Sun, 20 March 2011
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli produced what was surely his best race in MotoGP tonight – not in terms of the final result but certainly in terms of his performance and the gap to the race winner. It has been a dramatic turnaround over the weekend for “Super Sic” after a difficult session on Friday and today he was able to enjoy himself on the bike as well as giving his fans plenty to be excited about too. A difficult start for his team-mate Hiro Aoyama cost him valuable positions but the Japanese rider showed plenty of potential for the races ahead.
Marco Simoncelli (5th) “I am delighted! I was a bit too nervous over the first few laps but it was so good to be racing at the front of the field that I almost didn’t finish the race! Joking aside I am really happy because I thought my pace would be in the 1’56s but we were able to better it. At one point when I passed Dovizioso I thought I might be able to go after Lorenzo but I made a little mistake and it broke my rhythm. Then at the end in the battle with Dovizioso I was slightly slower than him on used tyres and I dropped off. Anyway, it was great to see the others so close up and I am sure this was my best race – maybe not the result but in terms of my consistency and the distance to the race winner. Now we need to take another step in the next race and have fun with the guys in the team, who have done a fantastic job.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th) ”When we had the minute’s silence at the front of the grid before the race for the tragedies in Japan I felt really emotional. On behalf of my countrymen I want to say thank you to everybody who has shown their support during this sad time. I had a tough race because of the start. De Puniet crashed in front of me and I lost precious ground on the group. Then I got my pace together and recovered positions but it was a shame because I wanted to have a good race tonight. Anyway, I am still happy because I am sure that we will improve in the next race. My feeling with the team is perfect, we are getting on great and they believe in me, which is important if we are to grow together. I want to give them positive results and excitement.”
Fausto Gresini “Simoncelli was great tonight and it was a pleasant surprise because it hasn’t been an easy weekend with the fuel consumption problems. It is a fantastic result, especially because we are close to the race winner. The season has started well and I think that it can be a fantastic season for Marco. Aoyama had to fight back from last place because of the crash for De Puniet so he did well and I am also expecting good results from him in the next races.”