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Maturing De Angelis ready for MotoGP assault

Maturing De Angelis ready for MotoGP assault

Alex de Angelis will be an exciting addition to the 2008 MotoGP grid as he moves into the premier class for the forthcoming campaign after four years in the 250cc category – having matured and improved his riding style in particular in the last 12 months.

Alex de Angelis will be an exciting addition to the 2008 MotoGP grid as he moves into the premier class for the forthcoming campaign after four years in the 250cc category – having matured and improved his riding style in particular in the last 12 months.

Arriving on the Grand Prix scene at 16 years of age, after starring in the Italian and European Championships, De Angelis demonstrated his quality throughout the course of his first season in the 125cc class in 2000 and was named Rookie of the Year.

A combination of errors and mechanical problems, however, meant that he was unable to seriously challenge the top riders in 2001, but his undoubted potential was not lost on Lucio Cecchinello, who signed him for up for 2002. A lack of consistency prevented De Angelis from mounting a serious title challenge but after finishing second in the single cylinder category in 2003 he moved up to 250cc the following year.

Fifth in his first year on quarter litre class machinery was a solid effort but he was unable to improve on that classification the following season in 2005 as he concluded the year in seventh.

Although 2006 saw De Angelis pick up his first Grand Prix victory at the final race of the year in Valencia and finish third in the general standings with 11 podiums to his name, he still had a reputation for hot-headed riding and taking too many risks as the 2007 campaign got underway.

However, in the most recent season, perhaps due to breaking his win duck, a more controlled De Angelis emerged and he produced numerous tactically astute performances, finishing in the top four in the first ten rounds of the year.

Although his form dipped towards the end of the season, he suffered only one DNF throughout the year and improved on his 2006 points tally, once again ending up third in the championship behind the dominant Jorge Lorenzo and the ultra-consistent Andrea Dovizioso.

His application and hard work resulted in his recruitment by the Honda Gresini MotoGP team for the 2008 season, with whom De Angelis forms one half of an all-new rider line-up alongside experienced Japanese campaigner Shinya Nakano, following the departures of Toni Elias and Marco Melandri from Fausto Gresini's team.

After a first run-out with his new team in the post-season test at Valencia, 23 year-old De Angelis improved his feel for 800cc machinery at the last testing date of the year in Jerez and sat a respectable seventh on the timesheet as the MotoGP activities for 2007 drew to a close. The man from San Marino can now look forward to testing the updated RC212V – which Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden have already used to good effect – as of the first test of 2008 in Malaysia towards the end of January.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Alex de Angelis

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