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2010 MotoGP Rookies: Marco Simoncelli

2010 MotoGP Rookies: Marco Simoncelli

The 2008 250cc World Champion will form an all-Italian line-up at San Carlo Honda Gresini with Marco Melandri next season.

Marco Simoncelli arrives on the MotoGP scene next season having enjoyed two prolific seasons in the quarter-litre category, and his daring riding style is sure to make his introduction to the premier class an exciting one.

The Italian made his race debut back in 2002 in Czech Republic, but it was the following year that he rode in the 125cc World Championship on a full-time basis. His second full season in the class brought his first victory, as in just the second race of the 2004 campaign Simoncelli won from pole position in the rain at Jerez, and he finished 11th that year.

Fifth place in the overall standings the following season after a win – again in Spain – and six podiums in total in 2005 earned him a move up to 250cc.

Successive finishes of 10th in his first two campaigns in the intermediate category allowed Simoncelli time to find his feet, and in his third year in 2008 a phenomenal season delivered the World title. DNFs in his first two races were followed by third in the race in Portugal, which brought his first podium in 250cc racing, and from there a fine campaign unfolded. His home GP of Italy was the venue for a first win, and five more followed. Third place in the penultimate race of the season in Malaysia was enough to seal the 2008 title.

Amid speculation of a move to MotoGP, Simoncelli remained in the 250cc class to defend his title, and his 2009 season was an eventful one. Six wins again throughout the year was not enough to stop Hiroshi Aoyama taking the crown, but only after a dramatic battle with the Japanese rider. Malaysia saw the pair duel magnificently, and Simoncelli’s crash when leading the final race in Valencia made for a disappointing end to his final year in the class as he finished third.

Fellow Italian Fausto Gresini was the man who stepped up to give Simoncelli his chance in MotoGP and the 22 year-old started his development on the Honda of the San Carlo team in Valencia in November, with a second test at Sepang just before Christmas.

MotoGP, 2010, Marco Simoncelli

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