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Melandri thanks Honda Duhamel excited

Melandri thanks Honda  Duhamel excited

After taking a top six finish at a difficult German race last weekend, Marco Melandri is in a positive mood ahead of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

After taking a top six finish at a difficult German race last weekend, Marco Melandri is in a positive mood ahead of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. Following a series of public complaints about the Honda RC212V with which he has struggled to perform to his full capability, the Italian was full of praise for the factory after their donation of new parts brought a strong result for him.

Thanks to the help we had from Honda in Germany we were able to take a big step forward and we were competitive again straight away. For a lot of laps I was thinking I was going to finish up on the podium but in the end I did what I could. The main thing is that I had fun again and got the feeling back with my bike. Now I´m happy to be racing again so soon, notes the Gresini Honda rider, who heads to one of his favourite tracks this weekend.

I like Laguna Seca a lot - I finished third there last year and the track is really nice, so technical. We´ll have to see what the weather is like, above all the temperature, but I´m convinced the bike and the Bridgestone tyres can work well in America. I want to fight for the podium again, I´m optimistic and I can´t wait to taste that champagne once more. It will be another tough race, though, and I´m going there to have fun. I really like the USA as a country and this year I´ll be wearing a special ´stars and stripes´ helmet for the occasion, concluded Melandri, who wore a similar design at the race last year.

After an absence of more than a decade, Miguel Duhamel will make his return to MotoGP action as the latest substitute for the injured Toni Elias. The Canadian has experienced a great deal of success in the AMA Championship at Laguna Seca, and Fausto Gresini will be hoping that he can convert his experience into another top ten result for his team. At Sachsenring Michele Fabrizio had a positive race, and tested out the 16 Bridgestone rears which Duhamel may elect to use stateside.

At Laguna Duhamel and AMA rival Roger Lee Hayden will become the first riders to compete in the two series (MotoGP & AMA) on the same day, and the first riders to enter two races at a single MotoGP round since Chris Walker at Donington Park in 1995. The oldest rider on the grid at Laguna Seca, 38 year-old Duhamel is eager to take up the challenge.

´I still can´t believe it. I´ve been waiting for this moment for such a long time and it is nice to be a part of a team as important as Fausto Gresini´s. I feel bad for Toni Elias and I wish him a speedy recovery, hopefully he will be back on track soon, but I am very excited. My physical training programme has had an extra motivation to it in the build up to this weekend.´

MotoGP, 2007, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Marco Melandri

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