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Moto GP: Castrol rider in the points in China

05-05-2008 04:45 PM CET | Sports

Press release from: Castrol UK and Ireland

/ PR Agency: Dildizayn
Chinese GP: Nakano

Chinese GP: Nakano

Castrol-backed Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis had a difficult weekend in the final Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai Circuit, with neither able to confirm the performance they’d shown in practice.

Weather played a critical factor in today’s race. After a rain-free weekend, the skies opened up on race morning, forcing the teams and riders to practice in conditions that could easily change. In fact the weather did change, for the better, with the skies clearing and the track drying.

But there were a few damp patches on the 5.28-kilometers track, which made the choice of tires and machine set-up especially important. The track improved as the race went on and Nakano was able to race well into the points.

“In the second half of the race my pace improved and I was able to pass (Andrea) Dovizioso for tenth, although I’m not satisfied with that,” Nakano said. “Now we have to take the positives out of this weekend for the next race in France. If we can show the same kind of pace that we did here in practice and get a good grid position, then I’m sure we can look forward to much better at Le Mans.”

De Angelis had the misfortune to be knocked off the track by a fellow rider early in the race. That put him well back in the field and he found improving his position to be difficult. The harder he tried, the more he taxed the motorcycle and tires, and it resulted in a 16th place finish.

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy for us in the dry, but early in the race I was hit by (John) Hopkins when we were braking into turn one and we both ran wide, although thankfully neither of us crashed,” the Italian said.

“From then on it wasn’t easy to stay in touch with the group and virtually impossible to get amongst them. The bike was becoming harder to ride as the race wore on and we have to study the telemetry to find out why.”

The exciting race, watched in cool, cloudy conditions by over 20,000 fans, was won by Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) over Dani Pedrosa (Honda). The next race is the French Grand Prix on 15 May.

China GP top six finishers

* 1 V Rossi - Yamaha
* 2 D Pedrosa - Honda
* 3 C Stoner - Ducati
* 4 J Lorenzo - Yamaha
* 5 M Melandri - Ducati
* 6 N Hayden - Honda

Second home for Shinya

Team San Carlo Gresini’s Shinya Nakano was right at home in Shanghai. The Japanese star considers the Chinese Grand Prix a second home race. The Shanghai Circuit is a relatively short flight from Japan and, in some ways, easier to reach than Twin Ring Motegi, site of the Japanese Grand Prix. “I’m happy to be here in China because I’m Asian and China is a part of Asia,” Nakano said on the eve of the fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship. “And only three hours flight from Tokyo. Maybe easier to come here than to go to Motegi.”

On a tight schedule

The Chinese Grand Prix kicked off the most intensive part of the season. This was the first of six races in eight weeks, with stops on three continents before the summer break. From China the series heads for the longest European stretch of six races in a row, including three back-to-back weekends.
The culmination comes at the U.S. Grand Prix, a week after the final European race in the string, the German GP at Sachsenring.

For more information on the Castrol-sponsored Honda Gresini team please visit the Racing and Sponsorship section of our homepage:

For more information on Castrol's sponsorship activities related to sports please visit:

Motor Oil and Lubricants Castrol UK and Ireland
Castrol UK Ltd, Wakefield House, Pipers Way, Swindon
SN3 1RE United Kingdom
Press contact: Caroline Topping
Phone: +44 (1793) 452781

Castrol is the world's leading specialist provider of lubricant products. Most people know Castrol oil for vehicles such as car oil, engine oil and synthetic oil as well as motorcycle oil. But there's not just Castrol motor oil, we also produce lubricants for vehicles in transport and construction industries, such as heavy goods vehicles, buses and earth moving machinery. Castrol UK feature the brands EDGE, Magnatec, GTX, SLX Professional, Elixion, Enduron and Tection among others.

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