SIMONCELLI TAKES PODIUM HOPES TO VALENCIA AFTER NARROW ESTORIL EFFORT Marco Simoncelli heads from Portugal to Spain this week hoping that an excellent performance at Estoril can be a trampoline to bigger and better things for the Team San Carlo...
SIMONCELLI TAKES PODIUM HOPES TO VALENCIA AFTER NARROW ESTORIL EFFORT
Marco Simoncelli heads from Portugal to Spain this week hoping that an excellent performance at Estoril can be a trampoline to bigger and better things for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider. Constant progress in recent weeks has seen Simoncelli emerge as a serious podium contender, narrowly missing out on third place last Sunday, when he was denied only by the tinest mistake on the exit of the final corner. However, he is already looking to make up for it in the next race -- the final round of the 2010 season -- at Valencia. Marco took victory at Cheste in 2008 but was unfortunate to crash out when fighting to defend his 250cc title there last year. It is a circuit he likes and he is hopeful of putting those memories firmly behind him with a performance that sets up a competitive season from the start next year. Things didn't work out for Marco Melandri in Portugal, where despite an excellent sixth place qualifying position the Italian struggled in the dry conditions in the race. His target is to sign off from the series with a positive result at a circuit where he had taken 250cc and MotoGP victories. Around 130,000 fans are expected to pack the grandstands this Sunday as the 2010 season comes to a close, with preparations for 2011 already set to start on Tuesday with the first preseason test of the new campaign.
Marco Simoncelli "I am still feeling satisfied but also slightly annoyed with how close I came to the podium at Estoril. I was happy with my performance because we kept a consistenyl fast pace from start to finish and I was able to battle with riders who have got the better of me in recent weeks. We have improved so much lately and the performance at Estoril has made me even more convinced we can be regularly fighting at the front. I can't wait to get started at Valencia and put the disappointment of last year behind me as quickly as possible. I love the track and I am desperate to finish on the podium there after missing out by such a small margin in Portugal. The way we are finishing the season is a great sign for next year. We still have a big job to do but the work we have done so far is paying off and I am happy for Honda and the team, who have given me so much support."
Marco Melandri "In Portugal I had yet another disappointing day and I can't even begin to explain the reasons why we have yet to work things out. We have been trying in vain and I am so bitterly disappointed about it. Valencia is our last chance to salvage something from a season to forget and I will try my hardest. I like the track and I won here in 250 and MotoGP but the chances of us doing anything this weekend are very small and that upsets me. "
Fausto Gresini " Simoncelli produced an extraordinary performance at Estoril. It ewas the first time he has been consistent from start to finish and he proved he has what it takes to run at the front and fight for top results. His progress had been evident for a few races now but Portugal was confirmation of it. He finished fourth by a fraction of a second but he was virtually on the podium and this is a great sign for the future. It was a result myself and the President of San Carlo, Mr Alberto Vitaloni, our long standing partner, were overjoyed with. Starting at Valencia "Super Sic" can make the podium his fixed objective. He is working in perfect harmony with the team and Honda, gaining their respect and learning how to fight with the very best in a category as difficult as MotoGP. Once again I'll say how satisfied and proud I am to be working with him. I am disappointed on the other hand, for Melandri because this season we have not been able to reproduce results like Valencia 2005, when he took a fantastic victory to secure second place in the championship."
-source: gresini racing