ELIAS SECURES SECOND ROW START AT SEPANG San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elias will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after clocking the sixth fastest time in a sweltering qualifying practice at Sepang this ...
ELIAS SECURES SECOND ROW START AT SEPANG
San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Toni Elias will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid after clocking the sixth fastest time in a sweltering qualifying practice at Sepang this afternoon. With 34C ambient temperatures and 51C on track, conditions could not have been harsher on the tyres, machines and riders yet Elias put in an impressive shift to clock his best effort on the 19th of his 20 laps.
De Angelis worked just as hard as he racked up 22 laps with an impressive rhythm on race tyres, although he was unable to make a significant improvement on the softer rubber and will start from tenth.
Toni Elias (6th 2'01.918): "The position is good -- we're on the second row, which is where we wanted to be -- and my rhythm is okay but we still need to improve. We have been working so hard on finding rear traction that maybe the bike has been compromised in other areas so we need to work out how best to find a better balance between the two things. It's not easy and I know you can't have everything but it's just a little frustrating because we are a few small steps away from having a really competitive package for the race here. Hopefully we can take those steps overnight and in the warm-up tomorrow."
Alex De Angelis (10th; 2'02.274): "Honestly speaking I'm happy with our performance today because yesterday we were a long way off the other satellite bikes but today we have gradually closed the gap and I have finished up just a couple of tenths short of my team-mate, who is on the second row. My team did a great job and we were lapping in the 2'02s throughout the session, which is good for tomorrow. Hopefully we can take another step forward in warm-up tomorrow and close the gap even more to that second group. My objective is to have a good race and, if possible, hang on to seventh or eighth place in the championship. I know Capirossi is looking strong here but if I can stay in touch with him then we have a good chance going to Valencia, a circuit I love and always go well at."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "On the whole the qualifying session went well. I'm obviously happy with a second row start for Toni, who has been on the pace from the start here in Malaysia. Alex has also worked well for the race -- he's starting from the fourth row but this is a circuit where you can pass people and make up positions if your pace is good. I think both our guys can have a good race tomorrow."
-credit: gresini racing