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Gresini duo expect positive showing at Le Mans

Gresini duo expect positive showing at Le Mans

Marco Melandri was unable to repeat his 2006 triumph at Istanbul Park at the third race of the season, and this weekend faces the task of defending his victory from last year at the Le Mans circuit.

Marco Melandri was unable to repeat his 2006 triumph at Istanbul Park at the third race of the season, and this weekend faces the task of defending his victory from last year at the Le Mans circuit. The Italian had a stellar win on French soil last year, and will attempt to replicate the feat en route to his first podium finish on an 800cc bike.

"It's nice to be going back to Le Mans, a circuit where I have a lot of nice memories after my victory there last year," commented Melandri. "I like the circuit and it should suit our bike a little more. It's still a little early to be making predictions and we'll have to wait until we get there to check out the weather conditions, which can change quickly."

"The Bugatti track is full of hard braking and it needs a riding style that favours braking and opening the gas with perfect timing according to each particular corner. There are a couple of hard acceleration points but there are no really long straights and that should help. It's good fun to ride here - especially when you win, like I did last year!" The Gresini Honda rider has been outspoken in his belief that the Honda RC212V lacks the power needed for his aggressive style, although he remains optimistic after an inauspicious start to 2007.

"The technical conditions we find ourselves in now are a little different to how they were last season but if we give it everything then nothing is impossible. It will be important to work well from the first free practice session in order to find a good base that will allow me to squeeze everything I can out of the Le Mans track," he concluded.

Meanwhile, Melandri's colleague Toni Elias heads to France on the back of a DNF and a second place from the past two races, and it remains to be seen which version of the all-action Spaniard will be on track over the weekend. Elias notes that tyres will play a crucial role in the proceedings - with Gresini Honda's manufacturer Bridgestone currently riding on the crest of a wave.

"Le Mans is a track I like and I've had some good results there in the past. I actually scored my first podium here back in 2001 when I finished third in the 125cc race and I also won the 250cc race in 2003." notes Elias.

"Last year we struggled a lot with the tyres because I couldn't get them up to the right temperature. This year the tyre situation is completely different and we should be in the right shape to challenge at the front of the field again. The bad luck at Shanghai is behind me now and I can't wait to get back on track at Le Mans - it could be a decent chance to register a good result."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE

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