Australian GP: Gresini Racing preview

SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI FOLLOW TOP TEN TRAIL TO AUSTRALIA The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team makes the 19,000km trek from Portugal to Australia this week as the MotoGP World Championship goes 'Down Under' for the antepenultimate race of the 2009...

SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI FOLLOW TOP TEN TRAIL TO AUSTRALIA

The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team makes the 19,000km trek from Portugal to Australia this week as the MotoGP World Championship goes 'Down Under' for the antepenultimate race of the 2009 season. Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis both tackle one of the fastest and most exciting circuits on the calendar with designs on another step towards a potential top ten finish in the championship by the time it reaches its conclusion in Valencia, via Malaysia, in a month's time.

Elias has targeted a final position of seventh overall after moving up to tenth with a stirring ride at Estoril last week. Sixth place for the Spaniard from thirteenth on the grid was another example of his bravery and overtaking skill, although a better qualifying performance is the goal in Australia. This is one of Toni's favourite circuits although he is hoping for better luck this weekend than in the past, having only finished on the podium once there in the 125cc class back in 2001.

De Angelis was forced to retire from the Portuguese race due to a technical problem with his RC212V and after scoring points in every race up to Misano, he has now failed to score points at two in a row -- a record he is desperate to put straight this weekend. The San Marino rider has been on the podium twice at this circuit, both times in the 250cc class.

Phillip Island held its first motorcycle race back in 1931 on a 12-mile road circuit, where two-wheeled racing continued until 1941, when it was stopped due to excessive sand blowing onto the asphalt. After the bridge linking the island to mainland Victoria was completed in 1952 a closed circuit was also built and in 1989 it welcomed the premier class of motorcycle racing for the first time.

# 15 ALEX DE ANGELIS

"Alongside Sachsenring, Philip Island is my favourite track on the calendar, without a doubt. It is fast and flowing, which suits my riding style, and it gives me an opportunity to really get the full potential out of my bike in the fast corners. After scoring zero points in the last two rounds we go there with the will and determination to do a good job and our potential is high so I'm confident. I'm thinking positive also because I've come really close to victory on many occasions here in both the 125 and 250 classes and I feel that after the good form we showed in the middle of the season we are overdue another good result."

# 24 TONI ELIAS

"Phillip Island is a wonderful track and I love it there, it's a great track to ride when you've got traction. Unfortunately that has been our main problem at a lot of the circuits we've been to this season and I'm concerned we'll be struggling this weekend because if you don't have grip you can't do the lap times. I'm expecting a difficult weekend but we'll give it our best shot and see what happens when we get there."

FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER

"Phillip Island is a circuit that in theory suits the base of the Honda. Alex really loves this kind of circuit and Toni has also gone well here in the past so I'm hoping for good things from this race. Both our riders are fighting for seventh place in the championship and that is the maximum objective we have set ourselves for this final phase of the season. Hopefully we can continue to work in the right way and achieve that over the last three races."

-credit: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Toni Elias , Alex de Angelis , Phillip Island