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De Angelis and Elías hope to step it up for Gresini

De Angelis and Elías hope to step it up for Gresini

After a modest start to the season Fausto Gresini’s MotoGP pair Toni Elías and Alex de Angelis are hoping to put on a good display at their manager’s home race.

As the San Carlo Honda Gresini team undertake the short journey from their Faenza base to the Mugello circuit in Tuscany this week for the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice both Toni Elías and Alex De Angelis are hoping round five will be a turning point in a season that has yet to live up to expectations.

After the opening four races Fausto Gresini’s premier class duo both sit outside the top ten - Elías is eleventh and De Angelis twelfth – but they are hoping to propel themselves up the standings with a solid points haul this weekend.

De Angelis scored three podiums in the 250cc class at Mugello and was one of the star performers in the MotoGP race last year, with a brilliant charge through the field to clinch fourth place – the best result of his rookie season.

Previewing this weekend’s action De Angelis stated, “Things haven’t gone our way recently but this GP is a special occasion for us and I am determined to turn things around. The new setting we gambled with in the second half of the race at Le Mans worked well so hopefully we can take some positives to Mugello and start out with a good base setting on Friday afternoon, which is what we really need.”

“I was on the podium at this circuit for three seasons in a row in the 250cc class before moving up to MotoGP and I had the best race of my rookie season last year, when I finished fourth. It would be great to put on a show like that again because even though my real ‘home race’ is in San Marino I have a lot of fans at Mugello too and I want to do well for them.”

In contrast Mugello has not traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Elías, who has a best MotoGP finish of sixth there. However, the Spaniard is optimistic of returning to his best form in Italy after spending the last week undergoing intense physiotherapy on his right forearm, which was operated on to cure an arm-pump problem before the last round at Le Mans.

“I’ll be in much better physical shape at Mugello,” the Catalan rider commented. “I’ve been having physio twice a day so the arm feels much better. Hopefully my strength is back too because I need to be riding this bike on the limit in order for us to make the necessary progress with the set-up.”

“We have making gradual progress since the start of the season and have taken positive lessons out of every race, so I really hope this weekend we can make that definitive step in quality that will put us into the battle at the front. This is the team’s home race so it is important we put on a good show in front of the Italian fans and it would be fitting if this was the turning point for our season.”

MotoGP, 2009, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Alex de Angelis, Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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