Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Racing press release
Simoncelli Heads To Indianapolis In High Spirits
Having finally broken his podium curse at Brno last time out, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli travels across the Atlantic to the legendary Indianapolis circuit with his confidence sky-high this week. Having shown podium potential from the opening race of the season, 'Super Sic' finally broke his duck in the Czech Republic and can now look forward to riding with a huge weight taken off his shoulders. The legendary circuit this year marks a hundred years of the “Indy 500” and Simoncelli hopes he can also be celebrating this weekend. The Italian set pole position for the 250cc race in 2008 only for it to be cancelled due to Hurricane Ike, before going on to win the intermediate race in 2009 ahead of his current team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama. The Japanese rider recovered confidence in himself and in his Honda RC212V at Brno thanks to a ninth place finish. Last year he made his return to action in this event after six races out through injury and now he is looking to complete a return to form in 2011 after another injury setback put the brakes on a positive start to the campaign. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds up to 500,000 spectators at the famous 500-mile race and is now an established home for MotoGP.
“A weight was lifted off my shoulders at Brno with my first ever podium in MotoGP and my 30th podium in all categories. It was a huge source of satisfaction because we have been chasing it since the opening race of the season and didn't quite manage it for various reasons. We needed it and I am happy for myself, the team, Honda and everybody who has believed in me. That kind of cloud is no longer hanging over us and hopefully that will make everything easier in the second half of the season. I am feeling strong and determined and I travel to America in the right mood to continue this positive progress. Indianapolis is a circuit I like overall although I do tend to struggle a little compared to the other smaller riders because of the first gear final corner that leads onto a really long straight. This is a problem for us but we will do our best to work it out and try to ensure it hinders us as little as possible. I took the win at Indianapolis in 250 in 2009 and I was on pole in 2008 when the race was cancelled because of the hurricane. The team and I are highly motivated and hope to continue in the same way we found in Brno.”
“Ninth place at Brno wasn't an amazing result but it was positive for me because I recovered my physical condition and my confidence with the bike. After the Czech Republic Grand Prix I am feeling more motivated and determined for the second half of the season. I needed to rediscover my confidence in myself and in the RC212V, and I think Brno was a positive weekend in that respect. Now I go to Indianapolis in a different mood. I finished second here behind Marco Simoncelli in the 250cc race a couple of years ago and returned to action here last year after missing six races through injury. It wasn't an easy weekend for me but I managed to finish the race and I enjoyed the track so I am very much looking forward to a stronger showing this weekend.”
“It seemed like an impossible miracle because of the amount of times a podium had slipped through our fingers for one reason or another, so Marco and the team did a fantastic job to not lose faith and continue to believe in their potential. Now he has broken his duck everything should be easier for Marco, he can be more relaxed on the bike and his potential will rise even further. Brno was an important weekend for the team and I am happy for Marco, all the guys in the team, our partners and San Carlo, who have always believed enthusiastically in our project. Now we go to Indianapolis with a different mentality. It is a circuit that has been kind to us for the past two years, with a podium for Alex De Angelis in 2009 and a splendid Moto2 win for Toni Elias last year. So it's another 'friendly' circuit for us and I hope we have more to celebrate there. Hiroshi Aoyama also rediscovered some form and self-confidence at Brno so I am sure that this weekend we will again see the same Hiroshi that was running near the front of the MotoGP field in the early stages of this season.”