Marco Simoncelli extends his MotoGP stay with Gresini Honda

Marco Simoncelli
Simoncelli has just one podium finish to his name in MotoGP - in Brno in August

MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli has extended his contract to stay with Gresini Honda in 2012.

The 24-year-old has taken two pole positions this season but managed just one podium finish.

The Italian had been linked with a move to another team but has decided to stay on for a third season with Gresini.

He said: "2012 will be an important season for me and I want to give all those people who have believed in this project plenty to get excited about."

Simoncelli has been one of the fastest riders on the grid this season but has been too inconsistent, crashing out of four races.

Team manager Fausto Gresini said: "Over the past two years together we have been able to appreciate Marco's qualities as a rider, as a man and as an extroverted communicator, which made us keen to continue our collaboration.

"Marco's huge determination will give us all a lot of motivation ahead of what promises to be an exciting new season."

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