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MotoGP Returns to Spain for The Grand Prix of Catalunya

 

The MotoGP paddock heads to Barcelona this week for the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Montmeló circuit in Spain. Round five of the 2011 Championship, the second on Spanish soil this season, sees 2010 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo ready and prepared to defend his Championship lead in front of his home Catalan crowd. His last visit to the circuit proved a victorious one in 2010 with a decisive victory taken from pole. The Mallorcan born rider saw his points tally extended to 78 two weeks ago during an incident packed round four in France, he now leads closest rival Casey Stoner by 12 points.

Ben Spies ended his recent run of misfortune with a solid performance at the last race in Le Mans. After two DNFs in the previous rounds the Texan Yamaha Factory newcomer made good use of the French round to rebuild his confidence, holding off fellow American Nicky Hayden for a sixth place finish and valuable championship points. Spies arrives in Barcelona in 12th position with 20 Championship points, just two points adrift of Marco Simoncelli in eighth place.

The main grandstand at The Circuit de Catalunya sits over one of the longest main straights in the world; delighting the always capacity crowd with an unrivalled view of the action over the race weekend. The crews of Lorenzo and Spies will be focused on delivering their riders with the optimum chassis balance and front-end feel in their hunt for the perfect set-up for the circuit. These are needed to cope with the long radius and medium and high-speed sweeping corners, not forgetting the two tight left-hand hairpins and various camber changes.


Jorge Lorenzo

"We are now going straight to Montmeló and we don't even need to take a plane. It is amazing! I am so happy to be here, the closest track to my home. I remember last year's victory and also those in my 250cc days. This is a fast track with high speed and slow corners. It is the second race in Spain and I would like to be as fit as in Jerez. I know it's going to be tough; we need to improve a lot because our competitors are very strong and my finger is still recovering from the Le Mans warm up crash. Our aim in this GP will be the podium. We should be focused from Friday on, and I am quite confident that the team is ready to fight, as usual."


Ben Spies

I think Im looking forward to this race more than any so far this year! This is definitely a circuit I like to ride a lot more than the previous four. After a difficult start with some unlucky results we put in a solid ride at Le Mans, considering the pace of some of our competitors I was happy to finish where we did and get some points under my belt. As always were ready to give it 100% this weekend and will be looking again to build on the last round and hopefully move up a couple of places in the championship standings come Sunday.


Wilco Zeelenberg
Im quite happy to go to Barcelona as there will be a fantastic atmosphere there after they won the Champions League! Its also a special race for Jorge as its his home race. Weve been missing a little bit of pace so its a good moment to make a strong statement for the first of these back to back races to see if we can make a difference here.

Massimo Meregalli
We have been looking forward to this weekend to get back to the action and show what we are capable of. This is Jorges home track so the expectations are high and his results here have been good for the last couple of years. Ben really likes this circuit and hes got his confidence back following a difficult start to the year. The team are in confident mood and we are impatient for Friday morning to get started on track.



Jorge Lorenzo

Age: 24
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 36 (16 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Brazil, 2003 (125cc)
First GP: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
GP starts: 150 (55 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 43 (16 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
World Championships: 3 (MotoGP 2010, 250cc, 2006/7)

Ben Spies

Age: 26
Lives: Longview Texas / Lake Como Italy
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories:
First GP victory:
First GP: Donington, UK, 2008 (MotoGP)
GP starts: 25
Pole positions: 1
World Championships: 1 (WSB 2009)

Grand Prix Results: Montmeló 2010

1. J.Lorenzo Yamaha 43'22.805
2. D.Pedrosa Honda +4.754
3. C.Stoner Ducati +4.956
6. Ben Spies Yamaha Tech 3 +21.503

Montmeló Record Lap
D.Pedrosa (Honda) 2008, 1'42.358

Montmeló Best Lap
C.Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1'41.186


Monster Yamaha Tech3 Preview

After another break of two weeks break the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rolls on with their 2011 campaign and will start the first of two consecutive races in Catalunya, Spain this weekend.

The all-important home race for the French-based Tech 3 squad in Le Mans two weeks ago was overshadowed by some bad luck for Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow as they both crashed during the race and only Edwards could rescue some crucial points by finishing the race in 13th place.

The American has worked with his crew to improve the chassis set up in recent weeks and the outcome of this work means he is is now looking forward to getting back on track in Montmelo this weekend.

Crutchlow, who was disappointed for not being able to give his hard-working Team some glory in their home race, is looking forward to learning another new track in his rookie year in the premier class of motorcycle racing. The British rider is a big fan of the challenging and technical layout of the Catalunya venue and he hopes he will be able to fight for another top ten this weekend.


Colin Edwards

"I am looking forward to Barcelona and to some heat. It has been a little cold at the previous race in Le Mans. I never really had what I would say a great result there apart from 5th or 6th at the Dorna tests. But I like the track and I am looking forward to riding there with the new chassis set up that we have been running. It feels good but we should see how it goes there."


Cal Crutchlow

"Catalunya will be another new race for me. I am looking forward to going there as the track looks good. I had a strong results in qualifying in Le Mans and it was a shame that I crashed in the race, but if we can continue where we were at the previous race without the mistake I would be happy. I think we are going in the right direction and as always I will be doing my best."

 

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