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Melandri to stand firm on Jerez set-up direction

Melandri to stand firm on Jerez set-up direction

Ducati Marlboro rider Marco Melandri is a proven race winner in MotoGP, but has thus far encountered difficulties in adapting to the Desmosedici GP8.

Ducati Marlboro rider Marco Melandri is a proven race winner in MotoGP, but has thus far encountered difficulties in adapting to the Desmosedici GP8. Whilst team-mate Casey Stoner has proved to be perfectly in tune with the Italian 800cc machine over preseason and the opening race of the year in Qatar, Melandri´s efforts have not quite reaped the same rewards.

A lowly qualifying performance from the former 250cc World Champion meant that he had to fight tooth-and-nail to finish in the points at Qatar, and this Saturday afternoon has been pinpointed as a key time for Melandri. Jerez is not a circuit favoured by the Italian, with his only podium finish coming in the 2005 race, but he is clear that improvement must come sooner rather than later.

`I definitely have to decide on a direction during practice and follow it without making too many modifications so that we´re ready when the moment arrives to put in a qualifying tyre,´ identifies Melandri, who paid the price in Losail for excessive modifications to his machine.

`Starting closer to the front gives you the chance to be fast from the first laps, something we couldn´t do in Qatar. The first race certainly wasn´t at the level we want to be at but there were positives to take out of it, especially in the second half, so we have to keep working because we can and must improve.´

Although the Ducati newcomer also struggled at the preseason visits to Spain, he maintains that now the season is up and running much more has been learnt to turn his situation around.

`Jerez is one of the circuits where we did a lot of testing in the winter and where we tried a lot of different set-up solutions. It is quite a demanding circuit but for me the first race was very important to understand certain things, more than we´d managed during the tests.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE ESPAÑA, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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