autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
MOTOGP NEWS 

Marco Simoncelli targets podium finish at Australian Grand Prix

Marco Simoncelli Gresini Honda 2011 Australian Grand Prix

Marco Simoncelli is still targeting a podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix after qualifying third for the Phillip Island race.

The Italian endured a difficult time of things during the three practice sessions that preceded qualifying and crashed on three separate occasions at the MG hairpin.

But the Gresini Honda rider found some form in qualifying and knocked Alvaro Bautista's Suzuki off the front row with a few minutes remaining to secure third spot.

He now believes that a podium finish is an achievable aim for Sunday's race.

"Even this morning, with the wind conditions very different [from Friday], it was very difficult to get a good feeling on the bike," Simoncelli said. "I'm confident for tomorrow and I hope to finish the race on the podium.

"I'm happy to come back to the front row [for the first time in eight races] and I'm happy because after a good race in Motegi, I started quite well here on Friday and we've improved the bike practice by practice."

Should Simoncelli score four more points than Nicky Hayden at Phillip Island, he will move above the Ducati rider and into seventh place in the world championship.

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Full MotoGP coverage on autosport.com
Read Toby Moody's latest 'Out of the box' column
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Stoner takes title with home win
Suzuki: fourth spot 'almost funny'
Stoner: Bike now comfortable
Lorenzo: Stoner is unbeatable
Stoner takes Australian GP pole
Stoner still ahead in final practice
Simoncelli shrugs off crashes
Rossi troubled by set-up and injury
Honda riders criticise bumpy circuit
Capirossi optimistic about fitness
Lorenzo hopes to challenge Stoner
Stoner in control at Phillip Island
Stoner flies but crashes in FP1
Haymarket