San Carlo Honda Gresini has become the latest team to officially unveil its 2009 MotoGP contender, with riders Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis expecting big things aboard the 2009-specification RC212V.

Having seen JiR Team Scot assume the mantle of Honda's leading privateer concern in 2008, the San Carlo team are well placed to regain that status this year having taken delivery of the latest specification satellite RC212V, a bike that, in the hands of Elias especially, has been quick in pre-season testing.

Unveiled at the Officine del Volo in Milan, the launch was attended by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta , Honda Italia President Yasuhiro Oyama and the Italian Motorcycle Federation President Paolo Sesti.

"Presenting a new season is always full of emotion. 2009 will be an important year for the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team, a MotoGP season which promises to be exciting and competitive and for which we are prepared to assume a leading role. I believe firmly in the potential of my riders. Alex has accumulated vital experience having a complete MotoGP season under his belt, while Toni returns to the team with a wealth of expertise himself.

"At our side, we have HRC who have carried out excellent work in preparation of the 2009-spec RC212V and who will guarantee technical support of the highest level to the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team throughout the entire season, both for the 'satellite' bike entrusted to Alex as well as for Toni's factory-spec bike. I wish the riders and all the guys in the team the very best of luck."

Although de Angelis will be competing in his second season of MotoGP with San Carlo, Elias returns to the team after a season spent on the Alice Ducati. Having already occasionally shown up the factory Honda riders during testing, Elias says that racing for San Carlo is like 'coming home'.

"The 2009 season gives me the opportunity to rejoin Fausto's team, something that also gives me great joy. I find a group of people who have a great human and technical richness. I remember fondly the two seasons that we enjoyed together, so it is a bit like coming home.

"I want to thank HRC for believing in me and all the sponsors of the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team who make this project a reality. We all have the same desire to achieve big goals...and from my side I will give my all to realising this dream."

de Angelis, meanwhile, is hoping to string a more consistent season together having shown occasional flashes of speed in his rookie year.

"I am approaching this new challenge with great enthusiasm. It will be an even tougher championship than last season, but I feel much stronger in myself. Now I have the experience of one year in MotoGP and the new RC212V is definitely competitive, above all with regard to the engine power.

"I aim to improve upon my results, I am not content with the two fourth positions that I scored last year. I'd like to give heart-felt thanks to the team, to San Carlo and to all the other sponsors who have placed their trust in us."

San Carlo Gresini Honda managed no podium finishes in 2008, but Shinya Nakano finished all but one race inside the points to finish ninth in the standings overall. De Angelis was 14th with a best of two fourth place finishes at Mugello and the Sachsenring.



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