HOME RACE ENDS IN DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ELIAS AS DE ANGELIS TAKES POINTS A promising Grand Prix of Catalunya ended in disappointment for San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis today, with the Spaniard unable to...
HOME RACE ENDS IN DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ELIAS AS DE ANGELIS TAKES POINTS
A promising Grand Prix of Catalunya ended in disappointment for San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis today, with the Spaniard unable to capitalise on fifth place on the grid as he crashed out on lap ten, whilst the San Marinese also struggled to build on an encouraging qualifying session as he finished twelfth.
Cloud cover made for slightly cooler conditions today than yesterday, with 36C registering on track and ambient temperatures of 46C, although the air was more humid as a result, making it no easier for the riders on track. Elias showed his talent and potential with a flying lap yesterday afternoon but he was never quite comfortable with his race set-up here and, determined to put on a show for his home fans, his attempts to make up for the deficits in the bike ended in disappointment when he slid out of tenth place. De Angelis had a running battle with Nicky Hayden in the early stages of the race and was up as high as eleventh when the pair passed Marco Melandri on lap seventeen. However, struggling to hold his pace through the long corners at the Montmelo circuit, he lost a position to Chris Vermeulen in the latter stages and had to settle for a four-point haul.
Toni Elias (DNF): "I was riding on the limit today to try and finish tenth and that tells you everything about our situation. I didn't make any mistakes when I crashed -- I wasn't going any faster and I didn't brake any harder than I had done on the previous laps, the bike just let go and that was it. It's disappointing but racing can be like this sometimes. We have to keep thinking positive and look ahead to the test tomorrow, when hopefully we can make some progress. We've shown we can do a fast lap but we need to improve our race pace so that is the objective for the test, even though we have no new parts to try. Tomorrow is another day!"
Alex De Angelis (12th): "The position is clearly not what we want and I don't think it's a true reflection of my potential, which I showed last season is in the top six. This year we're having a few more problems and we haven't managed to resolve them as quickly as we would have liked. The only positive thing is that in the opening race in Qatar I was fifty seconds behind the winner and now we have reduced that gap to thirty seconds so we're obviously doing something right. What we need now is to find more grip at full lean because when the bike is at a higher angle the traction is good and we get a glimpse of the potential of the bike. When I can improve my corner speed, which is one of my strengths as a rider, we can make bigger steps forward and this is the target for the test tomorrow and the next race at Assen."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "We're trying to help our riders as much as we can to improve and I think you can see from Toni's crash that he is giving everything he has too. We've taken a small step forward from Mugello but the situation is still difficult. Alex is still suffering in a few areas and we need to make the best of the test to get the best possible base set-up for him. Putting this result behind us and looking ahead to the next race with optimism is the only way for us to move forward."
-credit: gresini racing