German GP: Gresini Racing preview

SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TEAM BRING PROGRESS BACK TO EUROPE The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team head for Germany this weekend following a successful trip to the United States, as the MotoGP World Championship returns to Europe for back-to-back races...

SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TEAM BRING PROGRESS BACK TO EUROPE

The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team head for Germany this weekend following a successful trip to the United States, as the MotoGP World Championship returns to Europe for back-to-back races before the summer break. This weekend's event, to be followed just seven days later by the British Grand Prix at Donington Park, marks the halfway point in a championship that has seen the Italian squad make important strides in recent weeks and create genuine optimism of a strong second half to the campaign.

Toni Elias has produced his best performances of the season so far in the past two rounds at Assen and Laguna Seca, where he was fighting for a top six finish on both occasions. Sixth place in California, just 0.4 seconds behind fifth place, was the reward for months of hard work on the set-up of his factory-spec Honda RC212V machine that he hopes will continue to bear fruit at Sachsenring and beyond.

Alex De Angelis' efforts have yet to be remunerated by results so far this year but the San Marino rider this week travels to a circuit that has seen some of the best performances of his career. De Angelis produced an incredible run of consecutive podiums at Sachsenring in the smaller classes, scoring three second-places and three thirds from six visits there between 2002 and 2007.

The history of premier-class racing at Sachsenring can be divided into two eras -- firstly from 1961 to 1972, when the original circuit, measuring almost nine kilometres, hosted the East German Grand Prix. The modern era began in 1998, when the top class returned to a completely modernised facility. The current track is the second shortest on the World Championship calendar, behind Laguna Seca, measuring less than four kilometres.

#15 ALEX DE ANGELIS

"I have had so many good results at Sachsenring in the past, just the kind of results we could do with right now! Unfortunately we made the wrong choice with the setting for the race at Laguna but there were a lot of positives about the weekend as a whole and we are looking to bring those to the fore in Germany. The German Grand Prix is definitely one of my favourites. I have a lot of affection for the Sachsenring circuit because I took my first pole there and I was on the podium every year from 2002 to 2007. The track is very technical, varied and without any long straights so it is important to have a good chassis set-up, more than a powerful engine. We're going through a difficult phase right now but we won't give up."

#24 TONI ELIAS

"It is important that we have started to find the right way forward at this stage of the season because there is still a long way to go and perhaps if we had taken any longer it would be too late. We have had eight tough races but we're starting to find the limits of this bike and we still have nine races left in which to push it to the maximum. To be honest I don't like Sachsenring much but looking back I have raced there injured on three occasions so maybe that's why I don't have good memories or good results to reflect on! Last year could have been much better but it rained so hopefully this is the year my fortunes change in Germany. I stayed on in America for an extra day to go sightseeing in San Francisco, which was great fun, but after that I was straight home to train and get ready for another important race."

FAUSTO GRESINI -- TEAM MANAGER

"We have two very technical tracks coming up, in Sachsenring and Donington Park, that rely heavily on set-up and rider ability so our aim as a team is to give our guys the best possible motorcycle underneath them to get the most out of their potential. We have made some big steps forward recently with Toni but we know there is much more to come because in Laguna Seca, for example, we were still using the softer tyre whereas our competitors are on the hard rubber. It is important for us to transfer his performance to the hard tyre so that he can take that extra step in terms of his pace over race distance and this is our target for the next two races."

-credit: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Toni Elias