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Simoncelli fastest of newcomers on first day

Simoncelli fastest of newcomers on first day

Marco Simoncelli made a successful start to his MotoGP adaptation on Monday as he joined the San Carlo Honda Gresini in Valencia.

Monday saw the 2008 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli taking the first steps in getting over the Sunday disappointment of relinquishing his World title to Hiroshi Aoyama, as he lapped quicker than any of his fellow quarter litre class graduates on his MotoGP test debut.

Slotting into the San Carlo Honda Gresini team at Valencia in the traditional end of season post-race test, Simoncelli gathered confidence on board the Honda RC212V, lapping just a second slower than his experienced compatriot and experienced MotoGP campaigner Loris Capirossi.

Putting in 52 laps, Simoncelli produced a best time of 1’35.229, half a second quicker than Álvaro Bautista, a second faster than Héctor Barberá and nearly three seconds quicker than Aoyama, as they too made their premier class test debuts.

Reviewing the first day on his new 800cc machine, Simoncelli commented, “We started out with a setting designed for a rider with completely different physical dimensions to me and quickly made progress with the changes we made to adapt it. We need to keep working like this and not try to get ahead of ourselves in this test. I just have to get an understanding of the bike and find a direction with the set-up. ”

“My first impression is that these bikes are not as easy as people say and like with anything new you have to work hard at it. I have given my thoughts to the engineers and I'm sure I'll be faster on Tuesday.”

Monday also marked a welcome return to the Gresini team for Marco Melandri, who was reunited with former Crew Chief Antonio Jimenez and quickly got back onto the pace with a best lap of 1’33” 839.

“It was a nice surprise to see how much the 800cc Honda has changed since 2007,” stated Melandri. “It is a very different bike to the one I rode that year. I like it and we quickly got to work on the geometry, finding a good base to work from. On Tuesday we’ll turn our attention to the suspension and a couple of other little things but for now I am happy.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Marco Simoncelli, Marco Melandri, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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