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Simoncelli targets victory after first pole

"My first target is to finish the race, the second is to finish on the podium and you can guess the third!” – Marco Simoncelli.
Marco Simoncelli provided the perfect comeback to the criticism he has faced since Le Mans, by claiming his first ever MotoGP pole at Catalunya.

Simoncelli had been facing accusations of dangerous riding even before clashing with Dani Pedrosa for second-place in France, which resulted in a broken collarbone for Pedrosa and a ride-through penalty for Simoncelli.

The debate over Simoncelli's pass - many fans, and some ex-riders, felt he shouldn't have been penalised - was drawn out even further when Race Direction called the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider to a meeting to re-live the incident on the eve of Catalunya.

Add to that title contender, Catalan hero - and fellow HRC rider - Pedrosa withdrawing from this weekend's event due to his injury, plus reports of death threats sent to Simoncelli by some 'fans' and the former 250cc world champion could be forgiven for being a little below par this weekend.

Instead, Simoncelli has looked as quick as ever.

The #58 was second to Casey Stoner in both of Friday's practice sessions, third on Saturday morning, then snatched pole away from Stoner by just 0.016sec in the last minute of qualifying.

“It went well and I am much happier now than I have been for the past two weeks leading up to the grand prix," admitted Simoncelli. "I was strong even though we had a few problems at the start of the session when I couldn't push as hard as I would have liked.

"By the end we had solved the problems and I was able to ride really fast, although I never thought I would be able to set pole because Casey had been so fast in every session. I took a bit of a risk on the last lap trying to go faster and managed to save it, so finally my long legs have been good for something!"

Unsurprisingly, Simoncelli now has his sights set on finally achieving a first MotoGP rostrum on Sunday – at the very least.

"Tomorrow won't be easy because both Casey and Jorge [Lorenzo, third] have a fast race pace but I will try to stay with them. My first target is to finish the race, the second is to finish on the podium and you can guess the third!”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Simoncelli, Lorenzo, Catalunya MotoGP 2011
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dovizioso, Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Dall`Igna, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Iannone, Marco Rigamonti Valencia MotoGP 2016
Iannone, Marco Rigamonti Valencia MotoGP 2016
Iannone, Marco Rigamonti Valencia MotoGP 2016
Casey Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Marquez, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Dall’Igna and Stoner
Pedrosa, Valencia MotoGP race 2016

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The New Era - Unregistered

June 04, 2011 6:48 PM

Why is Simoncelli becomming more popular than Stoner and Lorenzo? It is not because he is pals with Rossi It is because he is a real and GENUINE (hear that Jorge?) "character", is supremely talented, has flair (+ big hair), not afraid to take risks (sometimes alas to the detriment of others), doesn't moan constantly (hear that Casey?) and is very cool. His treatment a few weeks ago, whilst harsh, has only added to his new fan base. Thanks god he's here 'cos when Rossi goes, he will be "the fan's" favourite world over no doubt. A naturally distinctive individual, just like Rossi!



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