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Melandri targeting Barcelona return

25 June 2010

Marco Melandri expects to be back on his Gresini Honda at next weekend's Catalan Grand Prix, despite dislocating his shoulder on Friday morning at Assen.

The Italian ran straight on at the modified, and much faster, Ruskenhoek turn at the end of the back straight, then highsided as he rejoined the track.

“I went wide coming into the turn at the back of the pits and tried to get onto the tarmac path back onto the track, but I couldn't get on it and as I headed back towards the track I was worried I might hit another rider so I tried to change my line,” explained Melandri.

“Unfortunately I lost the rear on the grass and when I got back onto the tarmac it gripped and threw me into the air. I knew straight away that my shoulder was out… now I have to look ahead to hopefully having a good race at Barcelona.”

“Whenever a rider is injured and can't make it to the grid there is always a great sense of loss in the team. Fortunately the injury is not quite as bad as we thought and we hope to see him back on the bike as soon as possible,” added team manager Fausto Gresini.

Melandri's injury means that, for the second race in succession, only 15 riders will start the race.

Melandri's rookie team-mate Marco Simoncelli will line-up eighth and hopes to fight for his best MotoGP finish.

"That's not bad - I'm happy because we had a few doubts about the bike today but it worked well. We have found the right solution to establish a better feeling and I can ride with more ease,” said Simoncelli. “My times were good when I was lapping on my own and I managed to put a good rhythm together. Overall I am happy and confident I can have another good race tomorrow. If I can get a good start then there's no reason I can't be fighting for a top five finish."


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