The San Carlo Honda Gresini riders are both confident after the progress they made in Qatar, as they prepare for the Gran Premio bwin de España at Jerez this weekend.
After an excellent performance in Qatar Marco Simoncelli wants to close that ever-decreasing gap to the podium positions. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider struggled with his size at Losail, which led to fuel consumption problems, but the team found a good solution for the race and he was able to put up a strong challenge at the front. The Italian described his performance in Qatar as his best as a MotoGP rider and it was confirmation he is now a serious contender in the world's elite category.
Aoyama, on the other hand, was disappointed with his showing in Qatar but satisfied with his weekend as a whole and confident he can use the experience to put up a stronger challenge at Jerez.
“I was happy and satisfied with the race in Qatar. It was my best performance in MotoGP but more than that I was able to run with the best in the category and finish close to the podium positions. We have started out on the right foot and that should mean we can do even better at Jerez.
We have put the little problems we had in Qatar behind us and we have all improved together as a team since last year but we can't think we have made it yet because it's a long season. We know what we have to do to be even more competitive and that is key to the results. Jerez is one of my favourite tracks and I took my first win there in the 125cc class in 2004 so I am confident we can have a good race this weekend.”
“Tenth place in Qatar was not the result we were looking for but I was pleased with the work we did over the course of the weekend together with the team. We have gathered a lot of data that will be useful to us in the future, starting at Jerez. My feeling with the team is really good and that is the most positive thing we took from Qatar.
I am sure that things will go much better in Spain this weekend. At Losail I didn't get a good start and I only found my pace in the second half of the race. Jerez will be another story because we have the potential now. Jerez is a difficult circuit but I like it a lot. My favourite memory there is my win in 2009, in 250, after a hard battle with Bautista and my current team-mate Simoncelli. That was really nice!”