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Melandri and Simoncelli confident they can find the right level

Melandri and Simoncelli confident they can find the right level

The San Carlo Honda Gresini riders are prepared to work hard in the practice sessions in Qatar to find the right set-ups before Sunday’s race.

A determined Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli are focused on finding the right set-up on their respective RC212V machines when free practice gets underway in Qatar on Friday evening.

After a pre-season that did not deliver a setting for either rider which was satisfactory, the San Carlo Honda Gresini pair are certain that with a lot of hard work in the lead-up to Sunday’s race they can find the right solutions.

"Testing didn’t go particularly well but we still have some things to try and I am quite confident about my race pace,” said Melandri. “I think a lot of riders will struggle to match their pace from Testing and if we can just improve a little and get a decent grid position then we can get involved in a group in the race that will allow me to take home a good result.”

Recalling his previous experience at the track, Melandri continued: “I had a great race in Qatar in 2005, when I fought with Valentino Rossi until the final lap, attacking him for the lead with three corners to go but running wide and having to settle for second place as a result. I also had a good race on the 800 in 2007 even though the bike still wasn’t up to scratch so I still believe we can have a good race this Sunday. It wouldn’t be the first time we have taken a good result after a difficult pre-season. The track is well suited to my riding style so I’m keen to see how well we can do."

Simoncelli’s pre-season has been marked with two heavy crashes at Sepang, but the rookie has the same positive outlook as his team-mate with the opening round fast approaching.

"I was hoping I’d be in better shape ahead of my MotoGP debut but Testing hasn’t gone in the best possible way, especially Sepang,” said the former 250cc World Champion. “We have work to do and since I last rode the bike we have re-worked our ideas a little and come up with some ways to improve things. We also have faith in the work done by Honda in Japan and we’re hopeful they can bring us something new that can help us.”

Simoncelli concluded: “I’m obviously not going out to win the first race but I’m still travelling to Qatar in confident mood and I’m sure I can improve on my performance from the test.”

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Marco Simoncelli, Marco Melandri, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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