San Carlo Gresini Honda has officially launched its 2011 MotoGP World Championship campaign with eponymous team owner Fausto Gresini confident it is set for a successful year.
The Italian team has taken advantage of Honda's superiority during pre-season testing, with riders Marco Simoncelli and new employee Hiroshi Aoyama both proving competitive alongside their Repsol Honda counterparts.
Indeed, speaking at the launch at Monza, Gresini is optimistic that his team is in for a strong year as it looks to mimic the glory days of its title challenges between 2004 and 2006.
“[This] was the moment we had all been waiting for, with the presentation of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 2011, and I am happy that we are able to do so with two riders of the calibre of Simoncelli and Aoyama. We think this will be an excellent season for us.
“Simoncelli has made great progress, Honda have given us a great bike and we are delighted to have San Carlo with us again as main sponsor because they have shared some difficult times with us and now I hope it is our opportunity to pay them back with some great success. We are looking forward to Qatar and can't wait to get on track for the first race.”
Having made great strides during his maiden season, Simoncelli is tipped to be a frequent podium contender in 2011.
“I am really happy to be here at Monza for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 2011 presentation. Monza brought me good luck during my 250cc career, when we also did our team presentation here, so from a superstitious point of view I couldn't be happier! Now I am looking forward to getting to Qatar for the final test and above all for the first race.”
Aoyama, meanwhile, steps up to Gresini after a solid debut season with the Interwetten team, the Japanese rider setting his sights high for his sophomore year with a top five target.
“I am happy to be enjoying this experience with a new team, who have made me feel very comfortable straight away. We had a good test recently in Malaysia and I am very determined about the season ahead. My objective is to do well and maybe even fight for the top five. Whatever happens I will be giving my best in every race.”