SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TEAM LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK IN BARCELONA The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team make the short Mediterranean crossing from Italy to Spain this weekend as the MotoGP World Championship heads back to the Iberian Peninsula for the ...
SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TEAM LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK IN BARCELONA
The San Carlo Honda Gresini Team make the short Mediterranean crossing from Italy to Spain this weekend as the MotoGP World Championship heads back to the Iberian Peninsula for the second time this season. With round three having been held in the south of the country at the Jerez circuit in Andalucia just over a month ago, round six takes place 1,000km up the coast in the stunning capital of Catalunya, Barcelona.
Hailing from the town of Manresa, just up the road from the Montmelo circuit, this is very much a home race for Toni Elias, who is looking to build on further progress with the set-up of his RC212V in the last round at Mugello. Unfortunately Toni's excellent form in dry free practice did not convert into a positive result in the wet-to-dry flag-to-flag race at the Italian circuit but he has every reason to believe he can move closer to the battle at the front at a circuit where he would love to add to podium finishes in the 125cc and 250cc classes.
Alex De Angelis was also a podium regular at Catalunya during his days in the 250cc class and he remains confident he can return to the battle for top positions once some rear grip issues have been resolved. The San Marino rider's hopes of a top ten finish at Mugello were foiled by a crash after switching to slick tyres but he remains calm and confident that his fortunes will turn around soon.
The Circuit de Catalunya hosted MotoGP for the first time in 1992, the same year Barcelona held the Olympic Games. Known initially as the European Grand Prix, the event changed to the Grand Prix of Catalunya in 1996. It is a fast and balanced circuit, with a variety of fast corners, hard-braking zones and a long main straight of 1,047m, putting every area of the 800cc machines to the challenge, making it an ideal test venue. Indeed, the team will stay on at the circuit for a day of testing - the first permitted session of the season so far -- with both riders on Monday after the race.
#24 TONI ELIAS "I think we are ready. We come here having found some improvements but without having shown it on track in terms of results. We have had a bit of bad luck so far, so we will keep working and pushing hard. Hopefully it will be at Montmelo where things change and we start to get the kind of results we are looking for. We have had a few problems and it is hard to fight against them to put things right but we are giving it all we can and we are getting better. We are working on our issues one by one and reducing them gradually and we just need to make sure we aren't affected by bad luck or unexpected problems and hopefully at Montmelo we will get our first strong result of the year, as we are getting close. The fans there are very important and they always give us a push in terms of motivation, so we need to take advantage of that and get a good finish which we can build on."
#15 ALEX DE ANGELIS "I was disappointed with the last race in Italy because we missed out on some vital points but we'll keep working hard in Catalunya, especially in the search for rear grip, which is the problem that is still affecting us the most at the moment. I remember being really, really fast at this circuit in the wet last year but it seems our problems this year are the same in the wet and dry conditions, so it is something we desperately need to iron out if we want to move forward and be more consistent. I like Barcelona as a circuit and I was having a good race last year until I crashed out with Capirossi. We were challenging at the right end of the field on that occasion so we go there with optimism, confidence and feeling calm."
FAUSTO GRESINI -- TEAM MANAGER "I was very unhappy after the last race at Mugello but like I said at the time I felt we hit rock bottom there so it is onwards and upwards from here. There can be no better time or place to do that than this weekend at Catalunya, in Toni's home race, where he will benefit from a lot of local support as always. His result in Italy was doubly disappointing because he had made progress during practice and we had high hopes of a top result. Now we will be looking to pick the positives out of the weekend, eliminate the negatives and turn potential into points."
-credit: gresini racing