Press releases from the MotoGP teams and the single tire supplier ahead of this weekend's season finale at Valencia:
Yamaha Prepare for Triumphant Return to Valencia
Yamaha Factory Racing returns victorious to Spain this week for the 2012 season finale, the Gran Premio Generali de la Communitat Valenciana, as World champions. Jorge Lorenzo clinched the title at Phillip Island two weeks ago with one round still remaining, becoming the first ever Spaniard to claim two premier class world titles. The World Champion is now free to enjoy his last home Grand Prix of the season free from pressure in front of his Spanish fans. The race will be especially enjoyable for Lorenzo as he was forced to miss the 2011 Valencia round as he recovered from injuries sustained in a warm up crash at Phillip Island.
Katsuyuki Nakasuga will make his second appearance at Valencia in the premier class this weekend, this time as a replacement for Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies who continues to recover from injuries sustained in Malaysia last month. Nakasuga has already proved a worthy substitute rider on the M1, taking sixth at Valencia last year and ninth at this year’s Motegi race as a wildcard rider. The Japanese rider also arrives in Valencia as a champion having recently secured the All Japan Superbike Championship title for the second year running.
“This is the last round of the season, it’s a great feeling to be coming home to my Spanish fans as the world champion. It’s been a long, tough year and we have all worked so hard to get here, now this weekend will be one to enjoy for all of us with less pressure. I will of course still be pushing for the top step of the podium, it would be amazing to end the year with a victory.”
“It’s a big honour to be chosen by Yamaha again to represent them at Valencia. The level of the talent is so high in the MotoGP field but I will do my best to make Yamaha proud with this opportunity. As the Yamaha test rider this is also a good opportunity to gain further valuable data for the M1.”
“Here we are finally at the end of a long tough season! What better way to arrive here in Valencia than as world champions, this means we can all enjoy this final race that little bit more with a little less pressure. We are all looking forward to the race, Valencia is always a great crowd so we plan to put on a good show for the fans and end it in style.”
“It’s with mixed emotions that we come to the last race of the year, we are obviously overjoyed to be world champions, a very deserved title after all the hard work Jorge and the team have put in to get there. On the other hand it is a great shame we won’t have Ben with us for what would have been his final appearance for Yamaha. We wish him well with his recovery in the US and we welcome Nakasuga-san back into the team for this round. We are confident that he will adapt quickly again to the GP grid and exceed expectations on Sunday.”
Repsol Honda Team head to Valencia for final round of 2012
The 2012 MotoGP World Championship comes to a conclusion this weekend in Valencia for the last round of the season, with the Repsol Honda Team hoping to finish the championship on a high.
The final rider's championship positions were decided in Australia, with Dani Pedrosa in second and Casey Stoner third, but the Grand Prix of La Comunidad Valenciana is more than just the final race for them both. Dani will want to finish his best season in MotoGP to date (6 wins and 14 podiums) by adding another victory to his tremendous performances in the second half of the season. After dominating in Phillip Island two weeks ago, Casey is almost back to 100% and will want to close his successful career by winning his final race.
The Repsol Honda riders have enjoyed good results at Valencia, with Dani winning 5 times at this circuit including two premiership class victories in 2009 and 2007. For Casey, this is the setting of his first every GP victory in 2003 in 125cc, he has also won on two occasions in MotoGP in 2011 and 2008.
The Repsol Honda Team secured the team championship title at the Malaysian Grand Prix and Honda will be hoping to win the constructor championship this weekend - Honda lead the standings with 387 points, with Yamaha in second position on 366.
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Standing: 2nd with 307 points
"I'm very excited to get to Valencia and race again in front of the Spanish crowd. It's been a long time away and I really look forward to enjoy the atmosphere there; it's always a special race because it's the last one of the season and I have a lot of people there supporting me together with my family and friends. I enjoy riding this track and we've had good results there in the past. So, I want to make this weekend special and fight for the win and finish the season on a high".
CASEY STONER World Championship Standing: 3rd with 238 points
"Valencia should be a little better for me again, not as good as Phillip Island, but I've always had great success there, many pole positions and race wins. I hope we can be competitive there and with the track going left it should suit our bike and me a little better at this point. It's not going to be easy but it would be nice to get another good result in my final race in MotoGP".
Ducati Team prepares for season finale
After a much-deserved weekend off, the Ducati Team heads to Valencia for the season’s fourth race to be held on Spanish soil and, more importantly, the final round of the eighteen-event MotoGP championship.
The team and both of its riders will be looking to make up for last year’s race, at which Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were both taken out by another rider in the first turn. Since then, the circuit has been resurfaced, so it will be important to see how the tyres perform and to adjust bike setup accordingly. The event invariably attracts a large, passionate crowd, and the stadium-like backdrop makes for an exciting atmosphere.
Following the Valencia finale, the MotoGP riders and teams will enjoy just one day off before they take part in a test at the same track on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“Valencia definitely isn’t one of my favourite circuits, apart from the fact that it’s in Spain, which always has a great atmosphere. It’s a ‘Micky Mouse’ track that’s small for MotoGP and therefore difficult and tricky. There are a bunch of left hand corners, and I normally prefer those that go to the right. Anyway, we’ll see. The asphalt was redone and that should have improved both the grip and the bumps. It will be a strange weekend that should be challenging for a few different reasons, but we’ll do our best.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“Valencia is a track and a race that I like a lot. It’s the last round of the year, so the atmosphere is good and everyone always seems to have a little something extra. The track has been resurfaced since we were last there, and it was certainly due. We’ll have to see how it is with tyres when we get there, as new surfaces can be hard on rubber. We’ll need something that has good endurance on the left but also retains enough heat on the right. Smoother tracks are normally better for our bike. One thing we need to do better than in recent races is to make bigger improvements with the bike over the course of the weekend. My team has been working so hard all year, and I really want to end the season with a solid race for them.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“It’s the last race, and we have the chance for Valentino to finish the season in fifth place. We’ll all do our best to help him achieve that. It’s also important that Nicky finishes the season well, because apart from the wet Malaysian race, he’s been unlucky during the final part of the season. We were unfortunate at Valencia last year in that both riders were taken out in the first-turn crash, but prior to that, we had done a decent qualifying session with the possibility of having a good race. The track has new asphalt this year, so we’ll have to see how well the data that we gathered last season applies.”
The MotoGP World Championship returns from its intercontinental triple-header this weekend to contest the final round of the season on European soil. Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro head to Valencia looking to sign off from the 2012 season in the best possible fashion, the Spaniard looking to seal a final championship position of fifth after a challenging first campaign on board the Honda RC213V. Bautista has confirmed his potential as a consistent frontrunner in this category in the second half of the season and he would like nothing better than to cap it off with a good result in front of his home crowd. The target for Pirro is to finish the season as the third highest CRT bike in the championship, a result that would be just reward for the Italian and his team in a difficult first season for the new breed of MotoGP machines.
Alvaro Bautista “The flyaways were positive for me, with a podium, moving up to fifth place in the championship and signing a new deal with Gresini Racing. It could have been ever better if it wasn't for a few problems in Malaysia and Australia but I think we can be satisfied that we did our best. We have picked up important points for the championship and the team have worked hard to give me a bike that I enjoy riding. Now we go to Valencia, which is always a special round because it is the last race of the season and it's at home. The objective is to make sure of fifth place in the championship and we will be working hard from Friday to solve the problems we have found with the bike at other circuits. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike and hopefully having fun again and making the most of the support. Valencia is a very technical and slow circuit, you never a get a break because the bike is constantly leaned over and changing direction. There is a new track surface this year so we'll have to wait and see what the grip is like - the data we got from the test last year won't be of much use. I have been on the podium a few times in the past at Valencia but it's not one of my favourite circuits.”
Michele Pirro “We can look back positively on the last three races because I have consolidated my position as the third best CRT in the championship and the top rookie. Obviously if it wasn't for the rain in Malaysia and a problem with the fairing in Australia things could be even better but anyway I am satisfied. It goes without saying that I have great memories of Valencia thanks to my victory there in the Moto2 race last season. This year I would like to finish the season in style again and beat the Aprilia-ART bikes at last. That would be fantastic and the perfect way to repay everybody who has believed in our CRT project.”
Fausto Gresini “It's the last race of the season and another year has passed us by. It hasn't been an easy year for our team without Marco but we have done our best, stuck together and carried our project proudly forward. Over the last few weeks we have seen Bautista's true potential, with a splendid podium at Motegi in Honda's home race and consolidating fifth place in the championship. It has also been good for us to see Pirro establish himself as the third best CRT, which validates a project we have all worked hard on and shown faith in. Both Alvaro and Michele would like to sign off in style at Valencia, which is a technically demanding track, and repeat their past successes at this circuit. ”
VALENCIA GP, FINAL ROUND OF THE 2012
As tradition, the final chapter of the MotoGP World Championship 2012 will be written in Valencia, Spain this weekend.
The spectacular Spanish track, that accommodates the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, has several layouts, running anti-clockwise with varying lengths. It allows all part of the circuit to be seen from any stands, helping to create a unique atmosphere enjoyed by the Spanish and international riders.
The Pramac Racing team rider, Hèctor Barberà is ready to ride his Ducati number 8 for the last time, in a race full of excitement for him.
For the Spaniard it is more than a home race: he hails from a nearby town and grew up at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, where he finished first both in 2004 and in 2009, securing the first runner-up spot in two different classes.
For this 2012 season finale Héctor has an important goal: try to achieve the top ten finish in the overall World standing (with only 5 points separating him from Ben Spies).
Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider –
“This is my home circuit and I can go fast without hardly thinking about it, so I hope that remains the case this weekend.
I will fight, trying to achieve my best result of this season to complete this adventure with the Pramac Racing Team in a positive way, both for me and for my crew”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ READY TO CLAIM FIRST CRT 'TITLE'
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider eleven points clear of team-mate Randy De Puniet with one race remaining
It may seem like yesterday that the 2012 season opened with a roar under the lights of Qatar but already the series wraps up for another year this weekend at Valencia. Four kilometres of freshly relaid track await the riders at the Comunidad Valenciana circuit, now the traditional stage for the season's curtain call. The eighteenth and final round of the season is the fourth on Spanish soil and with Jorge Lorenzo already crowned World Champion and Dani Pedrosa confirmed as the runner-up it looks set to be a veritable fiesta for the home crowd.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team races at its home track with Aleix Espargaró leading his team-mate Randy De Puniet in the chase for the first ever CRT 'title' by eleven points. The Spaniard knows it would take a remarkable result to turn their positions around in the final race but he is determined to work with the same focus that has served him so well so far this season. The Frenchman, meanwhile, knows that nothing is over in racing until the chequered flag waves and until that happens on Sunday afternoon he will be giving maximum effort as always.
Aleix Espargaró: "I am really looking forward to arriving at Valencia and I hope we can have a good weekend to finish the year off. We are in good form and have finished the last four races as the top CRT so we have to keep going like this until the final push. It is another home race for me and in particular my team. Hopefully we can finish the season as the top CRT ahead of my team-mate Randy but I will need to work hard all weekend and not make any mistakes. Obviously the objective is to finish the race and the championship as the top CRT rider. My team-mate is very strong though so we can't slack off until it is over. I think if we do it we will deserve it because we have won nine of the fourteen races we have finished."
Randy De Puniet: "This is an important race for my team, who are based in Valencia, so I hope we can have a good weekend. It is not a particularly quick circuit, which I usually prefer, but I like the Comunidad Valenciana track and I find it interesting. I have been told that they have resurfaced the track, which is a good thing for sure, and now it should have more grip. I am looking forward to riding and seeing how our recent improvements shape up there. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and we can have a nice weekend to finish the season off. Everybody in the team is highly motivated about this one and the clear objective is to finish the season in the best way possible. The aim is to finish this race as the best CRT - it's a bit late to try and beat my team-mate in the championship but anything can happen in racing so we have to make sure we do our best and finish the season on a high note."
Points Target For PBMUK And Ellison At Valencia
The final round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Valencia in Spain this weekend with both James Ellison and the Penrith-based PBMUK team looking to end the season in style.
The Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana
will see Ellison, from Kendal, hoping to bounce back following a crash in the previous round at Phillip Island in Australia which ended the good run of results and had seen him climb to 16th in the standings.
The 31-year-old former World Endurance and double European Superstock champion can mathematically improve to 15th with a solid points scoring ride to match those at Le Mans and Sepang where he impressed and if he could manage that, it would round off a successful season for both rider and team.
With further improvements to the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification Aprilia ART recently, James has every chance of challenging the leading CRT riders also and if he can score points again, it will mean he has only missed out on seeing the chequered flag on six occasions out of the 18 Grands Prix this season.
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "I've not been to a GP for a while so I'm looking forward to Valencia and I'm hoping that James and the team can get the result they deserve to end the season in style. This year has been a massive challenge and it's fair to say it's been very difficult at times but we are committed to this project and we had to start somewhere. Despite all the pressure, James has done a brilliant job in establishing us into MotoGP and I'd like to thank him as it's been a bit tough at times and wish him well in the future. The team has also done a remarkable job in their first season and all this hard work will stand us in good stead for next season and beyond."
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 18: Valencia, Valencia
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
The final race of the 2012 MotoGP™ season sees the paddock descend on Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo as the home fans get to greet their World Champion, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo after the Spaniard clinched the title at the previous round.
Valencia is a tight and technical circuit that offers tyres little respite over the course of a lap, so a good bike setup is very important to ensure the most efficient use of the tyres allocated for this Grand Prix. The layout of the circuit means more stress is placed on the left shoulder of the tyres, and an unbalanced bike setup can cause excessive rear tyre temperatures which can lead to a loss of performance and accelerated tyre wear.
To manage the unbalanced layout and the moderate track temperatures the asymmetric rear slicks at Valencia feature rubber on the left shoulder that is two grades harder than on the right side. This ensures the lesser-used right shoulder of the rear tyre stays in its ideal operating temperature window and that the left shoulder provides the durability and stability needed for the many left hand turns. Additionally, the front slick compounds allocated for this weekend need to provide enhanced warm-up performance and grip in the temperate weather.
The main wet tyre for the Valencia Grand Prix is the soft compound option, with all riders also having access to a maximum of two front and rear wet tyres in the alternative hard compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“It is fitting that the last race of the year is in Valencia as it will give the Spanish fans a chance to welcome home their MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo after he claimed his second title at Phillip Island. With the championship battle now over, the main motivation for riders this weekend is to end the season on a high with a victory.
“After the last race of the season the annual post-season test will commence on Tuesday at the Valencia circuit, providing many of the riders that are stepping up to the premier class next year their first experience with Bridgestone MotoGP tyres. Our technical team will be on hand to assist the riders and teams during this very important time and we will also have some experimental tyres at this test for riders to evaluate as part of our development programme for the 2013 season.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Valencia is the traditional venue for the season finale and is a slow, tight circuit with nine left-hand and five right-hand corners. The frequency of corners at the circuit means bikes spend a lot of time leaned over, so there is not much time during a lap for heat to dissipate from the tyre shoulders meaning excessive rear tyre temperatures are possible if a bike’s setup isn’t optimised. Considering this potential for high tyre temperatures in the left shoulder and also the need for good temperature retention in the right shoulder due to the possibility of cooler weather, we provide asymmetric rear slicks at Valencia with substantially harder rubber on the left shoulder compared to the right.”
Bridgestone Motorsport Website: www.bridgestonemotorsport.com
Official Bridgestone MotoGP™ Twitter: http://twitter.com/BSMotoGP