SENSATIONAL SECOND PLACE FOR DE ANGELIS AS ELIAS FIGHTS BACK TO NINTH San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex de Angelis clinched his first ever MotoGP podium in the Indianapolis Grand Prix today, charging from his best ever grid position of fourth...
SENSATIONAL SECOND PLACE FOR DE ANGELIS AS ELIAS FIGHTS BACK TO NINTH
San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex de Angelis clinched his first ever MotoGP podium in the Indianapolis Grand Prix today, charging from his best ever grid position of fourth to his best race finish in motorcycle racing's premier class with a stunning second place. After losing ground at the start the young San Marino rider produced a strong pass on home favourite Colin Edwards early in the race to move up to fourth place before benefiting from crashes for Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi.
Toni Elias, who finished on the podium in the last round at Brno two weeks ago, was forced off track by race debutant Aleix Espargaro in the second corner of the opening lap and not for the first time this season he had no option but to battle through the pack from last place. The Spaniard produced a typically determined and combative ride to seal a creditable ninth place at the chequered flag. The next race is De Angelis' home event -- the San Marino Grand Prix -- next weekend.
Alex De Angelis (3rd): "I have to thank the team for the incredible job they have done this weekend -- the bike has been fantastic ever since we unpacked it on Friday and we have gone from strength to strength over the course of the weekend. They also gave me a lot of confidence this morning and honestly I think they had more belief that I would be on the podium today than I did! It is a fantastic result but it is no fluke because we have been in great form over the last five races. It is a long time since I was on the podium back in the 250cc class and I had almost forgotten what a great feeling it was. Now I want to enjoy it and celebrate with another good performance at my home race next weekend."
Toni Elias (9th): "Ninth place is not what we had hoped for before we came here but I can't complain because after making a bad start to the weekend we have made continual improvements and we were in good shape for this race. Unfortunately I was pushed onto the grass by Aleix into the second turn and it ruined my race. He came to apologise at the end of the race and I told him not to worry -- it has happened to all of us in the past! It is a shame because I think we could have been on the podium today, or at least in the top five, but to take ninth under the circumstances is still a positive result."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I am really, really happy with this second place for Alex. He produced a truly exciting performance, his pace was fast and the result was very much deserved. For the team to be back on the podium again after Brno shows that we are making excellent progress. I would like to take this opportunity to thank HRC, San Carlo and all our other partners in this project. It is a shame Toni was forced off track because he had the potential to do much better than ninth place."