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Interview: Fausto Gresini

A Honda generated interview with MotoGP team manager Fausto Gresini
Fausto Gresini is the most successful team owner in the history of MotoGP racing. His story as a team owner begins three years after the two-time 125cc World Champion retired from racing in 1994.

It was then that he made the transition, focusing the drive and ambition that he displayed as a rider on team ownership. At the start, the Italian worked with veterans Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi but it is his work mentoring young riders where he has had some of his greatest impact.

In 2001, his fifth year as a team owner, Gresini won his first world championship as a team manager with Daijiro Kato in the 250cc class. But the rising and likeable Japanese star would not be given time to show his true potential; his career and life were cut short as a result of injuries suffered in an accident at the 2003 Japanese MotoGP at Suzuka.

Nine years later, Kato remains a strong presence within Gresini Racing; his 2001 title-winning Honda NSR250 and 2003 Honda RC211V sit in the conference room of the team's race shop in San Clemente, near Riccione, Italy.

The loss of Kato was devastating both for the team and Gresini. But they regrouped and continued. Spaniard Sete Gibernau won four races and finished second in the 2003 MotoGP World Championship. Gibernau won four more races the next year, again finishing second.

In 2005, his first year with the team, Marco Melandri won two more MotoGP races, sending the team to its third consecutive MotoGP runner-up finish. Melandri added three more wins in 2006, with team-mate Toni Elias taking the victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril.

Elias's win aboard the Gresini Honda was the last time a non-factory motorcycle won a MotoGP race. That win gave Gresini Racing 14 MotoGP wins, by far the most of any satellite team.

Elias was with the team in 2009 when he was asked to spearhead their entry in the new Moto2 class for the following year. Riding the Gresini Racing Moriwaki Honda, the Spaniard won seven races and the inaugural Moto2 World Championship.

Marco Simoncelli joined the team in 2010 as a team-mate to Marco Melandri. Simoncelli showed signs of brilliance, but also inconsistency. It was in 2011 that he came into his own, taking his first pole position in Catalunya and first podium in Brno.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simoncelli and Fausto Gresini, Czech MotoGP Race 2011
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New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
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