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De Angelis promises better season

Gresini Honda rider Alex de Angelis has promised to deliver stronger performances in his second MotoGP season this year

The 25-year-old Italian was only 14th in the championship at the end of his first season after graduating from 250cc. A pair of fourth positions were his best results but with a year's experience behind him, de Angelis is confident of improving on that tally in 2009.

"I am approaching this new challenge with great enthusiasm," he said at a Gresini Honda media event.

"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."

Team boss Fausto Gresini is certain that de Angelis will show better form this year, and also expects stronger performances from team returnee Toni Elias, who is back at Gresini after one season with Alice Ducati.

"I believe firmly in the potential of my riders," said Gresini.

"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."

Elias will ride a factory-specification Honda, while de Angelis's bike is officially regarded as a 'satellite' machine so is likely to be of lower specification.

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