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San Carlo Honda Gresini’s young San Marinese talent Alex de Angelis is ready to set off to Qatar for the second MotoGP test of the year.
Preparing for his second season in the premier class Alex de Angelis is aware that the pressure is on this year after an inconsistent debut campaign in MotoGP.
The man from San Marino, who today (Thursday 26th February) turns 25, gave motogp.com his views on what he needs to accomplish at the forthcoming Qatar test which commences on Sunday.
Although the opening test of the year in Malaysia saw De Angelis ultimately end up 12th on the timesheets, he is positive about his new RC212V’s potential and his personal prospects in MotoGP this season.
“It is always difficult to make concrete conclusions alter just one test. Honda have provided a completely new bike compared to last year, so with the pneumatic valve engine, new chassis and the new tyres it is difficult for us to really know where we stand at present,” said De Angelis philosophically.
“One thing we know for sure is that the top speed of the bike has increased, so that is obviously a positive step,” the Gresini rider added. “Now we need to go to another circuit to confirm what we have seen so far.”
Priorities for De Angelis at the Losail International Circuit, in the three evenings of floodlit testing will be gaining additional experience with the new generation Bridgestone tyres and undertaking an all-important race simulation.
He explained, “We need to go a full race distance as we didn’t do that in Malaysia. We will do that at least once, or maybe twice if needs be, so we can measure the performance of the new compounds under stress. With Bridgestone we have a good feeling already and I’m working with the same technicians as last year so that is good. The new tyres are slightly different but that is more of a problem for the riders who had Michelins last year.”
De Angelis is also getting used to the newly restricted revolution limit of the pneumatic valve engine on his satellite RC212V machine and like all of his MotoGP colleagues he will be adapting to an updated time schedule on GP weekends this year, due to a reduction in practice sessions.
“I am a satellite rider so I have to be aware of the material I have which is not the same as the factory guys, including the current limitations on my engine. I need to be the best of the satellite riders and see if I can get an update from Honda as soon as possible. You always want the best material but you have to earn it,” he stated.
On the new practice reduction rules to reduce the costs in MotoGP De Angelis concluded, “As a rider you want as much time as you can get on the bike. Having less time to practice will restrict me a bit and restrict the other riders. But we know times are tough financially so with any rules changes the most important thing is that they are the same for everybody.”
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