MotoGP Flashback: Marco Simoncelli’s Catalunya 2011 pole position
As MotoGP returns to Catalunya this weekend, we thought it would be a great time to remember Marco Simoncelli’s Catalan pole position.
Marco Simoncelli would qualify in pole position at the Catalan GP in 2011 just 0.016 faster than fellow Honda rider Casey Stoner, a move which would infuriate the Spanish fans. You see, before the race weekend had even begun, Simoncelli had been the subject of abuse and even death threats ahead of the race at Catalunya, even being offered bodyguards but declining the offer with Spanish fans very angry at the rider.
This is because, in the race before at Le Mans, Simoncelli had been involved in controversy following an incident with Dani Pedrosa, the pair clashed on track with Pedrosa crashing and breaking his collarbone, ruining his title charge. The rather passionate Spanish fans did not like this one bit, as previously mentioned sending all sorts of hate to Simoncelli.
However, Simoncelli did the talking on track rather than off of it. The race weekend was dominated by Casey Stoner until Simoncelli ended this party, Stoner expected to start the race from pole position but the Italian had something to say about that, putting in the fastest lap of the session before very nearly crashing in the next lap trying to go faster.
This did not go down well with the Spanish fans, pole at their home race? Should be illegal. They were all but impressed but Simoncelli did not care for it, if anything he was enjoying the attention.
Regarding the result Marco said, “It’s the best way after the incident in the last race and I am happy, I didn’t expect to be fastest because Stoner was fast for all the session, but in the last part of qualifying, we found a good set-up. I’m happy and confident for tomorrow.”
The race was not as impressive, taking a lowly sixth place, but he had shown he was fast, with eyes across the paddock looking at him to see what he was able to achieve.
Take a look at his performance here:
Featured image – www.motogp.com