Alex de Angelis finished the Sepang test as the leading satellite RC212V rider, in eleventh place for San Carlo Honda Gresini.

Here the San Marinese, preparing to start his second MotoGP season in 2009, reflects on the first test of the year, his new machinery and hopes for the year ahead...

Crash.net:
Alex, at Sepang you spoke to us briefly about your new bike, can you give us any more details about the 2009 satellite RC212V? What has changed from last year and how much quicker is the new bike?

Alex de Angelis:
Honda made a great work in term of development and the new bike is completely new compared to the 2008 one. The most significant difference, for the time being, is the pneumatic-valve engine which made the bike definitively faster than last year, especially in terms of top speed.

Crash.net:
Given that the new Honda engine is a stronger at the top end, will overtaking be easier for you this year?

Alex de Angelis:
During the test in Sepang I made laps on my own, therefore I had no much comparisons with other bikes. Surely, as I said, in terms of top speed Honda made a good step forward... that would definitely help overtaking.

Crash.net:
The main problem you seemed to have at Sepang was understanding the power delivery, as the engine did not have much 'push' at low revs. How big a problem is this and what can be done to help?

Alex de Angelis:
The character of the 2009 engine is different. I will work on the setting of the machine and my riding style to fully exploit all the good potential available. Right, I struggled a little bit in the exit from the slow corners, but it was such a pleasure to ride with an engine with such power at the top part!

Crash.net:
It is rumoured that the 2009 satellite Honda can last longer between engine rebuilds than any other bike in MotoGP. Do you think that is true?

Alex de Angelis:
I don't know exactly. Surely Honda pay lot of attention to performance and reliability therefore whatever the engine runs, it does it at best. If it runs longer then even better!

Crash.net:
The new rules to help cut costs in MotoGP will include a limit on engine changes. Do you think the rule could help you, assuming your engine already lasts longer?

Alex de Angelis:
As long as all the riders will be in the same conditions then I see positively the new rules.

Crash.net:
Are you happy with the technical support you receive from Honda?

Alex de Angelis:
Yes, Honda is the biggest manufacturer of the world and I'm proud to ride for them. Of course, as rider, I always want the best available. I'll do my best to deserve it!

Crash.net:
You said that team-mate Toni Elias's factory bike is "completely different" to yours. Although some of the parts are different, how different is the performance on track?

Alex de Angelis:
This is not my primary concern. The FPS machine is a great bike anyway which allows me to stay at the top of the group. My crew and myself will work hard to take the maximum out of it.

Crash.net:
How strong do you think your bike is compared to the other satellite bikes used by Tech 3 (Yamaha), Pramac and Onde 2000 (Ducati)?

Alex de Angelis:
It is too early to say. We need to see how the bikes go on another three or four tracks, then we'll be able to judge.

Crash.net:
What was the most important thing you learnt last season?

Alex de Angelis:
I learnt a lot! MotoGP races are much longer and things may change until you see the chequered flag. For sure I'll need to improve the start and in this sense I welcomed the fact that we won't use qualifying tyres any longer.

Crash.net:
What sort of results do you hope to achieve this season?

Alex de Angelis:
I'll try to be more constant and consistent. First of all I want to do better than last year when I finished fourth twice... this year I feel we can do better.

 

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