Michele Pirro has dedicated his maiden Moto2 pole position to the late Marco Simoncelli after the Gresini Racing rider led the field in qualifying at Valencia. After a terrible two weeks, the Italian squad were given something to smile about when the heavens opened during Moto2 qualifying, at which point Pirro and teammate Yuki Takahashi were first and second.
Pirro reflected on a special day and believes Simoncelli's presence on the Moriwaki machine inspired him to pole position.
“The photo of Marco and the number 58 on my bike certainly helped today. I am sure he was pushing us on from up there and I want to dedicate this pole position to him and to his family, who are suffering so much. It is also a pole position for the team and everybody who has endured twelve difficult days. We were close to pole at Sepang but this one is much more special and I hope to do well again tomorrow.”
Takahashi joined his teammate in dedicating the result to Simoncelli and hopes to stay at the front of the field during tomorrow's race.
“The conditions were very difficult today because we only had a few laps on track. As a team we made the decision to push hard for a lap time early on and that resulted in a magnificent result with the front two positions on the grid. I am happy for the whole team and for Moriwaki and I am sure that we owe all this to Marco, who was with us today. I hope we can do it again in the race tomorrow.”
Team Manager Fausto Gresini echoed the sentiments of his riders, believing Simoncelli had a part to play in putting them on pole position.
“Obviously this is a great result for the team and for sure in some way Marco gave us a push today. He would have said: “DiobÃ², you guys have been slow all season and now I have to help you!” Joking aside the emotion is very strong here and it certainly gave our riders extra motivation today.”