DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS JUST 0.5 SECONDS OFF TOP SPOT IN MIXED CONDITIONS AT SACHSENRING The typically inclement Sahcsenring weather showed its worst side today when bright morning sunshine gave way to a heavy thunderstorm at lunchtime, making for...
DE ANGELIS AND ELIAS JUST 0.5 SECONDS OFF TOP SPOT IN MIXED CONDITIONS AT SACHSENRING
The typically inclement Sahcsenring weather showed its worst side today when bright morning sunshine gave way to a heavy thunderstorm at lunchtime, making for wet conditions in the opening stages of the first free practice for the German Grand Prix. Ever the optimists, the San Carlo Honda Gresini team made the most of the conditions to gather some vital data in case of continued rain tomorrow and Sunday, as is forecast, stepping up their pace on slick tyres when the track dried in the second half of the session.
Alex De Angelis, a six-time podium finisher here in the smaller classes, demonstrated his affinity with the circuit and in particular the third section, which includes one of the fastest and most technically demanding corners in the world. The San Marino rider was the quickest rider on track through that split, helping him to fifth place overall. His team-mate Toni Elias was just two positions and less than one tenth behind him on the time sheets, the pair lapping within half a second of the day's fastest rider despite the fact Elias is battling the effects of a stomach bug.
Alex De Angelis (5th; 1'23.282): "Obviously the conditions were difficult because it was extremely wet at the start and then dried out a lot but I'm pleased with our performance and the way we adapted. I waited until I saw a few other riders on slicks before changing because we didn't want to risk anything and when we went back out I was able to hold my position near the top. We had a bit of a problem with the bike not turning in the tight corners, which is the thing you really need here, but we improved that. Now the main issue is the rear spinning up and we need to sort that because every tenth you lose around this circuit is crucial. I was the fastest in T3, the same as last year I think. I have always said my strong point as a rider is in fast corners and this is one of the fastest and most technical sections on the calendar. It is helping me make up some time but to be honest we still don't have the package I need to be fast and consistent around the rest of the circuit."
Toni Elias (7th 1'23.351): "I'm struggling a little bit here with a stomach problem and some 'flu symptoms -- but don't worry, it's not swine 'flu! It was quite a good session today because we were able to get a feel for the conditions in the wet and then work on the bike in the dry. We were pretty good in both conditions and even though I finished up in seventh place the gap to the top is only 0.5 seconds and with the way I'm feeling today that is not much. I have to be happy with the way things have started here."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "Both riders have had a good session today, the lap times are close and it is pleasing to see. This is a track that seems to adapt well to our riders and bike and the performance is encouraging so we'll see what happens tomorrow."
-credit: gresini racing