DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS MAKE STRONG START IN CZECH REPUBLICBBLICA CECA San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis returned to MotoGP action following the brief three-week summer break in impressive style today, both riders...
DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS MAKE STRONG START IN CZECH REPUBLICBBLICA CECA
San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis returned to MotoGP action following the brief three-week summer break in impressive style today, both riders lapping inside the top eight in the first free practice session for the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Elias, who finished second in this race last year, made swift progress following a change to his electronics early in the session and gradually improved his speed to end the session sixth fastest. De Angelis, building on his outstanding fourth place finish in the last race at Donington Park, was fast from the outset, with the fast and flowing nature of the Brno circuit playing to the strengths of his riding style and machinery. The San Marino rider escaped unhurt from a small crash in the final minute of the session, when he was on course to improve on an otherwise impressive eighth place.
Toni Elias (6th 1'58.295): "We had a small problem with the setting of the electronics at the start of the session, just because it requires quite dramatic changes from circuit to circuit and what we started out with here wasn't working at all. It cost us ten or fifteen minutes but once we sorted it out we were right up there in the top five. We tried both tyres and gathered lots of useful information. This is quite a unique circuit that requires specific things from the setting and even though we don't have them right now we know what we need. This is a circuit where there is always a big gap from the leaders to the second group and today, with Stoner missing, there are two riders that are 1.5 seconds clear of the pack and that is a big gap. There isn't much between the rest of us and if we can improve certain areas of the set-up we can be competitive."
Alex De Angelis (8th; 1'58.497): "We started well and were fast from the start, which I was expecting and hoping for because this is a circuit with a lot of fast and flowing corners and I've said before that this is my strength as a rider. I was improving again on my last lap but I came up behind Talmacsi and tried to pass him in a difficult corner. Unfortunately I crashed which was a shame but the important thing was I wasn't hurt and the bike was fine. We think we can close the gap more on the guys in front of us and we'll be working on doing just that tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I'm happy with the way the session went. It is a shame that Toni had a small problem at the start and Alex crashed at the end but overall it was still very positive. We were able to work on a lot of things and I think there is still a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow and make another step forward but the important thing today is that we've made a promising start and I want to congratulate the whole team on a good day's work."