The final round of press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez:
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM READY FOR CRT'S EUROPEAN DEBUT
MotoGP begins continental road trip as Jerez hosts second round of season
The POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM return to familiar territory this weekend after their historic CRT debut under floodlights in Qatar three weeks ago. The second round of the season takes place at Jerez, where the Italian-made ART machine has already completed hundreds of laps in preseason testing around a circuit that is more favourable to its characteristics. After missing out to their closest rivals at Losail, the POWER ELECTRONICS crew are hopeful their CRT machine can be the first across the line and book a place in parc fermé at their home circuit this Sunday, whilst the gap to the factory machines should also be smaller at this track, adding extra interest to the race.
Team riders Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró have plenty of data to fall back on this weekend and they are both looking forward to trying Bridgestone's new 'tyre 21'. The latest evolution of the 2012 front tyre features changes to its construction designed to improve rider feel and warm-up time and it has been built according to feedback from preseason testing. In addition to their standard allocation of nine regular fronts at the Spanish Grand Prix the riders will have two units of the new tyre available in the harder 'race' compound only.With weather forecasters predicting a repeat of the rainy conditions from last year's race, Bridgestone have also decided that the wet tyre option for the weekend will be made from the hard compound. Since Qatar the Japanese rubber suppliers have also proposed a different tread for the wet tyre so if after the first free practice the riders are in agreement that they need a different kind of compound, Bridgestone will be able to supply it with the permission of the Race Director.
Randy de Puniet: "I have finished on the podium here in the 250cc class but never in MotoGP, even though I have always been fast in practice. We had some good tests with the CRT bike here in the winter and our objective this weekend is to be the first of the new bikes home. I was lacking a little confidence in Qatar, mainly because of the characteristics of the track, but it should be a different scenario at Jerez. I even think we could be very close to some of the factory MotoGP guys and the new Bridgestone front will definitely help us. If it rains I won't be bothered because our bike is easy on the wet tyres."
Aleix Espargaró: "I am very motivated for this weekend. I left Qatar feeling disappointed that we'd been unable to make progress all weekend and didn't achieve anything in the race. Bridgestone have the new 'tyre 21' for us here, which should solve our chattering problem completely. We were faster than our rivals at Jerez during the IRTA tests so we'll be looking to confirm that this weekend."
THE GREEN TEAM READIES FOR JEREZ
This weekend we will see the Pramac Racing Team rider,Hèctor Barberà, in the first European round of the 2012 MotoGp Championship, in Jerez de la Frontera,Spain, for the second race of the season.
The Andalucian city of Jerez is a shrine for Spanish motorcycle racing and draws one of the biggest crowds, with more than 120.000 fans. And the huge crowds are expected to fill the amphitheatre of Jerez, waiting for a spectacular race.
The 4.423 km of the Spanish circuit, that includes numerous quick direction changes and few hard braking points, requies a responsive overall set-up and good grip at maximum lean angles.
For Hèctor, who is a Spanish rider, this is one of the home races and it is obviously a big stimulus to achieve a good result.
On this track, Hèctor, has always gotten decent results, which means that he would be a threat to other contestant ,although, this is not one of his favourite tracks.
Hèctor first podium appearance here was in 2004, riding an Aprilia in 125cc class. After that, with the 250cc, the Green and White rider collected three 5th places and during his last middle class season, in 2009, he wrapped up a good 4th place.
In 2011, as a MotoGp rider, Hèctor chalked up, in Jerez, his best result of the year, with a good 6th place on his Ducati.
HECTOR BARBERA’ -PRAMAC RACING TEAM RIDER -
“ After the mistake I made in Losail, which forced me to lose some places as final result, i will start off this first European race with a redemption feeling.
The Andalusian circuit layout didn’t fit my riding style, but, during this weekend i will work together with the White and Green Team, concentrating primarily on the set-up of our Ducati to be faster and moro consistent.
I will certainly work tirelessly to be the first Ducati rider who will cross the finishing line in the Sunday’s race, using more wit and less instinct, compared to the Qatar’s race.”
FRANCESCO GUIDOTTI - PRAMAC RACING TEAM MANAGER -
“If i think about the Losail’s result, it leaves a rather nasty taste, but i m confident with our potential and i want to look forward to the next race.
From friday's free practice we will work to start off on the right foot, without expecting too much, but to achieve a good result in this first Spanish race. “
BRADL HITS SOUTH SPAIN VENUE FOR THE 1st EUROPEAN ROUND
Jerez, 26 April: after the season-opening round in Qatar, the MotoGP circus lands in Europe this weekend for the Gran Premio de España at Jerez in the south of Spain. At this week’s event LCR Honda MotoGP Team is pleased to announce that Speedweek Magazine (the fastest growing German weekly Motorsports Magazine) will act as Title Sponsor.
The racing magazine was founded in January 2009 and the Editor in chief is Günther Wiesinger, who is one of the most respected Journalists in the MotoGP Paddock. The Speedweek Magazine covers car and motorcycle racing and always supplies its readers with the most current news. Since the start of the Speedweek Magazine, the swiss based magazine was a sponsor of Stefan Bradl.A brilliant start to the 2012 campaign was made by LCR racer Stefan Bradl in Qatar, where the German kicked off his season with a positive 8th place. The premier class rookies was on the pole of last year’s Moto2 race in Jerez, but the Honda RC213V machine is a different animal on the physically demanding track, which Bradl discovered during the pre-season test.
Stefan: “I am really looking forward to the first round in Europe. We have tested the bike there in March gathering useful data for the race weekend and I was comfortable with the bike’s overall package. I am happy to be back in Europe because we return to the standard time schedule and the atmosphere especially in Spain is very warm. I like the track even if I feel the difference between the lower classes and the MotoGP bike: it seems that the track is smaller because the riding style is different. The race will be also harder (physically speaking) as there are no long straights and just a few “relax points” along the track but I feel ready.”
Bel-Ray Racing Weekend Racing Preview
The Bel-Ray sponsored Power Electronics Aspar team comes to the Jerez Circuit in the South of Spain confident that they can provide a strong finish. Team riders Randy DuPuniet and Aleix Espargaro both raced to top 15 finishes at the first round in Qatar, and their familiarity with the Jerez circuit should prove helpful for this weekend’s event. The team had good results in winter testing at Jerez and team rider DePuniet expects to be the first of the CRT bikes in the standings at the checkered flag. He spoke about lacking some confidence in Qatar due to track characteristics but in his words “it should be a different scenario at Jerez.” Teammate Espargaro added, “I am very motivated for this weekend. We were faster than our rivals at Jerez during the IRTA tests so we'll be looking to confirm that this weekend." Coming into Jerez, DePuniet is ranked 13th and Espargaro 15th in the points standings.
The Moto2 series continues this weekend in Jerez, Spain. This will mark the home round for the Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar team. Both team riders Toni Elias and Nico Terol have won events at the popular Spanish circuit. Despite struggling in the opening round in Qatar both riders come to their home Grand Prix confident of their abilities and are aiming for podium positions. Elias called the Jerez circuit his favorite on the Grand Prix tour with special memories of past victories and a unique atmosphere. He added that he was feeling positive for the event. Terol explained that the track has always been good to him in the past and that the combination of fast and slow sections that really suit his riding style. Following round 1 of racing, Elias is 13th and Terol is unranked in the overall season’s standings.
Bel-Ray sponsored Bankia Aspar joins the rest of the World Championship series in Jerez, Spain this upcoming weekend. For the 26th consecutive year the series comes to this famous racetrack known to the local motorcycle fan as “The Cathedral”. With the large crowd expected winning this event is a must for every Spanish rider. Both team riders, Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo, hail from Spain and despite struggling at round 1 in Qatar, they are confident of a top finish in Jerez. The team made several changes to the set-up and engine performance in hopes of providing the riders the extra advantage necessary for a top finish. Faubel spoke about the changes and the teams ability to react quickly to issues, calling them the best team in the championship. He added that they “need to keep working hard to achieve our objective of podium finishes." When asked about how it would be for him to win in front of his home country, Moncayo said, “This is the race every Spanish rider wants to win but as you can imagine for a local rider such as myself it would be extra special. I'll be giving my best to make it happen on Sunday." After the opening round Faubel is ranked 12th and Moncayo 14th in the world championship point’s standings.
MotoGP RACE PREVIEW: GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN
Race: Grand Prix of Spain
Date: Sunday, April 29
Round: Second of 18 races in 2012
Circuit: Jerez Circuit, Jerez, Spain
Distance: 27 laps on 13-turn, 2.748-mile circuit
2011 Winner: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
2012 Points Leader: Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha
U.S. Riders: Nicky Hayden, sixth, 10 points; Ben Spies, 11th, 5; Colin Edwards, 12th, 4.
MotoGP: 8 a.m. (ET) Sunday, April 29, SPEED. Moto2: Noon (ET), Sunday, April 29, SPEED. Moto3: Noon (ET) Tuesday, May 1, SPEED.
Jorge Lorenzo passed reigning World Champion Casey Stoner with three laps remaining and held on for victory Sunday, April 8 in the Grand Prix of Qatar, the 2012 season opener.
2010 World Champion Lorenzo, from Spain, rode his factory Yamaha to victory by .852 of a second over Dani Pedrosa, Stoner's teammate at Repsol Honda. Stoner ended up third, 2.908 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Yamaha Tech 3 teammates Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden led the American contingent, finishing sixth on a factory Ducati after chasing a tough fight with Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Hector Barbera over the closing laps.
Jorge Lorenzo: Spaniard Lorenzo surprised many by winning the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar from the pole since reigning World Champion Casey Stoner led all three preseason tests. Lorenzo's Yamaha M1 chassis appears to avoid the "chatter" vibration problem under braking and acceleration that is plaguing the Honda RC213V machines of Stoner and Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa. The good times could keep rolling for Lorenzo at Jerez, as he has won this race the last two years.
Cal Crutchlow: Brit Crutchlow was among the top six in all three preseason tests on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, and he backed it up by finishing fourth at Qatar. Crutchlow could be the breakthrough rider in the premier class during his second season in MotoGP.
Casey Stoner: Australian Stoner led all three preseason tests but faded to a disappointing third on his Repsol Honda at the Grand Prix of Qatar after suffering from painful arm pump over the closing laps. The team's RC213V also is suffering from troublesome "chatter" vibration under braking and acceleration. History indicates Jerez isn't a good spot for Stoner to rebound, either. His best finish at Jerez is third, in 2009.
Valentino Rossi: After suffering through the first winless season of his career in 2011, Italian Rossi's troubles continue at Ducati. He finished 10th at Qatar and called the Ducati GP12 "unrideable" in a stunning diatribe to the Italian media after the race. Rossi had a controversial collision with Casey Stoner last season at Jerez that eliminated Stoner from the race.
BY THE NUMBERS
Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi is scheduled to make his 200th career start in the premier class at this event. Only Alex Barros (245) and Loris Capirossi (217) have made more starts ... Casey Stoner has recorded 16 consecutive podium finishes, the fourth-longest streak in 500cc/MotoGP history. The last time Stoner finished outside of the top three was this event last year ... If Moto3 points leader Maverick Vinales of Spain wins this event, he will become the youngest rider ever to win four consecutive Grand Prix events. Vinales, 17, won the last two races of the 2011 season ... Romano Fenati of Italy finished second in his Grand Prix debut in the Moto3 class at Qatar. He's the first rider to finish on the podium in his debut across all classes since Noriyuki Haga placed third in the 500cc class in the 1998 season opener at Suzuka, Japan.
2012 tickets: Tickets for the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now at http://www.imstix.com, by calling (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or by visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.