Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Arrive in Austin for the Grand Prix of The Americas
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have travelled to Austin, Texas in the United States of America for this weekend's Grand Prix of The Americas. After a chaotic race day at the Termas de Río Honda Circuit both Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are keen to get straight back in the hot seat of their YZR-M1s to score some solid points.
Viñales arrives in the USA holding fourth place in the championship standings and beaming with his usual fiery determination. The Spanish rider counts the Circuit of The Americas as one of his favourite tracks and is eager to put the learnings from his Argentina experience to good use here.
When COTA was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2013, the then 18-year-old secured a strong second place in the Moto3 class. He followed this up with his first Moto2 race win in 2014. His best MotoGP finish at the American track was a fourth place, just off the podium, in 2016. He was unable to finish his first race on a Yamaha on American soil last year, but the solid pace he showed throughout the weekend suggests that he will be a strong contender also this time round.
Rossi currently sits in eighth place in the championship standings after scoring no points at the last Grand Prix. However, the nine-time World Champion is not a rider that should ever be ruled out. He and his team will pull together and give their 100% to make a strong comeback and turn their fortunes around.
The Italian acknowledged in the past that the COTA track has an interesting lay-out that's not easy to master, but that makes riding there all the more fun for the Doctor. Through recent years he improved his performance at COTA, with a hard fought third place in 2015 and a second place in last year's race as his best results so far.
The Circuit of The Americas was constructed in 2012 and was added as a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar the following year. 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 fast straight make finding a well-balanced setting vital, but the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is up for the challenge, in order to snatch places on the podium in front of the 120,000-capacity crowd.
Championship: 4th - Points: 21
"We arrive in Austin in a position from which we can work on improving the bike. It's the third race and we can't afford mistakes. We need to fight for the victory with all our strength. I don't have good memories of last year at COTA, because unfortunately I crashed at the beginning of the race, so this year I'm set on being able to stay ahead throughout the race, and above all being able to be on the podium. I really like COTA because the lay-out is amazing, so I will try to give my 100% and try to enjoy the GP as much as I can.
Championship: 8th - Points: 16
"Getting back on track after a difficult race, like the one in Argentina, is always important. We have to work to improve our M1 and every session will be crucial. Austin is a very difficult track for me and for the M1, but also for this reason I need to work at the best level with my team, so we can find a good set-up from the first day of free practice. I'm confident. I'm always happy to be in Texas. I like the atmosphere and the track. It hasn't been a good start to the season, but in Austin I hope to do a good race. We will do our best."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"As a team, we are eager to move on from a compromised and disappointing end to the race weekend in Argentina. The COTA track is a great place to do so. Our team really enjoys spending time in Austin, because the atmosphere is always fantastic. The circuit's lay-out isn't the best match for Yamaha, but last year Valentino underlined once more that good results and podium finishes are definitely within our reach here. Maverick is also a fan of the track and he too is no stranger to the COTA rostrum - he has stood on it twice already in the lower classes. Our riders are both in great shape, so we're fully motivated to get started!
Zarco and Syahrin Strive for Further Glory in Texas
With a terrific first 2018 podium in his pocket Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco eagerly awaits to cross the Atlantic Ocean again and to be back on his Yamaha YZR-M1 this weekend for the Grand Prix of the Americas, which takes place in Austin, Texas. Likewise, Hafizh Syahrin, who showed an impressive rookie performance in Argentina to finish ninth just a few days ago, is fired up to start his third MotoGP event of the year, which kicks off at 9:55 local time on Friday with FP1. Yet, the race is set to commence at 14:00 this Sunday, 22nd of April.
Championship: 3rd – Points: 28
"The Circuit of the Americas is a very nice track, although it is physically truly tough and I think it's maybe even one of the most technical circuits of the year, because we have 20 corners and it's not easy to go really fast. But after the nice podium in Argentina, I'm still very happy about the feeling I could gain on the bike and I hope to have this great feeling again from the first practice on Friday on in order to prepare the race in the best possible way and to be able to fight for another podium. Why shouldn't we think about our first victory as well? I want to dream about it and live this dream at the maximum."
Championship: 13th – Points: 9
"I'm really happy with the results that we've done in the first two races and I'm looking forward to the Grand Prix this weekend. I try to do the same or end up even better. Before Austin I prepared myself with some training in the boot camp of Colin Edwards. So, my physical condition is good, I improved step by step and I'm more than ready for this third round. I can't wait to meet my team again and I hope I can give my best to them yet again."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"For sure we left Termas de Río Hondo with an incredibly good and warm feeling, because as the weather and track conditions were so difficult to master, I believe the team and especially the riders did exceptional job. Johann was fighting in top group and eventually ended second, which was his first podium in 2018. He showed a really strong race and brought all of us a truly good feeling. Hafizh also did an extraordinary job to finish in the points for second race in a row, with many fast and more experienced riders behind him. The few days of rest we had since then, were just good enough to finally recover these incredible emotions and we're now ready to start racing in Austin, Texas, which is a beautiful track, but also technical and probably one of the toughest circuits of the championship. Johann did a really strong race last year, after fight hard with Cal Crutchlow. We know, that this is not the easiest circuit for our machine, but right now everything works well between bikes, riders and the team, so we're confident to fight in front group again. The weather seems to be quite stable, although Saturday could be a bit difficult. Anyway, it means that we'll have enough dry time to set up bike properly, which is important. Yamaha always giving us an incredible support there, we're part of the family. It's fantastic to have so many friends and so many people are always coming to support us in terms of logistics and organization. This is a GP where we would love to give all that people a great result. We are ready for that, we love Austin and Texas, the people are always so helpful. For Hafizh, it's going to be a tough mission again, having to discover the track with the MotoGP bike, but he has so much enthusiasm and adrenaline, which makes me quite sure he will be fighting for similar positions like in Argentina again. We are ready to put a good show, to please the American MotoGP fans and especially Yamaha USA, who has always been an incredible partner."