DE ANGELIS MISSES FRONT ROW BY 0.011 SECONDS AT INDY Both San Carlo Honda Gresini riders will start the Indianapolis Grand Prix from top seven positions on the grid tomorrow after an exciting qualifying session that saw Alex de Angelis only...
DE ANGELIS MISSES FRONT ROW BY 0.011 SECONDS AT INDY
Both San Carlo Honda Gresini riders will start the Indianapolis Grand Prix from top seven positions on the grid tomorrow after an exciting qualifying session that saw Alex de Angelis only denied a first ever MotoGP front row start by a last ditch effort from Valentino Rossi. After impressing in the wet conditions yesterday De Angelis was on the pace all day in the dry today, holding third place at the chequered flag this afternoon only for the reigning World Champion to usurp him by 0.011 seconds with a flying last lap.
Toni Elias was giving chase to Rossi on that final lap but lost touch with the Italian when he crashed early in the lap. It was a disappointing end to the session for the Spaniard, who nevertheless qualified in an encouraging seventh place despite not finding an ideal set-up with his factory-spec RC212V.
Alex De Angelis (4th; 1'40.620): "Clearly I would have preferred to start on the front row but this is still a wonderful day for me. The team have worked well and so far it has been a perfect weekend. It is never easy to get near the pace of the front three but I'm enjoying riding my bike here and we have never been this close, so I'm delighted. I could have gone even faster on a new tyre at the end but we had an electrical problem and I had to roll off the gas. It sorted itself out but by that time the tyre had gone cold and I couldn't push. Anyway, I'll be going on the attack in the race because this is a big opportunity for me to score a top result and to move up in the championship, with there being a small gap to the guys currently ahead of me. I have always believed I have the talent but it was good to show everybody today that when things are right I can be there."
Toni Elias (7th 1'41.283): "We improved from the morning to the afternoon but I'm still not as comfortable as I would like to be with the set-up and at the end I crashed, purely because I was pushing too hard to try and stay with Valentino. Having said that seventh on the grid isn't bad. The race will be pretty tough tomorrow so the target is just to get a good start and follow the group ahead of me."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "I'm very happy for Alex -- he was fast yesterday and again today and he deserves this place on the grid. It is a shame he missed the front row by just 0.011 seconds but anyway Alex has again shown that he is in good form and I'm expecting a good race from him tomorrow. It was a shame that Toni crashed and it certainly won't help him solve his set-up issues. We will try and make some adjustments to his bike tomorrow that will help him improve."
-credit: gresini racing