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Home returns and Honda farewells for Gresini pairing

Home returns and Honda farewells for Gresini pairing

Outgoing Gresini Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni Elias leave both the satellite team and the Japanese factory after a final race together at Valencia, keen to finish off what has been a mixed season for the pairing.

Outgoing Gresini Honda riders Marco Melandri and Toni Elias leave both the satellite team and the Japanese factory after a final race together at Valencia, keen to finish off what has been a mixed season for the pairing. Melandri, who parts ways with Fausto Gresinis team after three years together in MotoGP, is a previous winner in the premier class at Valencia, whilst Elias is riding at his home track.

Id like to finish off the season with another good result, says Melandri, who could only be beaten by future team-mate and 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner at the last round in Sepang.

Ive got some great memories of this circuit, especially my victory there in 2005. Second place in Malaysia at a circuit where Ive never scored good results in the past and where it looked as though the characteristics of the track would not suit my bike or riding style have given me an extra boost. The package of bike and tyres worked perfectly there and Im confident. My aim is to confirm fourth place in the championship and give Fausto and the team one last reason to celebrate after three great years together.

Like Melandri, Elias has seen his season blighted by injury specifically a broken leg suffered at Assen which put him out of action for three rounds of the MotoGP World Championship. Whilst his current team-mate moves to the Ducati factory team next season, it was announced last week that the Spaniard would also be riding a Desmosedici in 2008, thanks to his being recruited by Luis dAntins satellite squad alongside Sylvain Guintoli.

I cant wait to race in front of my home fans for the third time this season, says local boy Elias. The backing of the Spanish fans always gives me an extra push and I usually need it at this circuit because it isnt amongst my favourites, with its twisty layout and lack of fast sections. I dont like the track but thats not a problem because I am racing in Spain and the atmosphere will be incredible with that level of support. Hopefully we can work well all weekend and get in the right shape to put on another good show.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA

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