San Marino GP: Gresini Racing preview

TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI PREPARE TO TACKLE HOME GRAND PRIX Team San Carlo Honda Gresini take on one of the most important events of the season this weekend, the San Marino Grand Prix, which takes place at the Misano Adriatico circuit. The ...


Team San Carlo Honda Gresini take on one of the most important events of the season this weekend, the San Marino Grand Prix, which takes place at the Misano Adriatico circuit. The squad led by Fausto Gresini will go into battle just a few kilometres from the team's headquarters in San Clemente di Rimini.

It is also an event of special importance for Alex De Angelis, the only San Marino native on the MotoGP grid. After his stunning fourth place in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello earlier in the season, a placing he repeated at Sachsenring, Alex will again look to be amongst the leaders in front of his home fans.

The prospects are also good for Shinya Nakano, who himself took fourth in the recent Czech Republic Grand Prix riding the new Honda RC212V. The Japanese rider was able to get even more experience on the new machine in a two-day post-race test at Brno and he heads to Misano with realistic hopes of challenging at the front.


"Misano is not one of my favourite tracks but I can't wait to ride in front of my fans -- I'll be giving it 1,000 per cent, that's for sure! My fan club will be taking up an entire grandstand, decked in the colours of the San Marino flag and giving me an extra push to ride on the limit. From a technical point of view everything is in place for a top performance - the Bridgestone tyres are really competitive and last year at Misano they worked really well. On paper the track looks as though it should be well suited to our bike because there aren't any long straights. Racing at home obviously provides an extra motivation but we'll try to retain our focus from the first session and not get carried away with the excitement. We're looking forward to Friday and finding out if I can get comfortable with the bike, but in any case I'm confident. It won't be easy to get on the podium but that's what I'll be trying for!"


"We had two days of really important tests after the Czech GP, trying out a variety of different settings with the new bike, which was impossible during the race weekend. In particular we found a front setting that should also prove to be a good option at Misano. I know that this weekend's Grand Prix is very special for the team and in a way it is like a second home race for me too because I only live ten minutes away from the track! I'll do everything I can to provide the team with a good result and after that fourth place at Brno it would be fantastic to get on the podium. That's what I'll be aiming for. The new bike is suited to a variety of different types of circuit, whether they're technical or fast, so the objective from now to the end of the season is to be consistently in the top six."


"Our home Grand Prix has come around at a very positive time for us, with the team having scored its best result of the season at Brno thanks to Shinya taking fourth on his debut with the new bike. Alex doesn't have the latest version of the RC212V available to him but still managed to finish eighth. We are on the up and that showed in the recent tests at Brno after the race, which were positive for both riders. Shinya was able to get some valuable kilometres under his belt on the new bike and that will certainly be to his advantage when we get to Misano. Alex will be racing at home and will want to figure at the front but it is important that he qualifies well if he wants to be competitive. For all of us Misano is a special and exciting weekend. Daijiro Kato's father will be at the track to enjoy the race and take part in the second edition of the DediKato exhibition, and that gives me enormous pleasure."


The history of World Championship racing at Misano is relatively short, with the first ever Grand Prix talking place here in 1980, when Kenny Roberts took victory in the 500cc event ahead of Italian pair Franco Uncini and Graziano Rossi, Valentino's father. From 1982 to 1993 the Misano circuit hosted the series on a further eight occasions with the Grand Prix of Nations, Grand Prix of San Marino and the Grand Prix of Italy. After a long hiatus MotoGP returned to the Adriatic coast last year on a completely renovated circuit, with victory going to Ducati and Casey Stoner, whilst Team Gresini took fourth and seventh place finishes with Marco Melandri and Toni Elias. Fausto Gresini, now Team Manager, took a clean sweep of pole position, fastest lap and victory in the 125cc race in 1991.


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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Shinya Nakano , Kenny Roberts Jr. , Marco Melandri , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner