The San Carlo Honda Gresini team approaches this weekend's Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar ready for a new challenge, as it competes with riders Álvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro in MotoGP™ in 2012.
Bautista will be on a Honda RC213V in 2012 with Pirro riding an FTR chassis powered by a Honda 1000R engine, as part of the new CRT regulations introduced for this year's World Championship.
The team also continues with the memory of Marco Simoncelli at the centre of its determination to make 2012 a successful campaign.
“I am really looking forward to racing again because testing is pretty stressful with so much work to do in and out of the box, the days are endless. Now is the time for the real action, for us to give everything. This will be my first race with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini and it's exciting because the guys are working well and I think we have made the connection we need for me to exploit my potential in Qatar. I like the circuit, it's fast and flowing and has a nice long straight. Unfortunately I am still not keen on the idea of racing at night, even though the track is well lit it is still not the same as racing in the day. Anyway, it is an investing event and I have the machinery to be fighting at the front so I will be giving my best to do that.”
“I am feeling nervous but excited ahead of this new challenge. Obviously I know I don't have the means to run at the front but I will be giving my all to be amongst the best of the CRT entrants. Unfortunately we only have 500km on the clock so we know we have a lot of work to do with the new bike but we know the potential is there and we will do everything we can to be as competitive as possible in Qatar.”
Fausto Gresini, Team Owner:
“It all starts again now but I can't honestly imagine right now what this first Grand Prix is going to be like for us. It is a brand new championship for everybody and we are taking on a new, difficult challenge. We want to do well and we think we can because Álvaro has a good bike and every chance of running at the front. This is a chance for Álvaro to show his ability but also for us to start looking to the future because Marco's tragedy hit us hard. Marco is and always will be in our hearts, the pain is still fresh and strong but we decided to carry on, we are doing it with Álvaro and this is the best way. It also helps that we have a new challenge in the CRT project with Michele Pirro, making his debut in MotoGP. It won't be easy and it has already been a challenge just to get the bike on track and have Michele with us in Qatar. It is a completely new project, there is a lot of work to do and we know it but I am fascinated by the concept of CRT and I am proud of the enthusiasm shown by my guys to get involved. I think it will be a successful formula and Team San Carlo Honda Gresini can be a part of that success.”
source: MotoGP Official