GP of Fausto Gresini's team, if Valentino Rossi hadn't stolen the show by beating Gibernau in the closing stages of the race.

"The team have done a great job and I had a good feeling with the bike," said Gibernau. "I set a good pace over the opening laps which gave me a couple of tenths advantage and allowed me to lead for the majority of the race." "At eight laps to go, the left side was sliding too much and I wasn't able to maintain my pace," explained the Spaniard, who was demoted from the lead with three laps to go by Rossi. "I'm disappointed for the fans, who have given me great support all weekend, but I'm sure they enjoyed the excitement of the race and a great show all round."

Team-mate Marco Melandri was involved in a three-way tussle for third with Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden and eventually took the advantage over his factory colleagues.

"It was a tough but incredible race for me. I got a good start and tried to stay with the lead riders over the opening laps," said the Italian, who maintains his second place position in the overall standings with 87 points, 58 points behind Rossi. "I had a good pace and even managed to lead for a few laps but I ran wide when Nicky Hayden passed me and then Barros also came through to send me back to fifth place. The fight with Barros and Nicky for third meant that I lost contact with the front two and I was never able to make up the lost ground."

"Even so, I am really happy with third place. I won a personal battle today – my race pace was much better compared to Mugello and the podium confirms that we are constantly getting better. I want to say a special thanks to the whole team, to Fausto and to Michelin, for helping make the right tyre choice."


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