San Carlos Gresini Honda travel to the second round of the MotoGP World Championship at Jerez eager to give their 2010 campaign a significant boost after a disappointing season opener left them toiling outside the top ten.
The all-Italian pairing of Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri came home 11th and 13th at Qatar, the latter finishing last of all in an uncompetitive race that left him 'really upset'.
Nonetheless, with an additional week to prepare for the Spanish Grand Prix due to the postponement of the ash-affected Japanese Grand Prix, Simoncelli and Melandri have been working hard to improve their chances at Jerez.
“Honestly, I was a little disappointed about the postponement of the Motegi round because I was keen to go racing again but to have an extra week to prepare for Jerez is also good,” said former 250GP champion Simoncelli.
“I actually went to Japan anyway because we had some wind tunnel tests that had been planned for a while. It was quite a 'compact' trip in the end because I was there and back in just three days but it was still very worthwhile. We were able to test a few modifications that should allow us to make some aerodynamic improvements for straight-line speed.
“It won't make a dramatic difference but like everything it is a case of taking a small but useful step forward. I also had the opportunity to experience firsthand the strong desire on behalf of everybody at Honda to work hard and succeed. There is a lot of positivity about everything they do and I am sure that in time we will be able to achieve good results together.
“Jerez is a circuit I like, where I won my first race and where I have always been able to go fast, so I hope that remains the case this year. We go to Jerez with the target of improving on our performance in Qatar.”
Having finished 40 seconds adrift of the leaders in Qatar, Melandri gets new parts to help him improve the front-end feel of his RC212V for Jerez.
“Having done as badly as it was possible to do in Qatar we're hoping for a positive reaction at Jerez. The postponement of the Grand Prix of Japan was definitely a good thing for us because it has given us more time to reflect and make important technical preparations.