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Solid top-five start for Gresini pair

Solid top-five start for Gresini pair

Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri were fourth and fifth fastest respectively in the first practice at the Iveco Australian Grand Prix.

The contrast in conditions from the searing heat of Malaysia to the spring temperatures of Phillip Island could not have been starker on Friday as heavy rain, high winds and low temperatures battered the paddock. The opening free practice sessions were put back by two hours but when they did finally take to the track both Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri were on the pace throughout. The pair could have been even faster as a dry line formed towards the end of the session but they were both lapping on wet tyres and were forced to accept top five positions on a satisfactory opening day.

Marco Simoncelli - 4th

"The conditions were really prohibitive today, especially the wind, which was very strong. We were going down the front straight in sixth gear and losing the front, it was really difficult to manage. Anyway, I felt good straight away from the first lap in the wet and we were able to make constant improvements from there. The track conditions changed towards the end of the session because three quarters of it were practically dry but we didn't have time to change to a slick tyre. Anyway, I am happy and if the race conditions are like this we will be competitive."

Marco Melandri - 5th:

"It was a difficult session because of the conditions. It was really cold and there was so much wind that it was hard to ride. A good part of the track was dry by the end but with rain tyres on it was impossible for us to improve our best time - by the end of the session the left side of the tyre was completely destroyed. Obviously in terms of finding a dry set-up the session was completely useless but we were able to confirm that we have a good pace in the wet."

San Carlo Honda Gresini press release

MotoGP, 2010, IVECO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Marco Simoncelli, Marco Melandri, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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