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Simoncelli aiming for solid points from second on the grid

Simoncelli aiming for solid points from second on the grid

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, Marco Simoncelli came within a hair's breadth of his first pole position in MotoGP after mounting the strongest challenge to the dominant Casey Stoner. Hiroshi Aoyama was 13th.

The Italian, following the disappointment of crashes at Jerez and Estoril in the last two rounds, is keen to pick up solid points in Sunday’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France. Simoncelli managed to split the Repsol Honda’s and will start from the middle of the front row, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa. Aoyama struggled to make significant improvements on his free practice pace, when switching to a soft tyre in this afternoon's qualifying session and the Japanese rider will start from thirteenth on the grid tomorrow.

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini Team

“I got really close to my first ever pole today - 0.059s is hardly anything! Strangely it is the same gap that I missed out on the podium by last year at Estoril. In any case, I am happy and we are not in bad shape for the race. We have improved from session to session, so I am confident. We have improved under braking today but I still don't feel 100% secure. My objective tomorrow is to get to the end of the race and bring some important points home. I won't be pushing over the limit to get a result at all costs, I want to manage the race well.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini

”I am not too happy with the result today. I haven't improved much on my best lap from yesterday afternoon and for that reason I have dropped positions. Hopefully tomorrow I can recover those positions in the race and first of all, find some set-up solutions in the warm up that will help us have a good race.”

MotoGP, 2011, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Hiroshi Aoyama, Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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