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Melandri meets his public in Bologna

Melandri meets his public in Bologna

Melandri meets his public in Bologna

As one of the special guests at the Bologna Motorshow, Marco Melandri took part in a Q&A session organized by Italian sports newspaper ‘La Gazetta dello Sport' on Thursday. The Fortuna Honda rider enjoyed this opportunity to look back on a fantastic 2005 campaign which saw him take two consecutive wins at Istanbul and Valencia to finish second overall behind Valentino Rossi.

"It's quite difficult to describe what I felt when I crossed the finish line in Turkey. I felt this victory was long overdue, I hadn't won anything for a while and went through a couple of tough seasons," said Melandri.

"My crew also went through hard times. They were working with Kato until he had the accident and that was something very hard. So it was a very emotional win, it was bigger than winning the 250cc title."

"When I came back to the box and saw the faces of my guys, it was amazing - I think it was the happiest day of my life, and the team felt the same way. It's a team I really enjoy working with, we have a lot of fun together."

The Italian, now touted as Rossi's strongest challenger in 2006, is now looking forward to a well-deserved winter break after completing testing last week in Malaysia.

"When we went back to Sepang to test I was pretty tired because after the last race in Valencia I had to attend many promotional events and no time to relax," explained Melandri. "I had just been in Japan for Honda before flying to Malaysia, but I got there with a bit of a flu. But things went pretty well (at Sepang), we did some good work with the new Michelin tyres. Now I will finally be able to enjoy a break for a week or so, before picking up training again."

MotoGP, 2005, Marco Melandri

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