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Excellent home race for Gresini pair

Excellent home race for Gresini pair

Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli both recorded their best results of the season so far at Mugello, and are delighted with the progress they are making.

Marco Melandri continued his steady advancement and recorded his best finish of the season at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM on Sunday, finishing fifth with a fantastic ride that saw him leap from 14th on the starting grid.

Drawing inspiration from his home crowd the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider was unforgiving as he pushed his way up the field, fighting with Casey Stoner and Randy de Puniet in a three-way battle for fourth before taking fifth place, just 0.032s behind the Australian.

“It was an awesome race for me,” said the 27 year-old. “I’m just a little bit disappointed to have lost the battle with Casey at the end but it’s been a beautiful race for me because I had a very bad qualifying. I got a good start, but we need to get better in the practice. We struggled more at Mugello than we did in France but after the warm-up this morning I knew I was in better shape and I’m happy to have been able to produce a race like that.”

Equally pleased was rookie rider Marco Simoncelli on the other side of the garage as he placed ninth, also a best finish of 2010 so far. It was another gradual improvement for the 23 year-old, who rued an early run-off that he believes hindered his chances of battling with his team-mate further up the field.

“It was a great race. I made a mistake on the first lap after having a great first half of the lap,” he said. “I made some positions up and got quite far forward. I tried to pass Espargaró but I touched him and ran off the track, and I got back on but was very far back. I pushed and didn’t give up and I successfully passed Aoyama and Capirossi. Without that mistake on lap one I could have been fighting for fifth or sixth, but I am very happy.”

The slightly modified fairing which Simoncelli has been using on his RC212V to accommodate his tall frame is also making a difference.

“The new fairing is very good, it’s not a big modification but a good one. Now on the straight I can do the same speed as the other Honda riders which is very important. It’s another step up.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Marco Melandri, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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