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Melandri leads Honda charge at Sepang

Melandri leads Honda charge at Sepang

Melandri leads Honda charge at Sepang

Marco Melandri led the Honda charge on the first day of the MotoGP test at Sepang by posting the fastest unofficial time. The Italian started the pre-season schedule in the same vein as he finished last season when he ended up as championship runner-up.

Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden clocked the second best time ahead of the Spanish Honda Pons rider Carlos Checa, while new team-mate Dani Pedrosa finished the day as the fourth fastest rider some seven tenths behind Melandri.

"It's only three weeks since I raced the bike but I felt good and did a lot of laps. The track today was not in very good condition but I was able to find a decent rhythm. We spent the day working on the general settings for the bike before we started testing tyres for Michelin. I was injured when the race was held here so we needed to find the best setting before we tested several front and rear tyres," explained Melandri.

"Unfortunately I had to stop my test one hour early as I 'm not 100% fit - I was quite sick while I was in Japan last week so I did not want to get too tired because we have two more days testing."

His new team-mate Toni Elias continued his adaptation to the RC211V aboard which the Spanish rider will continue his MotoGP adventure in 2006.

"I like the bike and I'm very happy with today's test session. The conditions were not ideal because the track was quite wet in the morning but we got in a lot of laps," explained Elias. "I did a lot of kilometres today and found a good riding position. I didn't go crazy with the set-up by trying too many things, just little adjustments. I felt more comfortable on the bike today than I did at the first test in Valencia. I was very calm and comfortable and lapped without forcing things. I am very happy with this team and my chief mechanic Antonio Jimenez. Everybody has been very helpful and it has given me a lot of confidence for this test and the future."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, Marco Melandri

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