SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI CROSS NORTH SEA ON WAVE OF CONFIDENCE The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team continues its jaunt across Northern Europe for the second of two back-to-back races before the summer break as the Donington Park circuit plays host...
SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI CROSS NORTH SEA ON WAVE OF CONFIDENCE
The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team continues its jaunt across Northern Europe for the second of two back-to-back races before the summer break as the Donington Park circuit plays host to the British Grand Prix for the final time this weekend. With Silverstone set to replace the Midlands circuit on the calendar next year, this weekend provides the MotoGP World Championship riders with the opportunity to sign off in style from the historic venue.
The whole team makes the trip across the North Sea on the crest of a wave following a morale-boosting German Grand Prix that saw both Alex De Angelis and Toni Elias place inside the top six -- their best combined result from the Grand Prix Malaysia 2007. Fifth position for De Angelis was the fruit of a lot of hard work and well-earned progress in recent weeks, which he will again look to take advantage of at a circuit where he scored back-to-back podiums in the 250cc class in 2006 and 2007.
Elias also scored consecutive podiums at Donington Park in the 125cc and 250cc classes in 2001 and 2002 but has enjoyed little in the way of fortune at the British track since then. However, sixth place at Sachsenring on Sunday was identical to his position in the previous round at Laguna Seca and having also fought for a top six spot in the race before that at Assen the Spaniard says he is now ready to launch an assault on the very top of the order.
Set inside amphitheatre style surroundings, with vast spectator banking all around the track, Donington Park provides a dramatic viewing experience for the fans and its combination of elevation changes and fast corners makes it an exciting challenge for the riders. The prevalent off-camber nature of the track gives the front tyre a tendency to push and makes the right, left, right flick down the Craner Curve section particularly daunting. This sequence of sweeping corners is one of the fastest and most technical in the world and like T3 at Sachsenring, where De Angelis was consistently amongst the fastest last weekend, it is a place where a rider can really make the difference.
#15 ALEX DE ANGELIS "I'm really pleased that after the progress we have been making during practice in recent weeks I was finally able to back it up with a result at Sachsenring and the target for Donington is a repeat performance on every level. It was important that we showed our pace in both wet and dry conditions in Germany because that gives us confidence going into a Grand Prix where the weather is similarly unpredictable. Donington is a circuit I like a lot so it is a shame this time is the last for MotoGP. I have always gone well there, up until my crash last year, so we have nothing to fear and I'm confident and excited about this weekend."
#24 TONI ELIAS "The performance and result were good at Sachsenring but we want more. If it wasn't for my crash in qualifying we would have started from a position that would have allowed us to opt to a better finish in the race so that is the objective from Donington onwards. We need to look at how we can qualify better and that way target even better results than sixth place. The track surface at Donington can be very slippery -- especially if the temperatures are low -- so it will be crucial for us to find good grip from day one and progress from there. Hopefully the weather is kind to us!"
FAUSTO GRESINI -- TEAM MANAGER "Following a wonderful team performance in Germany, which ended with a result that could barely have been better, we go to England with a lot of motivation and the desire to continue in this way. It's a bit of a strange and difficult circuit in terms of set-up but I also think it can be good for us, so there is no reason why we can't be confident. After a tough opening half of the season we seemed to have turned a corner over the last couple of races but I would like to see us confirm that progress before the summer break by scoring another top result here."