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Gresini looking forward to stronger 2009

Gresini looking forward to stronger 2009

San Carlo Honda Gresini expecting improvement with addition of `factory´ RC212V for Toni Elias.

Fausto Gresini welcomed two new riders into his Honda satellite team in 2008, one of whom will continue with the outfit in the upcoming campaign. Alex de Angelis will stay on for a second year onboard a RC212V and, although Shinya Nakano has not been kept on for 2009, Gresini is still reasonably satisfied with the past season.

`I´m happy that we have completed another season, and that we are able to stay in MotoGP for another year,´ says the former rider. `I want to thank everybody that worked with us in 2008. 2009 will be a new year, a different situation, with a good bike and good sponsors behind us.´

De Angelis´ rookie season with an 800cc bike was not plain sailing, as after finding consistency in 250cc the previous year he returned to finding a bike´s limits in the hardest fashion. Gresini admits that there were more falls for his San Marino rider than he would have liked, but remains convinced that De Angelis is a rough diamond waiting to shine.

`This year Alex had a lot of crashes, which isn´t good for confidence in your first year in MotoGP. However, he´s been improving and has been fast.´

The last satellite team to take a victory in the premier class, San Carlo Honda Gresini have always been high up the chain for receiving new parts. In 2009 they will field what will effectively be a third factory bike, to be used by returning rider Toni Elias.

`Honda are supporting my team a lot,´ says Gresini. `We have a new machine for Toni to use, and we´ll be a more powerful presence next season.´

Elias will have the new bike at his disposal as of the first 2009 test in Sepang, to be held 5th-7th February. Before then the Spaniard will be using the latest spring valve engine satellite bike, developed by Nakano in the latter part of 2008.

MotoGP, 2008, Shinya Nakano, Alex de Angelis, Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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