TOUGH QUALIFYING PRACTICE FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI AT MOTEGI: NAKANO NINTH, DE ANGELIS EIGHTEENTH The Grand Prix of Japan will not start out in ideal circumstances for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis...
TOUGH QUALIFYING PRACTICE FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI AT MOTEGI: NAKANO NINTH, DE ANGELIS EIGHTEENTH
The Grand Prix of Japan will not start out in ideal circumstances for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis lining up ninth and eighteenth on the grid respectively after a difficult qualifying practice. The Japanese rider will launch his home challenge from the third row with the San Marino rider at the back of the grid. Nakano's chances don't look too bad, having put together a decent pace on race tyres, but it will be an uphill battle for De Angelis, who suffered a crash when he was launching an attack on qualifying tyres at the end of today's session. Thankfully he escaped any major injury although he did suffer a heavy blow to his right arm, which needed to be checked out at the Clinica Mobile.
Shinya Nakano (9th - 1'46''616): "Today the weather was better than yesterday for both the morning and afternoon sessions, with high temperatures that allowed us to work well. During the morning we worked on the bike set-up and tyre choice, trying a couple more tyre solutions at the start of qualifying and putting together a pace I was happy with. I'm not completely satisfied with ninth on the grid but the third row isn't bad. It will obviously be important to get a good start tomorrow because it is difficult to overtake here. I'm confident for the race because my pace is good."
Alex De Angelis (18th - 1'47''680): "It has been a really tough day today. We have definitely improved the race set-up but we don't seem able to put it together in qualifying. Unfortunately I crashed on my last lap and couldn't improve my position any more. In any case I'm confident about tomorrow because we're in good shape with the race setting. Obviously we're not going to be challenging for sixth or seventh but I'd be happy with a top ten."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "It was a tough qualifying session today. Shinya will start from the third row and I think he can have a good race, even though he could do with making another step forward in the warm-up. As far as Alex is concerned, we need to understand what's going on because his results are not a true reflection of his potential at the moment. We need to work on that together with HRC because we are not up to our usual standard. Also with Alex will work hard in the warm-up to try and find a solution to his problems."