Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Prepares for Action in America
After Valentino Rossis spectacular victory at the opening round almost a fortnight ago, he and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Jorge Lorenzo head to Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) for the Grand Prix of The Americas this weekend.
The 2015 season has only just started, but the first MotoGP race has already given race fans lots of action and drama to talk about. Rossi rode a brilliant race from eighth on the grid to clinch victory.
The nine-time World Champion aims to continue his form at COTA, though hes admittedly not a big fan of the Texan circuit with a sixth place in 2013 as his best result. However, hes still excited to hit the track after his sensational opening of the season and will again be giving his all to fight for a place on the podium.
Teammate Lorenzo had a challenging start to the season. He led the pack in Qatar in the early stages of the race, but later lost half his vision due to a helmet malfunction. The mentally and physically strong Spaniard will use this misfortune as extra motivation to push his YZR-M1 to the maximum once more this weekend. Last year he had a difficult race at COTA, but he looks forward to being back at the front of the field to challenge for a podium place, like he did in 2013 when he finished third.
The Circuit of the Americas is a relatively new track that was constructed in 2012 and first added to the MotoGP calendar in 2013. The 5513m-long, counter-clockwise track is not typically described as a Yamaha-circuit, but has an interesting mixture of fast straights and tight hairpins that make for a lively race. With 20 corners in total, 11 left turns and 9 right turns, and a longest straight of 1,200m, this circuit can seat 120,000 fans and is sure to bring more excitement to the season.
"Beginning the championship with a victory is really nice, but now we must try to be just as competitive as we were in Qatar everywhere else. Austin is not our favorite track. Although the track is very modern and I really like some corners, the two long straights are weak points for us. Our opponents are strong, but its also true that our bike has made major improvements. Im happy with my feelings on the YZR-M1. We will work hard to find the best possible solution, as we did at Losail. After the victory in Qatar we are all very motivated and we are ready for another weekend. I would like to get on the podium. It wont be easy, but we will try!"
"Qatar is in the past and we thought our result would be better, but now Im just focusing on next race in Austin. I look forward to racing there once again, even if usually its not a track that suits our bike. In the past I was able to get on the podium so I want to do my best in Texas and try to keep as focused as I was in Qatar. Im eager to race as soon as possible because I feel very fit and mentally strong. Hopefully we can do a better job than last year because both me and the bike have improved and maybe also the new tyres give us a chance to fight for the race. From my side, Im going to push at the maximum."
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director
"COTA is a great circuit, but previously hasnt been the strongest for Yamaha. This year well deal with this weekend in a completely different way than we have done in the previous two years. The bike used to suffer more in an area that weve already bettered now. We improved the bike and our riders are on top form so our expectations for this weekend are good, especially after the first race of the season in Qatar. We know our capability and look forward to starting this weekend."
Smith and Espargaro head stateside ready for COTA thriller
Fresh from competing in the intense season opener a fortnight ago, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith head to the Circuit of the America's prepared for round two of the 2015 MotoGP world Championship this weekend. The anti clockwise 5.5 kilometre long Texan circuit impressively has nearly 41 metres of elevation change on the pit straight and will host its third MotoGP race since its introduction to the calendar in 2013.
Having finished in 5th position in last year's GP in Texas, Bradley Smith heads to the south west optimistic and confident of being able to follow up his hard fought 8th place finish at Qatar where he was a blink of an eye behind the fastest satellite bike. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will be looking to produce another determined performance and clinch a top result in front of the enthusiastic American fans having enjoyed his first visit to the track on the Yamaha YZR-M1 last year, where he finished in 6th position.
"Now it's time to head across the Atlantic to Texas which is a special race and certainly an event that everyone looks forward to, so I can't wait to jump on the Yamaha and get going. I like the track with its good mixture of tight and meandering corners plus the big climb on the pit straight is awesome to experience! I scored a good result here last year in which I finished in 5th as well as being the leading Yamaha, plus after the good start to the season which we had in Qatar, I'm feeling confident. To complete the Qatar race only half a second back from Cal was encouraging, albeit a little annoying as I was so close to being the fastest satellite MotoGP rider. Nevertheless, I'm optimistic that we will be fighting in that position again on Sunday and I am ready to hit Texas at full speed."
"I am very excited to be heading back to America to race at the Circuit Of The America's which is an incredible track and really good fun to ride. Last year I had quite a good run in the race where I finished in 6th position. However, it's plain to see how much more competitive the MotoGP field is this year and the last race in Qatar where everything was so close was the first example of this. We had a few issues there, but we did our best to recover and ended up in 9th. However, this time we've got to hit the ground running so that we can make the most of the available practice time to get a strong setup for the race on Sunday. I am positive and remain convinced that we can have a better weekend this time and challenge to be the leading satellite bike, but it will be no easy task. Still, the crowd is always brilliant in Texas and their support will spur me on."
Athinà Forward Racing team heading to Texas for the second round of the season
Two weeks after the race in Doha, it is now time for the Athinà Forward Racing riders to depart for Texas for the second race of the season at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
The goal is clear for Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz in MotoGP: collect the first points of the 2015 season and fight for the lead of the Open class. The German has shown in Doha that he can compete with his direct opponents and race to win. His teammate Loris Baz is also confident he can do well even if he does not know the COTA circuit at all. He will run for the first time on the Texas track on Fridays free practice session.
"In Qatar I have proven to be competitive in the Open class and able to fight for victory. I've been close to my rivals all the weekend in Qatar and I fought for the win till the very last moment. Too bad I made a little mistake on the last corner that has deprived me of the points, but I'm looking forward for the race in Texas. It's a very demanding circuit but I am convinced that the Yamaha Forward will be quick."
"Racing in Texas is like debuting for the second time with the Yamaha Forward. I do not know the Austin circuit and Friday I will try this track for the first time. I'll have to make the most of the free practice to get to know the track and adapt the setting. Step by step we will continue our learning process throughout this MotoGP season."