Simoncelli sixth in spite of a spill
Despite a fall midway through qualifying, San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli still managed to score a second row start for the Grand Prix of Japan, while team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama starts from the fourth row.
A second fall over the Grand Prix of Japan weekend cost Marco Simoncelli precious time in qualifying this afternoon at Motegi. The “unplanned incident”caused the Italian to lose confidence as well as not allowing him to make a second run in qualifying with the softer tires. However, the sixth fastest time overall is enough for a second row start tomorrow and after showing good race pace Simoncelli remains optimistic about tomorrow.
Hiroshi Aoyama was hoping for better than eleventh place but once again the Japanese rider struggled for a one-off flying lap and is relying on his race pace to help him make up positions tomorrow.
Marco Simoncelli: I was going quite well up to the crash but unfortunately I made a little mistake in turn five, hit a bump and crashed, which compromised the second half of the session. I struggled a little for confidence when I went back out and only got to use one soft tyre. Without that I could have maybe been fighting for the front row but in any case I am happy because I have good race pace and hopefully tomorrow I can be fighting for the podium.”
Hiroshi Aoyama: The final position is not particularly pleasing but my feeling with the bike is good and so is my race pace so I am confident for tomorrow. I will try to start as well as possible and make up as many positions as I can. The weather could change tomorrow and the track temperature will definitely be lower so we might have to change the set-up but we have a clear idea which direction to take. I want to have a good race in my home Grand Prix and give my fans a positive result.”