Italian GP: Gresini Racing preview

TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI READY FOR HOME RACE AT MUGELLO The whole of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini is ready for an extra special weekend. From 30th May to 1st June the Mugello circuit plays host to the Grand Prix of Italy, the sixth round of...

TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI READY FOR HOME RACE AT MUGELLO

The whole of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini is ready for an extra special weekend. From 30th May to 1st June the Mugello circuit plays host to the Grand Prix of Italy, the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship 2008.

Fausto Gresini's squad head for their home race looking to register top results in front of the Italian crowd as they aim to continue the progression shown from the first race Qatar through further events in Spain, Portugal, China and France.

Alex De Angelis and Shinya Nakano will have at their disposition a constantly improving package, with HRC promising accelerated development of the satellite Honda RC212V machines following the recent French Grand Prix at Le Mans, where they supplied the team with a new clutch. Alongside that, Bridgestone are also doing their utmost to provide the team with new tyres that are more suited to the rider-bike package.

#15 ALEX DE ANGELIS

"The test following the Grand Prix in France certainly produced better results than we achieved in the race. I managed to lower my times and lap consistently at a quicker pace. I also managed about ten laps behind the factory Honda of Pedrosa and noticed that I was able to follow him without too much difficulty. That means we have taken a step forward -- now we have to see if the changes we made are also suited to a track like Mugello. As far as the tyres are concerned I tested the one Nakano used at Le Mans and it felt good -- it shows that Bridgestone are working in the right direction. The Grand Prix of Italy is without doubt a special occasion for us: I have been on the podium there for the past three seasons in 250cc. This year, barring a major surprise, that won't be possible but obviously I'd like to put on a good show in front of my fans. Even if my real 'home race' is in San Marino at Misano, I know my fans are planning to be at Mugello too and I'm sure their presence will give me a little extra motivation to produce my absolute maximum."

#56 SHINYA NAKANO

"The Grand Prix of Italy is a home race for the whole team so it is a little bit for me too. For that reason I am highly motivated and I can't wait to get out on track. We're convinced we have a good package, especially after the test at Le Mans. Working together with Bridgestone we managed to find a rear tyre that makes the bike much more manageable -- an aspect that will be of fundamental importance to tackle the fast direction changes of Mugello. So far we have scored a few top ten finishes but we need and want to do better. My objective for Mugello is the top six."

FAUSTO GRESINI -- TEAM MANAGER

"The Grand Prix of Italy is a very important event for us. Racing at home always provides extra emotion and motivation. I think the test at Le Mans was useful to make some more steps forwards with the tyres -- we did a great job together with Bridgestone and I think it could be the factor that brings us back to a competitive level and allows Alex and Shinya to get the most out of their ability as riders. We're all working extremely hard to close the gap to the fastest riders in the class and we're hopeful of a top result in front of our home fans. It would be great if Mugello can be our trampoline towards the top positions."

RACE FACTS

The MotoGP World Championship stops off at the beautiful Tuscan circuit of Mugello for the 23rd time this weekend. Its first visit was for the Grand Prix of Nations back in 1976, with victory going to Suzuki and Barry Sheene. The most decorated riders to leave Scarperia are Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, who have both managed six-year winning streaks at the track. The Australian was unbeaten there between 1993 and 1998, whilst the Italian's dominance has been unbroken since the beginning of MotoGP's four-stroke era in 2002. Honda, with 14 wins, are the most successful factory at the track. As well as the Grand Prix of Italy and the Grand Prix of Nations (in 1976, 1978 and 1985) Mugello has also hosted the Grand Prix of San Marino (in 1982, 1984, 1991, and 1993). The race made history in 2004 as the shortest ever, with a six-lap sprint of a little over 31 kilometres taking place after rain interrupted the original 23-lap distance.

-credit: gresiniracing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Shinya Nakano , Mick Doohan