SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TAKE POSITIVES FROM EXCITING ASSEN RACE The Dutch TT at Assen was a mixed bag of emotions for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team as both Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis made positive steps forward in their performances on...
SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI TAKE POSITIVES FROM EXCITING ASSEN RACE
The Dutch TT at Assen was a mixed bag of emotions for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team as both Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis made positive steps forward in their performances on the bike. However the hard work was tempered after the race, with the decision of Race Direction to give Elias a 20-second penalty for running across the chicane on the final lap.
After a difficult start to the race, Toni Elias had fought his way admirably through the MotoGP pack and looked set for a sixth place finish until misfortune befell him at the final chicane. Attempting to seal the sixth place finish he ran too hard into the right-hand entry and ran across the gravel, crossing the line in eighth place. With the penalty he dropped back to twelfth, with his team-mate Alex de Angelis promoted to tenth spot. The two had enjoyed eventful races which saw a much improved performance from the duo.
Alex De Angelis (10th; 43'00.621): "From the first lap to about three quarter distance it was a good race for me, fighting in a group for seventh place. We've been working hard to find rear traction recently and made some progress at the Barcelona test that has helped us here and I think we have gathered more interesting data to help us move forward. Unfortunately it was the front tyre that we struggled with today. From about halfway through it was pretty worn and the front was folding on me more and more. I almost crashed on a few occasions so decided it was best to back off and settle for the position I was in. It is not exactly where we want to be but I think we are getting closer and I'm excited about taking this progress to America."
Toni Elias (12th 43'14.385): "I'm happy because it looks like little by little we're making progress. The problem here was that I qualified badly yesterday, I got a bad start today and a lost so much time at the start of the race fight with Sete, Talmacsi, Takahashi and Canepa. It was only three laps but it felt like a lifetime! Once I got free of them I was able to keep passing riders until there was three seconds of clear track in front of me to the second group, which I was able to close down. There were some really hard riders in that group and it was a lot of fun. I want to publicly apologise to Capirossi though because I was very late into the last chicane and ran us both off track. I feel bad for him but I just had to give it everything I had today. Race Direction have decided to penalise me for it, which I have to accept, but the most important thing about today was the performance and not the result."
Fausto Gresini - Team Manager: "It is disappointing that Race Direction have decided to penalise Toni because other than his start I thought he had a great race today, but to be honest it doesn't bother us too much because the points are virtually irrelevant at the moment - the important thing is that we make progress and as far as we're concerned we scored a solid eighth place. The team have done a great job on his bike and proved that we're ready to fight much higher up the order. Alex also had a good race today and stepped up his pace from practice, which is exactly what we were looking for. Hopefully we get a bit more luck at Laguna!"