Alex De Angelis was one of the star performers at the Italian Grand Prix today, delighting over 90,000 home fans with an incredible charge through the field at Mugello.
The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider brought his Bridgestone-shod Honda RC212V home
in fourth place the best result of his rookie MotoGP season so far.
Alex didn't make the best of starts but quickly made up for that with a string of brave overtaking manoeuvres, his incredible pace from warm-up when he set the fastest time carrying into the race as he charged up to fourth place after just nine laps.
Shinya Nakano was also on the pace today as he sealed another top ten finish with ninth place and continued his consistent run of solid points-scoring positions.
After a difficult start to the season this exciting home race has given the whole team a huge boost and an important injection of confidence for the next race, which takes place in a week's time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
Alex De Angelis (4th):
I am so happy with this result this has been an unforgettable day for me. I was fastest in the warm-up and then we've had this fantastic result in the race. We knew that the bike was running really well but we were a little down on top speed and we weren't sure we could stick it out with the other riders in the early battle. I made a disastrous start and was down in fourteenth at the first turn but I refused to give in and at one point I even thought I was in with a shout of a podium because Pedrosa had lost touch with Stoner and he was lapping slower than me. Anyway that wasn't to be and fourth place is a real bonus, especially in front of our home crowd and all the fans who came to support me.
Shinya Nakano (9th):
It was a difficult race for us today.
The start wasn't bad and I could see the lead group ahead of me so my intention was to try and catch them. Unfortunately I lost too much time behind Nicky Hayden and when you're fighting like that it's hard to keep a consistent rhythm. So basically I lost touch with the group ahead of me and lost the opportunity to finish any higher up. I'm disappointed with the result here but confident about the Catalunya GP.
Fausto Gresini TEAM MANAGER:
Today was really exciting because Alex produced the ride of a true champion. In the warm-up this morning we could see that he had a good pace and I'm tempted to say that we've found how to get the most out of our package and adapt it to Alex. We now leave Italy with our heads and our hopes high. I would like to thank Alex for his performance today and also thank the team, who have always given their best and never lost their belief that we are capable of results like this. We've had our problems this year but I feel we've finally turned a corner today.