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2011 MotoGP Misano – Preview

With no rest after a gruelling race weekend in Indianapolis Yamaha Factory Racing head straight back across the Atlantic. The team will begin preparations for the Grand Prix of San Marino at the Misano Adriatico circuit this weekend on Italy’s eastern seaboard. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has an impressive history in San Marino with an unbroken podium run at Misano, scoring three consecutive second place finishes in the MotoGP class. The Mallorcan rider sits 44 points behind Championship leader Casey Stoner with six rounds remaining.

Ben Spies returns from the USA to Misano with high expectations; the Texan displayed his impressive overtaking skills at last year’s San Marino Grand Prix, recovering from tenth to take a respectable sixth at the line. Spies can also claim a World Superbike race win in 2009 on the twisty, challenging circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo

“I hope to leave the last race behind us. We go straight to Misano now, a track I like and where I have won and got some podiums. My team and I will try to come back to the top and continue fighting for the Championship!”

Ben Spies

“It’s pretty tiring heading back to back across the Atlantic but I have always enjoyed racing at Misano. I had really good fortune there in my World Superbike year and enjoyed some great battles last year in my first MotoGP race on the track. We’re taking the confidence of the podium finish with us from Indianapolis so I’m looking forward to setting up on Friday and tackling the track on a factory bike for the first time.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

“I hope we are able to create something where we can fight at the front, it hasn’t been the case in the last couple of weekends. We know when the bike is right Jorge can fight with the best. We won’t give up and Misano will be our next chance to take something back from Casey.”

Massimo Meregalli

“The team headquarters are just a couple of hundred kilometres away so Misano is one of our ‘home’ races and we are all looking forward to it. Ben’s fight back to the podium in Indianapolis proved that we have a competitive package and we know that Jorge is strong at this circuit and still fighting for the Championship. We will look to find a good set up quickly and I have confidence we can challenge for good results.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Age: 24
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
Bike: Yamaha
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: 158 (63 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)

Ben Spies
Age: 26
Lives: Longview Texas / Lake Como Italy
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 1
First GP victory: Assen, Netherlands, 2011
First GP: Donington, UK, 2008 (MotoGP)
GP starts: 33
Pole positions: 1
World Championships: 1 (WSB 2009)

Grand Prix Results: Misano 2010
1. D.Pedrosa honda 44’22.059
2. J.Lorenzo Yamaha +1.900
3. V.Rossi Yamaha +3.183
6. Ben Spies Yamaha Tech 3 +28.385

Misano Record Lap
V.Rossi (Yamaha) 2009, 1’34.746

Misano Best Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’33.378

Edwards and Crutchlow head to Misano full of confidence

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow head back across the Atlantic for this weekend’s Misano MotoGP round in high spirits and full of confidence after both collected hard earned points scoring finishes last time out at Indianapolis.

Edwards raced to a superb seventh place finish in front of his home crowd on Sunday to move into eighth place in the World Championship standings and further strengthen the 37-year-old’s bid to finish top non-factory rider this year.

Edwards has a good record at the 2.626 miles circuit with three top 10 finishes in four attempts and he is optimistic that he can continue his consistent streak of form in Sunday’s 28-lap race.

Edwards will be seeking his eighth consecutive top 10 finish of the campaign at the San Marino venue, which is hosting a MotoGP race for the fifth time having returned to the calendar in 2007.

Crutchlow’s debut at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway proved to be a morale-boosting exercise, the British rider succeeding in his quest to end a disappointing string of results with a gutsy ride to 11th.

The 25-year-old is now looking to build on the confidence gained on a circuit where he has winning pedigree. Crutchlow was victorious in the 2009 World Supersport round at Misano and he was just one second away from claiming a stunning podium in the second World Superbike race last year.

This weekend’s race on the Adriatic coast is the start of the final third of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team looking forwar d to forthcoming flyaway trips to Japan, Australia and Malaysia before the season closes in Valencia in early November.

Colin Edwards

“Misano was the first track I ever went to with the Yamaha World Superbike Team way back in 1995, so the circuit has always been a very special place to me with a lot of fond memories. I’ve spent a lot of time in that area around Riccione and the beach when I lived there with my family back in 2004, so Misano is always one of the races I’m most excited about going to. The fans are really passionate and they love MotoGP, so there is always a special buzz around the place. Last weekend in Indianapolis was a tough race, so to take seventh was still a positive result. You always want more but I know the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is getting the maximum out of the package we have. It was obvious in Indianapolis th at we lack a bit of engine performance, but I still beat a lot of guys on factory equipment, so that proves what a good job we are doing. The goal this weekend will be the same as always and that’s to qualify on the second row and finish in the top six. We nearly managed both in Indy, so I’m determined to make sure it will be mission accomplished in Misano.”

Cal Crutchlow

“After the positive result in Indianapolis I’m really looking forward to Misano now. The first objective in Indianapolis was to finish the race and learn more about the bike, and we accomplished that. That’s given my confidence a lift and it wasn’t only good for my morale but it was also good for the morale of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, who have supported me fantastically. Of course we want to be finishing higher, but I was happy with my pace in Indianapolis. I was lapping at the same pace that Dani Pedrosa did on his way to winning the race in 2010, but that shows just how fast the guys are going this year. It is a challenge but one that I am up for and the target this weekend will be to try and get back into the top 10. At least I don’t have to worry about learning the track at Misano and that is a massive bonus before you even start. I just want to get another good result this weekend for all the hard work my crew have been putting in to make it work out for me. I’m sure we can build on last weekend’s result and have another strong ride in Misano.”

2011 MotoGP San Marino

Misano, San Marino 31/08/2011

Circuit Length:

Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 8/31/2008)

Last Years Winner:
Daniel Pedrosa