The second round of tests at the Sepang circuit ended in postive fashion for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini.
PLEASING END TO THREE-DAY MALAYSIAN TEST
The second round of tests at the Sepang circuit ended in postive fashion for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini. Determined and consistent, Marco Simoncelli found further confidence with his Honda RC212V, and was in amongst the front group throughout. He finished the test with an impressive time just four-tenths off the fastest rider Casey Stoner, and more importantly yesterday he rode at a consistently fast race pace. Less than month remains before the first race in Qatar and "Super Sic" is increasingly convinced he has made good progress and will be capable of fighting for podium finishes. It was a satisfying test also for Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama, who strung together almost 200 laps over the three days, in his attempts to clarify the technical changes to make before the season begins.
Marco Simoncelli (3rd 2'00"163 46 laps) "I am really happy about the lap-time I managed this morning, although we were a bit confused during the race simulation I did. Yesterday with the hard tyre I was able to go very fast, but this afternoon from the off I felt worse and couldn't lap at the same pace. Anyway, I'm pretty calm because today's performance was more down to a poor choice of tyre, perhaps I would have been better to go with the softer one like the others and I would have been quick in the race simulation. However I repeat, I'm not at all worried and leave Malaysia very content with the work we've done over these three days and also happy that we get to change tracks now because after six days of tests at Sepang I'm slightly "overdone"!
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th 2'01"328 48 laps) "This test finally comes to an end and it's been quite a challenge for me. We have worked so hard, and in some parts I'm satisfied and in others not so. The team has really supported me a lot and together we have been able to understand the path to take in terms of technical settings for the season ahead. In the end I'm happy and I can't wait to get to Qatar for the next test so we can build on the great work we have done here. I'm really happy to be working with these guys and I hope to give them something back in return soon."
Fausto Gresini "This second test in Malaysia has made us understand that Simoncelli has grown a lot since last year and is capable of being consistently fast. He has laid down an impressive lap-time and is amongst the top riders, but he also did a good race simulation -- even if we did realise that we could do even better when we take a look at yesterday's times. Nonetheless this is all part of the experience you must gain, and it's normal that this kind of thing happens in the tests as it helps us get ready for the championship proper. I'm also happy with the progress the team has made as a whole; with the extra support from HRC and the bike that Honda has made available to us. I'm also impressed with Marco's physical preparation compared to last year. They are all steps forward that propel us towards a season that should give us a lot of joy. It's also been a positive three days for Aoyama who never even went for a fast lap-time and focused on finding the right settings to adopt for the forthcoming season. We have a great squad and I'm sure we'll be very entertaining this year. "
-source: gresini racing