“I am pretty happy overall”
Readying himself for a tough battle this year as he seeks to defend the 250cc World Championship title which he won in such style last season, the latest step in Marco Simoncelli's preseason preparations was a positive test visit to Portugal.
Fastest on both the opening and concluding days, and the third quickest 250cc participant overall (Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista's best times on Monday were not bettered on the last day), Simoncelli and his Metis Gilera team can be quietly satisfied wit the progress they have made so far this year.
Italian 22 year-old Simoncelli was also the top man on track on both days of his first 2009 test appearance in Valencia in mid-February and he appears to be in typically good spirits ahead of the new season.
“We were working really hard for three days solidly with no time to relax”, Simoncelli said of the Estoril test. “All of my rivals are going very quickly and there are other riders doing well like Ratthapark Wilairot and my friend Raffaele de Rosa. The ones to look out for are still Álvaro Bautista and Héctor Barberá though.
They were both looking really strong here, but I was the fastest on the last day.”
He continued, “Other than the crash on the first day I didn't really have any problems setting the bike up, or riding in general here. We did a good job with the new parts we were testing and I am pretty happy overall.”