SIMONCELLI UNABLE TO MEET EXPECTATIONS AT ASSEN
Marco Simoncelli flew the flag alone for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini today after Marco Melandri was ruled out through injury following a crash yesterday. However, the Italian rookie was unable to match the progress he has made in recent races, struggling for rear grip and forced to use all his ability to bring the bike home in a respectable ninth place. A positive weekend of practice had given "Super Sic" high hopes of further improvements today but a first negative experience in MotoGP will not dent his optimism and should be a learning experience for the future.
Marco Simoncelli (9th): "It has been a particularly difficult day today. After practice I was hoping for a different kind of race but it didn't go to plan. I knew something wasn't right from the start because the feeling wasn't as good as yesterday, the rear tyre didn't have the same grip and from the first lap I was taking risks. I decided to pull the oars into the boat and get to the line in the best position possible. It is a top ten finish but we wanted more today. It is a shame but on the plus side we did a good job just to get the bike to the finish. Now we go to Barcelona and I hope we can build on the good qualifying practice we had yesterday. "
Fausto Gresini: "It is a shame because after practice yesterday we were convinced we could have a good race, the pace was good, but today the tyres did not work in the same way and Marco had some problems - he couldn't push as hard as he would have liked. He took a few risks and then had to slow down and make sure he made it to the end. I'm disappointed but the important thing is that the kid continues to improve and we're ready for the next Grand Prix. There are still a lot of races left, this is learning year and I think he's doing a very good job."
-source: gresini racing