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Gresini Honda make healthy return to Donington

Gresini Honda make healthy return to Donington

Gresini Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni Elias both make a full return to British Grand Prix action this weekend, after a strange set of circumstances for the duo in 2006 meant that neither was technically fit to race.

Gresini Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni Elias both make a full return to British Grand Prix action this weekend, after a strange set of circumstances for the duo in 2006 meant that neither was technically fit to race.

Last years tightly packed three rounds of racing at Catalunya, Assen and Donington Park took its toll on Elias and Melandri, with both picking up injuries before the final third. Melandri had been the most seriously affected by a huge accident in Catalunya, and in fact competed at Assen with an undiagnosed collarbone fracture, whilst Elias skipped the British round after a practice crash in Holland.

Fausto Gresini drafted in a replacement rider for Elias, Michele Fabrizio, who also failed to make the starting grid after injuring himself on one of his first run-outs with the Honda satellite team. Thus it was up to Melandri to fly the flag, and he did so incredibly with his first ever MotoGP British podium.

After a disappointing race at Catalunya, both Melandri and Elias are keen to get back on track, and see the track as a good one for the Bridgestone-shod RC212V.

´We always knew that Barcelona would be one of the hardest circuits for us. Now we head to Donington, which in theory should be much more favourable because it is more suited to the characteristics of our bike, explains Melandri. The corners are not that fast and the straight shouldn´t be too much of a problem, since it only measures 564 metres. The unknown factor at Donington is the weather because the temperatures can vary drastically. If it rains I think us Bridgestone riders will have a good chance. I got on the podium last year, which was a massive achievement because physically I still wasn´t in great shape - just two weeks had passed since that big crash in Barcelona. I am hoping for a good race at what is a special circuit for me because I live only a few kilometres from the circuit.´

´This is a track I like a lot, added Elias. I missed the race here last year because of the injury I picked up at Assen, where I fractured my shoulder, but I´ve always had good results previously at Donington. Hopefully we can do a good job here all weekend because the top speed factor isn´t as important at this circuit - it´s more important to have good handling on the bike. I´m looking for a good result to get over the disappointment of my home race at Barcelona, when I was forced to retire before the end. The asphalt at Donington can be very slippery - especially if the temperatures are low - so it will be important to make a good tyre choice.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, NICKEL & DIME BRITISH GRAND PRIX

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