Marco Simoncelli is aiming to finish the MotoGP season with podium finishes in the last two races after taking a career-best second place at the Australian Grand Prix.
The Gresini Honda rider looked comfortable in the spot after passing Nicky Hayden on the opening lap, and seemed to have enough in hand to respond to anything works men Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso could throw at him.
The Italian was over-cautious when a rainshower hit the Phillip Island circuit with a few laps to go, and was caught and passed by Dovizioso with just three laps left. With the rain moving away quickly, however, Simoncelli re-took the position with a bold and forceful move at the Honda hairpin on the final lap however, and afterwards said that he was simply not content to settle for third.
"I'm really happy for the second place and to finish the race," the Italian said. "It was very difficult. I pushed from the beginning after the first lap and I tried to make a gap to Dovizioso and Pedrosa. In the end I was quite sure of my second place. It was no problem.
"Then it started to rain [with] seven laps to the end and I took a big risk in Turn 1. Dovizioso took me. I tried to pass him for a couple of laps and stay with him, and on the last lap I said 'I can't lose this on the last lap.' I'm very happy and hope to finish with some other podiums this season."
Simoncelli's result moved him up two places to sixth in the championship, and he is only 17 points behind fifth placed Ben Spies with two races to go and 50 points still up for grabs.