SIMONCELLI BANKS FIFTH PLACE IN HOME GRAND PRIX
As expected the Italian Grand Prix proved to be a gruelling affair today as track temperatures of 50°C, the highest they have been all weekend, made life difficult for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli. The home hero crossed the line at the back of a lead group of five riders, in some ways a disappointing result but above all an important and satisfactory finish after a string of fruitless races. Hiroshi Aoyama battled through his own physical problems to find a rhythm at the end of the race that was lacking at the start, a positive sign ahead of tomorrow's test here.
Marco Simoncelli (5th) “It was a very tough race because it was really hot and the track conditions were new to us so I didn't have the same feeling as in practice. The front three were able to set a slightly faster pace, I was able to hang on for six or seven laps but after that I lost touch. I tried to fight off Spies at the end but he was faster than me through the final corner and managed to take the inside line to pass me. Anyway, I am happy because it was a hot and long race. It was a positive weekend overall because the most important thing for us was to finish the race. The strange thing is that when the racing is close at the front and there is only nine seconds covering the top five I seem to stay upright but when they are more strung out and I have the opportunity to make positions up I have some kind of disaster!”
Hiroshi Aoyama (11th) ”Unfortunately this weekend was a tough one for me because I am still struggling with the injuries from Assen. My starting position wasn't good and that made the first half of the race more difficult but I managed to pick my pace up in the second half. Tomorrow we have a day of testing and I hope we can find something that improves my feeling with the bike compared to today.”
Fausto Gresini “The higher temperatures today didn't make life easy for us but Marco did well because it was so important for him to have a good first few laps after all the controversy of recent races. I am happy because he had a good race but I am sure he can do much better. We knew today that we could have been first or fifth, we were fifth and that's okay because we can take heart and confidence from it. I want to thank Marco, the team and all our partners who have believed in us. We are getting closer.”
By: gresini racing