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Lorenzo Gets His Confidence Back – Relishes Return to Brno This Weekend

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Yamaha’s defending champ Jorge Lorenzo has had a love/hate relationship with the new Michelin MotoGP tires this year. Particularly in cold, damp conditions, Lorenzo has struggled. Nevertheless, he sits second in the World championship, currently 43 points behind leader Marc Marquez (Honda) with eight races remaining.

Although Ducati took the top two spots on the podium last weekend in Austria, that track seemed tailor-made for the Italian squad, and Lorenzo took confidence from his defeat of teammate Valentino Rossi at the circuit, garnering a third place result.

The teams immediately move to Brno for another race this weekend. This track seems to favor the Yamaha bikes, and Lorenzo delivered a decisive victory at Brno last year. Here is a press release from Yamaha in advance of the race:

Fresh from a podium fight at the Austrian Grand Prix, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team heads to the Brno for this weekend’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix Cesk√© republiky. After a strong ride from Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi last Sunday, the teammates aim to further their championship challenge during this weekend’s race at the Automotodrom Brno.

Lorenzo arrives in Brno in second place in the championship standings and with a confident mind-set after a third place in Spielberg. Thanks to the 16 points he collected last Sunday he decreased the margin to the rider leading the championship to 43 points with eight Grands Prix left.

This weekend the current World Champion aims to deliver another top result to further strengthen his record at the Brno circuit. Previously he secured a 125cc victory in 2004, two 250cc first places in 2006 and 2007 and a MotoGP win in 2010 and 2015.

Rossi also underlined his fast pace last week at a track that supposedly didn’t suit the Yamaha and increased his point-total to 124 points. He looks forward to delivering another strong performance by making the most of the YZR-M1’s strengths this weekend in the flowing hills of the Czech Republic.

The nine-time World Champion has fond memories of previous events at the Brno track. He secured his first ever 125cc win at the Czech Republic track in 1996, now twenty years ago. He followed it up with a 250cc victory in 1999, a 500cc first place in 2001 and modern era premier class Brno win in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009.

The Brno track hosted its first FIM Czech Grand Prix in 1987 and has been a fans’ and riders’ favourite thanks to its great atmosphere and stunning location. The circuit has a fast layout consisting of 14 corners in total (six left, eight right), a 636m longest straight, and multiple changes in elevation to test the bikes’ set-up. The hills surrounding the circuit also offer spectators an excellent view so they won’t miss a moment of the thrilling racing action.

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“After the race in Austria, we headed straight to Brno for the back-to-back race and we are determined to give it 100% as always. We are back at a track where we can definitely be strong: Brno is a very smooth track with fast corners, which suits our bike well. The team always enjoys this round and Vale and Jorge both have scored great results here in the past. They are both in good physical form and are looking forward to meeting the Czech fans again, who always give this Grand Prix a special atmosphere.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Championship: 2nd, 138 points

“We achieved a great result in Austria after a difficult period for me, so I’m pretty happy to come back with a podium finish. I’m happy to ride again this week at Brno in a back-to-back race. That racetrack is beautiful and it suits the YZR-M1 perfectly. I like the Brno circuit a lot because it has plenty of high-speed corners and I have good memories there. Last year we dominated the race and I hope to have good feelings there again this time round. We need to stay in the fight again and try to recover some more points for the championship as we did in Spielberg.”

Valentino Rossi
Championship: 3rd, 124 points

“I like that we go back on track immediately. In Austria I wanted to get on the podium but I wasn’t able to so unfortunately. Anyway, it was a good race. After the tests we were a little bit in trouble but during the race we didn’t do so badly. Now we go to Brno, a track that we know well and that I like very much. Last year Jorge was much faster than me and I’m curious to see if this year I will do better. We are working well and the Brno GP is close. I want to get back on track!”


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8 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    MM dislocates his shoulder Saturday, then finishes fifth only two places behind JLo? Confidence is nice, but barring several unforeseen catastrophic DNFs for MM this year, MM soon makes room in his display case for another Championship Trophy.

    Last race was pretty boring.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think it is very likely that Marquez takes the prize this year, but that dislocated shoulder is a reminder that a more serious mishap could have well changed the championship game. And there is always the possibility that a future mishap may do just that.

      • Dave says:

        ..and let’s not forget the time Lorenzo shattered his collarbone, flew back to Spain for repair surgery, then returned to Assen to race to 5th place with the incision still bleeding. Lorenzo possesses a drive that nobody else in the sport can claim to have.

  2. Hot Dog says:

    JLo gets his MoJo and beats Vtino.

  3. Jorge has always been a master of getting the most from his machine in high-traction scenarios. But he has an incredible problem when the traction drops off. (Is it purely mental? There must be a huge mental component but I’m not convinced it doesn’t also have something to do with his preferred baseline bike setup.) What other World Championship contender has so much trouble staying in the points when the track is damp? It’s a shame. JL has given away so many points this year! You can’t give 93 that much of a head start. If a rider wants to beat Marc, he has to ride closely enough to force a mistake – which is getting harder and harder to do with Marc’s rapidly increasing experience and, dare it be said, maturing approach. Best of luck to the pursuers but I sure wish the points were closer!

    • TimC says:

      Seems both Yamaha riders have had their issues with consistent speed this year…equally easy to point out that VR has similarly given away so many points….

    • MotoMaster39 says:

      Rossi and Marquez ride a ton of dirt flat track to practice. I’d bet that’s why they’re more comfortable pushing the pace on toasty tires and slippery surfaces.