Yamaha MotoGP shape up for Silverstone sprint
With last year's British Grand Prix win still fresh in their memory, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is ready to fight at the front of the field again this weekend. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are eager to start the British Grand Prix held this weekend at the Silverstone Circuit.
Rossi arrives at the twelfth round feeling confident after securing second place at the last race in Brno, making it a total of five podium finishes so far this season. He looks forward to riding the fast sweeping corners of Silverstone, where he rode his YZR-M1 to his first victory at this track last year. He had been successful on British soil at Donington Park in previous years, having secured three modern era premier class wins in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and two 500cc victories in 2000 and 2001.
After a difficult last race, that saw Lorenzo having to come into the pits due to tyre problems, the Mallorcan is set on making a strong comeback this weekend at a circuit where the odds are in his favour: he holds the record for the rider with the most MotoGP wins at Silverstone. Over the last six years Lorenzo has secured three premier class victories, in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and is eager add a fourth to his tally this weekend.
Silverstone made its first appearance on the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar thanks to innovations to the circuit's lay-out, earning it high praise from the riders. The racing passion of the British fans also adds to the atmosphere of the venue, making the British Grand Prix a must-be-at event.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We are going to Silverstone, which is a very fast circuit and suits the YZR-M1 well. Over the last few years we always achieved good results there and after a successful test that we had Monday a week ago, we are confident that we can be very competitive, especially since we can use some new items that we tried out at the IRTA test, which have shown to enhance our performance. Furthermore, both riders enjoy spending time at Silverstone because of its great lay-out. With a British rider winning a GP so recently, after many years, we hope to see an even bigger crowd than usual."
Championship: 3rd, 138 points
"After the two back-to-back races in Austria and Brno the situation is not as we desired beforehand but we can't change that. From now on we need to think race by race and just try to get the best results day by day. Silverstone is the next stop so we have to push at the maximum there and enjoy riding with the bike again. That track is one of my favourite circuits in the world but unfortunately the weather is always very unpredictable. Let's see if we can deliver a great race again there!"
Championship: 2nd, 144 points
"I have very nice recent memories of Silvertone. Last year I won a really incredible race in very difficult conditions. I hope that this year there will be nice weather, but from the climatic point of view the English race is very uncertain. I like Silverstone a lot, it's a very fun track but also very demanding. This circuit is very long and there are many changes of direction with high speeds. It is important to find a perfect set-up for the bike to be able to suit both the slow and the fast corners. We will try to work on all aspects, as we have been doing the entire season to get the best possible result."
Espargaro optimistic for Silverstone battle whilst stand in rider Lowes ready for the challenge
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro keenly awaits the 12th round of the 2016 MotoGP season at the iconic Silverstone circuit where he intends to storm to victory in the satellite bike battle. The young Spaniard, who currently sits as the top independent rider in the World Championship standings, endured a challenging time at the previous round in the Czech Republic amid torrid weather conditions. Yet, after undertaking a confidence-boosting test at the Brno track, he remains confident of finishing as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes at the high-speed British circuit.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Bradley Smith will unfortunately miss his home Grand Prix as well as the San Marino GP due an injury which he sustained from a crash in the Oschersleben 8 Hours practice which caused ligament damage to his right knee. The entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team would like to wish Bradley Smith a fast and full recovery. As a result of Smith's injury, Pata Yamaha Official World Superbike Team rider and Suzuka 8 Hours winner, Alex Lowes will step in for the next two rounds. The 25 year old recently sampled the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time at the Czech test and will seek to learn as much as possible in his inaugural MotoGP event, in front of the British fans.
Championship: 7th, 81 points
"I have to start by saying that I am sorry for Bradley who is missing the next two races because of his injury but I am sure that he will be back stronger than ever in the future. Regarding myself, I am looking forward to the British Grand Prix and I aim to get back to where I belong after the tough Czech GP. Silverstone is a circuit which I have always enjoyed riding at because it is very fast and a lot of fun aboard the YZR-M1. I think we can do a good job there, especially after the positive test in Brno. One thing that could make things trickier for us is the weather in England, and it has been known to rain on more than one occasion in the past! We have had a few wet GP's recently, so I truly hope that it stays dry, but regardless, we will be ready for any situation. I won the Moto2 race in 2012 at Silverstone and I also finished in 6th and as the fastest satellite rider in my first year in the premier class so I have had some positive times there and I aim to add to that this weekend. Therefore, I am fully determined to close the event with a strong performance."
Championship: 15th, 42 points
"It goes without saying that it's a huge shame to be missing out on my home GP. First and foremost, I have to say a big sorry to the team and to the British fans for not being able to put on a show this weekend. At the moment, I am trying to get myself as fit and healthy as possible, and things are moving in the right direction. We'll be working closely with a physiotherapist for the next week in order to try to recover quickly and fully from the injury. I've already scheduled a meeting, in a weeks' time, with the surgeon so that we can find out the exact time frame with this injury. The situation has happened and I'm very thankful to everyone who has helped me in the last four or five days, including Monster Energy, the Yamaha Austria Racing Team, everyone at Tech3 and also all of my doctors, physiotherapists, and surgeons. We are doing everything that we can to be back racing as soon as possible. I wish the best of luck to my team this weekend with their new rider Alex Lowes, and I am sure that he'll do a fantastic job."
Championship: Not classified, 0 points
"First of all, I just want to say how sorry I am to hear of Bradley's injury. It sounds like he has been extremely unlucky and I hope he gets well soon. With regards to me getting this opportunity, of course it's genuinely a dream come true. I'm sure that I'll have to pinch myself on Sunday when I'm sitting on the starting grid with Rossi, Lorenzo, Marquez etc. However, I have no expectations at this point. I simply want to learn as much as I can from everyone around me. I personally want to thank everyone at Yamaha and Tech3 for giving me this opportunity."