Marco Simoncelli admits he had hoped to be 'in better shape' for his debut in MotoGP this weekend in Qatar.

The 2008 250cc World Champion has endured a difficult pre-season with the Gresini Honda team - which included a heavy accident during testing at Sepang.

With the team having said it was 'worried' by the problems it encountered during the final tests of the winter in Qatar, Simoncelli admitted he was keeping his hopes in check for the weekend, although he insisted that Honda would help the team to make improvements.

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"I was hoping I'd be in better shape ahead of my MotoGP debut but testing hasn't gone in the best possible way, especially Sepang," he said. "We have work to do and since I last rode the bike we have re-jigged our ideas a little and come up with some ways to improve things. We also have faith in the work done by Honda in Japan and we're hopeful they can bring us something new that can help us.

"I'm obviously not going out to win the first race but I'm still travelling to Qatar in confident mood and I'm sure I can improve on my performance from the test. I don't dislike Losail and I am always comfortable riding there. I am a little worried about the fact we're racing at night because of the humidity that seems to settle at a certain point of the evening, especially in some of the right-handers, making them somewhat dangerous.

"Maybe bringing the race forward an hour would be a good solution. If not then we will just adapt to it and try to bring home the best result possible."