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Tough test for Honda Gresini

The San Carlo Honda Gresini team left the final MotoGP pre-season test at Qatar 'worried' after riders Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli were unable to get higher than twelfth and 15th respectively.

Melandri, returning to the team with which he finished second in the 2005 world championship, has had a tough time adapting to the new Ohlins-mounted 2010 satellite RCV and has not been ranked higher than tenth on any of the six days.

To make matters worse, Melandri also destroyed his bike during a final night fall at Losail and couldn't hide his frustration.

"I'm a bit bitter and disappointed because we've tried practically everything but nothing has helped us get on the right track,” he said. “None of the changes gave encouraging results and our work was just being wasted. A crash further complicated things with the bike being completely wrecked.”

Bravely, given the sometimes sensitive nature of HRC to public criticism, Melandri went on to state that his problems are not unique to the Gresini team.

“I don't think that it's just our problem though because I can see that virtually all the Honda riders have similar problems to us,” he declared. “The first race will soon be upon us and the current situation is quite worrying. We need total commitment all round to find the answers and overcome this tough moment."

But if Melandri starts the new season on the back foot, rookie team-mate Simoncelli is in an even more precarious situation, having suffered both a lack of pace and numerous falls.

The former 250cc world champion agrees with Melandri that the problems, which are believed to centre around front-end feel, are hurting all the Honda riders - although Repsol's Andrea Dovizioso looks to have found a strong set-up, having managed the third fastest lap time at Qatar.

"It's been really hard work, we've tried all sorts of things but we haven't found one which helps us move forwards,” said Simoncelli. “At this clearly difficult moment in time I don't believe that my lack of experience in MotoGP is relevant. I can see that other Honda riders are also having more or less the same problems so I believe that together we must all roll up our sleeves to get out of this low point."

Gresini also called on Honda to act swiftly

“There's a lot of work still to do, it's not going to be easy but I am convinced that with the determination which sets us apart and the commitment from Honda we will find the right way,” he said. ”I´m obviously worried today and to see that despite all the work and the commitment from the technicians we have made no progress, I am quite disappointed. As always I still believe in Honda´s prowess and its ability to react and I hope that it is decisive at this difficult moment."

Melandri and Simoncelli were just ranked 14th and 17th, out of 17 riders, on overall lap times at the end of the Qatar test.

The other Honda riders were classified third (Dovizioso), joint seventh (de Puniet), 13th (Pedrosa) and 16th (Aoyama).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, Qatar MotoGP Test 2010
Crowds, flags, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Simoncelli, Suzuki, French Moto3 Race 2017
Iannone, Spanish MotoGP 2017
A fans helmet with Rossi and Simoncelli, Spanish MotoGP 2017
A fans Rossi and Simoncelli helmet, Spanish MotoGP 2017
McPhee, Mir, Martin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mc Phee, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
McPhe, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mir, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
MArtin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mir, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
MArtin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Iannone, Argentinian MotoGP 2017
Iannone, Argentinian MotoGP 2017
Nakagami, Oliveira, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Edgar Pons, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017

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keech998 - Unregistered

March 22, 2010 12:43 PM

Calm down Chris, don't think any above are Honda haters, just laying down some opinions. Honda have had problems for years, mainly due to bad governance up top. Dani Pedrosa doesn't help the situation with the bike being so directly designed around him, he is however not the real problem, and they can still win races. Bike manufacturers all go through periods where the produce crap bikes, and then have to steadily build them back up to be competitive. Don't get so pent up with anger, calling people fan boys, and getting your knickers in a twist, using words like 'fact' make you sound like a fan boy yourself. Lets just wait and see what happens during racing


March 23, 2010 5:24 PM

One of the reasons Rossi left Honda is that their corporate culture valued the bike over the rider, i.e. if a Honda team won it was because of the bike not the rider. This cultural misconception is at the root of their present problems and until they accept the role of the rider in development of the bike they will continue to struggle. I've read in a number of articles that Honda was behind the change to 800cc engines because they had already developed one, it's funny to see them now!

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