TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI'S 2009 SEASON BEGINS TODAY WITH VALENCIA TESTS Team San Carlo Honda Gresini began its preparations for the 2009 season at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia today, as the Spanish track played host to the first...
TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI'S 2009 SEASON BEGINS TODAY WITH VALENCIA TESTS
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini began its preparations for the 2009 season at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia today, as the Spanish track played host to the first tests for next year with riders Alex De Angelis and Toni Elias.
For existing team rider Alex De Angelis and the rejoining Toni Elias today's test has been very important. San Marino rider De Angelis was given his first taste of new Honda today and started to work with his new technical staff, headed by Antonio Jimenez.
Elias, meanwhile, has returned to work with a crew led by Fabrizio Cecchini, with whom he worked during his last season with the team in 2007, and focused today on gaining confidence with the Honda. Both riders will continue testing tomorrow.
Alex De Angelis (6th best time - 1'33''375 -- 77 laps): "Today was a splendid day for me and I am very pleased. The engine of the new bike has a really impressive power and now I am confident for the future. The new tyres performed very well, even though I believe there is still work to do because we were not able to try all the new material provided by Bridgestone and we have still to understand better the tyre characteristics. I am very confident because I was able to ride consistently one second quicker than what I was able to achieve in yesterday's race, therefore I am quite satisfied with this starting point. I was also happy to work with my new team, they greeted me with a great enthusiasm and I was very thankful to them."
Toni Elias (14th best time - 1'34''129 -- 78 laps): "I am very happy toh ave returned to Honda and to Fausto Gresini's team. For me, it is like coming home because in the two years we worked together before we developed a mutually trusting relationship and we understand very well the feeling and method of working together that was always very successful. Coming back to ride aboard a Honda was not easy because it is a completely different machine to what I was riding throughout the 2008 season, however after just one hour of testing today the feeling improved a lot. We approached our work today with calm because we know that I will have to gradually adapt myself to the new bike that will be equipped with tyres in accordance with the new regulations."
Fausto Gresini - Team manager: "I am happy with how this first day of preparation has gone for the 2009 season which has started with many new things. Alex tried the new bike for the first time, while Toni has returned to ride a Honda. Above all, today has been the first day with the new tyre regulations. Alex has also had to settle into a working routine with his new technical team, working together with Antonio Jimenez, while Toni resumed working with Fabrizio Cecchini. It has been a day full of new things but it has been a positive day for us. Alex rode very well and for this I am satisfied. Toni started the process of reacclimatising himself to a Honda machine, a situation that he dealt with calmly, a method of working that I fully support. I am satisfied with this first day, the team morale is high with there is a clear motivation and anticipation for next season, which is a positive sign after just the first day of testing."