Alex de Angelis signs new Honda deal

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Alex de Angelis has agreed to stay with Fausto Gresini’s satellite Honda squad in 2009.

The San Marino rider, who had been linked with a switch to the Alice Ducati squad, clinched his new deal ahead of this weekend’s eagerly anticipated first Indianapolis GP.

The rookie has shown flashes of brilliance on the San Carlo RC212V in 2008, with fourth place finishes in Mugello and Sachsenring.

He has also tested the patience of Gresini several times with a series of mistakes and crashes that have dented his hopes of making an even more positive impact in MotoGP.

It is not clear who will partner de Angelis, with Shinya Nakano still waiting for a decision on his future. The Japanese rider could be offered a test and development role if there is no place for him in MotoGP.

Gresini was in lengthy discussions with Aussie Chris Vermeulen before he agreed terms to extend his stay in Suzuki’s factory squad, while the Italian has also spoken in depth with triple American superbike champion Ben Spies.

Reports from the US though suggest he has already rejected a move, but he has also been linked with Andrea Dovizioso’s JIR berth.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt