TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI HEAD TO ATLANTIC COAST FOR GRAND PRIX OF PORTUGAL Team San Carlo Honda Gresini make the trip from their base on the Adriatic coast to the edge of the Atlantic this weekend in preparation for the third round of the ...
TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI HEAD TO ATLANTIC COAST FOR GRAND PRIX OF PORTUGAL
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini make the trip from their base on the Adriatic coast to the edge of the Atlantic this weekend in preparation for the third round of the MotoGP World Championship 2008, the Grand Prix of Portugal. The action resumes at the Estoril circuit, located just a few kilometres from the capital city of Lisbon, from 11th to 13th April, with Alex De Angelis and Shinya Nakano back in the hunt for points on board their Bridgestone-shod Honda RC212V machines. Shinya's objective is to continue on the upward trend he set at Losail and Jerez in the opening two rounds, followed by a test on the Monday following the Spanish round, where the Japanese rider and his chief mechanic Antonio Jimenez were able to improve his feeling with the bike and tyres. Alex takes on the Estoril circuit for the first time on a MotoGP bike having stepped on the podium there in both the 125 and 250 classes and the San Marino man should have no trouble getting back on to the pace of the leading pack, as he did in Qatar.
#15 ALEX DE ANGELIS
"Unlike Losail and Jerez, in Portugal I'll be taking on a circuit where I've never ridden before on a MotoGP bike because we haven't tested at Estoril so it's difficult to make predictions but I'm confident there will be an improvement on recent performances. We were fast all through winter testing but the results of the first two races were not satisfactory. At Estoril we can do really well, I'm sure of that. The test at Jerez following the Grand Prix of Spain was really important because we were able to work on certain things that hadn't worked during the race weekend. Bridgestone worked closely with the team and brought along a new structure that made the bike more stable. At this point it's a case of trying to find a little more traction on the rear, which is the area we're struggling the most with right now."
# 56 SHINYA NAKANO
"Estoril is another circuit that I know really well. To go there after such a positive test on the Monday after the race at Jerez gives me a lot of confidence for the race. We'll go into first free practice with a few small modifications from the base set-up we found at Jerez, which allowed me to ride much more aggressively. The clear objective is to improve and get a better finish than at Jerez -- we can do it!"
FAUSTO GRESINI -- TEAM MANAGER
"I'm sure that in Shinya can continue with the positive trend he has set lately -- in the test at Jerez he found a good solution for the setting which gives him a little more over race distance, not just for a single lap. Alex is on a steep learning curve, which has been held up a little by a few crashes lately that haven't helped -- especially in terms of his confidence. But I'm convinced that he'll soon be able to get the maximum out of his potential, which I think is at the same level as Lorenzo and Dovizioso, who Alex fought with regularly in 250cc. For the whole team Estoril is a place that holds great memories - in 2006 we took victory with Toni Elias, showing once again our strength amongst the Honda satellite teams -- so for that reason also Estoril is the perfect occasion for us to improve on the first two races."
The Estoril circuit, which opened in 1972, has always brought good luck to Gresini Racing, who have had a rider finish in the top five at the Grand Prix of Portugal for the last four years -- capped by a fantastic victory for Toni Elias in 2006. Two years ago the Spaniard became embroiled in a breathtaking victory with Valentino Rossi that went down to the final lap, Elias winning a drag race to the line with his Honda to beat the Yamaha by just 0.005 seconds.