Press release previews of this weekend's Brno Grand Prix from the Moto2 and 125cc teams:
Dunlop Moto2 Preview: Brno
Dunlop heads to the Czech Republic and the Brno circuit for the tenth round of the 2011 Moto2 Championship on August 12-14.
Brno is a fast, clockwise, circuit featuring eight right-hand turns and six left handers over 5.403km of constant elevation changes. It is the right handers that demand most from the tyres and the wide 15m track width also favours high cornering speeds.
Brno has hosted motor racing since the 1930s, with the present track - which replaced the original road layout - making its motorcycle grand prix debut in 1987.
After a productive debut at Sachsenring, Dunlop will bring the front tyre allocation of the 717 hard compound which has been used at all round so far this year, and the slightly harder medium compound of the 302, which replaced the 753 medium last time out.
In response to the circuit's characteristics, Dunlop will bring the dual compound W919 rear tyre as well as the new 4886 compound.
The W919 features a harder compound on the right and softer compound on the left - allowing riders to enjoy the best of both worlds: Long-lasting endurance on the frequently-used right, plus instant grip on the lesser used left.
The 4886 is a totally different configuration with the same working compound on both sides of the tyre but using a new ‘ATR05' construction for improved edge grip. Relative to the W919, it has a stronger left side but softer right side.
"Brno is a great race track but one of the hardest for tyres, so it's a place where we have our work cut out," explains Dunlop Motorsport Senior Service Engineer, Alan Nicholls.
"The layout is aggressive on tyres and includes a lot of elevation - I've walked the circuit many times so can confirm this from personal experience! It heads gradually downhill until turn ten, when it changes to heading uphill back to the start/finish.
"The whole circuit is set among a wooded area with a vast natural amphitheatre similar to Donington Park, so the fans love it.
"On paper, Brno has eight right-hand turns and six left-handers, but only three of those left hands are of any particular note from a tyre perspective, which means we are bringing a dual compound rear with the W919.
"We are also debuting the 4886 and we are looking forward to see how this new concept copes with the challenges of Brno.
"The challenges include the weather, which is usually usually warm, but it is not unusual to see thunderstorms in the afternoon."
In contrast to the short 1m 25sec lap at the previous Sachsenring round, Brno is one of four circuits on the calendar (alongside Qatar, Silverstone and Sepang) with a lap time of over two-minutes.
"Personally I like these long laps, especially, after the short lap at the Sachsenring where riders seem to come into the pits non-stop," says Nicholls.
Dunlop Motorsport Senior Tyre Engineer Chris Valentine added that the Brno asphalt offers good grip without being too abrasive.
"The Brno tarmac has settled down in the 5-6 years since it was resurfaced, so does not cause problems in terms of abrasion. However we still run relatively strong compounds due to the high grip and speeds."
The Brno round of the Moto2 world championships starts with practice on Friday 12 August, qualifying on Saturday and then the race at 12:15 local time on Sunday.
BACK TO WORK FOR REDDING AND KALLIO AT BRNO
The Marc VDS Racing Team return to racing this weekend, with Scott Redding and Mika Kallio determined to get the final part of the season off to a flying start, after spending time relaxing at home with family and friends during the three-week summer break.
The race, at the classic and fast 5.4 km Brno circuit, is the tenth round of the Moto2 World Championship. It is also the first of a hectic schedule of races that will see seven events conducted in 12 weeks to close the season at Valencia on November 6.
Following a one day test on the Suter MVDS MotoGP machine at Mugello, Kallio used the remainder of the summer break to spend time training and relaxing with his family at home in Finland. Redding, on the other hand, was unable to resist the opportunity to return to his roots and do some mini-bike racing. The Marc VDS rider managed to take overall victory with a second place and two wins last weekend in Wales, a performance he'd be happy to repeat on Sunday in the Czech Republic.
Located 200 kilometres southeast of the Czech capitol, Prague, the current Brno circuit was constructed in 1987. Before that, Grand Prix races were held on a public roads circuit, with literally hundreds of thousands of Czech motorcycle racing fans turning out to watch from the roadside.
While the crowd for this weekend is likely to somewhat smaller, the enthusiasm of the present day Czech race fans can be relied upon to easily match that of their predecessors from the 1970s.
Scott Redding #45:
"Coming through the field to take seventh at the Sachsenring was a good end to the first half of the season, but we definitely need to have a stronger second half, starting this weekend at Brno. I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike and I'm going into this race with a fresh head, after spending time during the break cycling in Majorca. The Brno circuit is a bit like Mugello; very up and down with a lot of turns, so it can be quite demanding. We have a few things to try with the bike this weekend, so hopefully we'll be on the pace from the start and able to fight at the front come Sunday."
Mika Kallio #36:
"Apart from one day on the MotoGP bike at Mugello, I've managed to stay away from the bikes for the whole of the break, preferring instead to spend time relaxing with the family in Finland and doing some fishing. Now I head to Brno with my batteries fully recharged, ready to continue the progress we made at the Sachsenring. We had some bad luck in the race there, but in practice and qualifying we were where we should be and not too far behind the fastest guys. Brno is another of my favourite circuits, so I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead. If we can avoid the bad luck of the last few races then I'm confident we can secure a good result at Brno."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"It's no secret that we didn't achieve our goals during the first half of the season, which is why we need to start as we mean to go on in the second half with strong results from both Scott and Mika at Brno this weekend. It's been a long break, but I know both riders have been training hard and I expect them and the team to return refreshed and ready for what is a pretty hectic schedule between now and the final round at Valencia."
NICO TEROL AND HÉCTOR FAUBEL IN HUNT FOR VICTORY AT TALISMANIC BRNO
BANKIA Aspar both looking to repeat past victories at one of their favourite circuits
With just eight races remaining of the 2011 season and a maximum of 200 points up for grabs, the 125cc season resumes following a three-week summer break this weekend. Four of those races take place outside of Europe (Indianapolis, Japan, Australia and Malaysia), with Nico Terol defending a 32-point advantage at the top of the current standings.
The BANKIA Aspar rider heads to Brno as the man to beat, not just because of his points cushion at the top of the championship but because he is the winner of the past two editions of the Czech Republic Grand Prix. Last year's win came on his return to action following injury and his target for a weekend that sees him at full fitness this time around has to be the same result. His team-mate Héctor Faubel is also a past winner here and also lists it as one of his favourite circuits. Having rediscovered the taste for victory champagne in the last race in Germany the Spaniard is now looking for a repeat of his 2007 success at Brno.
Nico Terol: "The summer break has given me a chance for my hand to recover further and for me to disconnect from everything a little. I have enjoyed my holidays but I've also been training hard and I am more than ready for the next round. Hopefully we can pick up in a positive way for the second part of the season because even though I wasn't happy with the performance in Germany we came away with some good points and the objective now is to make life even harder for my closest rivals. I love Brno and I always have a great feeling riding there. I have won for the past two years so I will be giving everything from Friday to keep that run going."
Héctor Faubel: "Brno is one of my favourite circuits. In 2007 I had one of the best races of my career there and after my win in Germany I am full of confidence and so is the team. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off and be fighting for the win again this Sunday. The second half of the season is always tough but we need to keep this level of performance up over the last eight races that are left. I have been forced to rest over the break because I have been ill and actually spent a couple of days in hospital due to intestinal pains but luckily I am okay and fit for the next Grand Prix."
Adrián Martín: "The second half of the season represents a fresh start for me and I am highly motivated. We had some tough races before the break and didn't manage to find a good feeling with the bike but we continue to work as hard as always. Now is the time for us to get back to the good form we showed at the start of the season. The break has been a good opportunity for me to get over my finger injury and now I should be able to ride without the pain I was struggling with in Germany. I have recharged my batteries and I am looking forward to getting back to action at Brno and leaving the bad luck from the last few races behind."
BRNO: MOTIVATION THE KEY IN SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON
The second half of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship gets underway this weekend at the Brno circuit, where Team Gresini last year celebrated victory with Toni Elias and their 100th podium at Grand Prix level. This weekend the goal is to be celebrating more success with Yuki Takahashi and Michele Pirro. A long break since the last race at Sachsenring has been no holiday for the team members, who have been working hard at the workshop and on track at Misano with the Moriwaki MD600. Takahashi and Pirro showed good pace in a one-day test at the Italian track and made some positive updates to their machines, giving Team Gresini all the motivation they need to tackle the crucial final stages of the championship.
Yuki Takahashi "I am feeling much happier and calmer now than I was after the race at Sachsenring. Three weeks off have given me the chance to recover my motivation and the test we completed at Misano last week was very positive. The team have worked as intensely as always to make sure we are in competitive shape and we have made some set-up changes with some interesting results that should be useful for the second half of the season. Brno is a circuit that suits my riding style and I was able to finish second in the race here last year. I am determined to be running at the front again this time around."
Michele Pirro "The long break has given me the opportunity to spend a bit of time with my family in Puglia. It has been good fun and has allowed me to recharge my batteries following a difficult race at Sachsenring. We also got the opportunity along with the team to spend a day of testing at Misano. We managed to get some really good set-up data and the team worked as hard and as well as they always do so I am hopeful for the second part of the season. Brno is a circuit I know well, I like it a lot and I hope to be competitive and have a good Grand Prix this weekend."
Fausto Gresini "We have continued to work intensely over the break and got out on track at Misano, where we got some positive feedback from the new technical updates we tried. It has given us the belief that we can go to Brno with the objective of doing a good job and both Yuki and Michele should be able to benefit from all the hard work. Now we have to carry that positive energy through to Brno and tackle the second half of the season with determination."
SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON KICKS OFF IN CZECH REPUBLIC
Julián Simón and Jordi Torres target top results for MAPFRE Aspar Team in final eight races
Ready or not, it is time for the Moto2 teams and riders to return from their holidays and get back to action as the Brno circuit plays host to the tenth round of the season. The Czech track is one of the longest on the calendar at 5.403km and features a host of fas, sweeping corners combined with dramatic elevation changes. The layout provides the perfect antidote to the tight and twisty Sachsenring, venue of the last Moto2 race before the summer break, and it will put bikes and riders to the test. Currently leading the way n the intermediate class are Stefan Bradl and Marc Márquez but with eight races remaining there is plenty of opportunity for other riders to stake a claim for victory - not least MAPFRE Aspar rider Julián Simón, who would surely be in the title hunt if it weren't for a serious injury.
Simón's recovery from a broken leg continues apace and after an impressive showing in Germany, where he showed great speed in practice only for Lady Luck to desert him in the race, he has made the most of some welcome down-time over the summer break. The Spaniard is still not fully fit but he is keen to give Bradl and Márquez something to think about this weekend. Jordi Torres has been equally busy over the summer break analysing his recent performances as he looks to establish himself amongst the world's best. The Catalan has shown speed without taking advantage of slipstreams but knows he needs to improve, principally on his race starts.
Julián Simón: "The break has been a really good opportunity for me to regain strength in all my muscles, not just my legs. I have just worked on getting back in shape because I lost a lot of muscle mass during my recovery and it was really important for me to build my fitness ahead of a demanding period of races. Being realistic I am still not 100%, I still need walking stick, but I am sure I will be in a lot better shape than I was in Germany. I think it will take another couple of races for me to be totally over my problems. Brno is a circuit I love, we had a good result there last year and I am determined to put the bad luck from Germany behind us and finish the race. I think that by working as hard as usual we can be up front."
Jordi Torres: "I have used this three-week break as a challenge to build cardio-vascular fitness and lose weight. I am quite a big guy and I wanted to trim down so that my weight is not a disadvantage on the bike. I have also watched a lot of videos from Brno to get as much information about the track as possible and I have taken a lot of notes that I hope will be useful. I have also been playing on the games console to getter an idea of what Brno is like to ride. I hope to continue learning this week and above all work on my starts, when everybody tries to get past."
REFRESHED AND READY – MAHINDRA RACE AGAIN AT BRNO
10 August, 2011: After three weekends away for the summer break, the Mahindra riders and team are itching to get back racing again. They will get their chance this Sunday, when action resumes for the last half of the season at the Czech Republic GP at Brno.
Riders Danny Webb (20, from England) and young German Marcel Schrötter (18) have seen the Mahindra machine – the only bike on the 125 grid where the team build both chassis and engine – gather strength in the famous Indian marque's first year in GP racing. One or both riders have been in the points for the last four races straight.
This reflects steady development work at the team's base in Italy, taking the unique disc-valve single-cylinder two-stroke engine to ever-improving levels of power and reliability. The fettling has continued over the break: the aim is to move further up the results table into regular double top-ten results – improving on the best finish so far of ninth.
So far, it is the younger rider Schrötter who leads the way, adding two more scoring finishes to that ninth place at Assen to place 17th overall with 15 points. The more experienced Webb has had more bad luck but has also racked up three top-15 finishes for a total of ten points.
This is the last year of the classic 125 class – which started with the World Championships in 1949. The two-strokes will be replaced in 2012 by 250cc four-stroke Moto3 bikes. Brno begins the final run of the last seven 125 races in history. The Mahindra boys aim to leave their mark on it.
The Brno circuit, one of the longest at over 3.357 miles (5.403 km), sweeps majestically through pine-clad hillsides, with mainly wide and fast corners that require careful handling and accurate riding. A punishingly steep climb up the short final straight tests horsepower to the ultimate. Last year's 125 GP pole qualifying lap was at an average of 95.057 mph.
Last year I was 13th at this race, which was in the rain: I know I can improve on that. I like the track, and I think it suits my style. Over the last races we have been getting stronger every time; my lap times are often good enough for top five or six. We need to qualify well to get a better chance earlier in the race, and be in a better position at the end.
I've enjoyed the break, and my shoulder injury from Italy is almost at 100 percent. I can't wait to go racing again. I like the track, and we have a nice bike now. Change of direction and handling are really good. If we can get a bit of acceleration up the hill, we'll both be in for a good race.
FTR MOTO CHASING VICTORY IN CZECH REPUBLIC
FTR MOTO returns to Moto2 World Championship action this weekend after a four-week break for round 10 of the series at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic.
The Buckingham-based company sits third in the Riders and Constructors World Championships with Italian rider Simone Corsi – on the Ioda Racing Project team's FTR M211 – looking to give FTR a repeat of last year's podium finish at Brno.
FTR enjoyed third place in last year's race and three finishers in the top seven. Now, as FTR's young crop of 2011 starlets begin to realise their potential, this second half of the campaign is poised to see some of those riders, including Esteve Rabat (Blusens STX), Yonny Hernandez (Blusens STX), Pol Espargaro (HP Tuenti Speed Up) all improve on their top six finishes so far this year.
"The results are starting to happen now and much of the FTR success in 2011 has come in the last three or four rounds," said FTR's Steve Bones. "Since the last round in Germany a month ago we've had a good chance to review the nine races so far and it's left everyone at FTR pretty excited about the second half of the 2011 World Championship."
Additionally, Max Neukirchner on the MZ-FTR is looking to add to four top 10 finishes so far this year while his team-mate, Australian Anthony West, is out to improve on his season-best of a fourth place, at Assen in Holland.
Corsi's Ioda Racing Project team-mate Mattia Pasini has finished in the top six this year already and has proven an ability to lead races. The Italian rider will now be looking to perform in front of the traditionally strong Italian travelling support at Brno.
Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda Singh SAG) is out to add to his only point-scoring finish of the year in Spain while Santiago Hernandez (SAG Team) and Frenchman Valentine Debise (Speed Up) go in search of their first points of 2011.
Bones continued: "Obviously Simone Corsi has proven to be the most consistent of any rider in the Championship but, from an FTR perspective, we have a good line-up of quality riders who are all capable of causing a surprise or two on their day."
FARMINGDALE, NJ – August 12, 2011 – Bel-Ray Company, Inc. – Bel-Ray Racing-Weekend Preview
After their summer break the AMA Motocross and Moto2 series return to action this weekend.
The Moto2 class returns to action this weekend in the Czech Republic. After disappointing finishes in the previous round of the series Tech3 teammates Bradley Smith and Mike DiMeglio are looking for redemption. Prior to his DNF in Germany Bradley Smith was on a roll with 3 consecutive podium results. Dimeglio has been struggling to come to grips with his bike, but has shown signs of improvement each week. The summer break will allow them both to re-group for the final rounds of the series. Smith is currently 5th place, while DiMeglio is in 26th place in the series standings.