Spanish GP: Alice Team preview

MOTOGP BACK IN THE OLD CONTINENT FOR THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX In Jerez de la Frontera, town with more than two hundred thousand people, located in the southern part of Spain, the first European Grand Prix of the season will take place after the ...

MOTOGP BACK IN THE OLD CONTINENT FOR THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX

In Jerez de la Frontera, town with more than two hundred thousand people, located in the southern part of Spain, the first European Grand Prix of the season will take place after the first exciting race of the year ridden at night in Qatar, where the Alice Team riders Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli have conquered their first world championship points of the 2008 season. The circuit is a firm point in the MotoGP calendar, in fact, after the track was built more than twenty years ago, in 1986, a race has taken place every year in the autonomous community of Andalusia.

For the rider on the Ducati Desmosedici GP8 Sat number 24, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, it will be one of the three appointments where he will count on the support of his countrymen together with Barcelona and Valencia. Last year on the same circuit, Toni Elias completed one of his best Grand Prix of his MotoGP career, finishing in fourth place only four seconds behind the winner, seven time World Champion Valentino Rossi. Also the year before the Spanish rider had finished in fourth position, and this is a good indication for his fourth appearance in Jerez in the premier class.

The other Alice Team rider, Sylvain Guintoli, will be in Jerez de la Frontera in the premier class for the second time, after his appearance in his rookie season in which he concluded in fifteenth position. The premises are good, as the French rider conquered ninth position during the last IRTA official test ridden here last February.

Alice Team Principal, Luis d'Antin, can't wait to see his riders on track to try to improve the results obtained in Qatar: "After almost three weeks we are very happy to be back on track. From a supporter point of view, I would love to have a Grand Prix every weekend. Our riders are well, I saw them in good shape and I am sure they will do their best to improve their respective results conquered in the first race of the season in Qatar. We know we have a great technical package at our disposal, thanks to Ducati and Bridgestone, and we are trustful that our riders will find the right balance of the bike to be able to fight for positions that count."

Toni Elias is really happy to be able to ride in front of his own crowd: "Today it's my birthday and I am happy to begin a weekend of racing in my own country. Racing in Spain is always a pleasure. The closest racetrack to my hometown is Barcelona, but Jerez remains my favourite. It is a true event for motorcycle fanatics. Thanks to their enthusiasm, they create a unique atmosphere. In Qatar things didn't go as I expected. We will try to use the three hours of free practice to improve our performance in the best way possible. In both of the last two Jerez races in which I have participated, I have concluded in fourth position. It would be nice to maintain the same level, even if I know competition has surely risen. As usual, we will do our best."

His Team-mate, Sylvain Guintoli, who is about to become a father for the second time, is happy to be back in Jerez after the good results registered in last February's official IRTA test: "I know I have obtained the ninth position with particular track conditions. The asphalt was still wet from the morning rain, but I have found a good compromise for the bike and this is a track I like a lot. The objective is to make progress in every race. I need to improve my feeling with the bike to improve my race rhythm. We already have some data and information from this circuit, but I think free practices will be really important to understand better at what point we really are."

-credit: pd'a

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Toni Elias , Sylvain Guintoli , Luis d'Antin