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Race against time for Melandris Brno return

Race against time for Melandris Brno return

Marco Melandri is one of three riders battling against the clock to be ready for next weekends Cardion AB Grand Prix Ceske Republiky, a race that will be of particular sentimental importance to the Italian.

Marco Melandri is one of three riders battling against the clock to be ready for next weekends Cardion AB Grand Prix Ceske Republiky, a race that will be of particular sentimental importance to the Italian.

The Gresini Honda rider has over a decade of history behind him in the World Championship at the ripe old age of 25, having made his debut at the 1997 Czech Grand Prix at Brno. His appearance in the 125cc race just days after his 15th birthday wrote him into the history books as the youngest ever rider to compete in a Grand Prix race at the time.

He now nervously awaits the all-clear to compete after having had a previously undetected broken ankle discovered upon returning to Europe following the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, where he finished third despite the injury. Team-mate Toni Elias has also been sidelined with a leg break, with Michele Fabrizio and Miguel Duhamel having stood in for the Spaniard at the last two races. Pramac dAntin Ducatis Alex Hofmann is the third rider gritting his teeth through rehabilitation, having suffered a nasty cut and break in his left hand after being crashed into by Sylvain Guintoli at Laguna Seca.

Melandri has experienced success in the Czech Republic in the lower cylinder classes, but less so in MotoGP. A winner the two consecutive seasons after his debut, he also took the win in the 2002 250cc race. However, he is yet to get a podium at Brno in the premier class, with fifth place last year his best result from four starts.

The recent Ducati factory team signing has finished in the top ten for an astonishing 21 races in succession, having completed every race since his crash at Barcelona last year as part of the top half of the field.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, CARDION AB GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, Marco Melandri

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