After a fifth-place finish in the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship in Qatar, it appeared that the sophomore-rider Marco Simoncelli would soon be in contention for the podium.
But the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider had a string of crashes at the following two races – the first at a wet Jerez that send down most of the grid, including Simoncelli’s fellow Italian countryman Valentino Rossi, and the second crash, a first-lap high-side at Estoril MotoGP on cold tires.
During the Monday MotoGP test following the Estoril crash, though, Simoncelli placed all negative thoughts behind.
The Honda RC212V pilot posted the fastest time during test, which gave “Super Sic” Simoncelli incentive to chase his original goal this season: take his first MotoGP win. And Simoncelli hopes to complete this task at Le Mans MotoGP this weekend aboard the Honda, which has been quick all season.
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Gresini Honda MotoGP) says: “The Estoril test on the day after the race was a good way for me to put the race behind me and go to Le Mans with a different attitude. Now I am just looking forward to putting it behind me properly. The test was a useful and important one ahead of the fourth race of the season.
“I am more sure than ever that I can run with the front guys and I will be giving everything to come out with a top result. I will certainly be trying to make sure I don’t make the same mistake on a cold tire because the only good thing that came out of it in Portugal was a nice picture of my aerial barrel roll! Joking aside, I am keen to do well at Le Mans, a circuit I don’t particularly like even though I won there in 250 in 2009 and finished second in 2008.”
After changing venue no fewer than eight times. the French Grand Prix has been held at the historic Le Mans circuit, home to the famous 24 hours race, for the past 11 years. The Bugatti layout used for MotoGP measures a little over four kilometers, as opposed to the car track which is over 13 kilometers.