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Simoncelli happy, Melandri frustrated after round one

Simoncelli happy, Melandri frustrated after round one

Different reactions from the two San Carlo Honda Gresini riders after finishing 11th and 13th respectively in the opening race of the season in Qatar.

Marco Simoncelli’s debut in MotoGP went relatively smoothly after a tough pre-season programme, in which he struggled to acclimatise to the RC212V of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.

A couple of big crashes in testing had appeared to dent the former 250cc World Champion’s confidence as he found the premier class prototype hard to get to grips with, but after qualifying in 15th place for the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar an 11th-placed finish in the race left Simoncelli more than satisfied with his first MotoGP points.

"I’m pretty happy with what you could call a decent debut,” said the charismatic Italian. “After struggling in the winter tests we’ve seen tonight that I am in shape to fight with the mid-pack, if not the front guys just yet.”

“I’m happy with the first half of my race but when the tyres went off I couldn’t stick the pace with Capirossi and Edwards and had to ‘pull the oars into the boat’! It was tough for me to keep a fast pace when I was riding on my own so I slowed down. There were definitely positive aspects to take from this and now we move on.”

On the other side of the Gresini garage, Marco Melandri was much less happier with his result of 13th. The vastly more experienced rider of the pair did not hold back in his assessment of how he thought his opening round of the 2010 season had gone.

"That was a very disappointing race, one of the worst of my career. It was impossible for me to ride - I was struggling from the start and after a few laps it got worse, with the engine braking system cutting out which meant I couldn’t even brake properly,” said a hugely disappointed Melandri.

He continued: “There was something wrong with the throttle connection and I couldn’t work out how much to open the gas - sometimes I was giving too much and the bike was moving around on the exits of the corners. It is a bad race to end a disappointing weekend.”

”I just have to keep the faith that my team can help me find a solution. Unfortunately I am a very sensitive rider with a specific style and it seems this bike is not the best solution for me. I’m really upset,” he concluded.

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

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