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Gresini duo to make final stop at Valencia

Gresini duo to make final stop at Valencia

Toni Elías and Alex de Angelis head to Valencia with their futures beyond the last race of the 2009 season still undecided.

The 17th and final round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship, the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, takes place this weekend and it is a chance for San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Toni Elías and Alex de Angelis to make one final impression with the team.

Elías and De Angelis are racing for the final time with the satellite outfit, and with both riders level on 105 points in the championship standings – De Angelis occupies ninth place, Elías tenth – the competition is close.

The pair will receive the same dedicated support from the San Carlo Honda Gresini set-up as they have done throughout the campaign, as they take their battle for seventh spot in the standings – which is just three points away – all the way to the chequered flag on Sunday.

“It is a circuit where a strong engine is not fundamental, because there are few places where you hit high speeds, but you do need to have a bike that handles well in slow corners and this is an area we have struggled with this season,” said De Angelis, whose only Grand Prix victory to date – in the 250cc class – was secured at Valencia in 2006. “It is a tricky track for a rider and I remember at the start of my career I struggled to get to grips with it. However, over the last few years the situation has changed and I have been strong there, even winning the 250cc race in 2006, so hopefully that can give us a strong base to build from on Friday.”

He continued, “It will be a sad day for me because it will be my last race with the team, which is disappointing because we have had a strong second half to the season. Anyway, we will keep fighting to the end and do everything we can to take seventh in the championship. In racing you never know what is around the corner!”

Elías, who enjoyed podium finishes at Valencia in the 250cc class in 2003 and 2004, said, “Australia and Malaysia were not perfect for us but the important thing is that we arrived back in Europe still in a strong position in the championship and with a good opportunity to improve on it in more ‘normal’ conditions. We have had difficulty all year with rear traction and on paper Valencia is not an ideal circuit for us, but I hope my knowledge of the track and the home support can really help us. If we can make a strong start on Friday then we have every reason to be confident. It is the last race of the season and I am sure the atmosphere will be incredible, so hopefully I can give my fans and my team something to celebrate on Sunday night.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Alex de Angelis, Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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