There were contrasting fortunes for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two riders today as Marco Simoncelli secured a MotoGP career-best seventh place finish at the British Grand Prix after his team-mate Marco Melandri had crashed out on the first lap.
There were contrasting fortunes for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two riders today as Marco Simoncelli secured a MotoGP career-best seventh place finish at the British Grand Prix after his team-mate Marco Melandri had crashed out on the first lap. It was a super afternoon for "Super Sic", who took another major step forward in his adaptation to the premier-class as he lapped in close proximity to the podium pack. There was disappointment on the other side of the garage, however, with Melandri missing out on a sure chance to fight for a podium finish.
Marco Simoncelli (7th):
"We have definitely taken another important step forward here. I got a good start and stuck with the group fighting for the podium for the majority of the race. I was able to run with Spies and close the gap right down but they were able to keep their pace to the end of the race whereas I struggled at the end as my tyres went off. It was nice to have them in my sights until two laps from the end though and I feel like I have really improved. I had fun today - hopefully next time it can be even closer to the front."
Marco Melandri (DNF):
"I made a really good start but then made a mistake on the exit of a corner on cold tyres. I was behind Spies and felt I was faster then him so I attacked two or three times but couldn't get through. Then I tried a pass on the inside but I hit a bump, lost the front and there was no way I could save it. I'm disappointed because I wasn't even pushing that hard, I was just waiting for Spies to give me a chance to pass him. It's a shame!"
"Simoncelli took a big step forward today and had a great race, which we expected because he had shown a lot of promise in practice. It is the first time he has raced so close to the lead group and that is very promising. I think it was an important experience for him and next time he will know how to manage his tyres better for the end of the race. A great race and a very positive result. I'm disappointed for Melandri but we can't be too hard on him because he did the right thing by trying. Obviously nobody wants a crash on the first lap and especially today because we had a good chance to do well but like I said before this is racing and it is better to try these things than hang around at the back."