News 20 Jul 2011

Gresini teammates primed for Laguna Seca this weekend

Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli is still chasing his first podium finish.

Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli is still chasing his first podium finish.

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli travels from Germany to the USA this week on the back of another positive result at Sachsenring that has reinforced his confidence going into the second half of the season.

Rear tyre troubles at the German round cost him the chance to fight to the line for fourth place but another strong showing throughout the race was an important achievement.

Super Sic is ready to fight with the leading riders in MotoGP once again and his target for this weekend is to find the consistency over race distance that will allow him to challenge for the result he is clearly capable of.

Laguna Seca is one of his favourite circuits and the ideal place for him to confirm his huge potential.

“Fourth place at Sachsenring would have been a different story but I am still satisfied with my performance there and I take a lot of motivation with me to America,” he commented. “It was important for me to keep my form up even though it was disappointed I couldn’t stick the pace for the full 30 laps.

“Unfortunately I had problems with the degradation of the left side of the rear tyre and I couldn’t push as hard at the end of the race as I could for the first half. It’s a shame but at least I get the chance to make up for it at Laguna, a unique circuit that I really like.

“The track itself fascinates me, the Corkscrew is thrilling and the enthusiasm of the fans gives you an extra boost. Together with the team we will be working to be more consistent over race distance, which will be an important part of closing the gap to the leaders.”

Whilst Simoncelli looks to conquer America his teammate Hiroshi Aoyama is preparing to race there for the first time, having missed out last year through injury.

The Japanese rider is not in top physical condition this year either as he is still struggling from the effects of a crash at Assen last month, which has also affected his confidence with the bike in recent races.

His target in America is to rediscover his feeling with his machine and recover positions as soon as possible.

“I was still struggling a lot at Sachsenring with my injuries from Assen and even though I tried my best to come away with a positive result it was very difficult for me to get a feeling for the bike,” Aoyama said.

“I am sorry to the team for that and I hope to be able to make it up to them in the next race at Laguna Seca. This will be my first time at this circuit so it won’t be an easy weekend for me but I will be pushing hard to get on the pace as soon as possible.”