Alex de Angelis will continue to ride for San Carlo Honda Gresini in 2009 after the team confirmed they have extended his contract ahead of the latest round in Indianapolis.
Although he is thought to have been courted by what will become of JiR Team Scot next season, the announcement that de Angelis will remain where he is still comes as little surprise. Indeed, the nature of the announcement, buried within the team's preview for this weekend's Indianapolis race, would suggest this.
The deal comes in a maiden season where de Angelis has shown flashes of greatness, especially at Mugello and Sachsenring, even if his form as a whole has been somewhat inconsistent. Still, while this drew some concerns from team manager Fausto Gresini earlier in the season, the young San Marino rider will nonetheless get a stay of execution in order to prove himself.
Indeed, Gresini believes the stability of a signed contract will help his form plateau over the remainder of the season and give him the confidence to push the team further up the grid.
“Our objective is to finish off the season in the best way possible and I'm sure Alex will now be able to approach this target in a more relaxed and stress-free manner after reaching an agreement to stay with our team for 2009.”
There remain some questions marks as to who will join him though. Current rider Shinya Nakano is one of only two riders to score in every race this season and is now eighth in the overall standings, compared to de Angelis' 13th. Nakano has been linked with a factory testing role for 2009.