POSITIVE RETURN FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI
The first day of the 2011 preseason in Malaysia today saw Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama in highly motivated mood and determined to make an impression in the upcoming campaign. "Super Sic" was quickly on the pace, showing that his late season form last year was anything but a flash in the pan. Track conditions at Sepang were not perfect but Simoncelli put together a strong and consistent pace at a circuit that he doesn't particularly like. He worked hard to find a good early feeling with the Honda RC212V and tomorrow he will look to improve it further with work on the rear braking system. It was a positive outing too for Aoyama, who unlike Simoncelli is a fan of the Malaysian circuit even though it is not one of his fastest. The Japanese also got comfortable with the RC212V 2011 and his crew, headed by the vastly experienced Antonio Jimenez. There was no shortage of effort from anybody on the team today and the hard work will continue for two further days.
Marco Simoncelli (4th 2'02" 295 52 laps) "I am really happy. My difficult first outing at this circuit last year is now a distant memory. I felt good straight away with the new RC212V and I was immediately able to push hard. I was consistent all day and that is very positive. We tried a new position for the rear brake lever on one of the two bikes and we will try a new system tomorrow. Obviously the goal is also to keep working on the setting to try and improve the feeling with the 2011 version, although the first impression is that it is fast, powerful and performing well. We couldn't have started out any better!"
Hiroshi Aoyama (7th 2'02" 483 65 laps) "It is always difficult to get back on the bike after a two-month break but I have to say that today went well. The bike has shown good power, good acceleration and a character that allows you to be decisive. I have already got a good feeling with the guys and that is one of our main objectives for this test. Tomorrow we will continue to work on the set-up and try to improve it again. It has been a positive first day and it has made me optimistic for the season ahead because I want to make up for lost time in 2010, when I missed six races through injury."
Fausto Gresini "I am particularly satisfied for the riders, the guys in the team and our long term sponsors San Carlo, who continue to support our project with such passion. We knew that Simoncelli would come out and confirm the progress he showed in the last few races of last season and he did just that. In fact, I have to say that so far things have exceeded expectations. He is finding it easy to run with the best in the class and that gives me a lot of pride. I am also happy for Aoyama, who has found a splendid feeling with his crew and has already shown great potential."