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Melandri problems assessed by astute Suppo

Melandri problems assessed by astute Suppo

Joining fellow Italians Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi, alongside Dani Pedrosa and James Toseland, at Thursday´s pre-event Estoril press conference, Ducati Marlboro´s Livio Suppo was a welcome addition to the panel facing the expectant crowd of media in Portugal.

Joining fellow Italians Valentino Rossi and Loris Capirossi, alongside Dani Pedrosa and James Toseland, at Thursday´s pre-event bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal press conference, Ducati Marlboro´s MotoGP Project Director Livio Suppo was a welcome addition to the panel facing the expectant crowd of media at Estoril - with the less than spectacular start to the year by Marco Melandri one of the hot topics.

When asked for his view on why Melandri has not yet hit form in 2008 and has struggled to adapt to riding the Desmosedici GP8 with his new team, Suppo stated pragmatically, `If we knew the problem we could solve it! It´s not that easy to understand. The bike style and the bike characteristics suit Casey Stoner´s style perfectly and it´s more difficult for Marco´s style. He is missing some feeling with the bike.´

Expanding on how the team were attempting to tackle Melandri´s lack of competitiveness Suppo continued, `It will probably be necessary to change something on power delivery and we are doing something. Already here (in Estoril) Marco will have some different software to help him with opening the throttle and hopefully when he finds his confidence he will take that next step. ´

Pressed for his opinion on how the current Ducati-Bridgestone package ranks compared to what the Italian factory´s rivals have on offer, Suppo commented, `I think our package remains competitive. Last year we surprised everyone. I think Filippo Preziosi did an unbelievable job when the new 800cc rule came in and at the beginning of the year we had an advantage. But already last year the competitors were catching up.´

On the championship prospects for this year he added, `Of course now everybody looks a lot closer. Yamaha have done a fantastic job and Honda three weeks ago seemed to be trouble and now they are leading the championship, so the competition is very strong. Filippo and the guys at home (at Ducati in Italy) are working hard to keep the bike in a good position.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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