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Melandri keen to break home podium duck

Melandri keen to break home podium duck

Having taken his first 800cc podium with a wet weather masterclass at Le Mans, Marco Melandri has been given the perfect boost ahead of his return to home soil for the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice this weekend.

Having taken his first 800cc podium with a wet weather masterclass at Le Mans, Marco Melandri has been given the perfect boost ahead of his return to home soil for the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice this weekend. The race is something of an anomaly for Melandri, who despite his obvious talents has never been on the MotoGP podium at Mugello. His exciting style means that he will have no shortage of support in the Tuscan hills, which could spur him on to a memorable rostrum finish.

"It's nice to be heading to my home race on the back of a podium at Le Mans, a result for which myself and the whole team had worked really hard," says Melandri. "Your home Grand Prix is always exciting but demanding at the same time - in fact, Mugello is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar. Over the two days of tests in France we worked a lot on suspension although we still didn't fully solve the problems I've been having in corner entry."

"It will be a tough race but the mere idea of racing in front of the Italian fans is a nice boost. I still haven't made it to the podium in the premier-class at Mugello, so to make it this time would be fantastic. As far as tyre choice is concerned, at Mugello we'll be using a similar construction to Le Mans but with a different compound in order to cope with the technical demands of the track."

His team-mate Toni Elias also has a point to prove, looking to put his two DNFs behind him and return to the blistering early form shown in the opening races. "Mugello is a very technical track with a lot of changes in direction, which makes it physically demanding," notes the Spaniard.

"From a riding perspective it is one of the most difficult on the whole calendar. Last year I made a good recovery from twelfth on the grid to finish seventh, and this season I am aiming much higher. The test at Le Mans confirmed the great job we had done throughout the weekend on the race setting for dry conditions. We did a good race simulation so I was happy about that but Mugello will be a completely different challenge."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Marco Melandri

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