Simoncelli promises to finish
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, May 14th 2011, 18:46 GMT|
Marco Simoncelli has promised to ride sensibly and finish tomorrow's French Grand Prix after his recent crashes.
The Gresini Honda rider's form has improved dramatically this season, and he was a contender for victory at both Jerez and Estoril, only to crash on each occasion.
Today at Le Mans he came within 0.059 seconds of denying factory Honda man Casey Stoner pole position, but has promised not to throw away a result trying to beat the Australian in the race.
"I got really close to my first ever pole today - 0.059 seconds is hardly anything," said Simoncelli. "Strangely it is the same gap that I missed out on the podium by last year at Estoril.
"In any case I am happy and we are not in bad shape for the race. We have improved from session to session so I am confident. We have improved under braking today but I still don't feel 100 per cent secure.
"My objective tomorrow is to get to the end of the race and bring some important points home. I won't be pushing over the limit to get a result at all costs, I want to manage the race well."
Team boss Fausto Gresini said the squad was extremely keen to see Simoncelli finally get on the podium tomorrow.
"So far it has been a perfect weekend," said Gresini. "Marco and his team, alongside the engineers from HRC, have worked extremely well. They have come up with a good package and so we are extremely confident about Sunday's race.
"He has been strong all weekend and shown that he can be a rider fighting regularly for podiums and even wins. Marco deserves a bike as competitive as this and HRC have laid one on for him. We are all really happy to be working with Marco and we really want a top result for him."