Circuit de Catalunya
Simoncelli Gives Chase To Stoner On Day One
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli put the unsettling events of Le Mans behind him today and focused on the job at hand as the Grand Prix of Catalunya got underway in Barcelona. A determined performance saw him lap second fastest in free practice behind Casey Stoner during limited track time due to the mixed weather. “Super Sic” is hopeful of reducing the gap to Stoner tomorrow as he looks to build a challenge for victory in Sunday's race. Hiroshi Aoyama also produced a positive performance as he continues to build on a promising start to the season.
Stoner is slightly faster but we are close.
Marco Simoncelli (2nd 1’43.468) “I was a little tense when I arrived at the track on Wednesday but I was able to relax more and more over the course of yesterday and as soon as I got on the bike today I felt comfortable and without bad thoughts on my mind. We have made a good start. Stoner is slightly faster but we are close. We have to try and improve in sectors three and four because they are the two places I am losing time but I am confident that we have picked up where we left off. We have work to do but I think we can do it and if I can stay close to him in the race I will be able to see what I can learn from him. Obviously the mixed conditions today didn't help because it limited us to less than twenty laps so hopefully we can have better weather tomorrow.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (8th 1'45.666) ”The weather today didn't allow us to work how we would have liked but I am quite satisfied. Even when the track looked dry it wasn't perfect and it is difficult to find the right set-up for the bike in these conditions. Hopefully it will improve tomorrow so that we can work on finding the right set-up for the bike and make sure of a good grid position.”
Fausto Gresini “I would say that overall today was more than positive. Marco was calm and concentrated and able to set some consistently fast laps. He was able to release some of the tension from the last few days out on the track and it went well. Together with his technicians we will try a few things to improve in certain areas of the track but we have a good base to build from. Eighth place for Aoyama shows that he is getting stronger – there is no pressure on him and it is important at this stage of his career that he continues to do so without making mistakes.”
-source: gresini racing