Press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's race at Misano:
HECTOR BARBERA’ GETS BACK TO THE PRAMAC DUCATI AFTER INJURY
The MotoGP paddock arrives to Italy, for the second “home round” of the Green Energy Team and Héctor Barberà returns aboard his white and green Ducati, after the his six-week absence.
Therefore the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera Adriatica will welcome back Héctor, who is eager to return on the track and to start working again with the Pramac Racing Team.
Barberà’s recovery from both the small vertebrae fractured (in Indy) and the broken leg (due to a training accident of six weeks ago) have gone so well that the Spaniard will return to action earlier than expected.
The 25-years-old has been recovering at home in Spain and has undergone an intensive rehab therapy, which has resulted in him being back on a bike in good form.
Barberà has missed three races over his injuries and currently sits eleventh in the championship standing with 60 points, only six behind the top ten.
Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider –
“I’m really excited that I’ll ride this weekend on this amazing track. I have a lot of good memories about Misano, especially from 2009 when I won in the middle class.
Obviously this year it is a different situation. I didn’t ride for six weeks, but I made a big effort to be ready to race this weekend and the only thing I thought about during the rehabilitation was to be back on my Ducati as soon as I could.
I had some down time on my active rehabilitation due to the forced rest after the big crash in Indy, but I worked hard with the passive rehabilitation to recovery as quick as possible.
I feel good, even if I know that on the track it will be a different thing and it could be hard, but I miss my bike and my team and I want to try.
I have to say thanks to a lot of people, in particular to my team, my sponsor, all the people that I worked with in these weeks and also thanks to Toni Elias.”
MotoGP Returns to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies return to Italy this week for the Grand Prix of San Marino at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. After a successful two-day test in Aragon last week the riders are relaxed and positive about their chances this weekend. Championship leader Lorenzo arrives with a 13 point gap to closest rival Dani Pedrosa at a circuit which witnessed a faultless victory for him last year and three prior consecutive second place podium finishes preceding that.
Team mate Spies has always performed for the crowd at the Misano circuit, taking two sixth place finishes after multiple overtakes in both 2010 and 2011. The Texan also has a World Superbike victory under his belt here from his 2009 Championship winning season.
“We arrive at Misano now which is a track I like very much, we had a great victory here last year and many podium finishes. We are still leading the Championship so we must work hard this weekend to keep it and if possible to increase it. We will aim for the podium and if it is possible, the victory.”
“Misano is a track I really enjoy riding, I’ve had some great races here. I think if we’d had a couple more laps last year then I could have maybe been past Andrea and Marco. It’s been an unbelievable year but we’ll give it 100% as always this weekend and fingers crossed it’ll be trouble free and we can show our true potential.”
“We have just six races to go now. Misano was very strong last year for Jorge and a great victory. After a very exciting Brno race we want to try to increase the point lead. I think it will be exciting again this weekend so we need to try to win but stay calm.”
“After a very positive test in Aragon we are now looking forward to racing again at Misano. The circuit has been good for both Ben and Jorge so we are confident we can achieve good results. It’s kind of a home race for the team being based in Italy so we’re all looking forward to getting started on Friday morning.”
A VERY SPECIAL WEEKEND AWAITS
It would be futile to deny that this thirteenth race on the 2012 MotoGP World Championship calendar will be a very different event. The track, located just a few kilometres from Team San Carlo Honda Gresini’s headquarters and named after the much missed Marco Simoncelli, will host a very emotional weekend of racing. There will be many tributes paid to ‘Super Sic’ at the San Marino round of the season, as the rider’s presence lives on in the hearts of those in the MotoGP paddock and beyond. At a track not particularly favoured by Marco,Team San Carlo Honda Gresini will have plenty of motivation to have a strong performance once again. Álvaro Bautista will be attempting to bounce back from a result at Brno which did not leave him satisfied, whilst Michele Pirro will attempt to improve upon his recent results –having ended a negative run of four consecutive retirements at Brno.
Alvaro Bautista “The race at Brno didn’t leave me satisfied and my feeling with the bike wasn’t as good as expected. We had plenty of problems with braking and corner entry all weekend. We also had an issue with rear grip in the race that wasn’t there in practice. All this meant that we couldn’t push as hard as we would have liked, so our first task is going to be finding a good feeling with the bike and judging our potential from there. Misano will be a different race for many reasons. It is Team San Carlo Honda Gresini’s home track and this will be the first time that we ride there since it was renamed after Marco Simoncelli. I can’t wait to get on track and try to get a good result. I didn’t take a positive memory from the last visit to Italy, but at this track I have ridden well in MotoGP –and above all in 250cc. We are going to have to work hard in practice in order to be competitive on race day. Misano is a unique circuit because of it’s anti-clockwise direction. I like it, but it isn’t one of my favourite tracks. Most of the way it is slow, but there are a few fast corners like ‘Carro’ that I really enjoy. The start into the narrow first corner is very tricky, so it will be important to get a good grid position.”
Michele Pirro “I finally took the chequered flag again at Brno and reached the goal of finishing a race, after four consecutive retirements. It wasn’t an easy race in the Czech Republic, but in the end I was fairly satisfied with not taking another DNF. Our hard work and determination needs to continue to grow as the season comes closer to the end, and we want to be back fighting for the top CRT honour. This weekend at Misano will be very special. It is the home track for the team and holds Marco Simoncelli’s name, so we will have a lot of emotion that we will use as motivation to have a great race."
Fausto Gresini “It is going to be a weekend of strong emotions. For our team, Misano has always been a special race, because our Race Department is just a few kilometres from the circuit, but this year things will be really different.The many initiatives to celebrate Marco’s memory and the naming of the track after him will ensure this. It will be very difficult, but I hope that the guys and our riders can honour our friend with positive results. I am convinced of the committment of everyone will be at a maximum, because Marco’s memory lives on in all of us and he will help us to perform a miracle at his circuit.”
Ducati Team back with both riders for season’s second home race
The Ducati Team is preparing for its second home race of the season, which will take place on Sunday at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The GP di San Marino e della Riviera Rimini is also an important round for Valentino Rossi, who lives near the circuit at which he has posted two wins and an additional podium finish.
Nicky Hayden will return to the track after incurring an injury at Indianapolis that also forced him to miss the following Grand Prix, at Brno. The American has been undergoing rehabilitation in the United States, and Friday he’ll test the strength and endurance of his right hand, which had suffered two fractures.
As usual at Misano, the Ducati Team will be supported by Ducati fans in the “Variante del Parco” grandstand, which is situated near the first corner.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“Misano is one of two home races for us, so there will be a lot of fans and a very special atmosphere, as is always the case when we race in Italy. The track is challenging and difficult, but I like it a lot. It has some really fun sections, such as the exit from the "Tramonto" corner and the big, fast corners after the back straight. We’ll have to work well in the practice sessions in order to fight and to try and do a nice race.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won’t be easy this weekend. My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line. I’ve been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I’ve been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California. Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano. Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati’s home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race. We’ve got a couple of things stacked against us, but we’ll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“At Misano we’ll be back with both of our riders, which is definitely a positive for our home race, where we’ll have a lot of fans. Over the past few weeks, Nicky has undergone rehabilitation while keeping up with his training, and on Friday morning we’ll see how his hand reacts to the stress of riding the bike, especially on braking. It’s Valentino’s home race, and Misano is definitely a special round for him. We’ll work on the setup to try and give him the conditions he needs to ride at a good, consistent pace for the entire race.”
POWER ELECTRONICS RIDERS AIM TO KEEP UP TOP CRT BATTLE AT MISANO
Aleix Espargaró arrives at round thirteen with four-point advantage over teammate Randy De Puniet
After a two week break, the MotoGP World Championship returns to action with the San Marino GP. The Misano circuit hosts the thirteenth round of the series -the second on Italian soil. This will be the first time in many years that the late Marco Simoncelli will not be in attendance, and numerous tributes will be made to the fallen friend of the MotoGP paddock this weekend. The best celebration of his memory will be attempted by the riders, who will be trying to provide an exciting race for the fans. With Casey Stoner recovering from surgery, the title fight has been reduced to Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Both battled for the lead on the final lap at Brno, in search of every advantage in their pursuit of the crown.
Also pushing hard this weekend will be the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team of Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet. The duo continue to fight for superiority in the CRT sub-category in MotoGP, with the difference between them minimal. Espargaró leads the way with 45 points, whilst De Puniet has 41. The former has been the top CRT rider in five races so far, to his teammate's four. The battle between the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team riders continues with six races remaining.
Aleix Espargaró: "I have good memories of Misano from my previous season in MotoGP and then in Moto2. I like the track a lot, so I hope to be able to have a strong weekend. We had some problems in the race at Brno, because the bike was sliding around a lot, so let's hope that this doesn't carry over to Misano. Misano is slower than Brno, although we will still be working off the existing setup. We have a good base, despite the problems that we had at Brno, so we will work with that. I have kept training hard these past two weeks; there are six races to go, but the last few fly by."
Randy De Puniet: "Misano is a fairly short circuit and very interesting for our team. I think that we are going to enjoy this weekend -we can do a good job there. We come into this race after a positive result at Brno and our aim is to continue at the same level. The plan at the beginning of the year was to end the season as the top CRT. We are on the right path towards that at the moment, but we have to keep pushing to overcome the four point advantage that Aleix holds over me. If all goes according to plan, then I am convinced that we will be very competitive again. We will continue to progress steadily in each practice session with the target of being the fastest CRT. I have disconnected a little over these past two weeks and have also been preparing for this final run in the season, which looks as tough as always."
NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team on its way to Misano & 2013 riders line-up
After a two weeks break after the Brno GP, the thirteenth round takes the World Championship to the Republic of San Marino.
Misano is a very special track for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards, Yuki Takahashi and Alex De Angelis. It is Alex De Angelis home race and the San Marino rider is eager to get started and put on a good show for his fans. The American and the Japanese riders both have finished in second position Racing at Misano: the Japanese rider got a podium at Misano in the 250cc class and Edwards won several races as a Superbike rider.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team will be holding a press conference at the Forward Hospitality this Thursday at 16:30 to present their 2013 Moto2 & MotoGP riders lineup.
Colin Edwards – 5- MotoGP Rider
“Its good to be back after the two week break and specially at Misano, it was the first track I ever tested at back in 1995, the track has a lot of good memories for me, won some Superbike races here. I’m looking forward to racing at Misano. Really looking forward to this week’s GP.”
Alex De Angelis – 15 – Moto2 Rider
“When left Brno on a very positive note after making a good result and that motivates me even more for this weekend’s home race at Misano. Knowing that my family, friends and fans will be there supporting me, always gives you an extra push. So far this season we have made many changes and the team has worked really hard. This race is a very special one, Lets hope this weekend we can make a good result.”
Yuki Takahashi – 72 – Moto2 Rider
“Misano is like the home away from home. I spend a lot of time in this area when I am not in Japan or at the races. We have made positive improvements with the FTR bike and we will continue our work and fight for the first points of the season.”