MotoGP rookie Marco Simoncelli is aiming to at least equal his best finish of the season in this weekend's Indianapolis Grand Prix.

The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider has a best of sixth to his credit from his first ten premier-class starts and was running eighth before a late race engine problem last time out in Brno.

"I came away from Brno feeling somewhat disappointed by the final result but quite happy with the first part of the race," he said. "Unfortunately the drop in engine power in the second part did not allow me to be as fast and aggressive and it left a sour taste in my mouth."

Fortunately, the Monday test session allowed the Italian to get straight back on track and continue his learning curve with the RCV.

"We did not lose heart and we went into the test on Monday with great determination and managed to make some important steps forward. We gained more confidence with the electronics and were able to better interpret the engine management system.

"It was a shame that the rain brought it to a premature end because it was a very important test for me and my team and we still have some work to do on the chassis, which we didn't get time for.

"I still go to Indianapolis in the right spirit, I like the track and I won the first and only 250 race to take place here. I expect to have a good race and aim to finish inside the top six," he declared.

Simoncelli is the top 2009 250cc rider in the MotoGP World Championship, in eleventh, but is only six points clear of Aspar Ducati's Hector Barbera.

Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri is seven points ahead in ninth in the standings. Melandri inherited the eighth place Simoncelli had been holding at Brno, but is facing a race against time to get the most out of the developments - most latterly the new electronics - which Honda has given him.

"After disappointing performances on Friday and Saturday at Brno the race in the Czech Republic restored some faith," said Marco. "In the second part I managed to find the right feeling with the bike, which gave me more enthusiasm and conviction to tackle the Monday tests, during which we made small but significant progress.

"We found some things with the suspension that bode well for the rest of the season. If we work with the same determination from Friday in Indianapolis we can score a good result in the race. The circuit is quite difficult to ride but if I can find a good feeling with my Honda RC212V I can be close to the lead group."

Alex de Angelis finished second for Gresini Honda at Indianapolis last year.

"We go to America with wonderful memories from last year and the conviction that after the tests done in Brno we can make a major step forward both with Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli," said team principal Fausto Gresini.

"After testing in the Czech Republic we have improved the set-up of the bikes and we can better manage the electronic package we have had for the past two races without finding a way to exploit its great potential."

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