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Tough first race for Team Honda Gresini
“We expected something more”
The opening round of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship started out in difficult fashion for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini under the night sky of Doha.

The Grand Prix of Qatar, the first ever to take place under floodlights, saw Shinya
Nakano pick up points in thirteenth position after a battle with factory Kawasaki rider John Hopkins.

Alex de Angelis started his MotoGP debut in determined fashion, gathering pace and confidence with his Bridgestone-shod Honda RC212V. After starting to make up positions, the San Marino rider crashed out of the race just five laps from the end.

The team now head home to prepare for the next Grand Prix, which takes place on the 30th March at Jerez de la Frontera, in Spain, where the last IRTA tests took place.

Alex de Angelis (crashed five laps from the end):
“I'm really disappointed with the today's race because it seems my bike was slower than the others on the straight, and I kept getting passed by riders coming out of my slipstream and overtaking me on top speed. Throughout the whole race I didn't manage to get back on the pace I'd set all weekend here and in the tests a week ago and that's disappointing because I'm sure I could have fought with the group in front. It's a shame we didn't come away with a result but we at least know we have potential.”

Shinya Nakano (13th):
“We knew after free practice and qualifying that this was going to be a tough race for us. I lost a few positions at the start but started to make up ground after a few laps. By the end I was battling with the group in front and I reached the 13th place.
This isn't the result we were hoping for so we have to improve next time. I'm confident for Jerez – we've tested there and we have a lot of good data to work from.”

Fausto Gresini – Team Manager:
”It has been a difficult day and we expected something more. With Alex we had a few problems with chattering and he wasn't able to ride as he has all weekend. It's a shame he wasn't able to reproduce his pace from practice in the race. This made it difficult for him and led to the crash. He has grown though and never stopped fighting. Things were a little better for Shinya but he was also further back than we'd hoped. Now we have to be positive for Jerez because we have better potential.”
Gresini Honda


     Hard night for Kawasaki in Qatar
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     De Puniet first Honda rider
     Lorenzo heads all-Yamaha front row
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