Friday, October 26, 2007

MotoGP 2008: Nakano with Gresini Honda, Elias signs up with Pramac d’Antin Ducati


Next year, Shinya Nakano will be racing for Gresini Honda...

From left: Nakano moves from Konica Minolta Honda to Gresini Honda. Sylvain Guintoli (Yamaha Tech3) and Toni Elias (Gresini Honda) will be with Pramac d'Antin Ducati in 2008

Max Biaggi’s hopes of coming back to MotoGP with the Gresini Honda Team are now officially finished – Gresini have announced that Shinya Nakano would be riding for them in 2008. Alongside Nakano will be Italian youngster Alex de Angelis, who’ll be moving up from the 250cc class next year. Both riders will be on factory-supported Honda RC212Vs, shod with Bridgestone rubber.

Says team manager Fausto Gresini, ‘Shinya is a rider with great potential, so far expressed only in part. We strongly believe in him, as do Honda HRC and Bridgestone. We will start to prepare the new season immediately after the Valencia GP, in an important session where our riders can start to get confidence with the Honda RC212V with Bridgestone tires.’

Nakano says, ‘I know Fausto – he was a rider before becoming a team manager and he has worked very well with Honda HRC for many years. I believe we can have a good season together. I also look forward to working with Bridgestone tyres – I have good memories with them.’

The PR-speak notwithstanding, Nakano has had to move from Konica Minolta Honda to make way for young gun Andrea Dovizioso, who’s done well in 250s and who’ll be making his MotoGP debut next year. To be very honest, we don’t really believe Nakano, who’s now 30 years old, has the talent, determination or consistency to be a front-runner in MotoGP. But of course, we wish him all the best anyway. Hope he can at least get a podium finish or two in 2008!

In the meanwhile, Toni Elias, who rode for Gresini Honda this year, has signed up with Pramac d’Antin Ducati for 2008. The 24-year-old Elias hasn’t been very consistent but he’s shown that when he’s in the right frame of mind, he can take on anyone, and win. Fans will remember his first win at the Portuguese MotoGP in 2006, a race where Elias relegated Valentino Rossi to second palce! Alongside Elias in 2008 will be French rider Sylvain Guintoli, who’ll be moving on from Yamaha Tech3 and joining Pramac d’Antin Ducati for 2008. Both riders will be on factory-supported Ducati GP8 machines, on Bridgestone tyres.

As already announced earlier, Elias’ teammate at Gresini Honda this year, Marco Melandri will be moving to the factory Ducati Marlboro team in 2008, where he’ll ride alongside Casey Stoner. Jorge Lorenzo will be partnering Rossi at Fiat Yamaha, while Colin Edwards will be moving to Yamaha Tech3, where he’ll be teammates with James Toseland, who’s moving from WSBK to MotoGP in 2008.


All of the above notwithstanding, this trio - Stoner, Rossi and newcomer Lorenzo - is what we're really looking out for in MotoGP in 2008!

Also see:
2007 MotoGP race reports, features, interviews and hi-res wallpaper!
KTM RC8 in final stages of development...
From dream to disaster: The amazing Morbidelli 850 V8!
Which Honda is faster than the RC212V? This one...
Dual-purpose done right: Yamaha XT660Z Tenere and Honda XL700V Transalp
220 horsepower V4 Aprilia superbike coming in 2008!

External link:
Hot bikes and babes: Hi-res wallpaper!


For BMW fans, here's the HP2 Megamoto like you've never seen it before! Probably...
Pics: Superbike

From left: The production-ready Honda DN-01 (which features automatic transmission), the absolutely gorgeous Honda CB1100R retro-style cafe-racer concept, and the Evo6 concept, which has the Goldwing's six-cylinder engine!

From left: The Honda CB1100F concept, and more pics of the Honda Evo6 concept. More details here

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