San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alex de Angelis and Toni Elias both have reason to look forward to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
After two DNFs, de Angelis return to form with an excellent fourth place last Sunday in Phillip Island, a result that means he is now tied with Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi for seventh in the championship with just two rounds to go.
“In theory Malaysia will be more difficult for us because our strength all season has been in the fast corners, which there are a lot of at Phillip Island but not so many at Sepang. There are a lot of hairpins where you need good acceleration and drive out of the corners and this has been a weak point for us,” said the Sammarinese.
“Having said that, I am in great form at the moment, the bike is working well and we are full of confidence. I'm going there seventh in the championship, with a smile on my face and really looking forward to competing again,” he added
de Angelis is hoping to stay in MotoGP by securing a Scot Honda ride for 2010, while Elias now looks set to step down to Moto2.
Elias heads into this weekend's event just five points behind his team-mate and is expecting a much better result than his tenth place in Australia.
"Australia was a difficult weekend for us but we knew it would be and there were no surprises,” said the Spaniard. “The good thing was that we stayed well in touch with seventh place in the championship and my goal over the final two races is to achieve that position.
“We had problems with rear traction at Phillip Island and it has been our Achilles heel all season but we are very confident it won't be a problem in Malaysia. I love the track and the conditions will suit us much better, so hopefully the race is more like the others we have experienced in the second half of this championship, with a competitive weekend fighting for a top six finish,” he declared.
“de Angelis is not a big fan of this circuit but his great current form will ensure that he'll be on the pace again this weekend,” confirmed team manager Fausto Gresini. “Toni, on the other hand, loves Sepang and I'm sure he can have a great race and join that battle for seventh place overall in the championship.”