Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Travels to Sepang for Last Race of the Triple-Header
Following the nail-biting race at Phillip Island, where Yamaha secured the 2015 MotoGP World Championship Manufacturers' Title, tension builds as the battle for the Rider Title continues at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix this weekend.Following the nail-biting race at Phillip Island, where Yamaha secured the 2015 MotoGP World Championship Manufacturers' Title, tension builds as the battle for the Rider Title continues at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix this weekend.
Work continues for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP as it heads from a thrilling race at Phillip Island where its riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought a hard battle for vital championship points, directly to Malaysia for the third-consecutive fly-away race at the Sepang International Circuit for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Rossi will again be pushing to his maximum to keep his lead in the championship standings. The Doctor holds eleven points over his teammate, who is his only threat in the chase for MotoGP World Championship glory, and will do all he can to secure the title this weekend.
The Italian's experience at the Malaysian track will be extremely useful this weekend. He is a fan of the Sepang circuit and has stood on the podium ten times in his career. He secured the 500cc class race victory in 2001 and claimed premier class victories in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Additionally he also got to visit the rostrum in 2002, 2005 and 2014 when he scored second place and in 2009 when he took third.
During the race at Phillip Island teammate Jorge Lorenzo rode a strong race and clawed back seven crucial championship points. This weekend the Spaniard hopes to be an even bigger threat to his teammate's championship lead at Sepang, which is a track he likes and suits his smooth riding style.
The Spaniard is eager to claim his first premier class MotoGP victory in Malaysia. In previous years he climbed onto the podium on seven occasions, claiming a premier class second place in 2012 and third place in the 2010, 2013 and 2014 MotoGP races. He also took third in the 125cc class in 2003, secured a 250cc win in 2006 and scored third place in that same class the following year.
The Sepang International Circuit held its first Grand Prix in 1999 and is known to host some of the most exciting races thanks to its combination of four slow corners, two long straights and ten medium to high-speed corners. The circuit's diverse sections not only provide challenges when it comes to the set up of the bike, but its 5.5 km length and extremely hot and humid conditions make it one of the most testing tracks for the riders.
Championship: 1st, 296 points
"There are only two races for the Championship left and it will be important not to make any mistakes. In Australia we had a good race but it could have been much better. In Malaysia we have to immediately find a good set up. Each session will be important, not just the race itself. The race at Sepang is worth a lot and we have to get the best result in each session and then win. We arrive at the last race of this triple transfer with a good lead, and this is definitely positive. Now just we need two good races to finish this successful season off. I'm feeling fine, I'm in good shape and me and the guys of the team are ready to do our best."
Championship: 2nd, 285 points
"First of all I would like to congratulate all the Yamaha family after achieving the second title of the season in Australia. I'm very proud of all the team members and the engineers who made this possible by working really hard in Japan during the whole season. Phillip Island was an extremely exciting race and the results finally weren't too bad considering our main rival finished fourth. Now we face the Sepang race, a complicated racetrack because of the extremely hot temperatures and humidity. I think there the key to fight for the victory will be the tyre performance and I think we're in with a shot for the win again. The main goal is to cut some more points from Valentino's margin and I will try to arrive to Valencia with a smaller disadvantage. I feel strong and look forward to racing in Malaysia."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Last weekend's race at Phillip Island was incredibly exciting and hopefully it was a preview of what's yet to come in the final two races of the 2015 season. We can be very proud to have secured the Manufacturers' Title in addition to the Team Title, but we have to wait with our celebrations a little longer as we need to focus on the Rider Title first. This weekend the whole team will again put in the maximum effort to get top results. Sepang is certainly an interesting circuit to race at, because it is very demanding for the riders. The humidity and hot temperatures will definitely play a role in this Sunday's race, but our riders are in great shape, so we are expecting to do well and look forward to Friday's first free practice session."
Confidence high as Tech3 duo head to Sepang for final flyaway contest
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pairing of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro jet to Malaysia primed and ready to fight at the Sepang International Circuit for the penultimate round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship. The final stage of the triple consecutive flyaway races will occur at the world famous 5.5 kilometre circuit that is located 50 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur. The track features a wide variety of turns with 5 left corners and 10 right as well as a straight of 920 metres in what is a truly demanding test for all MotoGP riders.
Bradley Smith will look to bounce back from a hard-fought 10th place finish at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with a top six result at Sepang, the circuit where he rode very competitively during the pre season winter tests. The 24 year old currently sits in 6th in the World Championship, holding the position of the leading satellite rider and will aim to speed to a strong finish in the 20 lap sprint to boost his tally further. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will be gunning for a notable performance at Sepang to conclude the flyaway races with a positive outcome before heading to the season finale in his home country at Valencia. Last year, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion suffered a huge crash in qualifying and broke the second metatarsal bone in his left foot, but he brilliantly persevered and eventually completed the race in 6th. This weekend, the Spaniard will intend to ride to glory in Malaysia whilst trying to battle as close as possible with the factory bikes.
Championship: 6th, 158 points
"I'm excited to be racing at Sepang this weekend and I am certain that we can finish with a notable result. We had a really strong winter test there at the beginning of the season which bodes well for this weekend. At that time, we tried a lot of different settings and I am very confident that we'll have a strong base setup to start with on Friday which will kick things off in a positive manner. Of course, we know it's a physical circuit and the temperature will be very high along with the humidity. This, of course, makes it even more demanding and additionally, the track is usually quite greasy at this time of the year and much more than when we test here in the winter. Our target will be to concentrate a lot on the afternoon sessions in order to get the best setting for those types of conditions, which is how it will be at race time on Sunday. Therefore, it will be important to run some good lap times and be as consistent as possible. After the difficult GP at Phillip Island, I am looking forward to the Grand Prix at Sepang where I am sure that I will be competitive and inside the top six on Sunday afternoon."
Championship: 10th, 96 points
"Malaysia is our next destination and I am fully confident of closing the last of the three flyaway races with a strong result on Sunday. The weekend in Australia was a bit challenging, yet we managed to turn around the difficult start with a run to 8th in the race. Of course, I wanted to finish much higher in the GP at my favourite circuit, but my feeling with the bike improved a lot over the weekend and also, everyone could see how competitive it was there, so we have to be pleased. Now, it's time for Sepang and because we tested a lot there in winter, I am feeling confident as we have a solid base setting to begin with. Last year was tough because of the big crash I had on Saturday, but I still finished in 6th. In addition, I have had some strong results there in the past, as I have had three podiums in the lower classes. Moreover, the track is good fun to ride, plus it really tests us as MotoGP riders with it's big mix of corners. It will be demanding due to the humidity, but I will give 110% to finish the last two races of the 2015 season, which has been a bit an up and down one for me, in strong positions."
In Sepang for the last race of the overseas trip
The Sepang International Circuit will host the last of the three races overseas of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, where Loris Baz and Toni Elias will try to regain the head of the Open category in MotoGP.
Having struggled at Phillip Island, Baz and Elias are going to Sepang ready to redeem from the lackluster Australian race. The Frenchman is aiming for the head of the Open class and the Spaniard wants to decrease the gap with his opponents and fight with them during the race.
Championship: 16th, 28 points
"At Phillip Island I was not as fast as I hoped. I struggled to find the right feeling, but in the race I was able to stay with the others. I did not lose points in the championship, but I wanted to achieve more. I cannot wait to arrive in Sepang: I want to get closer to the top of the standings."
"The weekend at Phillip Island was hard for us: I could not find the right feeling and in the race I struggled. We arrive at Sepang convinced we can do well, it's a track that I like and to which I think we can adapt our Yamaha Forward."