French GP: Gresini Racing qualifying report

TOUGH QUALIFYING PRACTICE FOR ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS AT LE MANS San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis endured an uncomfortable qualifying practice for the Grand Prix de France this afternoon, with the Spaniard feeling...

TOUGH QUALIFYING PRACTICE FOR ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS AT LE MANS

San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis endured an uncomfortable qualifying practice for the Grand Prix de France this afternoon, with the Spaniard feeling the effects of recent surgery on his right forearm and the San Marinese still struggling to find a base setting for his Honda RC212V.

Both riders repeated their positions from yesterday, Elias performing heroics to qualify 11th fastest but De Angelis now facing a huge challenge from the penultimate spot on the grid after failing to improve on 16th. It promises to be a long, hard race for Toni, who was exhausted after a run of 12 laps today but must battle his way through 27 tomorrow, whilst Alex is putting his faith in a radical set-up change that he hopes will help him make up positions at a circuit that lends itself to late-braking overtakes.

Toni Elias (11th 1'35.431): "I'm really suffering here because I have no strength at all in my arm and no matter how much I try I simply can't push the bike any harder. I've been trying to get behind other riders for a tow and it helps but it's so hard. This morning was particularly bad but we were at least able to improve the bike in the afternoon and the lap times came down significantly. I was able to hold my position from yesterday and I'm pleased with that. I'm doing everything I can, so are the team, and tomorrow we'll just try to get through the race and pick up as many points as we can."

Alex De Angelis (16th; 1'35.785): "We definitely improved the bike today on race tyres but when we put the softer compound in to push for a fast lap we ran into a lot of problems that we didn't expect. We're looking at the telemetry now, we can clearly see where the problems are and we have a radical idea to try tomorrow that we hope works. It is going to be difficult starting from so far back but we don't have much to lose by taking a big gamble on the setting so it will be interesting to see how it turns out."

Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I only have two things to say about today's qualifying session. Firstly, Toni put in an extraordinary performance considering his physical condition. Secondly, we need to analyse Alex's data and feedback in depth because this position is not normal for him and not acceptable for this team."

-credit: gresini

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Toni Elias , Alex de Angelis