2011 MotoGP Catalunya Press Release Previews - Yamaha, Marlboro Ducati, LCR Honda And Rizla Suzuki

Press Release previews from the Marlboro Ducati, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Factory Yamaha, Mapfre Aspar Ducati and LCR Honda MotoGP teams ahead of the Barcelona MotoGP round:


Preview Gran Premio Aperol de Catalunya

After another break of two weeks break the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rolls on with their 2011 campaign and will start the first of two consecutive races in Catalunya, Spain this weekend.

The all-important home race for the French-based Tech 3 squad in Le Mans two weeks ago was overshadowed by some bad luck for Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow as they both crashed during the race and only Edwards could rescue some crucial points by finishing the race in 13th place.

The American has worked with his crew to improve the chassis set up in recent weeks and the outcome of this work means he is is now looking forward to getting back on track in Montmelo this weekend.

Crutchlow, who was disappointed for not being able to give his hard-working Team some glory in their home race, is looking forward to learning another new track in his rookie year in the premier class of motorcycle racing. The British rider is a big fan of the challenging and technical layout of the Catalunya venue and he hopes he will be able to fight for another top ten this weekend.

Colin Edwards, 9th - 21 points:

"I am looking forward to Barcelona and to some heat. It has been a little cold at the previous race in Le Mans. I never really had what I would say a great result there apart from 5th or 6th at the Dorna tests. But I like the track and I am looking forward to riding there with the new chassis set up that we have been running. It feels good but we should see how it goes there."

Cal Crutchlow, 1 1th - 21 points:

"Catalunya will be another new race for me. I am looking forward to going there as the track looks good. I had a strong results in qualifying in Le Mans and it was a shame that I crashed in the race, but if we can continue where we were at the previous race without the mistake I would be happy. I think we are going in the right direction and as always I will be doing my best."

Preview Gran Premio Aperol de Catalunya

After another break of two weeks break the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rolls on with their 2011 campaign and will start the first of two consecutive races in Catalunya, Spain this weekend.

The all-important home race for the French-based Tech 3 squad in Le Mans two weeks ago was overshadowed by some bad luck for Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow as they both crashed during the race and only Edwards could rescue some crucial points by finishing the race in 13th place.

The American has worked with his crew to improve the chassis set up in recent weeks and the outcome of this work means he is is now looking forward to getting back on track in Montmelo this weekend.

Crutchlow, who was disappointed for not being able to give his hard-working Team some glory in their home race, is looking forward to learning another new track in his rookie year in the premier class of motorcycle racing. The British rider is a big fan of the challenging and technical layout of the Catalunya venue and he hopes he will be able to fight for another top ten this weekend.

Colin Edwards, 9th - 21 points:

"I am looking forward to Barcelona and to some heat. It has been a little cold at the previous race in Le Mans. I never really had what I would say a great result there apart from 5th or 6th at the Dorna tests. But I like the track and I am looking forward to riding there with the new chassis set up that we have been running. It feels good but we should see how it goes there."

Cal Crutchlow, 1 1th - 21 points:

"Catalunya will be another new race for me. I am looking forward to going there as the track looks good. I had a strong results in qualifying in Le Mans and it was a shame that I crashed in the race, but if we can continue where we were at the previous race without the mistake I would be happy. I think we are going in the right direction and as always I will be doing my best."

Introduction "Circuito de Catalunya":

In 1989, through the joint collaboration of the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmeló Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on giving one of Europe's most beautiful cities a state of the art race track to match. The Circuit de Catalunya opened on the doorstep of Barcelona in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event that same month, hosting the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the Gran Premio de Catalunya. Considered t o be one of the best designed circuits of the recent era, the Circuito de Catalunya won the much coveted IRTA ‘Best Grand Prix' trophy for 2001 and has a general admission capacity of 104,000 spectators.

Circuit Info:

Length: 4.727 m. / 2,937 miles; Width: 12m; Left corners: 5; Right corners: 8; Longest straight: 1.047 m. / 0,651 miles; Constructed: 1991; Modified: 1995

Circuit Records:

Fastest lap: 2008 - Casey Stoner (AUS), Ducati - 1'41.186; Circuit Record: 2008 - Dani Pedrosa (SPA), Honda - 1'42.358; Best Pole: 2008 - Casey Stoner (AUS), Ducati - 1'41.186; Top Speed: 2004 - Alex Barros (BRA), Honda - 339.4 km/h


MotoGP Returns to Spain for The Grand Prix of Catalunya

The MotoGP paddock heads to Barcelona this week for the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Montmeló circuit in Spain. Round five of the 2011 Championship, the second on Spanish soil this season, sees 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ready and prepared to defend his Championship lead in front of his home Catalan crowd. His last visit to the circuit proved a victorious one in 2010 with a decisive victory taken from pole. The Mallorcan born rider saw his points tally extended to 78 two weeks ago during an incident packed round four in France, he now leads closest rival Casey Stoner by 12 points.

Ben Spies ended his recent run of misfortune with a solid performance at the last race in Le Mans. After two DNFs in the previous rounds the Texan Yamaha Factory newcomer made good use of the French round to rebuild his confidence, holding off fellow American Nicky Hayden for a sixth place finish and valuable championship points. Spies arrives in Barcelona in 12th position with 20 Championship points, just two points adrift of Marco Simoncelli in eighth place.

The main grandstand at The Circuit de Catalunya sits over one of the longest main straights in the world; delighting the always capacity crowd with an unrivalled view of the action over the race weekend. The crews of Lorenzo and Spies will be focused on delivering their riders with the optimum chassis balance and front-end feel in their hunt for the perfect set-up for the circuit. These are needed to cope with the long radius and medium and high-speed sweeping corners, not forgetting the two tight left-hand hairpins and various camber changes.

Jorge Lorenzo

"We are now going straight to Montmeló and we don't even need to take a plane. It is amazing! I am so happy to be here, the closest track to my home. I remember last year's victory and also those in my 250cc days. This is a fast track with high speed and slow corners. It is the second race in Spain and I would like to be as fit as in Jerez. I know it's going to be tough; we need to improve a lot because our competitors are very strong and my finger is still recovering from the Le Mans warm up crash. Our aim in this GP will be the podium. We should be focused from Friday on, and I am quite confident that the team is ready to fight, as usual."

Ben Spies

"I think I'm looking forward to this race more than any so far this year! This is definitely a circuit I like to ride a lot more than the previous four. After a difficult start with some unlucky results we put in a solid ride at Le Mans, considering the pace of some of our competitors I was happy to finish where we did and get some points under my belt. As always we're ready to give it 100% this weekend and will be looking again to build on the last round and hopefully move up a couple of places in the championship standings come Sunday."

Wilco Zeelenberg

"I'm quite happy to go to Barcelona as there will be a fantastic atmosphere there after they won the Champions League! It's also a special race for Jorge as it's his home race. We've been missing a little bit of pace so it's a good moment to make a strong statement for the first of these back to back races to see if we can make a difference here."

Massimo Meregalli

"We have been looking forward to this weekend to get back to the action and show what we are capable of. This is Jorge's home track so the expectations are high and his results here have been good for the last couple of years. Ben really likes this circuit and he's got his confidence back following a difficult start to the year. The team are in confident mood and we are impatient for Friday morning to get started on track."


Bautista heading home and ready to race

Publish Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista is eagerly awaiting his home Grand Prix at Montmelo in Catalunya this weekend, determined to put the rigours of this season so far firmly behind him.

Bautista will be back at full fitness as he heads to the Catalonian circuit, following the last two races that have seen him make an incredible – but under-strength - return to action following a broken femur earlier in the year. He was involved in a five-man battle last time out at Le Mans that saw the Spaniard fight hard all race long, before eventually finishing in 12th place. Bautista is convinced that he can now make the step up and compete inside the top-10 as he aims to get Rizla Suzuki's season firmly back on track. The Montmelo circuit is a track that Bautista enjoys and after a strong fifth there last season – his equal best result of 2010 – he will be hoping that the mix of his ‘home' Grand Prix and the added incentive of many fans and friends at trackside will spur him on to a strong performance in this year's race.

The Circuit de Catalunya is located 20km north of Barcelona, near the town of Granollers. It is one of the most modern circuits on the MotoGP calendar and has all the elements you would need to make an excellent Grand Prix. The 4,727m circuit, with its eight right and five left-hand corners, is a good measure of a bike's performance, as what works well there will usually work well anywhere. The mixture of a kilometre-long straight, fast right-handers, elevation changes, a downhill section into a sharp right-hand bend and a huge grandstand that will be filled to capacity along the start-finish straight, all go to make this one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the season's calendar.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP will start its preparations for Sunday's 25-lap race with two free practice sessions on Friday. Another free session will be held on Saturday morning and then an hour of qualifying in the afternoon will determine starting positions for the race, which gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 5th June.

Álvaro Bautista:

"I have a good memory from last year at Barcelona and I hope to be able to make a good race there because it is a track I like very much. I have been training very hard and I'll be 100% fit when we start the weekend. We have all had a tough time so far this year and we need to forget about that and focus on the rest of the season, we still have many races to go and I'm sure we can be competitive and start pushing nearer the front very soon. I really like racing at Montmelo and I'm sure that my ‘home' race will give me the confidence that I had there last year - and also during the winter tests - to be able to produce a good performance to really get our season underway."


ELIAS LOOKING FOR FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS AHEAD HIS HOME GP

Following 2-week break the 2011 MotoGP World Championship encounters an intense period of activity across the months of June and July, with six races taking place in the space of eight weekends. The fifth round of the calendar, the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, takes place this weekend at Montmeló race track with LCR racer Toni Elias eager to race ahead his family and friends.

The 28-year-old from Manresa admits his success in the premier class was limited at his home track but the Spaniard aboard the RCV is looking for further improvements to solve his rear traction problems at his home soil. Having struggled for some races Elias and the team found small adjustments scoring points in the last three rounds but the reigning Moto2 Champion is determined to continue intensively with his set up work despite the positive "pressure" of his home race. Thanks to Honda support Elias will be back on track equipped with the new 2011 chassis.

Elias: "Honestly my situation is not the one I was expecting for my home race but I am not worried about that. I do not feel the pressure: I just want to continue my progression trying to fix the bike step by step. In the last 3 rounds we have found some small improvements but my overall package is not perfect yet so we will continue our set up work to take a step further on my home soil. I want to thank Honda for their support so far and for the new 2011 chassis they gave us for this week end. I will do my best to obtain the best result for me, the team and my fans".


MOTOGP MAKES SECOND SPANISH STOP OF THE SEASON

Having finished sixth at Jerez Héctor Barberá is hopeful of another top showing in front of Spanish fans

The Circuit de Catalunya provides a test of speed and technical ability to the MotoGP riders this weekend as the 2011 season gathers pace. The fifth round of the campaign is also the second on Spanish soil and the first of an intense European road trip that takes in five circuits on the old continent before heading to the Laguna Seca circuit in the USA on July 24. Six races in no more than eight weekends make this one of the toughest periods of the year for the teams and riders, who must stay fully focused in order to maintain their championship hopes through to the second half of the season. So far the opening four wins of the season have been shared out between Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner.

Sixth at Jerez and ninth at Le Mans, with a race to forget in Portugal in between, Héctor Barberá's season after four rounds is already a vast improvement on the same time last year. If 2010 was a learning year, this season Héctor is using his experience to improve every time he takes to the track and the MAPFRE Aspar rider wants to keep it that way this weekend at Montmeló, a circuit that suits his riding style and provides another opporutnity to gather experience and points.

Héctor Barberá: "The Grand Prix of Catalunya is an event I always love. It is the second round of the year in Spain and signals the end of the first quarter of the campaign. The last race didn't go at all badly considering how much we struggled during practice. Ninth place was a good result but we have to target better and I hope we can move up the order this weekend. I like Montmeló a lot, it is one of those circuits that tends to suit me, with fast and technical corners. We have to work hard from the first session to the race, give it our best and the results will come. I have got good memories of this circuit because I had one of the best races of my entire career here in 2004. I also think that if we can find a way to be fast at Montmeló it will really help us in the races to come immediately afterwards."


DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM AT CATALUNYA, A FAVORITE GP FOR ROSSI AND HAYDEN

Situated in Montmelò, an industrial suburb north of Barcelona, Circuito de Catalunya opened in 1992, and was added to the Grand Prix calendar the same year. The track is challenging and fast, with a 1,047 meter (1,145 yard) main straightaway on which the bikes reach 330 kilometers per hour (205 mph). It includes very hard braking points, such as the approaches to the first turn and to "Caixa" at the end of the back straight, where the rear tyre often leaves the ground. It also features a series of long, constant-radius corners where the riders stay leaned over for a long time.

Both Ducati Marlboro Team riders enjoy the Catalan Grand Prix, citing both the track's layout and the large crowds that always heat up the Spanish races. Valentino Rossi, who didn't take part in the 2010 round due to an injury, has scored wins at the track in every class, collecting an impressive nine victories and a further four podiums. Nicky Hayden also made the podium in 2006, on his way to the MotoGP title.

VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Marlboro Team

"The Catalan Grand Prix is one of the nicest of the season, for a number of reasons: Barcelona is a beautiful city, the track is really nice—probably my second-favorite after Mugello—and finally, as is always the case at Spanish races, the grandstands are filled with enthusiastic fans. I'm really happy to return to the track, since I had to watch the race from my house last year. I've always been quite strong at the track, so I have many nice memories, the most recent of which is the 2009 win after a great battle with Lorenzo. We're very motivated and we're working really hard on the bike; step-by-step, we can see that we're making progress. We know there's still a lot of work to be done, but we need to keep trying to get closer to the front."

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team

"Any race in Spain is huge, and Catalunya is no exception. It's a good track. I made the podium there in 2006, although I haven't gotten the results I'd like there in recent years, especially last season. I'm looking forward to it. The two weeks off have been okay, but I enjoy this part of the season, with back-to-back races. The next month and a half is going to be busy, because this is when the season really gets going. Even though our end result wasn't a lot better in Le Mans, I definitely think we were closer to the front. Ducati hasn't stopped working over the last couple of weeks, and we'll see at Barcelona if we can keep going on the right path."

VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager

"With the Barcelona Grand Prix, we're beginning a very intense period of racing that should better outline the championship situation before the summer break. The whole team did a good job at Le Mans; Vale got a podium, and although Nicky's race didn't go great, he had three positive days. The updates that we've made to the GP11 have enabled us to take a first step forward, but our goal is obviously to continue improving, because we still have a gap to recover since the bar has been raised quite a bit compared to last year. Valentino is really beginning to feel better physically, and because of that, the feedback that he's able to give us regarding the development is increasingly precise. We're working under incredibly short deadlines, both in the factory and on the track, but we're doing our best to provide our riders with a bike that's increasingly competitive."

CATALUNYA CIRCUIT RECORDS

Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2008), 1'42.358 – 166.251 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1'41.186 – 168.177 Km/h
Circuit Length: 4,727 km
MotoGP Race 2011: 25 laps (118,175 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2011: 14:00 Local Time
Number of laps: 25
Total race distance: 118,175 km
PODIUM 2010: 1st Jorge Lorenzo, 2nd Dani Pedrosa, 3rd Casey Stoner
POLE 2010: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2010) 1'42.046 – 166.760 km/h

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM'S BEST RESULT AT CATALUNYA
2010: 3rd (Stoner)
2009: 3rd (Stoner)
2008: 3rd (Stoner)
2007: 1st (Stoner)
2006: - DNF
2005: 11th (Checa)
2004: 10th (Capirossi)
2003: 1st (Capirossi)

DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM – RIDER INFO

VALENTINO ROSSI
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP11
Race number: 46
Age: 32 (born 16 February 1979 in Pesaro, Italy)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
Number of GPs: 245 (185 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12x 125cc)
First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi's MotoGP/500cc track record at Catalunya
2010: Grid: DNS; Race: DNS
2009: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2008: Grid: 9th; Race: 2nd
2007: Grid: 1st; Race: 2nd
2006: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2005: Grid: 3rd; Race: 1st
2004: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2003: Grid: 1st; Race: 2nd
2002: Grid: 4th; Race: 1st
2001: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2000: Grid: 9th; Race: 3rd

Rossi's 250cc track record at Catalunya
1999: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
1998: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st

Rossi's 125cc track record in Catalunya
1997: Race: 1st
1996: Race: -

NICKY HAYDEN
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP11
Race number: 69
Age: 29 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 138 (138 x MotoGP)
First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden's MotoGP track record at Catalunya
2010: Grid: 11th; Race: 8th
2009: Grid: 13th; Race: 10th
2008: Grid: 3rd; Race: 8th
2007: Grid: 7th; Race: 11th
2006: Grid: 7th; Race: 2nd
2005: Grid: 5th; Race: 5th
2004: Grid: 3th; Race: DNS
2003: Grid: 18th; Race: 9th


2011

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