MotoGP: USGP Gresini Honda Friday practice notes

Team press release issued after USGP first practice

The first day of free practice took place today at the Laguna Seca circuit, host of the US Grand Prix this weekend -- the eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.

The spectacular American circuit, famous for its "Corkscrew" corner - an exciting downhill chicane that puts the riders skill and courage to the ultimate test - has been completely resurfaced.

Marco Melandri has continued with his recent good form, having arrived at Laguna Seca in good spirits after his excellent race at Sachsenring.

Marco instantly found a good feeling with the bike and is already looking forward to the race. The Gresini Honda rider is a huge fan of the American event and, like last year, has chosen a stars and stripes design for his helmet to celebrate the occasion.

It was a positive first day, also, for Miguel Duhamel, who replaces Toni Elias at this race. Duhamel, who probably knows Laguna Seca better than anybody, was hugely impressed by the performance of the RC212V.

For this round both Marco Melandri and Miguel Duhamel's bikes are decorated in the colours of Hannspree, the Taiwanese market leader in television and LCD Monitor production. The company have sponsored Gresini Honda already this season all over the world.

MARCO MELANDRI (2nd, 1'23"597): "We've made a good start to the weekend, I'm happy. The bike is responding well and thanks to the new exhaust pipe the engine performance is much sweeter and I can ride it as I like around here. I'm also satisfied with the tyres. I'm feeling highly motivated for the challenge ahead and I'm determined to finish with a top result. I like this track -- I was third here last year and after such a good ride in Germany I'm ready to fight for the podium again."

MIGUEL DUHAMEL (16th, 1'25"550): "My first impressions of the RC212V are very positive. This is a really nice experience for me. There's a lot to learn but we're making progress, improving with every outing and I'm enthusiastic. The team are doing a great job."

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