A well deserved mid-season two week break is nearly over and Yamaha Factory Racing is preparing to continue the 2011 MotoGP battle at Brno this weekend for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.
Having spent his break relaxing in the Dominican Republic, defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is fighting fit and ready to continue his battle with Championship leader Casey Stoner for the title. The Mallorcan has four wins at the Brno circuit, one in 125cc, two in 250cc and a textbook maiden Brno MotoGP victory last year on his way to Championship victory. With eight races remaining on the calendar and a points deficit of just 20 to the lead, Lorenz has everything to fight for this weekend.
Ben Spies arrives at Brno this weekend fresh from time out in his home state of Texas, looking to improve on his impressive performance at the Czech circuit last year. The American has one World Superbike victory at Brno under his belt and was denied his maiden pole in his rookie MotoGP appearance last year by just 0.338 seconds from Dani Pedrosa. An impressive race run saw him finish just off the podium in fourth.
This year’s race will mark the 42nd World Championship race on the Brno circuit, having first appeared on the calendar in 1965 as a road circuit. Now a fully closed track, the circuit is a favourite with many riders for its dramatic elevation changes and the fast close racing it generates.
Following the Brno race weekend Yamaha Factory Racing will remain at the circuit for a one-day 1000cc test in preparation for the 2012 Championship.
“After the long break we are going to Brno completely recharged and ready to fight and try to reduce the gap with Casey. This is a track I like and where I won last year. I hope we can start the second half of the season on the podium. After the race we will be testing the 1000cc bike for one day. I am really looking forward to discovering the new Yamaha.”
“It’s been really cool to hang out at home with my friends and family in Texas and take a break from the racing. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike now, especially at Brno which is a track I really enjoy. It was good to me in Superbike and we showed a lot of potential there last year, I nearly had pole position and think I could have challenged for a podium if I hadn’t suffered a frond end grip issue early in the race.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We’ve had a nice short break for both riders and team which after ten rounds was necessary. We feel very positive for the rest of the season after the last three rounds; we are very competitive and Jorge is riding well and the bike is better than the first period. Brno is a very smooth track which Jorge likes a lot so we go there to challenge and try to close the 20 point gap to the lead. With eight races remaining anything is possible.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We are all looking to Brno in good form having had a relaxing break. The team is refreshed and feels very motivated as we have had good results in Brno previously for both Jorge and Ben; the track definitely suits the Yamaha YZR-M1. Our package and performance has continued to get stronger over the season so we are looking to the last eight races determined to deliver on our potential.”
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
GP victories: 37 (17 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Brazil, 2003 (125cc)
First GP: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
GP starts: 156 (61 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 44 (16 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
World Championships: 3 (MotoGP 2010, 250cc, 2006/7)
Lives: Longview Texas / Lake Como Italy
GP victories: 1
First GP victory: Assen, Netherlands, 2011
First GP: Donington, UK, 2008 (MotoGP)
GP starts: 31
Pole positions: 1
World Championships: 1 (WSB 2009)
Grand Prix Results: Brno 2010
1. J.Lorenzo Yamaha 43’22.638
2. D.Pedrosa Honda +5.494
3. C.Stoner Ducati +11.426
4. Ben Spies Yamaha Tech 3 +13.723
Brno Record Lap
J.Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2009, 1’56.670
Brno Best Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1’56.145
Edwards and Crutchlow raring to return to action at Brno
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team heads to Brno for this weekend’s Czech Republic MotoGP round refreshed and raring to restart the 2011 World Championship campaign.
The welcome two-week summer break that followed an intense period of six races in eight weekends gave Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow the perfect opportunity to recharge their batteries for the final phase of the season.
Edwards was able to relax with family and friends at home in America while also welcoming the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team crew to his popular Texas Tornado Boot Camp immediately after the last race at Laguna Seca.
The 37-year-old has been a model of consistency in 2011 with seven top ten finishes, including a stunning podium finish in a rain-lashed British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Edwards is confident he can extend his impressive sequence of results in Brno this weekend by challenging for his first top six finish at the Czech Republic venue, which is one of the most popular on the 18-round schedule.
British rider Crutchlow is looking forward to this weekend’s Brno race and he’s in determined mood to recapture the brilliant form he showed at the start of his rookie MotoGP campaign.
Crutchlow was competing for a top ten at the previous race at Laguna Seca last month when he crashed out of contention, but the 25-year-old is optimistic he can put a disappointing run of results behind him at Brno.
Crutchlow claimed pole position and one podium finish during last year’s Brno World Superbike round and he’s looking forward to being back on familiar t erritory having never previously raced on eight out of 10 tracks so far in 2011.
The Brno race is one of only four European stops remaining for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team this season, with the French-based squad also embarking on long-haul trips to America, Japan, Australia and Malaysia in the coming weeks.
“I am really excited about going to Brno, even though it has never been a great track for me for some reason. But it is the start of the second half of the season and I can’t wait to get back on my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. I had some decent time off with the family and spent some days in the Boot Camp. All the guys from the Team came straight after Laguna Seca and we all had a great time, and it is clear that I’m not the only one fast on two wheels in our squad! Look ing ahead to this weekend, I’ve had some decent results at Brno but nothing really great. I’ve never scored a top six there so I’ll be aiming to put that right on Sunday. We’ve struggled with set-up issues since Sachsenring and nothing has gone fantastic since then. But I’m confident we can make the bike better at Brno and a good result will set us up nicely for the last seven races, starting with another trip home to Indianapolis later this month, which I’m really excited about.”
“I am looking forward to the second half of the season as some of the tracks that are coming up I know and I’ve done well on before, including Brno. Almost all the circuits in the first half of the season were new for me and I always had to learn from zero. But that’s all part of the learning experience and I’m concentrating solely on getting a good result this weekend and putt ing the bad luck behind me. The last few races have been quite difficult, but I showed at the start of the season my potential with some strong performances, and that’s the form I need to rediscover, starting in Brno this weekend. The track is a good one for me and I’ve got good memories from last season when I got on the podium and also took pole position in World Superbikes. So it is a track I know I am fast on and I am looking forward to seeing how it feels on a MotoGP bike. I had a good summer break and stayed on in America for a holiday, but now I’m ready to get back working hard with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and having a good final part of the season.”
2011 MotoGP Czech Republic
(Jorge Lorenzo, 1/1/2009)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Valentino Rossi, 8/16/2009)
Last Years Winner: