Second and third row starts for Simoncelli and Aoyama

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Fifth for Marco Simoncelli and seventh for Hiroshi Aoyama in today’s qualifying session means that the duo start from the second and third row of the grid respectively in tomorrow's Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix.

The session was a tale of two halves for Simoncelli, who looked strong in race trim for the opening half hour but struggled somewhat on his two outings in search of a fast time. A small technical problem meant that the Italian had to qualify on his second bike, possibly costing him a place on the front row, but he is happy and confident for the race. Aoyama was a little disappointed after showing a good pace this morning and missing out on the second row by a margin of just 0.082 seconds.

Marco Simoncelli:
“I was satisfied with our pace in the first half of the session when we were working on our race setting but not so much with the 'time attack' because just when we switched tyres I had a problem with a sensor and had to switch to my second bike, which had a different setting that I wasn't as comfortable with. I was struggling a bit and instead of staying out there I decided to come back in and try to make a small change but it didn't work out. Anyway, I am looking forward to tomorrow and feeling confident I can fight with the three guys on the front row. We just need to decide which tyre to use for the race.”

Hiroshi Aoyama:
“I am satisfied with today even though we missed out on the second row by hundredths of a second. I have got a good feeling with the bike and I think we will run the soft tyres tomorrow. I like this track and if we can refine the setting a little in the warm-up tomorrow I am sure we can be fighting near the front in the Malaysian Grand Prix.”

San Carlo Honda Gresini press release.

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