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Fiat Yamaha head to Indy for second stateside round

This week sees the MotoGP paddock land on US soil for the second time this season for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Fiat Yamaha Team have already enjoyed success in the States once this season and both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will be hoping for a top result at the world’s largest spectator sporting facility.

Lorenzo is flying high after enjoying an incredible seven wins from ten races so far this season. The 23-year-old has a championship lead of 77 points over Dani Pedrosa and the Mallorcan knows he simply has to continue in the same consistent way to ensure a first premier-class championship later this year. After another comfortable win last time out in Brno and a useful one-day test afterwards he is feeling confident of another good result in Indiana. He has a good record with the track having taken a commanding win there last year and his first ever wet podium in 2008, the first year that MotoGP visited Indianapolis.

Rossi’s injury-hit season suffered a low point in Brno when he could only finish fifth after being hopeful of something much better, but he and his team worked hard to understand what had gone wrong during the test and they are satisfied that they won’t see a repeat this week. The reigning World Champion always enjoys racing in America and he was thrilled to take a brilliant podium in Laguna Seca last month, at just his second race back after breaking his leg. Rossi took a memorable win at the Inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2008, when the race was battered by Hurricane Ike, but last year he slid out when sparring with his team-mate, something he will be looking to make up for this time around.

With 257,000 permanent seats the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world and fills to capacity for its flagship events, the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 car races. Originally constructed in 1909 with a 2.5-mile oval, an exciting 16-turn motorcycle road circuit, which includes part of the historic oval, was purpose-built for MotoGP.

Jorge Lorenzo – “Just good memories in America”
“The first back-to-back races in the second half of the season are coming, and this first one after a few days of holiday in the US for me. This weekend will be the second race in this country in 2010 and I am looking forward to it because I would like to repeat the same result as I got in Laguna! I just have good memories from America, last month in Laguna and last year in Indy. Last year was amazing, but this time I don’t need to take too many risks. We can avoid it! Indy is a track that I like a lot and it has amazing history. The team and I are planning to continue our great season there this weekend.”

Valentino Rossi – “A special place”
“Indianapolis is a special place, an amazing track and as always it’s fun to race in America. I have great memories from 2009 when I won in the hurricane, even if it’s not something I want to repeat! This year we arrive in a different situation to last year, fifth in the championship and not at 100% in physical condition, but I am feeling stronger all the time. Brno was disappointing but the test helped us to understand what went wrong and so we are hopeful that we can be back on good form in Indy.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – “Finishing is the most important thing”
“I’ve never been to Indianapolis so I’m excited! As for Jorge, he loves Indy and he knows that it’s important to get three or four more good finishes and then see where we are. He has a big lead and he doesn’t need to stick his neck out or take too many risks, he knows that finishing races and taking points is the most important thing.”

Davide Brivio – “Always a pleasure to go racing there”
“We go to Indy, where we had a bad race last year, coming from not such a good race in Brno so we really need a good result this weekend! The test after Brno was useful however and we hope to be in good shape this weekend. It’s always a pleasure to go racing in such an amazing place and we just need to keep working to put Valentino in the best possible position to start fighting for victories again as soon as possible.”

Valentino Rossi : Information
Age: 31
Lives: Tavullia, Italy
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 104 (78 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 233 (173 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
World Championships: 9 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 6 x MotoGP)

Jorge Lorenzo: Information
Age: 23
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 33 (12 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Brazil, 2003 (125cc)
First GP: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
GP starts: 138 (44 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 40 (14 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
World Championships: 2 (250cc, 2006/7)

Indianapolis: Record Lap
J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2009, 1’40.152

Indianapolis: Best Lap
D. Pedrosa (Honda) 2009, 1’39.730

Grand Prix Results: Indianapolis 2009
1. J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 47’13.592
2. A. De Angelis (Honda) +9.435
3. N. Hayden (Ducati) +12.947

. V. Rossi (Yamaha) NF