Motegi : Honda Gresini - Race
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex De Angelis finished eighth and seventeenth respectively in the Grand Prix of Japan today at Motegi. For the Japanese rider it was a welcome return to top-ten form but the most positive
thing was his improved feeling for the bike, which he hopes can allow him to produce a strong finish to the season.
It was a much more difficult weekend for the San Marino rider, who never found a setting here that allowed him to ride as well as he can.
Shinya Nakano : “I didn't make the best start but I tried to push straight away to recover ground and I managed to pass some riders on the first lap. Then I made a mistake and lost the rear, which cost me a few positions. I got past Edwards again on the brakes and stayed behind him for the rest of the race. I spent a few laps trying to work out where I could pass him but he was very strong on corner exit and under braking.
Towards the end I had Capirossi in front of me so I tried to overtake again but Dovizioso was very close behind and it was a tough situation to judge. In the end I decided it was better to defend than attack and even though eighth place is not what I wanted it is at least an improvement on recent results. Now I feel I have my confidence back and that makes me look forward to the final three races.”
Alex De Angelis : “It has been a really tough weekend because despite the best efforts of the team we haven't managed to find a setting that has allowed me to ride comfortably at this track. I want to thank my mechanics because I've had three crashes here but they've done a great job to fix the bike and I'm disappointed not to get a better result for them. I tried to push hard over the opening laps but I kept running wide and never found my rhythm.
It has been a day to forget but we have to stay positive because now we go to Phillip Island, which is one of my favourite tracks, and I want to bounce back. It has been a tough experience here but one we can use in our favour.”
Fausto Gresini : - Team Manager: “After his showing in practice I was expecting a good performance from Shinya today and I think we got one. Even though he finished eighth he was fighting for fifth and the group ahead of him were really close. He was really fast in the first two sections but lost out in the third and even though he recovered in the fourth it wasn't quite enough to be able to attack. It is not a satisfactory result in itself but it is a step forward. We're looking forward to tomorrow now and we hope to continue to grow and improve. I'm disappointed for Alex but the three crashes this weekend certainly didn't help. He has struggled for grip here and we have to work hard to find out why that was and help him. Phillip Island is one of his favourite tracks and he usually rides well there. I hope he can go to Australia in good spirits because we can have a good race there.”