Unlucky Simoncelli Misses Victory Chance As Aoyama Fights For Podium
It was a day of 'so near yet so far' for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli, who came close to his first ever MotoGP victory at Jerez today. 'Super Sic' started from the second row but battled his way to the front of the field in precarious wet conditions to open up a clear lead, before eventually succumbing to an unfortunate crash. The Italian got minimal help from the marshalls as he tried to restart his bike, a fate that also became certain other riders in the race. Meanwhile his team-mate Hiro Aoyama managed to stay on board in the treacherous conditions to being his bike home just 0.4 seconds away from the podium.
Marco Simoncelli (DNF) “I am really disappointed! I knew after the first five laps that the tyres were struggling but I managed to hold my advantage over Lorenzo. Unfortunately I lost the front in turn one and the rear came round on me – I tried to get it back under control but I couldn't manage it. It happens in racing and even though I am disappointed I am also happy to have shown again that I am a contender this year. The most frustrating thing about today though was that I got no help at all from the marshals, unlike other riders today. The bike was okay and if I could have had some help I am sure I could have still had a good race. That is not good but as I said before I showed I can run with the best today and that's the main thing we'll take away with us. A major result is around the corner.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (4th) ”The situation was really tricky today but we have taken a solid result from a tough race. A lot of riders went down but I was able to manage the situation at the most critical points. I am pleased but not totally satisfied because with a bit more conviction early in the race I could have passed some slower riders and I'm sure that would have put me on the podium. We have to wait until next time but this is a great confidence boost for me and the team, who have done a great job to give me a competitive bike in the wet conditions.”
Fausto Gresini “For a moment today we thought we might be celebrating a win! Marco had the pace and he took the lead with conviction, he was in control of the race and he deserved to win it! It is a shame and the thing I am most annoyed about is the way he didn't get any help from the marshals, which was given to others! I don't want to get involved in controversy but I think there should be a criteria of equality for all riders. Marco showed once again that he is able to run with the front guys and he's going to be fun to watch. Hiro rode a good race to finish just four tenths off the podium. Maybe hif he'd have pushed harder at the start he could have done it but it is a good result and it backs up our belief that he can have a good season.”
-source: gresini racing