Simoncelli still confident he can win

Marco Simoncelli still feels a maiden MotoGP victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix is a realistic goal despite missing out on pole due to a crash at the end of qualifying

Simoncelli still confident he can win

The Italian looked set to give Gresini its first pole since Sete Gibernau started first in the 2005 season finale at Valencia. But having dominated Friday practice and much of qualifying, Simoncelli was knocked off provisional pole by Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo late on and then crashed as he tried to fight back.

He was nevertheless able to keep second place, and asked if he still thought a podium was realistic, Simoncelli replied: "I hope so, because through all the practice here I was so fast.

"And for the [race] rhythm, I'm fast - and I'm so confident for tomorrow."

Simoncelli admitted that it was frustrating to crash with pole in sight, but said his satisfaction with his long-run pace was more significant.

"I'm disappointed with the crash because after the first part of the session today I thought that it would be possible to do the pole position," he said.

"But the important thing is to have a good rhythm for tomorrow and in this way I am alright, so I'm happy."

The Italian led in the wet at Jerez earlier this month, only to have an accident while pulling away from the field.

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