Movistar Yamaha Embark on American Adventure
After achieving a perfect 1-2 in Argentina just two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Teams Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi will soon be back in the hot seat of their YZR-M1s as they get the action going at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) on Friday.
Two races into the 2017 season, Viñales remains the man to beat. With his two textbook wins at the Losail and the Termas de Río Hondo circuits in his maiden year with Yamaha, he will push to the maximum again this weekend to make it a hat-trick in Austin and give Yamaha its 500th Grand Prix win.
Watching the 22-year old in action so far this season, his riding style and the smoothness of the YZR-M1 are clearly in perfect harmony and the Spaniard cant wait to get a taste of the Yamahas speed at COTA. He is a big fan of the circuits elevated character and has a lot of good memories from this place, where he secured a strong second place in Moto3 in 2013 and won his first Moto2 race in 2014. His best MotoGP finish at the American track was a fourth place, just off the podium, last year.
Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a very strong start to the season and has shown twice that he knows how to come out swinging in the race, regardless of grid position. Together with his teammate, he is the proud owner of a 100% podium finish rate in 2017 and has a plan to keep it that way.
The Doctor aims to find a good balance for his bike early in the race weekend, so he can not only feature at the front but also put a claim on the top step of the rostrum, 13 years after his first win with Yamaha (April 18th, 2004, Welkom, Africas Grand Prix). Last year he had a difficult race at COTA, but he will use the experience as extra motivation to show the American fans what hes got in store, like he did in 2015 when he finished third.
The Circuit of the Americas was constructed in 2012 and appeared on the MotoGP calendar in 2013. The 5.5km-long track is run counter-clockwise, has 20 corners in total (11 left turns and 9 right turns), a longest straight of 1.2km and has a 41m-elevation change. Its tight hairpins, inclines, declines and a fast straight make finding a well-balanced setting vital, but the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is up for the challenge.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider
The next round is Austin and I'm happy because I won my first race there in Moto2, I've always been very strong here. I also did one of my best results in America the last year, so I think its a good track for my riding style. I love the up and down track, with lots of elevation, so I'm so excited to see how my M1 will work here and how I'm going to feel riding the Yamaha. I'm confident and I know that I can do another good race weekend.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Rider
I'm happy to be in Texas. I really like Austin. The first two races of the season went well and I hope to improve the performance of the first days of free practice. We have much work to do, but I'm confident in my bike and in my team. Austin is a very difficult track and I love riding here. I have an account to settle with this track because last year in the warm-up I made a big step for a strong race but unfortunately I made a mistake. This year I want to try to have a good race. I also really like the atmosphere at the American circuit and I come to this place always very happily.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP- Team Director
We now arrive in COTA, a great circuit to visit. The atmosphere here is always really good, and so is the support of the fans, so we are looking forward to begin the third round in Austin. The track lay-out is quite interesting and, though previously it didnt play to our advantage, we will start this race weekend in full-attack mode. We will use the first free practice sessions to understand how to make this race another great one for Yamaha, as we strive for the 500th victory. Our riders are both in great form and both enjoy the Grand Prix of The Americas. We are looking to get some strong results again and cant wait to get started!