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Simoncelli fastest in Estoril test

Marco Simoncelli sets the pace during the Official MotoGP Test at Estoril on Monday.
Marco Simoncelli, who saw his best MotoGP qualifying performance go to waste when he crashed out on the opening lap of Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, underlined what might have been by setting the fastest lap during an official test at the Estoril circuit on Monday.

The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider highsided out of the race at Turn Four after being caught out by a cold tyre - forcing the Italian, who crashed from the lead at the previous Jerez race, to again walk away from at least a potential first MotoGP rostrum.

There were no such mistakes from Simoncelli on Monday and he finished the test with a best lap of 1min 36.211sec, The Italian tested new clutch settings for his factory RC212V as well as the new Bridgestone tyres (one front and two rear) made available to all riders.

Simoncelli's lap time was 1.4sec inside the best lap from Sunday's race and 0.105sec quicker than world champion and Estoril runner-up Jorge Lorenzo, who was closest to Simoncelli on Monday.

The main focus of both Lorenzo and Factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies was on a new swing arm and updated suspension components. Lorenzo also took the opportunity to test new electronic settings in the hunt for more grip and both riders tested the new tyres.

But there was no new M1 engine at the test. The Factory Yamaha Team told that reports suggesting a new engine would be present were down to Lorenzo being 'misheard'.

Third on Monday, as he had been in the race, was Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner (+0.391sec), who suffered no repeat of the back pain that struck him in the race during his 49 laps. Stoner tested the 2011 Ohlins fork, a new clutch and the new specification tyres.

There was a real surprise in fourth as rookie Cal Crutchlow (+0.639sec) made use of the rare chance for non-GP seat time to cut a massive 1.886sec from his best race lap, set on the way to eighth, to also break the official circuit lap record for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.

Crutchlow was the final rider within one-second of Simoncelli, with top Ducati rider Valentino Rossi 1.171sec from the top.

Monday's test saw Rossi and factory team-mate Nicky Hayden (ninth, +1.252sec) evaluate all-round changes - including a new chassis and engine - for the Desmosedici, which they hope will bring it up to race-winning speed in dry conditions.

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Simoncelli, Portuguese MotoGP 2011
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another dig at Rossi - Unregistered

May 03, 2011 12:23 AM

"The only threat he brings is the threat of taking another rider out.Rather like someone else we know." you obviously mean rossi 'cos you mention italians. what about pedrosa taking hayden out? or roberts taking nakano out? or, even this week (and nobody has mentioned it), golden boy marc marquez taking scott reading out? you don't mention them simply cos rossi has got in your head boy! go doctor #46!!!!


May 03, 2011 1:40 AM

"...Valentino Rossi was far more forthright in his opinions about the riders complaining about aggressive moves. Rossi conceded that in 250s, Simoncelli had made a few moves "at the limit", but in MotoGP, his moves had not been beyond the pail. The problem, Rossi avowed, lay elsewhere: "For me, the problem is that big part of MotoGP riders now are pussies," Rossi declared. "In the past, this is normal, the riders were more like real men. Now it is more like they are children." -from

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