Lorenzo aiming to close championship gap at Indy
The MotoGP paddock heads stateside again this week for the second of the two US rounds of the 2011 MotoGP Championship. The legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host round 12 of the Championship, the second home race for Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies. The 2010 Indianapolis event became a feat of endurance for the MotoGP riders with track temperatures hitting 50 degrees over qualifying and race day. The sweltering conditions raised grip issues across the grid and the heat was physically exhausting for the riders.
Lorenzo struggled over the entire weekend to find a perfect set up for the difficult conditions last year, enduring the heat to finally deliver a well earned podium finish with third in the race. The World Champion started from second on the grid just behind Spies. Lorenzo has a good record at the circuit, claiming victory in 2009 and his first ever wet podium in 2008.
With 257,000 permanent seats the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world and fills to capacity for its flagship events, the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 car races. Originally constructed in 1909 with a 2.5-mile oval, an exciting 16-turn motorcycle road circuit, which includes part of the historic oval, was purpose-built for MotoGP. The circuit was resurfaced earlier this year, improving the grip levels considerably for the riders.
As part of Yamaha’s ongoing 50th Anniversay of Grand Prix racing celebrations, Yamaha Factory Racing will again run the special red and white livery at Indianapolis.
Jorge Lorenzo: “Indy is a track I really enjoy. I treasure wonderful moments like the podiums in 2008 and 2010, and my victory in 2009 wearing Captain America’s helmet. I am now in good shape and am ready to regain the ground we lost in Brno, where a mistake put a distance between Casey and I. I hope the good energy I feel in this track will still help us to fight for the title. I am really looking forward to going back to the US and riding my M1.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We had some problems at Indianapolis last year but they resurfaced the circuit so we’re looking forward to checking it out as it wasn’t in the best shape before. Jorge struggled to get the bike set up properly on it in 2010. With Ben’s excellent experience over there we believe we are able to fight for victory or podiums. If we want to win the World Championship we need to win races and start beating Casey, it is going to be a big challenge but we’re ready for it!”
Source: Yamaha Racing