Marco Simoncelli believes his inconsistent form is behind him after he secured a career best MotoGP result in yesterday’s Australian round at a cool and windy Phillip Island.
The San Carlo Gresini Honda rider took second with a last lap pass on fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso in tricky conditions.
A gusting wind dominated the 27-lap race and then a short but heavy rain shower that fell on the final section of the track with three laps to go worked against Simoncelli.
He was almost 3.5s clear of Dovizioso when the rain started but a brilliant last lap overtake at Turn 4 secured him only his second premier class podium by just over 0.2s.
Simoncelli is currently experiencing his best run of form in MotoGP and in the last six races he’s only finished outside of the top four on one occasion when he encountered tyre issues at Indianapolis to slump to 12th.
Prior to that the former 250GP world champion had been fast but erratic and he was involved in controversial incidents with Dani Pedrosa in Le Mans and Jorge Lorenzo in Assen.
But Simoncelli is now looking to continue his run of consistent results this weekend in Sepang and he said: "I’m happy because in the last part of the championship I am more consistent than in the first part and it is many races in a row now that I get good result. Also in Japan without the ride through maybe I can fight for second position with Jorge. So I’m happy and I hope to continue in this way and also improve in the last two races."
Simoncelli was also thrilled to win his final lap duel with Dovizioso and he added: "I pushed five laps from the end to make a good gap between me and Dovizioso and I was quite sure of my second position. But with three laps to go it started to rain and Dovizioso caught and passed me and after that we made a good battle. I tried to stay with him and attack him on the last lap and I succeeded. I’m really happy because I thought I can’t lose the battle in the last lap and I didn’t."
For nine pages of coverage from the Phillip Island MotoGP race, see the October 19 issue of Motor Cycle News.