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Bridgestone talks to: Alex de Angelis
29 August 2009
A Crash.net feature in which Bridgestone's Tom Tremayne interviews a MotoGP rider at each of the remaining 2009 rounds. At Indianapolis, it's Alex de Angelis...
Ahead of his home race in Misano and on the eve of the Indianapolis Grand Prix, San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alex de Angelis is feeling buoyed by his recent string of top-ten results, especially his fourth position at Donington Park, equalling his best finish in the MotoGP class.
de Angelis spoke frankly at the Brickyard about those crashes last year, the demise of qualifying tyres and his MotoGP prospects in 2010.
“Of course, Misano is a very special race for me being my home event” said the Sammarinese rider “and I have many sponsors and many fans, but it is not my favourite. I crashed on the first lap last year which was very bad in my most important race. In front of all those people, it was really not good.
“Throughout last year the crashes we had came from my problem with the qualifying time I think. On qualifying tyres, my starting position would usually be 15th or something like that, and I give myself a lot to do in the race.”
A look back at last year's results show that de Angelis posted a best grid position of fifth in the Czech Republic Grand Prix, but after that his next best position was tenth, a grid slot he started from four times.
“The first two or three laps of any race are so important so I want to overtake as many people as soon as possible, and sometimes I tried too hard and crashed. I think now though that without qualifying tyres this season this has helped me. The situation is much better.
“The other riders compared to me are faster in the first lap when they start on new tyres, so with the situation of qualifying tyres this hurt my grid position. But now that we qualify on Bridgestone's race tyres, the performance is there for far longer than a qualifying tyre, so I can take a few laps longer to get up to speed and the tyre is still there to do the times.
de Angelis' best grid slot this year equals that of 2008 with fifth at the Sachsenring, but throughout the season his performances and race finishes have been more consistent. He is currently eleventh in the championship and the fourth highest placed Honda rider, but his prospects in grand prix racing next season are unsure.
The San Carlo squad have already signed two new riders in the form of 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli and Marco Melandri, leaving de Angelis without a guaranteed seat.
“It is not difficult knowing I only have six races left with the team as they are all working hard for me and we can see the results are improving. My boss is very satisfied and continues to be with how I work and the past races I have finished fifth, fourth and eighth position which is I am quite happy with.
“What is difficult for me is that many riders pay for their rides and at this moment I don't have money to pay for the racing, and it is possible that this is my last championship for MotoGP though I hope not. Many riders have had similar results to me in the past but they have money. This is not good for me. If my results are not good then fine, I stay at home, but my results have been quite good yet I am still in this position. It is tough.
“My mind must be 100 percent so that I can carry on with results like this as I do all I can to help me get a ride next year. With my team I am working very well with at the moment. There is maybe a ten per cent chance that I stay in MotoGP next year, but maybe Moto2 or something like that. I'm sure that whatever I do I will be riding even if I'm not too sure where.
“But it is important to keep working hard for the results and just doing what I can. We were fast yesterday in the rain in free practice, and I think another top-eight finish is possible this weekend at Indianapolis. This would be good for me.”
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