DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS BATTLE TYPICAL DONINGTON WEATHER ON DAY ONE The 23rd and final visit to Donington Park for the MotoGP World Championship could not have started under more typical conditions today as heavy rain mixed with bright sunshine ...
DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS BATTLE TYPICAL DONINGTON WEATHER ON DAY ONE
The 23rd and final visit to Donington Park for the MotoGP World Championship could not have started under more typical conditions today as heavy rain mixed with bright sunshine during first free practice for the British Grand Prix. San Carlo Honda Team riders Toni Elias and Alex De Angelis were able to test their rain setting on a fully wet circuit at the start of the session following a heavy lunchtime storm but as the track dried it became more and more difficult to find a usefull configuration and tyre combination.
Elias, now virtually recovered from a stomach bug he suffered in the last round at the equally inclement Sachsenring last weekend, ended up ninth fastest with De Angelis in sixteen although the most important aspect of the session was their pace in the wet, which both riders are happy with and confident about improving.
Toni Elias (9th 1'39.755): "In the wet we have to improve in a few areas but I'm sure we'll get plenty of opportunity this weekend to do that and I am convinced we can make massive improvements because the changes we need to make are pretty obvious ones. In the dry the conditions were really difficult. In the end ninth place isn't good or bad, it is normal. We're not far off but it was tricky today -- it was just a case of doing what you could when you were out on track. Hopefully tomorrow it stays dry all day so that we can get plenty of laps in but if it doesn't it will be the same situation for everybody."
Alex De Angelis (17th; 1'42.210): "In the end it was almost completely dry so I decided to come back to my box because there was no useful data to be obtained and we'd just have been out there destroying tyres, which is pointless. On my first two runs, which were in fully wet conditions, I was consistently between fifth and eighth place on the time sheets so that is good. We made some changes to the front and rear to try and find more grip because this circuit in particular is slippery when wet. We solved some things on the front but not so much on the rear so that's what we'll be working on tomorrow if it's wet again. Hopefully it isn't though because I think we all want it to be dry!"
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "Toni didn't have a bad session at all -- his performance in the wet was much better than in Germany a week ago so that is a good sign. Alex finished early because the track was drying but it was still damp and he preferred not to take any risks. He is down on the time sheets because of that but we're not worried at all. We've had a good session for both riders and we know we can do even better with more hard work tomorrow. We're on the right lines."