Simoncelli pleased with rookie MotoGP test

Former 250cc champ completes 44 laps of Sepang on Honda RC212V

MOTOGP newcomer Marco Simoncelli has started three days of testing at Sepang circuit in Malaysia with his new team San Carlo Gresini Honda.

A month after his MotoGP debut, at the final round of the 2009 season in Valencia, the former 250cc World Champion took to the track aboard his Honda RC 212 V, this time in an schedule for MotoGP rookies only.

After heavy rain fell on the days leading upo to the test, compromising the track grip, Simoncelli managed 44 laps on the 5.5km track, clocking a best time on lap 2 '04' 43 in dry conditions. Afterwards, Simoncelli said:

"Getting back in the saddle is always a pleasure for me. I must continue to improve the feeling with the bike; these three days are just what we need. It's a shame the track wasn't in better condition due to heavy rain the previous days and a race car that took place yesterday.
"In any case, today's laps helped me to gain more confidence with the RC 212 V, find the best position on the bike and now I'm learning to handle the power! Not bad, I'm happy. Tomorrow we'll be looking for faster lap times, as well as making adjustments to the bike's set-up. We're hoping the track is in better condition than it was today."

Simoncelli will partner fellow Italian Marco Melandri in Gresini's 2010 line-up.