Simoncelli makes fine start in spite of spills, Aoyama also on form

Friday, 14 October 2011

The weekend at Phillip Island could not have started out much better for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, with Marco Simoncelli lapping third fastest this morning and then second fastest this afternoon behind home hero Casey Stoner.

Despite suffering two crashes in turn ten, Simoncelli showed just why this circuit is one of his favourites, finding confidence with the front and grip on the rear but with plenty of room sti ll to improve tomorrow. Hiroshi Aoyama also showed his best form today, lapping sixth fastest in the afternoon session to at least partly banish his disappointment from his home round at Motegi two weeks ago.

Marco Simoncelli:
“I had two crashes in turn ten today, but luckily there was no damage to me or the bike. The track is wonderful, most definitely my favourite, but it is quite bumpy and it is easy to make a mistake and crash. It only takes a moment to find yourself on the floor so you have to stay focused at all times. Overall I am happy though because I was on the pace immediately this morning and improved in the afternoon. Now we need to make some small changes and try to find more grip on the rear and a bit more feeling for the front, even though it is already good. The two crashes were different - this morning I lost the front and in the afternoon I lost the rear - but each time I knew why it had happened and I was able to get straight back on the pace. I am happy and calm, hopefully tomorrow we can close the gap to Stoner.”

Hiroshi Aoyama:
“It has been a positive start for us because this afternoon I was able to improve my lap time from the morning, which is important for us after the disappointment of my home Grand Prix at Motegi. The conditions today were good, but it wasn't easy out there and we had to give our best. There are a few areas for us to improve in but we are on the right track. I hope the weather tomorrow is similar and that we can challenge for a good position on the grid.”

San Carlo Honda Gresini press release.

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