Sweet And Sour Japanese GP For Simoncelli
A minimal jump start saw Marco Simoncelli penalised with a ride-through at Motegi today, costing him the chance to fight for the podium and possibly even the win. A big opportunity has slipped by due to a minor error although Simoncelli was the star of the race following his penalty, with a stunning charge back up to fourth place. Hiro Aoyama's hopes of a good performance in his home Grand Prix were dashed with an inconsistent performance and a disappointing ninth place finish.
Marco Simoncelli (4th) “I made a stupid mistake on the start line. The red light was slow to go out and out of the corner of my eye I saw Dovizioso move and let the clutch out just a tiny bit but enough to be given a ride-through penalty. You can't afford to make this kind of error. I am angry with myself and kicking myself especially after the race I put together following the penalty. Today could have been a great day for us, the podium was there for the taking and maybe even more than that. I had great fun on the last few laps with Dovizioso though – yet another battle between us – and I am happy to have beaten him. It was great!“
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th) ”It was a difficult race. Unfortunately I didn't have the grip to push as I wanted. Yesterday was much better and I am struggling to explain why it didn't happen today. It is very strange but the change in track temperature definitely didn't help because I am struggling for confidence in the front as it is. We will make up for it in the next race.”
Fausto Gresini “We leave here with a bittersweet taste because on one hand I am delighted with Marco's performance but at the same time disappointed not to finish with a better result. It is a real shame but in any case it is important to be so strong and consistent throughout the race, with good lap times to the end. It was also important that he showed such character after the “ride-through” and didn't let his head drop. It was a wonderful battle with Dovizioso and he did a great job to beat him. It was a positive, eventful and exciting Grand Prix. I was expecting more from Aoyama today because he went quite well in practice and I thought the motivation was there to do well in front of his home crowd.”