After being denied a debut MotoGP podium on the run to the line last Sunday at Estoril, Marco Simoncelli has just one more shot at a 2010 rostrum, this weekend at Valencia, which he began with fourth place in Friday practice.
"Since Motegi we have made continual progress and especially over the last two rounds I have been able to lift myself up the standings," said Simoncelli. "In Portugal we were fighting for the podium and here in Valencia we are fighting for top positions, even though Lorenzo has seven tenths over us.
"The important thing is that I have gained confidence with the bike and even though the tracks are different the feeling is the same and we're fast. Now we hope to reap the fruit of our hard work this weekend and especially next year.
"I have had some good races at Valencia since my days in the 125 class, when I fought with Stoner and Barbera for the win. I would love to be fighting with Stoner again in my first year here on a MotoGP bike.
"Our objective is the podium and that is what we are working for."
Team-mate Marco Melandri
finally found some confidence with his Honda and was able to lap eighth fastest as he looks to leave the team and MotoGP on a high.
"For the first time I have found a better feeling for the bike, more confidence with the tyres and I was able to ride with conviction," he said. "I am still struggling a little under acceleration because the power delivery is not consistent and it performs differently from lap to lap.
"We have improved it a little bit though and I think we're in shape to have a decent race. I hope I can do it because I would like to leave everybody with one final good memory of me before I leave."