ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS SHOW TOP TEN PACE AT MUGELLO San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Alex de Angelis and Toni Elias showed vastly improved form at the Mugello circuit to set the sixth and twelfth fastest times respectively in the first free ...
ELIAS AND DE ANGELIS SHOW TOP TEN PACE AT MUGELLO
San Carlo Honda Gresini Team riders Alex de Angelis and Toni Elias showed vastly improved form at the Mugello circuit to set the sixth and twelfth fastest times respectively in the first free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix today.
De Angelis has struggled at the last few rounds to find rear traction out of slow corners but today he found a base setting that was well suited to the fast and flowing corners of Mugello. The San Marino rider looked aggressive and confident in front of a large contingent of travelling support, despite running off track with four minutes remaining of the session.
Elias, who was in Rome on Wednesday night to watch hometown football club Barcelona win the Champions League final, has now made a virtually full recovery from the effects of arm surgery that hindered his progress in the last round at Le Mans two weeks ago. The Spaniard was able to set top ten pace throughout the session before being held up by traffic on his final run.
Alex De Angelis (6th; 1'50.898): "Today was a big improvement to be honest. We've been fighting all season with the same problem, which is rear traction, and here you have fast, flowing corners that don't put the same demands on the bike as a stop-and-go track like Le Mans. Also our engine is really strong and that is a vital ingredient here at Mugello. We had a good base setting for the bike here from last year and it has worked well today but we still have lots of work to do tomorrow. Hopefully it will stay dry and give us the chance to fight for a good position on the grid although to be honest I won't be too worried if it rains either."
Toni Elias (12th 1'51.823): "The arm is much better this week and up until the final quarter of an hour things were going well -- better than in previous weeks. On my final run I ran into a lot traffic and just at the moment when I would have really improved my times I was unable to get a single clean lap in. I'm pretty sure I could have done a low 1'51 or high 1'50 so I'm annoyed about that. Anyway, I'm happy with the setting we have found and pleased with the way we've started this Grand Prix so I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "All in all today has been a day of progression and for Alex in particular it was positive. We still have plenty of room for improvement and we need to keep working hard but we have a few changes in mind for tomorrow and for the first day we're satisfied. Toni was unfortunate that he couldn't get more laps in. We'd made some changes for his final run but he didn't get the opportunity to really see if they worked. If he did I'm sure the lap time would have been much quicker. We'll see tomorrow morning. The good thing is that we've started out the weekend on the right foot."
-credit: gresini racing