Simoncelli scores factory Honda for 2012

Marco Simoncelli

Marco Simoncelli

MotoGP rising star Marco Simoncelli will once again ride a factory specification Honda under the San Carlo Honda Gresini banner in 2012, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed.

The 24-year-old, a former 250cc World Champion, has been one of the talking points of the paddock in his second season in the premier class, with his tremendous speed and fiery temperament winning both applause and criticism.

“To be wearing the colours of Team San Carlo Honda Gresini for another year and riding a Honda RC213V gives me a lot of satisfaction,” said Simoncelli in a statement.

“To be kept on as part of project that Honda HRC are so supportive of in collaboration with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini gives me a lot of confidence and all the motivation I need to show that I can be amongst the best in MotoGP again.

“The 2012 season will be an important one for me and I want to give all those people who have believed in this project plenty to get excited about.”

The news of Simoncelli’s deal has lessened the likelihood of seeing current Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso receive a factory bike next year.

With Honda having stated its desire to cut back its factory program in 2012, Dovizioso is currently being linked to potential seats at Tech 3 Yamaha and Rizla Suzuki.

Season 2011 marks Dovizioso’s fourth year in MotoGP, and his third with Honda’s factory squad. The 2004 125cc World Champion lies third in this year’s championship – five places ahead of Simoncelli – with four rounds remaining.

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