"Good God, I set pole!"
“Good God, I set pole!” The first words that came from the mouth of Marco Simoncelli after removing his helmet following a sensational lap around the Catalunya circuit expressed surprise but the first pole position of his career is no coincidence. Today's result was the perfect response from “Super Sic” following the controversy of Le Mans three weeks ago and it came after a huge effort to solve set-up problems early in this afternoon's qualifying session. Determination and strength allowed the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider to come out with the best possible result, proving once again that he is a leading contender in the premier-class. Tomorrow's race won't be easy because Stoner and Lorenzo are looking very strong but the Italian is determined to return home with a good result. Hiroshi Aoyama was unable to find a good feeling with his bike today and will be working with the team overnight and in tomorrow's warm-up for more improvements ahead of the race.
My first target is to finish the race, the second is to finish on the podium... you can guess the third!
Marco Simoncelli (1° 1’ 42” 413)
“It went well and I am much happier now than I have been for the past two weeks leading up to the Grand Prix. I was strong even though we had a few problems at the start of the session when I couldn't push as hard as I would have liked. By the end we had solved the problems and I was able to ride really fast, although I never thought I would be able to set pole because Casey had been so fast in every session. I took a bit of a risk on the last lap trying to go faster and managed to save it, so finally my long legs have been good for something! Tomorrow won't be easy because both Casey and Jorge have a fast race pace but I will try to stay with them. My first target is to finish the race, the second is to finish on the podium... you can guess the third!”
Hiroshi Aoyama (11° 1’’ 43” 734 )
”It was a difficult session because I didn't have good feeling with the bike due to the lack of grip on the track and also because the bike was 'wheelying' a lot. I managed to close the gap to the front guys but it wasn't enough to make sure of a good grid position. We will try and find something in the warm-up that gives me more confidence with the bike and hopefully have a good race.”
“It is wonderful to see Marco on pole for tomorrow's race. I have been missing that feeling since 2005. It gives us a lot of satisfaction and it shows Marco's strength of character after all the controversy over the last few days. Finally today we're able to talk about sport, a sport that gives us so much pleasure and will continue to do so in the future. It wasn't easy but it was so important for him to stay focused and he has shown the qualities of a true champion. Tomorrow will be a tough race but he has shown once again today that he is one of the top riders in MotoGP. Hiroshi struggled today but I am sure that with the help of his crew he can do well tomorrow.”
-source: gresini racing