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MOTOGP NEWS 

Gresini 'euphoric' after topping test

Marco Simoncelli, Gresini Honda, Sepang testing 2011Fausto Gresini reckons his squad can be a major contender in MotoGP again in 2011 after Marco Simoncelli was quickest in the first winter test of the year at Sepang this week.

Gresini Honda has had several lean years since its last win in the 2006 Portuguese Grand Prix, but Gresini has been buoyed by Simoncelli's performance in Malaysia.

"This is a real pleasure and a big boost for us," said the team boss.

"Simoncelli has been fantastic these last three days and I am delighted with him. We know we can be competitive but this level of performance was above our expectations.

"It shows that we are contenders and I have to say I am feeling euphoric right now!"

Gresini added: "Of course we have to stay calm and keep working hard but this is a fantastic day and I want to enjoy it!"

Simoncelli said he had got the feeling in the 2010 Valencia test that the new factory-spec Honda would suit him well.

"In the test at Valencia we realised that the new bike had potential and I already had a good feeling with it," he said.

"Taking into account that this is not one of my favourite circuits we have still managed to build on our consistency from [Wednesday] and I was able to set an awesome lap.

"Overall I am 100 per cent happy. The team has worked brilliantly, the changes have integrated well and everything has gone perfectly.

"We have all improved, starting with myself, the guys and the bike, and I'm sure this year I'll 'be there' too. Obviously this is only the first test so we have to keep our feet on the ground and just continue like this."

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