Press release previews of the upcoming round at Misano from most of the MotoGP teams:
Edwards and Crutchlow head to Misano full of confidence
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow head back across the Atlantic for this weekend's Misano MotoGP round in high spirits and full of confidence after both collected hard earned points scoring finishes last time out at Indianapolis.
Edwards raced to a superb seventh place finish in front of his home crowd on Sunday to move into eighth place in the World Championship standings and further strengthen the 37-year-old's bid to finish top non-factory rider this year.
Edwards has a good record at the 2.626 miles circuit with three top 10 finishes in four attempts and he is optimistic that he can continue his consistent streak of form in Sunday's 28-lap race.
Edwards will be seeking his eighth consecutive top 10 finish of the campaign at the San Marino venue, which is hosting a MotoGP race for the fifth time having returned to the calendar in 2007.
Crutchlow's debut at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway proved to be a morale-boosting exercise, the British rider succeeding in his quest to end a disappointing string of results with a gutsy ride to 11th.
The 25-year-old is now looking to build on the confidence gained on a circuit where he has winning pedigree. Crutchlow was victorious in the 2009 World Supersport round at Misano and he was just one second away from claiming a stunning podium in the second World Superbike race last year.
This weekend's race on the Adriatic coast is the start of the final third of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team looking forwar d to forthcoming flyaway trips to Japan, Australia and Malaysia before the season closes in Valencia in early November.
Colin Edwards, 8th - 84 points:
"Misano was the first track I ever went to with the Yamaha World Superbike Team way back in 1995, so the circuit has always been a very special place to me with a lot of fond memories. I've spent a lot of time in that area around Riccione and the beach when I lived there with my family back in 2004, so Misano is always one of the races I'm most excited about going to. The fans are really passionate and they love MotoGP, so there is always a special buzz around the place. Last weekend in Indianapolis was a tough race, so to take seventh was still a positive result. You always want more but I know the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is getting the maximum out of the package we have. It was obvious in Indianapolis th at we lack a bit of engine performance, but I still beat a lot of guys on factory equipment, so that proves what a good job we are doing. The goal this weekend will be the same as always and that's to qualify on the second row and finish in the top six. We nearly managed both in Indy, so I'm determined to make sure it will be mission accomplished in Misano."
Cal Crutchlow, 15th - 39 points:
"After the positive result in Indianapolis I'm really looking forward to Misano now. The first objective in Indianapolis was to finish the race and learn more about the bike, and we accomplished that. That's given my confidence a lift and it wasn't only good for my morale but it was also good for the morale of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, who have supported me fantastically. Of course we want to be finishing higher, but I was happy with my pace in Indianapolis. I was lapping at the same pace that Dani Pedrosa did on his way to winning the race in 2010, but that shows just how fast the guys are going this year. It is a challenge but one that I am up for and the target this weekend will be to try and get back into the top 10. At least I don't have to worry about learning the track at Misano and that is a massive bonus before you even start. I just want to get another good result this weekend for all the hard work my crew have been putting in to make it work out for me. I'm sure we can build on last weekend's result and have another strong ride in Misano."
Fresh from Victory in America, The Repsol Honda Team head to San Marino
With no time to pause for breath, the Repsol Honda Team arrive back in Europe after a fantastic 1-2 at Indianapolis, to take part in round thirteen of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship in San Marino.
Casey Stoner secured his seventh win of the season at Indianapolis with team mates Dani Pedosa and Andrea Dovizioso in 2nd and 5th respectively. Casey, also a winner at Misano in 2007 has qualified on pole twice but will be looking to improve on his 5th place finish last year.
Dani has enjoyed strong results at Misano in the past, progressively improving on each outing, finishing on the podium in the past two years and dominating in 2010 taking victory, pole position and the circuit lap record.
Andrea has narrowly missed out on a podium in San Marino in his past two outings there. He qualified 8th in both 2009 and 2010, and worked hard in the race to claim 4th position both years, he will be aiming for his first podium there this weekend in front of his home crowd.
CASEY STONER – World Championship Position: 1st with 243 points
"I'm looking forward to going to San Marino and seeing how competitive we can be. In 2007 and 2008 we were fast there, then I missed 2009 and last year we struggled a little so we've had a mixed bag of results. It's a nice track, I like the two corners off the end of the back straight, they're a lot of fun and very fast. I know Dani and Jorge will be very fast there, but I'm coming off the back of three wins and in a strong position in the Championship so we'll see what we can do and I'm confident we can get a good result".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship Position: 3rd with 174 points
"We arrive in Misano after a disappointing result in Indianapolis but we are determined to turn the page and return on the podium. The conditions in Indianapolis were very demanding but we managed to record our fastest time on the very last lap. This shows that we are fast and therefore we arrive in Misano stronger and with an extra motivation. We are third in the Championship and this is the important point. We will continue fighting and we will give our best every race weekend, because we believe that second position in the World Championship is not impossible. Last year in Misano I finished fourth behind Valentino. This year we want to take the next step and get the podium spot. I'm sure that with the experience gained this year, we can be strong at Misano. I don't live far from Misano and after the podium finish in Mugello I would love to have another good result in front of the Italian crowd".
DANI PEDROSA – World Championship Position: 4th with 130 points
"After the good race we had at Indy, we arrive at Misano in a very positive mood. The circuit is so different compared to Indy, but last year we had a very good race there and we will try to repeat this. We must be a little stronger on Saturday and prepare for the race the best we can. Misano is a track where you need good acceleration and hard braking, so this will be our priority to start working on with the bike setting. After the success in America, it's good to head directly to Misano. I hope we can continue working well with the team and take another step forward".
Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 13: San Marino
Tuesday 30 August 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
There's no rest for the MotoGP paddock as it travels from Indianapolis last weekend straight to Rimini and the Adriatic Coast for the San Marino Grand Prix on 4 September.
The Misano World Circuit is twisty and quite stop-start in nature, although there is a very fast section from turns ten to thirteen. Consequently riders spend a lot of time on the brakes meaning that braking stability from the front Bridgestone tyres is crucial. Confidence in rear grip is especially important through turns six, ten and sixteen, which all lead onto sections of straight.
The circuit isn't particularly demanding of Bridgestone's tyres, although it is harder on the right shoulder than the left because of its clockwise direction and in particular the complex of turns ten to thirteen which is a high speed right-handed kink called Curvone that leads into a series of increasingly tightening right-handers. Here, high-speed stability and edge grip is at a premium and riders must have the confidence to fully commit.
Last year Bridgestone selected symmetric tyres for Misano but this year the allocation has been revised to use asymmetric rear slicks which offer a softer compound left shoulder for improved warm-up performance and increased rider feeling.
In keeping with the new tyre regulations introduced during the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the medium and hard compound front slicks have again been selected for Misano with the addition of the third soft compound option for cooler conditions.
After a time away, MotoGP returned to Misano in 2007, but the circuit layout was changed slightly at turn three in 2008, increasing the track's length to 4.226km. Bridgestone has a great track record in Misano since the circuit's return to the calendar in 2007. Ducati Team's Casey Stoner took pole and won in 2007 on Bridgestone tyres in the era of tyre competition, in 2008 (last year of tyre competition) and again in 2009 Valentino Rossi set a new lap record on his way to victory, and last year Dani Pedrosa set another new lap record.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"Misano will bring mixed memories and emotions for many, including myself, but it is a circuit that Bridgestone have always been strong at with consecutive new lap records in the last three years. In the absence of tyre competition the laptime is our benchmark and, combined with developments to the machines each year, I believe this shows we are not resting on our laurels with tyre development. We always see a very passionate crowd at Misano, and hopefully we will give them a good show as the title fight hots-up with only six races of this season remaining now."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip, but it has a twisty layout so the tyres spend a lot of time leant over and don't have a lot of respite each lap in which to cool down. Ambient conditions are also usually hot so in our compound selection we must strike a tricky balance between grip and durability. This year we have selected asymmetric rear slick tyres for Misano and I believe, based on tyre performance at other races and rider feedback, this will be a step forward in warm-up performance on the left side and rider feeling and confidence, and in achieving the right balance.
"The fast right-handed Curvone corner is where the tyres reach their highest temperature, particularly the rears, and because of the high speed good stability is critical. A strong centre section of the front tyre is also required for good stability under frequent and sometimes heavy braking. It is also important for every element of the bike, rider and tyre package to work well here because with the nature of the track meaning tyres have little time upright in which to cool, it is easier to overheat them."
NON-STOP MOTOGP FREIGHT TRAIN MOVES ON TO MISANO
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá aims to continue form at scene of several podium triumphs
The fourth back-to-back race of the MotoGP season takes place this Sunday, with the bikes and cargo making the transatlantic trip from Indianapolis to Misano in a matter of a few days. Not only are the circuits separated by a huge distance but they are also contrasting in character, the American track proving an extremely tricky challenge for the riders where as the Italian venue, host to the Grand Prix of San Marino, is famously straightforward. The lap times tend to be closer here than at most other circuits, usually making for great racing. With a 44-point gap at the top of the standings after three straight wins Casey Stoner has a target on his back as his rivals aim to ensure he doesn't wrap the title up with races to spare.
To judge MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá's Indianapolis performance a a disaster purely because he failed to finish the race would be a mistake, because the Spaniard once again showed excellent form throughout the weekend. Héctor took a step forward with the set-up of his bike during practice, as was evident with his lap times, and he is now looking forward to taking it to a circuit where he has taken victory (2009 - 250cc) and two further podiums (2007/ 2008 - 250cc, 3rd). This weekend he is aiming to continue with the improving trend he has set in the second half of the season.
Héctor Barberá: "We made gradual changes throughout last weekend that helped us to improve. We have played around a lot with my position on the bike and the front end of the Ducati. It all proved productive because I felt really comfortable throughout the weekend and could feel how much the bike was improving. I gained a lot of confidence from that and even though the result didn't come in the end you could say we took another step forward in the race. Now we go to Misano, a circuit that has always been good for me and holds a lot of good memories. I won the 250cc race two years ago and remember it very fondly. I also have a couple of other podiums so it is a favourable track to me and I'll be giving it 200%"
HOME RACE TONIC AFTER INDIANAPOLIS DISAPPOINTMENT
This week Marco Simoncelli makes the trip to the Misano circuit, the ideal place for him to put his disappointment from Indianapolis behind him. The atmosphere of his home circuit, located just a few kilometres from his home town, will provide "Super Sic" with all the motivation he requires to rediscover his podium form from the previous race at Brno and despite the difficulties encountered in the USA they at least provided the team with plenty of data to refer to should they encounter similar problems in the future. The transatlantic trip brings Marco home to a circuit he doesn't particularly like but where his family and friends will make up for that by providing plenty of support. Hiroshi Aoyama will take to the circuit boosted by a good result at Indianapolis and in the knowledge that he can do even better in the closing stages of the championship.
Marco Simoncelli "Indianapolis was a tough weekend. I was excited after warm-up but it turned out that the improved performance of the tyre was down to the lower temperatures in warm-up. With the track back up to 50°C for the race it was a complete disaster. I had fun for five laps but that wasn't enough. It is a shame but at Misano I hope I can ride like I did for those five laps throughout the entire race. That is my hope, for me and especially for my fans. Misano has not been that good to me in the past but there is a first time for everything. It is not one of my favourite circuits but the motivation is there and I will give it my all. I live just a few kilometres away and the atmosphere will help me."
Hiroshi Aoyama "I wasn't completely satisfied with the result at Indianapolis. I was happy that I found a good feeling with the bike in the race and felt in good physical shape but a little annoyed with my start. I will be out to make up for that at Misano, a circuit which is tighter and more technical than Indianapolis. I am sure that we can build on my positive feeling from Indianapolis at Misano this weekend. I would really like to give the team a god result because they are based so close to the track."
Fausto Gresini "Misano is always a massive event for us. Our headquarters are just a few kilometres away from the track and the atmosphere there is always emotional. We are proud to have hosted the "Dedikato" evening ever since the championship returned to this circuit and it is our way of maintaining the memory of the unforgettable Daijiro Kato, who gave us so many extraordinary moments, as well as supporting the Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis research. After his podium at Brno we would have liked to be travelling to Misano with another positive result behind us but Indianapolis was a really tough weekend. Marco's front tyre only last five laps but he showed his potential during that time and I am sure that he will show it again on Sunday. Aoyama got his confidence back too and I am sure we can look forward to seeing more from him in the closing stages of the season."
DUCATI TEAM PREPARES FOR SECOND HOME RACE
Sunday's Grand Prix of San Marino and of the Rimini Riviera be the second home event for the Ducati Team, and it's an important round for Valentino Rossi, who lives a short distance from the track. He has two wins at the circuit, in 2008 and 2009, as well as a podium last year.
Though it looks rather simple, the Misano track is actually quite technical and slow, with narrow, short-radius corners. The notable exception is the famous "Curvone," a fast, challenging right-hander.
The Ducati Team will be busy with the hard work of finding the best setup for the Desmosedici, and both riders will be supported as usual by the fans filling the Ducati grandstand in the "Variante Parco," the first corner after the start-finish straightaway.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
"We'll be racing in front of our home fans at Misano, and obviously we'd like to do better than we have at recent races. Indianapolis was very difficult, and we would have preferred to arrive here in better shape, but we're aware that much of our work is aimed toward the future. For the moment, we must take into account the possibility that our results won't be satisfying, first for us but also for our fans. We're all working at our maximum, both at the track and in the company, and in the meantime, we'll try to do as well as the current situation allows."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
"Indy was a bad race, but some how, some way, you've got to try to get over it and move on. Misano has been a tough track for me, because it seems like I can't ever get through the first corner. It would be nice to catch a bit of a break, because I don't feel like we're always getting the results we deserve. We learned a lot about the new bike in Indy, so I hope we've got a good starting point there. We'll see what the weather's going to do. Hopefully it won't be too hot, as that makes things more difficult for us. Anyway, we need to do our best and try to improve our bike."
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"Misano is a round that means a lot to all of us, and it's the home race for Valentino. We'll have many fans there, and we'd like to put both Vale and Nicky in position to get good results. Naturally, we'll try our best, as we do at every race weekend, although we know that the type of work we're doing on the bike pays off over the long term. It's definitely a difficult moment for us because the results aren't what we'd like, but it's very gratifying to see the great effort and determination from our riders, the team and everyone at Ducati. We remain focused on our goals, and we're committed to following the path we've laid out to achieve them."
Yamaha Head Back Across the Atlantic to Misano
With no rest after a gruelling race weekend in Indianapolis Yamaha Factory Racing head straight back across the Atlantic. The team will begin preparations for the Grand Prix of San Marino at the Misano Adriatico circuit this weekend on Italy's eastern seaboard. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has an impressive history in San Marino with an unbroken podium run at Misano, scoring three consecutive second place finishes in the MotoGP class. The Mallorcan rider sits 44 points behind Championship leader Casey Stoner with six rounds remaining.
Ben Spies returns from the USA to Misano with high expectations; the Texan displayed his impressive overtaking skills at last year's San Marino Grand Prix, recovering from tenth to take a respectable sixth at the line. Spies can also claim a World Superbike race win in 2009 on the twisty, challenging circuit.
"I hope to leave the last race behind us. We go straight to Misano now, a track I like and where I have won and got some podiums. My team and I will try to come back to the top and continue fighting for the Championship!"
"It's pretty tiring heading back to back across the Atlantic but I have always enjoyed racing at Misano. I had really good fortune there in my World Superbike year and enjoyed some great battles last year in my first MotoGP race on the track. We're taking the confidence of the podium finish with us from Indianapolis so I'm looking forward to setting up on Friday and tackling the track on a factory bike for the first time."
"I hope we are able to create something where we can fight at the front, it hasn't been the case in the last couple of weekends. We know when the bike is right Jorge can fight with the best. We won't give up and Misano will be our next chance to take something back from Casey."
"The team headquarters are just a couple of hundred kilometres away so Misano is one of our ‘home' races and we are all looking forward to it. Ben's fight back to the podium in Indianapolis proved that we have a competitive package and we know that Jorge is strong at this circuit and still fighting for the Championship. We will look to find a good set up quickly and I have confidence we can challenge for good results."