Marco Simoncelli is optimistic that he can challenge for his first MotoGP podium after taking a career-best fourth on the grid at Phillip Island, but admitted that more setup work was required before he could be really confident of his race pace..
Former 250cc champion Simoncelli has been rapid all weekend in Australia, and following recent strong race performances, he feels he has made great strides in the second half of his MotoGP rookie season.
"I'm very happy with this second row, because since the first three or four races my best qualifying was on the third row," Simoncelli said. "So I'm very happy with this. From the last races we've improved the setting of the bike a lot and now we are not so bad with the setup.
"For sure tomorrow it will be a difficult race and difficult to fight for the podium, but if we improve the setting a little bit we can fight for it."
The Gresini Honda rider reckons he needs more confidence in the bike's front end if he is to deliver a really good result in tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix.
"I have a lot of problems with the wind and the front, I don't feel the front very well," Simoncelli said. "We have to work on this to have more feeling and confidence with the front for tomorrow."