More preview press releases of the Jerez MotoGP round, this time from Pramac and Repsol Honda:
PRAMAC RACING TEAM PREVIEW JEREZ
Pramac Racing Team wants to make a comeback after the first round of Moto GP in Qatar. The occasion, for Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet, passes from the GP in Jerez, Andalusia. Spain is the nation which will host the largest number of GP during the current season, in fact it will play four of the 18 GP at Jerez in addition, there will be a GP Catalunya in June, the GP of Aragon in mid September that was selected after the further defection of the Hungarian GP and the de la Comunitat Valenciana will close the season. The Pramac Racing Team has a fairly good relationship with the track having got here a podium when the brand was on the hulls of motion of Max Biaggi in 2003. Following the season, there are been mixed results on the circuit with several withdrawals and placements away from the top. A good relationship with the circuit's got Loris Capirossi had in his career, with the first two positions record in 250 and MotoGP. It did not ever won Randy De Puniet be recorded even if a podium in 2003 and 250 in fourth place in 2009 MotoGP.
Fabiano Sterlacchini - Pramac Racing Technical Director
"We regret the departure of Qatar, but now we think future, then at Jerez. We have the opportunity to redeem after the unfortunate start to the Losail, I'm sure the results will come because the team is working well".
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team
"The disappointment has passed, now I just think the next race. For Jerez I hope that luck is on our side, as far we had so many problems. I'm fine, I have no problem, apart from the blow to the hand in Qatar and the control of right arm, I should be 100%. Jerez is a track I've enjoyed in the past, and I definitely enjoy racing there. The bike is very better than the beginning, as always, I remain confident".
Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team
"It was not easy starting in a manner so unlucky. But Qatar is now
gone, now we look for redemption in Jerez, a circuit I know well. I do not lose sight of my goals, I think only to work hard to improve the feeling with the bike. The progess we have been since the early day test at Losail, then the race went bad. I have to keep up this path".
The Repsol Honda Team arrives in Jerez in fine form
This weekend the Repsol Honda Team faces the second round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship aiming to repeat their strong start to the season in Qatar. The three factory team riders, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, first, third and fourth respectively in Losail, are motivated by the change of scene. From the desert and cold nights in Doha to the the warmth of Jerez, the gateway to the MotoGP World Championship in Europe.
On route to Jerez, Dani, Andrea and Casey stopped off in Puertollano, Sports European City of 2011, where they were hosted by main team sponsor Repsol. The three riders visited the refinery, the Museum City Hall and the Sports Pavilion, where a presentation of Repsol's 2011 participation in Motorsports took place.
Casey Stoner lands in Jerez as championship leader and with the ambition to improve his feelings on this circuit. The Aussie climbed to a podium finish with third place in 2009 and now he k nows he has a good chance to be there again with his Honda RC212V. Dani Pedrosa is also very motivated. During his time in MotoGP, Dani has always been on the podium in Jerez, winning in 2008, being second in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and also having the circuit record from last year. The Spaniard will do everything possible to prevent the shoulder injury separating him from the top places.
Andrea Dovizioso, fourth in Qatar after an intense battle with Marco Simoncelli, aims to improve his record on this track as well, where he gained a third place finish in 2007 and in 2006 in the 250cc class.
The MotoGP Grand Prix of Spain 2011 starts on Friday with the first free practice from 10.10 am. The World Championship now slots into the usual schedule, with two free practice sessions on Friday, the third practice and qualifying on Saturday and warm up and the race, from 14.00, on Sunday.
"This is the second time I visit Puertollano and it is very interesting to see how they manufacture elements such as fuel, lubricants or plastics you use in the races and in your everyday life away from the circuits. About this weekend, Jerez is always a very special race, where the support of the fans gives you an extra motivation that allows you to be even faster. I like the circuit and it has always been good for me, although last season I had a technical problem that prevented me from winning. We need to focus from the start, work as hard as we can on the bike's set-up and the tyre choice and then we will see where we are. Regarding my shoulder, this week I had some more medical checks and tomorrow we will have the results and the doctors' evaluations and recommendations".
"I was very interesting to visit Puertollano, as only the experts who work here can explain in details how they make the different fuels or which materials are used for the tarmac, very technical questions I had never thought about before. Tonight we go to Jerez, to a race weekend I'm facing with a lot of motivation especially considering the good performance of this year package. Jerez is not an easy circuit for me, but I am confident I will be able to do a good job together with my team".
"I was surprised by the size of the Puertollano complex. I didn't know a refinery could be so impressive. It was a nice experience to come here before the second round of the World Championship. In the last few years, I haven't had very good results at Jerez, as I could be fast but in the race things didn't always go my way. After the good start of this season, we have the chance to complete a positive weekend. The Championship has just started and we have a lot of work to do".
HONDA READY TO CONTINUE DREAM SEASON ON HOME TURF
The performance of the Honda team in the MotoGP World Championship curtain-raiser in Qatar was proof positive that the pre-season dominance was no fluke. But now, with the first of four races in Spain and at one of the highlight venues of the season, the riders and teams get back to work to continue their quest for the final championship of the 800cc era.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) has been on a tear since joining the Honda team. Nowhere was it more evident than in Qatar. Stoner led all but one session in the run-up to the race, which he took control of just past the midway point to earn the desert victory for the fourth time in the past five years.
The Jerez de la Frontera track is a very different racetrack than the Losail Circuit and one at which Stoner hasn't had as much success; his best finish is a third in 2009. Given the way he's adapted to the Honda RC212V, there's no reason to believe he can't change that in the first European race of the season, held in the Sherry country of Andalucia. But the 2007 MotoGP World Champion knows it won't be easy. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa was a strong challenger in Qatar before slowing late in the race with physical limitations and world champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) will be out to avenge the loss he suffered at Stoner's hands in Qatar.
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was nearly the equal of Stoner throughout the pre-season and first race. It was only late in the Qatar Grand Prix that Pedrosa was forced to slow when he lost some feeling in the right shoulder he injured in last year's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. Rather than continue to fight for the victory, the Spaniard had to manage his race to the end, while still scoring a podium position.
With a weekend off since the race in Qatar, Pedrosa is hopeful the shoulder won't be a hindrance in Jerez, where he hopes to give his more than 200,000 fellow countryman a home victory. But he's also a realist and awaits the final medical checks prior to the race to gauge his conditions.
His record in Jerez is stellar: In the last four races at the circuit he has a win, two seconds, and a third, as well as two pole positions and two second place starting spots.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) knows his way to the Jerez podium. The Italian was a repeat visitor during his 250cc days, but hasn't been quite as successful since moving to the premier class. Having made significant steps in development and set-up during the Qatar test and race weekend, Dovi is confident that the team can put a bike underneath him that will allow him to at least replicate his fourth place finish from the season-opener.
The Qatar race was the highlight of Marco Simoncelli's (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) MotoGP career. The personable, bushy-haired Italian has finished higher in the MotoGP order-he was fourth in Estoril last year-but his fifth place finish put him within eight seconds of the winner, a personal best. More than that, having battled for the podium it gave him the confidence that he belongs among the elite riders in his second year in the senior class.
"Super Sic" was held back by a few set-up issues which have since been resolved, and which will allow him to start further up the grid when the flag drops on Sunday.
Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) gathered strength in the second half of the race in Qatar as the fuel load lightened and the tyres got loose. It was under those conditions that Aoyama found his comfort zone. The same was true of race winner Casey Stoner. The difference was that Stoner started further up the grid and was among the leaders at the outset, while Aoyama faced an early deficit that was difficult to overcome. For the Japanese rider to be successful in Jerez, and match his epic 2009 250cc victory over now team-mate Simoncelli, he knows he'll have to gate quicker and be ready to make his move when he finds his stride.
Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) returns to the track where he took the first of the seven wins that carried him to the inaugural Moto2 World Championship in 2010. One of four Spanish MotoGP riders, Elias is looking forward to his homecoming, especially for the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the knowledgeable Spanish race fans. The race will give Elias a chance to re-start his championship season, which began with a crash in the opening race in Qatar. The crash was the result of Elias trying to override a motorcycle which hadn't been fully developed, but that provided a valuable lesson which has already been applied and Elias expects the Honda RC212V to be much better when practice opens on Friday in Jerez.
The riders vying to follow Elias as the Moto2 World Champion, and also as the Jerez race winner, began that quest in Qatar with a clear standout and others who fought hard to join the podium. Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex) rode his Honda-power machine to a comfortable victory in Qatar in what was a very competitive class last year. The son of the former 250cc World Championship runner-up made it look easier than it was and his rivals certainly won't allow a repeat performance in Jerez.
With Bradl speeding away, Andrea Iannone (Speed Master-Suter) came out the best in the battle for second place. The Italian held off the determined challenges of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter) and Alex de Angelis (JIR Moto2-Motobi), while Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing Moto2-Moriwaki) made a late bid for glory.
The 2010 Jerez Moto2 race was one of the best of the season, with the top four finishers covered by .448s. Elias took the win from the late Shoya Tomizawa, with Luthi third and Takahashi fourth. With Elias having graduated back to MotoGP, it's up to the others to make their names.
Jerez, which joined the World Championship calendar in 1987, has maintained such a high standard of excellence that it was voted by team owners as the best grand of the year in 2009. The race celebrates its silver anniversary this year as the most popular on the calendar, and with good reason. It's not only a favorite of the fans, who enjoy the Andalucian setting, but also the riders, who enjoy knowing that riding talent can overcome deficiencies in machine performance.
The track spreads 13 corners, five lefts and eight rights, over its 4.423k length. The longest straight is only 607m, which means that most of the time is spent on various aspects of cornering-braking, turn-in, mid-corner speed, and exit-which levels the playing field. The track is faithful to the Spanish greats, with four turns named for motorcycling world champions. The two fastest corners are the double rights, Criville and Ferrari, which lead to the final hairpin left where more than one race has been decided.
Of the 24 previous premier class races, Honda riders have won 16, beginning with Wayne Gardner's win on an NSR500 through Sete Gibernau on an RC211V and, finally, Dani Pedrosa on an RC212V in 2008.
MotoGP RIDER QUOTES
Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner says: "In the last few years, I haven't had very good results at Jerez, as I could be fast. But in the race things didn't always go my way. After the good start of this season, we have the chance to complete a positive weekend. The Championship has just started and we have a lot of work to do."
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says: "About this weekend, Jerez is always a very special race, where the support of the fans gives you an extra motivation that allows you to be even faster. I like the circuit and it has always been good for me, although last season I had a technical problem that prevented me from winning. We need to focus from the start, work as hard as we can on the bike's set-up and the tyre choice and then we will see where we are. Regarding my shoulder, this week I had some more medical checks and tomorrow we will have the results and the doctors' evaluations and recommendations."
Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso says: "Tonight we go to Jerez, to a race weekend I'm facing with a lot of motivation especially considering the good performance of this year package. Jerez is not an easy circuit for me, but I am confident I will be able to do a good job together with my team."
San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli says: "I was happy and satisfied with the race in Qatar. It was my best performance in MotoGP but more than that I was able to run with the best in the category and finish close to the podium positions. We have started out on the right foot and that should mean we can do even better at Jerez. We have put the little problems we had in Qatar behind us and we have all improved together as a team since last year but we can't think we have made it yet because it's a long season. We know what we have to do to be even more competitive and that is key to the results. Jerez is one of my favourite tracks and I took my first win there in the 125cc class in 2004 so I am confident we can have a good race this weekend."
San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Hiroshi Aoyama says: "Tenth place in Qatar was not the result we were looking for but I was pleased with the work we did over the course of the weekend together with the team. We have gathered a lot of data that will be useful to us in the future, starting at Jerez. My feeling with the team is really good and that is the most positive thing we took from Qatar. I am sure that things will go much better in Spain this weekend. At Losail I didn't get a good start and I only found my pace in the second half of the race. Jerez will be another story because we have the potential now. Jerez is a difficult circuit but I like it a lot. My favourite memory there is my win in 2009, in 250, after a hard battle with Bautista and my current team-mate Simoncelli. That was really nice!"
LCR Honda MotoGP rider Toni Elias says: "Obviously, I am very happy to be back at the Jerez race track. In my opinion it is one of the best rounds of the season thanks to the atmosphere and the warmth of the Spanish fans. The Qatar GP was a very tough weekend for us and I absolutely want to restart from Jerez. We are still struggling a lot with the bike set-up, although we have worked very hard. Our main issue remains the chassis set-up and suspension regulations to make the bike more stable in the rear. However, I feel confident ahead this race because I am very stubborn and the crew will help me to adjust the bike for the Jerez layout."