DE ANGELIS TAKES EARLY STEP FORWARD AT ASSEN As is tradition the Dutch TT got underway a day earlier than other events on the MotoGP calendar today, with the opening free practice taking place on the final Thursday in June, ahead of Saturday's...
DE ANGELIS TAKES EARLY STEP FORWARD AT ASSEN
As is tradition the Dutch TT got underway a day earlier than other events on the MotoGP calendar today, with the opening free practice taking place on the final Thursday in June, ahead of Saturday's race. The session saw contrasting fortunes for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders, with Alex de Angelis making an encouraging start to the weekend but Toni Elias struggling to find a set-up for the technical circuit.
With Randy de Puniet setting the fastest lap on board similar satellite machinery to De Angelis, the San Marinese also took advantage of the bike's apparent suitability to this circuit by consistently lapping at the top end of the time sheets before eventually dropping to eleventh in the late push for times. Elias was unable to find front-end stability or rear traction for his factory-spec RC212V and is preparing for a day of hard work tomorrow.
Alex De Angelis (11th; 1'38.495): "We did a good job at the Barcelona test and we have carried some of the positive things through to here. It's nice to be just six tenths of a second from the top because it's the first time we've managed to be so close all season and it shows we're moving in the right direction. We still have a couple of little problems to fix but I was fast on a hard tyre as well today and that is encouraging. We have some ideas to try tomorrow, particularly in the first sector which is where I am losing most time at the moment, but I am positive because we are on the pace and still have room for improvement."
Toni Elias (15th 1'39.642): "This has been a bad day for us. I don't have any feeling on the front on the way into the corners and not enough rear traction on the way out. It has been the same story at every track we've been to. If there is a silver lining it's that we have had bad first days at other circuits and been able to turn it around with a lot of hard work, so that is exactly what we intend to try and do tomorrow. Hopefully we can work something out and at least get more or less closer to where we should be. "
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "We've worked to find a good setting with Alex and we still have to improve the stability of the bike in the corners because he is still not quite able to push it as much as he would like. Having said that he hasn't made a bad start and he's in there with a group that isn't far off the top riders. To have a satellite Honda in first place today certainly shows the potential of the bike! With Toni we seem to be going round in circles with the same problems so hopefully we can do a good job and find a breakthrough tomorrow"
-credit: gresini racing