Previews from the MotoGP teams and Michelin of the Grand Prix of The Americas this weekend:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA EMBARK ON AMERICAN ADVENTURE
After a brilliant 1-2 from Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi in Argentina a fortnight ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team arrive at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) raring to start the Grand Prix of The Americas this weekend.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 18th April 2017
After achieving a perfect 1-2 in Argentina just two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi will soon be back in the hot seat of their YZR-M1s as they get the action going at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) on Friday.
Two races into the 2017 season, Viñales remains the man to beat. With his two textbook wins at the Losail and the Termas de Río Hondo circuits in his maiden year with Yamaha, he will push to the maximum again this weekend to make it a hat-trick in Austin and give Yamaha its 500th Grand Prix win.
Watching the 22-year old in action so far this season, his riding style and the smoothness of the YZR-M1 are clearly in perfect harmony and the Spaniard can‘t wait to get a taste of the Yamaha‘s speed at COTA. He is a big fan of the circuit‘s elevated character and has a lot of good memories from this place, where he secured a strong second place in Moto3 in 2013 and won his first Moto2 race in 2014. His best MotoGP finish at the American track was a fourth place, just off the podium, last year.
Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a very strong start to the season and has shown twice that he knows how to come out swinging in the race, regardless of grid position. Together with his teammate, he is the proud owner of a 100% podium finish rate in 2017 and has a plan to keep it that way.
The Doctor aims to find a good balance for his bike early in the race weekend, so he can not only feature at the front but also put a claim on the top step of the rostrum, 13 years after his first win with Yamaha (April 18th, 2004, Welkom, Africa‘s Grand Prix). Last year he had a difficult race at COTA, but he will use the experience as extra motivation to show the American fans what he‘s got in store, like he did in 2015 when he finished third.
The Circuit of the Americas was constructed in 2012 and appeared on the MotoGP calendar in 2013. The 5.5km-long track is run counter-clockwise, has 20 corners in total (11 left turns and 9 right turns), a longest straight of 1.2km and has a 41m-elevation change. Its tight hairpins, inclines, declines and a fast straight make finding a well-balanced setting vital, but the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is up for the challenge.
We now arrive in COTA, a great circuit to visit. The atmosphere here is always really good, and so is the support of the fans, so we are looking forward to begin the third round in Austin. The track lay-out is quite interesting and, though previously it didn‘t play to our advantage, we will start this race weekend in full-attack mode. We will use the first free practice sessions to understand how to make this race another great one for Yamaha, as we strive for the 500th victory. Our riders are both in great form and both enjoy the Grand Prix of The Americas. We are looking to get some strong results again and can‘t wait to get started!
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
The next round is Austin and I'm happy because I won my first race there in Moto2, I've always been very strong here. I also did one of my best results in America the last year, so I think it‘s a good track for my riding style. I love the up and down track, with lots of elevation, so I'm so excited to see how my M1 will work here and how I'm going to feel riding the Yamaha. I'm confident and I know that I can do another good race weekend.
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
I'm happy to be in Texas. I really like Austin. The first two races of the season went well and I hope to improve the performance of the first days of free practice. We have much work to do, but I'm confident in my bike and in my team. Austin is a very difficult track and I love riding here. I have an account to settle with this track because last year in the warm-up I made a big step for a strong race but unfortunately I made a mistake. This year I want to try to have a good race. I also really like the atmosphere at the American circuit and I come to this place always very happily.
Ducati Team arrive in Texas for Round 3 of the MotoGP World Championship
After the second round of the season, which was held ten days ago in Argentina, the MotoGP teams and riders are now arriving in the USA, for the next event on Texan soil at the Circuit of The Americas, on the outskirts of Austin.
Andrea Dovizoso and Jorge Lorenzo of the Ducati Team are determined to put behind them the disappointments of Termas de Río Hondo, and in Texas they will find a track where Ducati has always done well in recent years.
In the four editions of the GP of the Americas held so far, Dovizioso has scored a seventh place in 2013, a third place in 2014 and an excellent runner-up slot in 2015, while last year he was hit by the bike of Dani Pedrosa at the start of lap 7, while in third place, and had to retire. Lorenzo’s best results on Texan soil have been a third place in the first edition, a fourth place in 2015 and an excellent second place last year.
The Austin weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am local time (16.55 CET) while the 21-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm local time (21.00 CET).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (20 points)
“I was clearly very disappointed after the race in Argentina but now, after a few days’ vacation, I am fully focused on the race in Texas. The Circuit of the Americas is a fantastic track, one of the best on the calendar, and it has totally different characteristics to the previous two circuits in Qatar and Argentina. I like racing a lot at Austin, also because there is a really good atmosphere, both in the circuit and downtown, and I’m up for the battle. It will be a good opportunity to put things right after Termas and I’m convinced that we can be really competitive on this track.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 18th (5 points)
“Finally we have arrived at Austin, and I just couldn’t wait to get here after my crash at Termas de Río Hondo. I don’t want to think about what happened in Argentina anymore, and even though the results up until now haven’t gone our way, I think we are on the right track to improve. Unfortunately for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to demonstrate this. Austin is a great circuit, one where I have never won, but Ducati here has always been competitive and has been on the podium in the last three years. It’s a good track to keep on developing the Desmosedici and adapting my riding style. In the team we are all optimistic, we’re working well together and I’m sure this difficult moment will be over soon.”
The Circuit of The Americas
The Circuit of The Americas is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the USA near Austin, Texas, with a 5.513km track and a capacity for 120,000 fans. Construction of the facility was completed late 2012, and this will be the fifth time MotoGP lines up at the track. One of its more distinctive features is an impressive incline at the end of the main straight followed by a sharp left. The circuit was designed by the well-known German architect Hermann Tilke. The direction is counter-clockwise and the circuit has a total of 20 corners with 9 right turns and 11 left turns.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 2’02.135 (162.4 km/h) - 2015
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 2’03.575 (160.6 km/h) - 2014
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 2’02.135 (162.4 km/h) - 2015
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 345.2 km/h - 2016
Race Distance: 21 laps (115.8 km)
Corners: 20 (11 left, 9 right)
Race Start: 2 pm local time (21.00 CET)
Marquez and Pedrosa head to Austin for the Red Bull GP of The Americas
After spending one week back in Europe following the Argentine GP, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are heading to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas (USA), for round 3 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Repsol Honda Team have achieved two 1-2 finishes in Austin with Marc and Dani: in the opening race in 2013 and also in 2014. For his part, Marc has never lost at the Circuit of the Americas (which was also the scene of his first-ever Premier-class victory, in 2013), nor has he started from anywhere but Pole Position in the four times he has raced at the track.
At the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
– Marc Marquez has 4 wins and 4 Pole Positions (MotoGP: 2013 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016)
– Dani Pedrosa has 2 podiums (MotoGP: 2nd in 2013 and 2014)
"After the Argentina race, I’m happy to go to a track I love as much as Austin, although of course I would have preferred to arrive there in a better position. Anyway, another race weekend is about to start and we’ll give 100% to try to get our first podium this season. I have great memories of Austin, and for me it’s one of the best venues on the race calendar. I like the layout of the track, as it has many different types of sections and corners and lots of elevation changes. I also love the “American” style, with all the fans enjoying the sport and the fun at the track, so let’s get back in action and see how it goes there."
‘We had the chance to spend a few days back home in Europe, to rest a little and also to do some good training, and now I can’t wait to get back on my bike in Austin. It’s a pity we didn’t get points in Argentina, but we’ll put that behind us and concentrate on the positives. Now that we know more about our bike, we’ll work to improve the stability and the general setup, and hopefully we can take another step this weekend. I like the circuit and visiting Austin and the fans are really fantastic there, so let's hope for a good weekend in Texas!'
IANNONE AND RINS HOPING TO CHANGE THEIR FATE IN AUSTIN
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 20.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR has crossed the ocean again to go to the United States for the 3rd round of the Championship, after the GP of Argentina two weeks ago. Riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins are eager to race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to make up for the troubles encountered in Termas de Rio Hondo.
The Texan circuit is a very demanding one for tyres and bikes performances, having the longest straight of the Championship (1.2 km) and a very rough surface. The layout however, is one of the most admired by the riders, especially by Rins who likes the fluid flow between the corners. Rins will also take advantage of Friday’s session to test his ankle´s recovery, after the injury that forced him to withdraw in the last GP after a crash. Andrea Iannone is awaiting the Americas GP to try to score his first points in the Championship. His performances so far have been very consistent, although it has been very costly in the races. Both riders are confident that with strong teamwork the improved performances of their GSX-RRs will provide them with a positive result this weekend.
The Circuit Of The Americas is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S.A. Near Austin, Texas, the cicuit provides a 5.513km track-length and a capacity for 120,000 fans. Construction of the impressive 1000-acre facility was completed in late 2012, with MotoGP lining up at the track for the first time in 2013. One of its more distinctive features is a nearly 41m-elevation change with an impressive incline at the end of the home-straight, followed by a sharp left. The circuit is one of the most varied on the GP calendar, with a mix of fast straights and tight hairpin turns, with most sections mirroring at least some part of another famous track around the world. It was designed by well-known German architect and circuit designer Hermann Tilke. The driving direction is counter-clockwise and has a total of 20 corners with 9 right turns and 11 left turns. Sunday’s race will be run over 21 laps for a total distance of 115,8 km (72 miles).
“The start of the season has not been so positive for me in terms of just results, as I couldn’t get any championship points yet, but our performances have improved consistently in the last months and my feeling is that we are doing optimal work. The circuit of Austin may not be one of the best for our bike’s characteristics, but we have to work hard to be capable to adapt to any kind of circuit. This is a challenge that invigorates me, and I feel I have a good support from the Team. I’d really like to have a favourable weekend here in Austin. The atmosphere with the fans is amazing and I think we deserve better results than those we’ve reaped so far because we are doing a very good job.”
“I have some very good memories of the Circuit of The Americas and the Austin GP. I enjoyed this track in the past in both of the categories I’ve raced so far, Moto3 and Moto2. The track is very wide, with the corners well connected to each other that make riding very fun. The tarmac usually has a good grip, and this is a good thing as it gives you high performance, but also tricky for tyre consumption. But, I hope this will help us to take full advantage of the potential of my GSX-RR. Austin becomes a very fun city for the race weekend: so many people come to see the race and the whole city is like a big party venue for the whole weekend. It’s a really enjoyable weekend.”
THIRD RACE OF THE SEASON FOR THE 2017 APRILIA RS-GP
HIGH AMBITIONS FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÓ
SAM LOWES ENCOURAGED BY AN IMPROVING SENSATION
The Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas brings back pleasant memories for Aprilia. In 2016, the début year for the new Italian MotoGP bike, it was at the COTA that two RS-GP machines finished in the points. But recent history would indicate that the third race of this season can be approached with even higher ambitions. The 2017 RS-GP machines have shown tangible progress in the first two rounds, placing consistently with Aleix Espargaró among the group of riders battling for a top-6 finish.
In Argentina, only an unlucky crash kept Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and the Spanish rider from a grand finish to a weekend where they had been protagonists up to that point.
So this is the situation as the American MotoGP weekend kicks off on the spectacular 5.5 km COTA track. A complete circuit that demands a lot of work on the setup in order to achieve the best possible compromise. An indicative test bench for the 2017 Aprilia RS-GP.
“I can't wait to race in Austin. With the crash in Argentina, we missed a good opportunity to finish in the top-5. In America we will work hard to continue our positive trend. I have a lot of faith in my bike and in the team, plus I like this place and the circuit, so I am keen to begin the weekend the right way and finish the race on Sunday with the best possible result.”
“Austin is one of my favourite tracks. I won my first race here and I finished second last year. I feel like I took a positive step in Argentina in terms of the feeling on the bike and I want to keep that going this weekend too. Let's just hope that the weather is stable so we can work well in every practice session.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“The COTA is a rather complete circuit with a demanding flowing part where the chassis architecture needs to be dialled in perfectly and a long straight starting from low speed that puts the anti-wheelie control to a hard test. From a technical point of view, we have a few new items in terms of engine intake management, so I expect that we will be able to improve performance. As for everything else, we will work as we did in the first two race weekends, focusing both on pace and on performance for qualifying and the first few laps of the race.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"In this race, our goal is once again to confirm our progress. Deep in my heart I know what our level is, but I always wait for the final feedback of the track to remove all doubt. It is fundamental for us to arrive at the European races with the right confidence, both for the staff at Aprilia so they can have a clear idea for development and for the team. Aleix has shown that he is an extraordinary rider and he has an excellent feeling with the RS-GP, as well as the ability to convey confidence to the team. I expect a step forward in terms of competitiveness for Sam so that he can begin to show his true value."
Determined Folger and Zarco ready for Wild West battle at the Americas GP
The rapid Monster Yamaha Tech3 team duo head to Austin, Texas this week fully prepared for the round 3 fight as they look to continue their impressive run of results in 2017. Jonas Folger aims to carry on the positive momentum after his notable top six finish in Argentina and contest for another top tier result at the state of the art Circuit of the Americas track. Whereas, Johann Zarco intends to produce another strong performance and dice with the front–runners in the highly competitive class, after finishing the last GP in 5th. The action gets underway at 09:55 local time, or 16:55 in Europe, on Friday 21st April.
Championship: 6th - Points: 16
"I am excited for the next round in America, especially after the Argentina GP, where we had such a good weekend. We learnt a lot there, but the area that I improved the most in was myself, plus we made some really solid steps forward with regards to the start of a GP. So, I will take all the positives from there to Texas and I’m certain that we can make some more progress and seize a high point scoring finish, just like we did at the last round. I really like the COTA circuit and it’s physically demanding nature, and after the good result at the last event, I have a high level of optimism. I feel confident on the bike and we are all keen to get going, so I am very excited about riding my Yamaha at this awesome track."
Championship: 11th - Points: 11
"The Circuit of the Americas is impressive and I am confident that I can seal a good result there with my Yamaha. The layout is demanding because there are twenty corners and it’s certainly physical. However, I have a good record in Texas and I have finished on the podium twice in the past two years in Moto2. At the moment, my feeling on the YZR-M1 bike is great and after the 5th place finish in Argentina, I want to stay on this level. Yet, when we start, I will stay relaxed and I will work with the team and on myself because, at this venue, it’s vital to understand the direction that we need to head towards as there are so many corners. If you make one small mistake, it takes almost half a lap to recover, so therefore, it’s more important to work on the rider and to find the perfect line on the asphalt, rather than focusing too much on finding the ideal setup. Nevertheless, I am keen to race in America, and I will go there with a high level of motivation because, at the moment, my feeling is wonderful."
"Next up for us is the Americas Grand Prix in Austin Texas, which is the event that the whole paddock always looks forward to. However, it is particularly important for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team because we always have such great support from Yamaha USA, who look after us so well, and I have to mention Bob Starr, who lives up to his surname! This race is also very important for us because our title sponsor, Monster Energy, is American as are our other sponsors Stanley Black and Decker and so we will do our absolute best in representing these two partners in a positive way. After the superb weekend that we had in Argentina, our two riders flew back to Europe where they had a well-deserved rest and did some training. Now it’s time to head to Texas, and both of them like the Austin track, plus I think that what they achieved at the last GP has boosted their confidence. Johann and Jonas know that they can ride inside the top six so the challenge will be for them to fight for a similar result this time. There were a few crashes in Argentina, but if our guys can finish inside the top eight and ahead of some of the top riders, then that will be a really solid close to this race. Everyone in the team is fully motivated and the weekend between Argentina and Texas was welcomed but now we are all ready to go and put on a good show for our American fans and friends."
Reale Avintia Racing riders back to action in Texas
The spectacular Circuit of the Americas will be the stage for the third round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. Reale Avintia Racing head to the United States of America looking forward to a good result, after two points-scoring races in Qatar and Argentina.
For this weekend, riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz have higher goals and are determined to fight for the top ten, on a track that should suit the characteristics of their Ducati Desmosedici GP.
The 5.513 km track is one of the longest in the calendar and features 20 corners with a mix of fast straights and tight hairpins that test bike set-up and rider fitness to the max.
“We head to the Circuit of the Americas and I think it could be a good track for Ducati. It’s fast and it features long straights where power will be important. I’m not at my best moment with the bike, but I believe this race can be the turning point to change this situation. I’m physically strong and I just need to find the limit of this bike to close the gap to the front.”
“I hope to continue in the same direction of the first two races. We have to keep working on some aspects of the bike and see how the weekend goes. We have some ideas to test during practice and I think we can do well in Texas after two solid races in Qatar and Argentina. I like the track and even though I miss a little bit of speed on the straights, I want to get the best possible result on Sunday.”
Austin awaits Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head to the United States this week, for round three of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship at the challenging Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
Miller lands in Austin off the back of top ten finishes in both Qatar and Argentina, and the Australian is keen to repeat his run of form this weekend at the Grand Prix of The Americas, having been forced to withdraw from the race 12 months ago following a crash in free practice.
The 22-year-old Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider has spent the time since Argentina training hard in California and is looking forward to returning to action this weekend at the Circuit of The Americas; a track he rates as one of his favourites and one that he is confident will suit well the characteristics of the 2017 Honda RC213V.
After points scoring finishes in the first two races of the 2017 season, Rabat heads to Austin looking to close the gap to both his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate and the series frontrunners.
The 27-year-old Spaniard is now fully recovered from the injuries sustained in a testing crash in Sepang and is looking forward to the weekend ahead, at a track he likes and on which he finished on the podium during his race to the Moto2 World Championship title in 2014.
The Circuit of the Americas is one of the most physically demanding tracks on the MotoGP calendar and throws up a tough challenge for both man and machine, with 20 corners, a 1200m straight and jaw-dropping elevation of 41 metres from the grid to the first corner.
"Argentina was a difficult weekend, but we managed to put it together in the race and I was inside the top ten, which is my goal this season. I was a little further back from the leaders than I'd have liked and that's something we need to work on next time out in Austin. I feel good heading into the Texas weekend; it's another track I really enjoy and one at which we can normally expect good things from the Honda. I'm looking forward to getting there and seeing what we can do."
"I like the Circuit of the Americas a lot, even if my memories of the track aren't the best because I struggled a lot there last year. This time around though we're in a much better position; I have a much better feeling with the bike and I'm looking forward to getting on track in Texas this weekend. COTA is a demanding circuit, but one that should suit our Honda, especially the first section. I think we can do a good job at Austin and closing the gap to Jack is our first goal this weekend."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It's been a solid start to the season for us, with Tito twice finishing in the points and two top ten finishes from Jack, but there is still work to be done. We missed out on an opportunity in Argentina when conditions in qualifying were tricky, as that's when Jack is normally strong, so we need to ensure we take advantage in the future. Jack is looking to continue his run of top ten finishes in Texas, which I'm confident he can do, while Tito is looking to close the gap even further on his teammate. He's managed it in practice and qualifying, but Jack always seems to have something extra for the race and Tito now needs to find the same."
CRUTCHLOW CONFIDENT TO SEAL ANOTHER GOOD RESULT IN AUSTIN
PRESS RELEASE: 19 April 2017 | Circuit of the Americas
LCR Honda racer Cal Crutchlow showed his high potential at Termas de Rio Hondo circuit ten days ago running at a strong pace for the entire weekend and conquering the third place on Sunday’s thrilling race behind the two Yamaha riders Rossi and Vinales.
The third place finish for the Briton in Argentina means he has now finished on the podium at least once for six successive seasons in the MotoGP class: only four other British riders have had premier-class podium finishes in six or more successive seasons: Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene, Geoff Duke and Peter Williams. Crutchlow aims to challenge his competitors at the front of the field once more this weekend at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas.
"I am really looking forward to Austin after our good result in Argentina. Hopefully we can be better than last year as it seemed we struggled with the Honda at the circuit but we think this year it should be a lot better. We are looking forward to a good race weekend with good weather on a great circuit with great fans".
Pull&Bear Aspar Team look to continue good form in USA
Monday, 17 April 2017 11:33
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham hope to build on positive results in Argentina after fourth and tenth place
The MotoGP World Championship makes its third stop of 2017 on the other side of the Atlantic this weekend with a visit to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Maverick Viñales arrives in the USA with maximum points from the opening two rounds and with his team-mate Valentino Rossi, who joined him on the podium on both occasions, as his closest current rival. Andrea Dovizioso was also on the podium in Qatar and despite failing to finish in Argentina he lies third in the championship, with leading Independent rider Scott Redding at the top of a group of thirteen riders covered by just ten points. With two rounds gone, Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa are the only two factory riders outside the top three and inside the top ten.
The aim for the Pull&Bear Aspar Team this weekend is to maintain their level from the previous round in Argentina, where both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham scored their best results in years. The Spaniard finished fourth in South America, his first top five since he took third at the French Grand Prix in 2014 some fifty races ago. Those thirteen points moved Bautista up to ninth in the championship, a position he is hopeful of improving on with another similar performance this weekend. Karel Abraham scored his first MotoGP top ten in three seasons in Argentina, having last done so at Valencia in 2012. It was his second points-scoring finish of the year and even though he is expecting a bigger challenge from the COTA track he is confident the good work done by his team in preseason and the early part of the campaign and turn around his previous fortunes there.
Álvaro Bautista:“We are looking forward to arriving in Austin after a good weekend in Argentina, but this is a quite different track with different demands. We will try to work as well as possible to find the same feeling as Argentina and head into the race with a good pace and a good set-up so that we can fight for a top five finish again. Austin has some hard braking and acceleration zones as well as some mixed sections with a variety of direction changes. It will be tricky to find a set-up there because when you get the bike working well in one sector it tends to be compromised in another. We will give our best as always and hopefully we can have the same outcome as the last race.”
Karel Abraham: “I have taken some time out on the way from Argentina to Austin to take the opportunity to relax and avoid the time change with Europe. I have also been able to keep my training up and get ready for the next challenge. Austin is a difficult circuit for the Ducati, and especially for me. It has a lot of hairpins and sharp turns, it is not one of my favourite tracks but anyway, neither is Malaysia and we had a pretty good test there in February. I am looking forward to this Grand Prix, it will be difficult but I hope it can positive again like Argentina.”
MICHELIN’S AMERICAN ADVENTURE CONTINUES AS IT HEADS NORTH TO COTA
Michelin is back in the Americas as the MotoGP™ Championship moves to the northern part of the continent and the state of Texas for the third round of the season which will be the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas held at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin.
With 20 corners of almost every possible configuration, elevation changes and 1.2km long straight – the longest one the calendar – the COTA track deserves respect and concentration and is certainly a layout that demands a lot from tyres and riders alike. The high abrasiveness of the 5,513km circuit, along with the stresses that the tyres are put through over the large number of turns, means the rubber will have to work very hard throughout the weekend to give the riders optimum grip and durability. With the data gathered from last season’s race, the Michelin Technicians have been able to assess the information and prepare the best tyres most suited to the characteristics of the track.
To cope with this challenging circuit the allocation of MICHELIN Power Slicks will feature a soft, medium and hard compound for both the front and rear. These tyres will be identifiable by a white band, no band and a yellow band respectively. The rear compound tyres will also incorporate a harder compound right-hand-side to give it an asymmetrical performance suited to the track’s design. To combat any wet weather the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available in soft (blue band) and medium (no band) compounds, but with good weather expected it will be unlikely these tyres will be used, but following the changing conditions experienced at this year’s previous two Grands Prix, anything can happen.
MotoGP has visited the COTA track – which is situated within the Austin city limits in Texas – for the past four seasons since the circuit was built. Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez is the only rider to have been successful at the venue, taking all four victories including the first Michelin win at the track last year.
Michelin and the MotoGP field will begin track action on Friday 21st April with the first two Free Practice sessions. Qualifying for the 21-lap race will be staged on Saturday, to decide the grid for Sunday’s race which will get underway at 14.00hrs (21.00hrs CEST, 20.00hrs BST, 19.00UTC) on Sunday 23rd April.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“COTA is another very demanding circuit and features many changes of direction, slow turns, fast bends and a long straight. There are also hard braking areas and all this together makes for a big challenge for a tyre to cope with. The riders are always demanding the very best and that is always our target- to be able to give the optimum tyre for all riders and bikes to use. We were unable to produce the very good performance that we had hoped for in 2016, but this season we are going there fully prepared – thanks to data we got after last year’s race – and with a range of rubber that will work well around the Texan circuit. With three fly-away tests and then the three long-haul races to start the season, it has certainly been a busy time, but we are all totally focused and will arrive in Austin fresh and ready for the task-in-hand.”
GP of the Americas, Circuit of the Americas (Texas)
Did you know…?
- Last year, the two factory Ducatis clocked the two fastest speeds of the entire race: 345.2 and 344.2 km/h.
- The last three years that the World Championship has visited COTA, there has always been a Ducati on the podium.
- Andrea Dovizioso finished on the podium in two of the last editions; he finished third in 2014, second in 2015 and last year, while fighting for the top positions, he ended up on the ground because Pedrosa crashed while braking and took him out of the race.
- Although Aleix Espargaró took out Dovizioso in the last GP of Argentina, the Ducati rider is third in the provisional Championship classification.
- Ducati has one victory in the United States, the win by Stoner in 2007 when the American race was held at Laguna Seca.
- Jorge Lorenzo has won twice in the United States. In 2009 at the Indianapolis circuit, and in 2010 at the spectacular Laguna Seca.
- The second place achieved last year is Lorenzo’s best result at COTA.
- COTA is one of the five circuits in the calendar where Jorge Lorenzo hasn’t yet won.
- COTA is the track with the longest straight on the entire calendar at 1200 meters.
- Circuit of the Americas has the biggest acceleration point in the world. It’s produced on the back straight, where the acceleration starts in first gear at 60 km/h and reaches 350 km/h.
- The elevation change at the circuit is 41 meters, with 26 of these meters changing at the end of the finish line in Turn 1, creating a hill with a gradient of 16.25%.
- COTA has the highest tower within a speed circuit with 25 floors and a height of 77 meters.
- In 2015, the MotoGP practice was stopped for 20 minutes because a dog ran onto the track.