Italian GP: Gresini Racing race report

WEATHER WREAKS HAVOC WITH YET ANOTHER MOTOGP RACE AT MUGELLO It was an unfortunate and desperately disappointing home Grand Prix for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team at Mugello today, as Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis struggled to fourteenth and...

WEATHER WREAKS HAVOC WITH YET ANOTHER MOTOGP RACE AT MUGELLO

It was an unfortunate and desperately disappointing home Grand Prix for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team at Mugello today, as Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis struggled to fourteenth and fifteenth place respectively in the second flag-to-flag MotoGP race in as many weeks. With heavy rain falling in the build-up to the race making for a wet track at the start, the standing water quickly evaporated and a dry line formed before the halfway stage.

Elias was riding well in the damp conditions and had maintained his grid position of ninth when he decided to change from wet to slick tyres on lap ten. The tactic looked to have worked when he returned to the track in fifth position, jumping ahead of several rivals who had made an earlier stop. However, with their tyres already on their way to full heat Elias lost several positions as his tyres reached their optimum temperature and he was then unable to recover as he struggled to regain the excellent feeling and confidence he had with his RC212V during the weekend's three dry practice sessions. It was a frustrating race for the Spaniard, who could do nothing to prevent his gradual relegation to fourteenth place.

De Angelis was running twelfth when he made his stop a lap earlier than Elias but the San Marino youngster crashed on his first lap on slick tyres, running straight at turn two and laying the bike down in the gravel to avoid a collision with the air fence. He returned to the track and bravely set his fastest lap of the race on lap 20 but it wasn't enough to bring him back in touch with the field.

Toni Elias (14th): "I'm disappointed and angry because in racing you have to be ready to tackle any situation and today we weren't. The most frustrating thing is that I was expecting the first six or seven laps in the wet to be the hard part for us today and we actually did a good job, so I was confident we could kick on for a top result in the dry. I came out on slick tyres right behind Valentino and Casey, just two seconds behind them, but it took me four laps to get the rear tyre up to temperature and even then we were losing three or four seconds a lap, which I cannot understand. It's a disaster and something clearly wasn't working right. We're going to analyse the data, find out what went wrong and make sure we're better prepared next time. There are positives to take out of this weekend because in general we have stepped up our pace but right now that just makes me even more disappointed that we haven't come away with a good result."

Alex De Angelis (15th): "I think we went with the right race strategy and chose the correct moment to change bikes. I went back out pretty fast but went a little bit too hard into turn two and was heading straight for the air fence, so I had to jump off. It was a real shame because it has probably cost us a handful of points but the reality is that we didn't have a good set-up with the bike for the dry and I honestly don't think we'd have been capable of great things anyway today."

Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "We've hit rock bottom this weekend, I'm so disappointed. Toni was going well in the wet and then for him to be losing four seconds per lap in the dry means something has clearly gone badly wrong. Alex was also way off the pace today so all I can do is apologise on behalf of the team to our sponsors and to Honda. We know this bike is not ready to win races yet but we also know it is good enough to be fighting for results that would give us satisfaction and hope. I can't imagine us having a race as bad as this one again."

-credit: gresini racing

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Toni Elias