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Simoncelli denies pushing too hard

Marco Simoncelli leads at JerezMarco Simoncelli insisted he was not pushing too hard when he crashed out of the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Gresini Honda rider had charged to the front in the wet race, and when Valentino Rossi took Casey Stoner out of second place and gave him a clear lead over Jorge Lorenzo, it looked like Simoncelli might become the first satellite team rider to win a grand prix since Toni Elias claimed the 2006 Estoril race for Gresini.

But just before half-distance, Simoncelli had an accident at the first corner and had to retire.

"When I crashed I was going fast but I was quite calm," he told the official MotoGP website. "I wasn't pushing too much because I was controlling the gap to Lorenzo.

"But today was very difficult because the tyres after five laps were completely finished, so lap by lap it became more difficult to ride.

"I wasn't pushing more, but I lost the front just a little bit. I could pick up the bike, but I also lost the rear and I did a bad high-side."

Simoncelli echoed Stoner's complaint that the marshals had not been sufficiently helpful in trying to get him back in the race.

"Afterwards nobody was pushing me to restart the bike," said the Italian.

Despite being very frustrated with his accident, Simoncelli said he was still encouraged by his performance at Jerez, and hopes to show the same speed in the next race in Portugal.

"I'm so disappointed with the final result of this race," he admitted. "But I'm happy because I showed that this year I can fight with the top riders in this category.

"Last year at Estoril I did my best result of the year and I like the characteristics of the track. So I hope to do race like here at Jerez, but with a different ending."

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