Catalunyan GP: Gresini Racing Friday practice report

ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS SHOW TOP TEN PACE AT BARCELONA San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis are both looking forward to tomorrow's second free practice and qualifying sessions after struggling to make an impact on the...

ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS SHOW TOP TEN PACE AT BARCELONA

San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis are both looking forward to tomorrow's second free practice and qualifying sessions after struggling to make an impact on the timesheets at the Catalunya circuit today. This afternoon's opening free practice saw the Spaniard and the San Marinese struggle to the 15th and 16th fastest lap times respectively, both complaining of chassis set-up issues around the notoriously technical and demanding track.

For both riders the road to improvement lies in experimenting with different chassis solutions and it is a process that requires time, a rare commodity with the current practice format. Elias is desperate to make major improvements tomorrow in front of his home crowd, the Catalan favourite paying tribute to local patrimony today by wearing a helmet featuring a design typical of Antoni Gaudì, a late, great exponent of modernist Catalan architecture and a symbol of Barcelona around the world.

Toni Elias (15th 1'45.101): "We haven't started well but it is early and we have to stay positive. We have a lot of work to do on the chassis, because there is far too much load on the front. I know I am always complaining about that but at this circuit in particular it is just too much. We don't have anything new to test so it is down to us to keep coming up with new ideas, experimenting and trying to find a solution with what we have. Unfortunately sometimes you have to go down the wrong road in order to realise which is the right one so hopefully that's the case for us today. My Gaudi helmet design is from when we raced here in 2007 and I decided to wear it again simply because I love it!"

Alex De Angelis (16th; 1'45.126): "We're still struggling for rear grip, as we have been doing all season, and the bike is sliding around a lot but the truth is that this is our only problem. We really need to sort it out because other than that the bike feels great. The engine is really strong and in a straight line we are really fast but we need to transfer that to the corners. We had a little problem with the front forks in the first part of the session, they weren't working well and I ran wide in one corner but luckily the run-off was asphalt and I was able to keep it upright. We changed the forks and it improved things a lot, even on a used tyre, but we still have plenty to do tomorrow."

Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "We have to take the positives out of the day, which is basically that we are only one session into the weekend and we still have two more tomorrow! Both sides of the garage are working to the same objective, which is to improve on our performances so far this season, and everybody is giving their best. There is no point discussing the politics of our situation -- the only thing we can do is continue to work hard."

-credit: gresini

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