After a winning start to the 2012 season under the lights of Qatar, the MotoGP circus makes its 2012 bow Europe for the Gran Premio bwin de España at the Jerez circuit.
Yamaha Factory Racing touch down in confident mood following their start to the Championship from rider Jorge Lorenzo. Mallorcan Lorenzo claimed an historic victory for the first ever 1000cc MotoGP race, also his first at Qatar in the premier class.
The Andalucian circuit is a favourite for Lorenzo with two successive 250cc wins in 2006 and 2007 and two premier class victories in 2010 and 2011, but Lorenzo will be expecting a tough challenge from Casey Stoner who no doubt will still be smarting from Qatar.
The 4.423km Jerez circuit, sitting within a natural amphitheatre, is characterised by numerous quick direction changes and few hard braking points. The Yamaha YZR-M1, famed for its class leading agility, has won at Jerez for the last three years in a row. This weekend marks the 26th successive Grand Prix race at the track.
“I’m very excited to be coming back to Jerez again. We were very strong here in our test and I have always had good results. The competition will be tough; I expect Casey and especially Dani to be very fast. Qatar was a perfect start to our season; we worked very hard for that incredible victory. Now we get to race in front of our home fans, I will try to make sure we make a good show for them! Let’s hope it doesn’t rain this year!”
Texan Ben Spies sets down in Spain with his eyes on the podium, determined to put his 2012 Championship fight back on track after a difficult first race in Qatar. Chronic chatter on his 1000cc YZR-M1 in the opening race left him fighting valiantly to make the finish line and earn valuable Championship points. Jerez has yet to deliver for Spies, 2010 saw an unfortunate retirement from the race after 20 laps and last season saw him as one of the many riders to fall as a result of the treacherous race conditions.
“I’m feeling good, I haven’t had great results at Jerez yet but we had a really positive test there so I’m confident. The Yamaha M1 is working well at all circuits we’ve been to so far. After a tough start at Qatar my goal at Jerez is starting the season again, I’m going to do the best I can to deliver. We had a good Qatar weekend except for the race, we know our pace is strong, the bike is competitive and I’m riding well so we should have a successful weekend.”
“I’m looking forward to Jerez, it’s always a great event with a lot of spectators. Jorge has won two years in a row; our aim is to make it three! After Qatar we are very confident with the package, with the hard work of the team and with Jorge’s performance. We’re looking forward to Friday to start again.”