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Melandri: "I hope to arrive in Qatar in better shape"

Melandri: 'I hope to arrive in Qatar in better shape'

Melandri: "I hope to arrive in Qatar in better shape"

Marco Melandri delivered a gritty performance at Sepang, finishing fifth in a race that only two days earlier he did not expect to compete in because of his injured right foot. Starting from the third row of the grid, Melandri joined the front group on the opening laps and made a massive effort to stay on the bike for the entire 21-lap race.

"I am so tired… the foot wasn't too painful but the area around the cut is much more sensitive to the heat and I almost burnt it," said the Italian after the race. "We did a really good job on the rear end for the race because it was painful for me to push down on the rear brake, but with that we lost a bit of feel for the front."

"Because of the problems under braking the bike was also sliding a lot on the exit, but luckily from the halfway stage onwards, with less fuel and weight on board the bike, I found my rhythm and pushed a little harder. I'm happy with the result because it was unthinkable that a race could end this way a few days ago."

The Movistar Honda rider now returns to Qatar to a track where he already has quite a few miles under his belt on the RC211V after pre season testing there.

"I did a lot of laps on this track last winter. I am sure that the data we accumulated will help us find a good bike set-up. In 2004 Qatar was new for all of us, now we all have had the experience of a race and winter testing, this track will be more familiar for all of us."

"Now the main unknown remains the wound on the right foot. The wound is healing correctly and I hope to arrive in Qatar in better shape. For this GP I have four additional days to recover."

MotoGP, 2005, MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Marco Melandri

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