Team San Carlo Honda Gresini are back in Europe this weekend for the Grand Prix of France, the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis ended the first day of free practice at Le Mans in seventh and tenth...
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini are back in Europe this weekend for the Grand Prix of France, the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis ended the first day of free practice at Le Mans in seventh and tenth place respectively. Despite his good position, the Japanese rider still has some set-up issues to resolve and plans to use the data gathered on a positive first day to make marked improvements with his pace tomorrow. Alex, meanwhile, made constant progress throughout the day and appears to have found a tyre that gives him better feel under acceleration, allowing him to shave some important tenths off his lap time.
Shinya Nakano (7th - 1.35.047): "I'm happy with this first day of free practice -- in the afternoon I ended up seventh fastest and that's not bad. I like this track but we still need to study the section they've modified for this season. The new clutch that Honda have brought here to Le Mans for us has brought about some general improvements and it should make the start a little easier, but we'll find that out on Sunday. We still have a few set-up problems with the bike and we have to work hard to improve my general feeling because I haven't been able to lap consistently fast. Fortunately I completed a lot of laps and got a lot of data that should allow us to improve tomorrow and make up some more crucial tenths."
Alex De Angelis (10th - 1.35.239): "I'm happy with free practice today -- in the afternoon I tried out a new tyre that Bridgestone have brought here and instantly found half a second. The tyre has helped me to recover the right feeling under acceleration and open the gas quicker, which in turn has helped bring the lap time down. Unfortunately I only had time to complete seven laps on this tyre because we put it in towards the end of the afternoon session so I hope it's okay for the race because we have nearly 30 laps to do here. In any case the Bridgestone guys are optimistic and I have faith in them."