Riders' reactions after the first day of practice
Marco Melandri, Movistar Honda - 1st:
"I felt comfortable on the bike from the first minute. We have started out with a hybrid set-up using the data from the winter tests here and the last race in Turkey and it has worked well but I know the times will be closer tomorrow. I want to finish on the podium but I am more bothered about taking second in the championship than I am about winning this race."
Carlos Checa, Ducati Marlboro - 2nd:
"It's been quite a positive day for us but we still have some work to do for race pace. This morning I did a fast run but the temperature came up this afternoon, which gave me more movement from the rear tyre. I was losing stability from the rear quite early, so that's what we'll be focusing on tomorrow, when we'll keep working our way through the tyres and trying a few minor suspension adjustments to find more traction."
Sete Gibernau, Movistar Honda - 3rd:
"That's a good way to start the weekend. On Thursday we started looking at our data to find the right balance from the start with the tyres. It's a short track and we hope that it won't rain tomorrow. We started from the set-up we used in 2003 so we don't worry too much about the settings."
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing - 7th:
"I like the colour scheme very much – it is like going back to the 1970s. The bike and the leathers look really nice. Today we're having a few problems with the front end and also with acceleration. We are losing a lot of time in the slow corners and we are not strong at the end of the lap in general. We have some problems and some of the others are very fast but I am not too worried."