Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Ready to Restart the Season Stateside
After a three-week summer break, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP return to the United States leading the standings and are keen to take on the competition this weekend at round ten of the MotoGP World Championship.
After a three week MotoGP drought, this week the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team will be back in action at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway as they defend their top spot in the championship standings.
Last year's Indianapolis Grand Prix saw a brilliant scrap at the front that resulted in teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo taking a double podium finish.
As with last year, Rossi has enjoyed a very successful first half of the season. He has finished on the podium at every round so far, led the standings from start to date and claimed a GP win in Qatar, Argentina and the Netherlands. Having been able to fully recharge during his holiday, the Doctor returns to the scene ready for action and aims to extend his championship lead over the coming nine rounds.
Teammate Lorenzo had a challenging start to the season, but made a sensational comeback at Jerez. This home race victory marked the beginning of a stunning four GP winning streak that lasted until Assen. The summer break not only gave the Spaniard time to unwind but also allowed him to get his physique up to a new level, leaving him ready to give his all during the rest of the season.
Thanks to his strong start to the season, Rossi leads the championship with a 179 point total and a 13 point gap to Lorenzo in second place. Both riders are eager to climb onto Indianapolis Motor Speedway's podium again this weekend.
Though originally constructed in 1909 it wasn't until 2008 that MotoGP arrived at the 'brickyard'. Rossi conquered the first Indianapolis GP when he bravely withstood the remnants of Hurricane Ike to take the chequered flag in brutal conditions. One year later it was Lorenzo's turn to claim the win and he returned to the podium four more times over the next five years.
Though both riders admit that Indianapolis is not their favourite circuit, they like the layout that consists of 16 turns and an incorporated main straight of the famous oval. Last year's resurfacing of the 4.170 m long track has also improved the grip level considerably for the riders, which gives the fans plenty of overtaking action to look forward to.
Championship: 1st - Points: 179
"I'm ready to start racing again during the second part of the season. I had a few days of rest, I went on holiday with my friends and I also trained. After nine races, this stop was very important so I could recharge myself. Now there are another nine races waiting for us and each of these will be very important for the championship. The first part went very well with nine podiums in nine races and I hope that the second part of this season will go just as well. Some of the tracks we're going to I really like, I have to be defensive at others. We start with Indianapolis, not one of my favourite circuits but there's always a great atmosphere here and the circuit is very nice. I'm ready to go!"
Championship: 2nd - Points: 166
"The summer break was a good chance to rest and recharge our batteries for the second half of the season. I was able to enjoy some sunny days at the beach but I also trained a lot in California and Brazil, where I spent many days before Indy. I feel great, I'm in a very good shape and ready to face the important second part of the season. The first half was not so bad considering the beginning, so we are feeling very positive and hopefully we can fight in the best way possible with Valentino and Marc. Usually Indy is not one of my favourite tracks but I've won there in the past. Last year the tarmac improved a lot but its layout is different to that of other circuits. I think we can contend for the podium again so we need to be very focused during the whole weekend to try to gain valuable points."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We are returning from our holidays well-rested and with recharged batteries and arrive at Indianapolis in a good shape. It's always exciting to come to this iconic circuit and I think we are ready to challenge at the front again in the second half of the season. We are leading the championship with Vale and also have Jorge on strong form, which is important. Having been able to rest, they now have renewed energy and are looking forward to getting back on track, so I'm confident they will give it their 100% again this weekend as they always do."
Smith and Espargaro full of confidence ahead of the return to the Brickyard
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro look optimistically towards the Indianapolis Grand Prix this weekend, where they will battle for two top tier results after the MotoGP summer break. Both riders are feeling confident after winning together in the legendary Suzuka 8 Hour race for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team as they clinched a superb hat trick including pole position, the fastest race lap and the victory. This performance leaves them primed for a successful second half of the 2015 season and they will look to battle as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes in America at the famous brickyard circuit.
Britain's Bradley Smith undertook a highly successful run in the opening nine rounds and currently sits in joint fifth position in this year's World Championship standings as he leads the MotoGP satellite battle by 21 points. The 24 year old rider will intend to improve on his result of sixth from last year, at the tenth race of the season. On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team garage, Pol Espargaro will aim to bolt forward when the lights go out in Sunday's 27 lap sprint and fight for a top finish aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Spaniard has fond memories of the GP after finishing last year's event in fifth and will seek to kick start the second half of the year with a strong showing.
Championship: 6th - Points: 87
"It's time to go back to work and jump on the Yamaha at the Indy circuit which is a track with such a huge amount of history and it's always fun to go racing there. The summer break was great for me, although there wasn't a lot of rest! Pol and I contested in the Suzuka 8 hour race which we were able to win after the special support from Yamaha. It was a dream come true, although not just to compete in it, but to also finish first! The whole thing really fills me with confidence for the second part of the year in MotoGP and I am certain that I can continue my strong form from the opening nine rounds where I finished no lower than eighth in all of the races. In my first year in the premier class, I completed this GP in eighth and then last year, sixth and I hope to go one step further this year! Our base setting has worked really well at all of the races so far, therefore hopefully we will have a good start and get everything ready for the main event on Sunday, even if it's quite a tricky circuit to master. However, I am ready for the battle and can't wait to speed over the bricks on my Yamaha in Indianapolis."
Championship: 9th - Points: 64
"I am really excited to get on the YZR-M1 in America and start fighting in MotoGP once again. It was amazing to not only participate in the Suzuka 8 Hour race, but also grab pole position, set the lap record and win the event! Yet, this weekend it will be time to switch to MotoGP mode and put my Monster Yamaha Tech3 leathers back on which I am primed for. I am feeling optimistic of repeating last year's result of fifth and we know we can run close to the factory bikes, which is what I will be aiming for. In terms of the track itself, it's a bit challenging with ten left corners and six right, but coming out of that last corner and speeding down the famous straight is awesome! For sure, it will be a long event on Sunday but if we do our homework and get my Yamaha setup in the right way as soon as possible, then I know we can achieve a solid qualifying position and run well in the race. I am looking forward to putting on a good show for the superb American crowd as well as to seeing my Monster Yamaha Tech3 team again."