Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this week's Catalonian GP at Barcelona:
Yamaha Prepare for Battle in Barcelona
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 11th June 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing heads to Spain this week for the second home race of the year for reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya at the Circuit de Catalunya, Montmeló on Sunday 16th June. The circuit promises to deliver an exciting weekend of racing as the scene of one of the greatest battles between Lorenzo and his teammate Valentino Rossi in 2009 when the Yamaha riders took it to the wire over the last laps in a fight for glory, won at the last corner by Rossi.
Fresh from his superb victory in Mugello, Lorenzo will be eager to repeat the performance in front of his home crowd and continue his unbroken four-year podium run at Montmeló. The Mallorcan was second in 2009 and 2011 and claims two premier class victories there, 2010 and 2012. Lorenzo also has one 250cc win at the track in 2007.
After a disastrous home race in Mugello that saw him crash out on the first lap after a collision with Alvaro Bautista, Rossi will be determined to come back fighting this weekend in Spain. The nine-time World Champion can claim more victories at Montmeló than any other GP rider with one 125cc win in 1997, 250cc wins in 1998 and 1999, one 500cc victory in 2001 and five premier class victories in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.
Opened in 1991 and home to the Gran Premio de Catalunya since 1995, the circuit can boast one of the longest main straights in the world. Lorenzo and Rossi will need to find the optimum chassis balance and front-end feel for their YZR-M1s to deal with the long radius, medium and high speed sweeping corners, two tight left-hand corners and numerous camber changes.
”I’m quite satisfied after our great result at Mugello that completed an almost perfect weekend. Winning again was very positive for me and for the team and now we go to Montmeló, my home grand prix. Some parts of the track are quite suitable for us but the doubt is always if the track conditions and the temperature can benefit us. I am very optimistic for the race and we will keep on working on the bike in the same way that we did in Italy. Compared to Mugello, Montmeló is a little bit slower but at least there are no first gear corners and hopefully that will help us a lot. This is a good track for us and we have to profit from it and try to repeat the victory. It could be great for the Championship. As far as I’m concerned I will push 100% to achieve it.”
"For a few days after I had the crash at Mugello, I hurt everywhere! Fortunately I was able to start training immediately and I did not waste any time. The Barcelona race will be very important, especially after recent results. I want to get on the podium in Spain and I will do my best as usual. It will be important to start the weekend in the best way and make a good qualifying. It will be very important to start from the front.”
“Barcelona is coming up and we have three Spanish riders on top. I think the motivation of all three is quite high because of visiting their home GP. Last year we had a big battle with Dani there and I think the track suits our bike quite well. After winning at Mugello, where the package worked out really well, we are looking forward to visiting Montmeló with a good spirit to fight. It is one race less and we are closer than before. It’s a very good opportunity to continue with our job.”
“After the Mugello race we are going to start the Barcelona weekend in a good shape. For sure the circuit has always been very suitable for our bike so we are pretty optimistic that we can continue the way we finished in Mugello and we are confident Jorge will be fighting at the front as usual. Valentino needs a good result here as he has had some bad luck in the last two races. We are ready for him to recover what he has lost over the last two rounds and perform as we know he can in Catalunya.”
Pedrosa and Marquez ready for their home race in Catalunya
This weekend the 2013 MotoGP World Championship arrives in Barcelona for the sixth round on the calendar and the home race for Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.
The Montmelò track is a favourite for Dani and Marc, where the incredible atmosphere from the home fans gives them the extra motivation to perform. Dani has a fantastic record here having won in all classes with a total of eight podiums, and holds the circuit record (1'42.358, the fastest lap in 2008 on his way to victory). This weekend will mark Dani's 200th Grand Prix start and after his second place finish in Mugello he maintains his lead in the World Championship with 103 points.
Dani's teammate Marc is also no stranger to success at the 4,727km Catalunyan Circuit. He has enjoyed three podiums in the past three years and will be looking to continue this run in his first appearance on the Honda RC213V MotoGP machine. Marc had a chaotic weekend in Mugello and unfortunately scored his first DNF of the season. Earlier this week Dr. Mir confirmed the rookie rider has not suffered any other injuries and should be fully fit for this weekend. He currently lies 3rd in the Championship with 77 points.
After Sunday's GP, the team will pack up and relocate to Aragon for a two day test on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 1st - 103 points
"Mugello was a tricky weekend but in the end to come away with second place and 20 Championship points is a good result. I've been able to rest a little since returning from Italy and now we head to my home Grand Prix in Catalunya, still leading the World Championship. This track is one of the circuits where you stay on the edge of the tyre longer and also a long time turning right so it's important to have a good feeling with the tyres. In general it's a nice track and with a very special atmosphere, all my family and friends come to support me and the fans are incredible. Hopefully the weather is good there and we can put on a good race for everyone at my 200th Grand Prix start!"
Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 3rd - 77 points
"After crashing out in Mugello I really can't wait to get back on the bike at my home GP in Montmelò! I am more relaxed after seeing Dr. Mir last week and he confirmed there are no complications with my injuries and I am on my way to feeling 100% again. I really hope we have good weather in Barcelona so that once again, we can make the most out of all the free practice sessions. This is another track where all the other riders have much more experience than me and they will be extra tough to beat! But we will keep to our own programme and work hard and try our best"
Back to Spain for Ducati Team
For the second time in a month and a half, the MotoGP championship heads to Spain this week, this time for the Catalan Grand Prix. Site of the Ducati Team’s first MotoGP victory a decade ago, the Circuit de Catalunya is notable for its long main straightaway and ample passing opportunities, and it invariably draws a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Andrea Dovizioso has posted five podium finishes across three classes at the Catalan Grand Prix, including a 250cc victory in 2006. The Italian, who finished third in last year’s MotoGP race and will be riding the Desmosedici GP13 at the track for the first time, has recovered from the sore neck that he suffered in a crash at the Italian Grand Prix last week. Although Nicky Hayden’s sole podium result at the circuit was a runner-up finish in 2006, the same year he won the world championship, the American enjoys the track and is hopeful of a strong result this weekend.
Following the race weekend, the Ducati Team will participate in a one-day official IRTA test at the same circuit, where they will continue development of the Desmosedici GP13.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team
“Barcelona is one of the nicest tracks on the calendar, and it’s always fun to go to Spain for a race weekend. As for the Ducati, I’m not sure because I’ve never ridden the GP13 on this circuit, but it might not be the best track for us because of the fast corners where our bike tends to ‘pump’ a bit in the rear. Still, I’m keeping an open mind as we head to Barcelona. I’m always very excited to go there, and I’m optimistic following a good weekend at Mugello and a good test last week.”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team
“Barcelona hasn’t been a great weekend for me in recent years. I’ve struggled a bit there, especially with the long corners, which are very important. Still, we know Catalunya is a great track, and I really enjoy the area and the atmosphere. I certainly hope to do a better result there than I have the last couple of seasons. We’ll see what we can come up with, and we’ll keep pushing and moving forward.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager
“Barcelona is a track that has many nice memories for Ducati and for me; ten years ago, the GP3 made its debut there in winter testing with Loris Capirossi, who took the pole in the time attack. Also, this year is the tenth anniversary of Ducati’s first MotoGP victory! We head to Barcelona fresh off of another two days of testing at Mugello, where we found a couple of interesting things. Now we’ll try them on a different track to see if they provide some benefits. I’d just like to add that during this busy period—between racing, testing, and development—we’re all under pressure and working really hard, so I’d like to thank all the team members for their effort.”
MEMORIES OF MONTMELÓ INSPIRING POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR PAIR
Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet return to the scene of some of their greatest successes this weekend as MotoGP arrives in Barcelona
The MotoGP World Championship makes its sixth stop this weekend, arriving in Barcelona for the Grand Prix of Catalunya. Like Mugello before it the Circuit of Catalunya is fast and flowing and has a main straight measuring over a kilometre in length. The MotoGP riders arrive there set to complete a third of the season and with the contenders for the title very much to the fore. After a few surprises in the early rounds it now looks like a head-to-head battle between Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, who will be two of several Spanish riders looking to shine at their home track on Sunday.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet have their own motives to do well this weekend, with Aleix set to clock up his 130th Grand Prix in front of his home fans. The circuit is just a few kilometres away from where he was born and raised and this weekend he will be vociferously supported, as well as inspired by the fact that this is the circuit where he scored his first ever podium in Moto2. It might not be his home circuit but De Puniet also has a soft spot for the Circuit of Catalunya, having won there twice in the 250cc class and scored several top results in MotoGP. Randy makes his 240th GP appearance this weekend and he is hoping to celebrate with his best result of the season so far
Aleix Espargaró: “I am really looking forward to this whole week because a home Grand Prix is always special from Monday onwards. There are a lot of events organised and I will have a lot of people around supporting me. In general it's always a great week even though we are very busy but the most important thing is the race on Sunday. I am really determined to get a good result at Montmeló. It is special for me to race there for many reasons, but also because I had my first podium there. I am going there with the same plan as all season, which is to work hard from Friday and try to be the man to beat in CRT. Hopefully we can close the gap to the official prototypes even more this weekend. Catalunya is a fast circuit and it suits my riding style. I love fast and flowing corners and the final sector at Montmeló is fantastic.”
Randy De Puniet: “Barcelona is one of my favourite tracks. I won two 250cc races there and I have had some good results in MotoGP. The fact that we're going to Montmeló for the next round gives me a lot of motivation and confidence. In the last race we improved our speed a lot but we had some problems with the front end of the bike and we will have to work hard to fix them this weekend. I had two crashes last week that we weren't able to explain so we'll study the data in Barcelona and try to work it out. Despite that I think that we have improved since Le Mans and taken a step forward but we need to keep working to improve further and get to the level we need to be at.”
BAUTISTA AIMING TO BOUNCE BACK IN BARCELONA
The MotoGP World Championship travels from Mugello to Montmelò this weekend as the city of Barcelona, Spain, plays host to the sixth round of the season. For Alvaro Bautista it is an ideal opportunity to bounce back in front of his home crowd after crashing out of the Italian race following contact on the first lap with Valentino Rossi. It was a racing incident that neither rider could avoid but it was still a bitter pill to swallow for Alvaro, who was denied the chance to follow up some good work in practice at the Tuscan track with a positive result. However, his confidence in the RC213V machine is increasing every week and the work done by the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini engineers alongside Showa is bearing fruit. Bautista's goal is to demonstrate the potential of the package at Montmelò. Bryan Staring struggled to make progress in I taly as he grappled with a notoriously difficult new track for him and the Australian rookie is hoping to adapt better to the demands of the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend.
Alvaro Bautista “The collision with Valentino at Mugello has left a really bitter taste. I really wanted to score a good result in Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini's home race and I had a good feeling about it after working so well throughout the weekend. Unfortunately these things happen in racing and you have to de al with setbacks that you don't expect. The important thing is that physically I am okay and this Sunday I will have the chance to finally put this disappointment behind me. I am very focused on this weekend's racing at Montmelò, another home track for me where I will no doubt get a lot of support from the fans. It is a good circuit for me, I have always gone well there in the past and I remember last year I had a great feeling with the bike and only narrowly missed out on the podium. We have improved this year so I am convinced we can do an even better job. Me and the team are all highly motivated and on Sunday we want to run in the lead group. It is not an easy track because of the elevation changes and the long corners, where the bike slides around a lot. It will also be important to get the bike feeling stable under heavy braking so that we can overtake. Montmelò is one of my favourite circuits, because of the layout and the fact it is so safe for the riders.”
Bryan Staring “I struggled quite a lot at Mugello but since then I have been thinking hard about Catalunya. I have also been dealing with a bout of food poisoning but I am over it now and feeling fit. I am really excited to get out on track at Montmelò. I am really determined to get a good result here for all the guys in the team who are working so hard to help me. Without them the step up to MotoGP would have been even harder, if not impossible, so to give them a little something to smile about is t he least I can do in return.”
Fausto Gresini “Sometimes racing throws things at you like the incident at Mugello but the important thing is to take it in your stride and go out to make up for it with even more determination next time. Montmelò is the ideal place for Alvaro Bautista to demonstrate his improved feeling with the RC213V and consolidate the positive work that has been done recently by Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini and Showa's technicians. Alvaro has more confidence wit h the bike now than ever and he is determined to prove it by running closer to the front. Bryan continues his learning process at Montemelò after a difficult weekend at Mugello. His main objective remains to close the gap to the points-scoring positions.”
MotoGP back to Spain
The sixth round of the 2013 MotoGP championship returns to Spanish soil again, this time at the Circuit de Catalunya, not far from Barcelona.
This Catalan Grand Prix is very important for Ducati, which in 2003 took its maiden MotoGP victory, and in 2008 (when qualifying tyres were still in use), Casey Stoner rode a Ducati to the still unbeaten best pole time.
This track was inaugurated in 1991, in time for the Olympic Games that would be held in Barcelona the following year, and in 1995 it underwent important changes in order to improve safety. The Nissan chicane was replaced with a straight section, and the runoff areas were expanded. The track is 4.655 km long and is characterized by a long straightaway of over 1 km (1,047 m), as well as long, fast right-hand corners that strain the tyres.
The Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team and Andrea Iannone will start the race weekend with the aim of continuing the work carried out during the test at Mugello last week, where they had good feedback regarding the lack of rear grip that the Italian complained of during the Italian GP.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“Finally, after yesterday’s flight cancellations, we’ve been able to get to Barcelona. I have wonderful memories about this track, including my Moto2 win last year. This afternoon we’ll have the usual briefing with the team in order to use and develop most of the data obtained during last week’s test. We’re confident because we’ve found the answers to some problems. I hope to find the proper setting starting with the first practice. We expect a hard job, but we’re ready to do it.”
BRADL HITS THE CAMP NOU STADIUM AHEAD THE CATALUNYA GP
Montmeló, 13 June: the LCR racer Stefan Bradl had a strong race in Mugello equalling his best personal result in the premier class finishing in 4th place. Bradl returns to Spain this weekend for the Gran Premi de Catalunya where the warm atmosphere and the positive result obtained in Italy 2 weeks ago, give the german an extra motivation to perform. In 2012 Bradl finished eighth showing brilliant fighting spirit while battling with much more experienced rivals.
“I really enjoyed the Mugello GP and the battle with Dovizioso till the last corner. I arrive in Spain with the aim to improve last year’s result on the RCV because I know the circuit very well and I have the poise of a veteran now. The Spanish fans are very warm and they love motorbikes races and soccer. The FC Barcelona is the best soccer Team in the world but this year my Team (Bayern Munchen) won the Champions League beating them also so I was so excited to play soccer at the famous Camp Nou. I used to play soccer when I was a kid and I can say I am not that bad”.
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 6: Catalunya
12 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Round six of the 2013 MotoGP™ season sees the series return to Spain for the Catalan Grand Prix, and the venue for this weekend’s race presents the toughest test for Bridgestone’s tyres so far this year.
The Circuit de Catalunya is a fast and flowing circuit and due to its many right-hand corners taken at high speed and large lean angles, it places greater stress on the right shoulder of the rear tyre than any other course on the calendar.
Such is the disparity in forces placed on the right and left shoulders of the rear tyres that for this circuit, Bridgestone provides asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds up to two steps harder on the right shoulder than on the left. At the front end of the bike, the numerous hard braking zones require a tyre with good braking stability, though high edge grip is also a priority for the long sweeping corners.
Rear tyre compounds for CRT riders at the Catalan Grand Prix are the soft and medium options, while for the works riders, the medium and hard options are available. Although there are particular sections of the circuit that really punish the rear tyres, there’s ample time between the twisty sections for the tyres to dissipate the excessive heat. Therefore Bridgestone has supplied rear slicks in the heat-resistant construction only for the softest, CRT-specific option, as this option uses very soft rubber and the special construction will prevent the tyre from reaching temperatures outside of its normal operating zone. Front tyre options for the Catalan Grand Prix are the medium and hard compounds, as these slick options provide the greatest level of cornering stability.
Due to the general harshness of the Montmeló circuit, the main wet tyre for this race weekend will be the hard compound.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“We have seen many wonderful races at Montmeló over the years and with the three Spanish riders currently leading the championship standings, the stage is set for another pivotal contest on Sunday. Jorge’s victory at Mugello has made things quite tight at the top of the riders table, and with so many riders in good form at the moment it really is hard to say who will come out on top this weekend. This circuit is extremely demanding on rear tyres in parts, but the layout of the circuit gives the tyres enough reprieve away from the corners that there is no need to use our heat-resistant construction in all our rear slicks at this race. Bridgestone has a big activities programme in place this weekend as the Catalan Grand Prix is a big event on the calendar for our Spanish and French markets, so it will be quite busy for us both on and off the track.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Montmeló is a fast circuit that generates higher temperature in the right shoulder of the tyres than the left because of its greater number of right-handed turns. The track surface itself isn’t the grippiest on the calendar, but the many high-speed corners mean the riders spend a lot of times at high lean angles. There are eight right-hand corners, most of which are long and fast, and only five left-handers, most of which are much slower so there is a significant imbalance between tyre temperatures in the right and left shoulders, necessitating asymmetric tyres. High track temperatures are often encountered here and overall, the Catalan Grand Prix is one of the toughest events of the season for the rear tyres.”