The 2006 season has already started for Team Fortuna Honda. After being presented officially to the press on Monday morning, Marco Melandri and Toni Elias today took to the track in their new Fortuna colours for a day of tests, the first of an intense winter schedule.
Toni made his debut on the RC211V in cold and windy conditions, completing only 34 laps on his new machine but giving more than positive feedback.
This season's World Championship runner-up Marco Melandri completed just eight laps as part of a tyre test.
Marco Melandri ( 8 laps, 1'34"8): "We have an intense testing programme planned with Michelin but the weather conditions didn't allow it. It is a real shame because I wanted to ride and also because it was important to get started on testing some evolution tyres. The weather doesn't look good for tomorrow so we'll have to wait until the Sepang test at the end of No! vember to continue working with Michelin on the new rubber for next season."
Toni Elias (34 laps, 1'35"7): "I'm really happy with this first contact with my new bike. My first sensations of it are very positive. Considering the small amount of time available I can say that I have already worked out some characteristics of the RC211V, which seems to adapt well to my riding style and size. It is a very agile bike in the changes of direction and feels manageable. I'm still not completely comfortable, we have a lot of work to do but I feel calm and motivated. I also felt good with my new team, I have only been with them for two days but I feel at home. I have been very impressed with their professionalism and organisation. I am sure we will have a good season together."
Team Fortuna will be back on track on the 28th, 29th and 30th November at Sepang, Malaysia, for the final test before the winter break.