Marco Simoncelli continues to underline his status as the top 250GP graduate with a career-best finish of seventh in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Simoncelli has enjoyed a steady trajectory up the order since making his debut at Qatar, the Italian producing his most convincing MotoGP performance yet at Silverstone as he became embroiled in the fight for a podium finish.
In the end, Simoncelli would fade as his tyres waned, although the former 250GP champion was still able to hold out ahead of factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.
“We have definitely taken another important step forward here. I got a good start and stuck with the group fighting for the podium for the majority of the race. I was able to run with Spies and close the gap right down but they were able to keep their pace to the end of the race whereas I struggled at the end as my tyres went off.
“It was nice to have them in my sights until two laps from the end though and I feel like I have really improved. I had fun today - hopefully next time it can be even closer to the front."
There was less joy for Marco Melandri, whose run of good form came to a sudden halt with an accident on the opening lap as he attempted to overtake Ben Spies.
"I made a really good start but then made a mistake on the exit of a corner on cold tyres. I was behind Spies and felt I was faster then him so I attacked two or three times but couldn't get through.
“Then I tried a pass on the inside but I hit a bump, lost the front and there was no way I could save it. I'm disappointed because I wasn't even pushing that hard, I was just waiting for Spies to give me a chance to pass him. It's a shame!"