2012 Catalunya MotoGP Press Release Previews

Press releases from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's MotoGP round in Barcelona:


Yamaha Return to Spain for The Grand Prix of Catalunya

Yamaha Factory Racing return to Spain this week for the second Spanish race of the 2012 MotoGP Championship. Round five will be played out at the Montmeló circuit, a stone’s throw from Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo’s home in Barcelona. The local hero will be determined to repeat last week’s decisive victory in Le Mans in front of the Catalan crowd. Lorenzo has a strong record at the Montmeló circuit, taking second in 2009 after an intense battle with Valentino Rossi, a victory in 2010 and second in 2011. He currently leads the 2012 Championship by eight points over Casey Stoner.

Texan Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies arrives in Spain with renewed determination to put his Championship attack firmly back on track. Montmeló is a strong circuit for the American, delivering his first Factory podium last year with third behind his team mate Lorenzo. The result moved him five places up the Championship standings, a result he will be determined to repeat this weekend.

The Catalunya circuit can boast one of the longest main straights in the world. Riders Lorenzo and Spies will need bikes with optimum chassis balance and front-end feel to deal with the long radius, medium and high speed sweeping corners along with the two tight left-hand hairpins and numerous camber changes.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Now we arrive at Montmeló, with no need to fly, I love to have this race so close to my home! I remember my victories and podiums here well, not just in this class but also from my 250cc days. It’s going to be a tough race because our competitors are very strong but our victory in Le Mans has given us extra confidence. We know we can be very fast and competitive so we will be focused from the first session. This is a special race for me as my home race so I want to give all the fans the best show that we can.”

Ben Spies

“I really enjoy riding this track so I’ve been looking forward to getting here and getting started. It’s been a really challenging season so far, I really believe this weekend will see a turn around and we can get it back on track. As always I’m going to give it 100% to produce the best results possible. We know the bike is competitive so we’ll focus on finding a good base set up quickly and hope we finally have a full dry weekend for everyone!”

Wilco Zeelenberg

“This is of course the home race for Jorge. His racing has always been very spectacular here and it’s a favourite track for him, we’re looking forward to seeing all the Spanish fans cheer us on. The whole team loves the atmosphere and the Yamaha is good here as it’s a smooth fast track so hopefully it’ll stay dry because I’ve seen enough rain this year!”

Massimo Meregalli

“Montmeló is traditionally a very good track for Yamaha and we have had excellent results here with both riders last year. It’s a special race for Jorge in front of his home fans and with the race win last weekend we are expecting a strong performance. We know Ben likes this track a lot and his podium finish here last year gives me confidence that with the right set up he can perform strongly and put a difficult start to the year behind him.”


The Repsol Honda Team heads to Catalunya

The 2012 MotoGP World Championship stops in Barcelona this weekend for the fifth round on the calendar.

Catalunya circuit is a place full of fond memories for both Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. Casey recorded the best ever lap at this track (pole position in 2008 with 1'41.186) and Dani has the circuit record (1'42.358, the fastest lap in 2008 on his way to victory).

I the last five years, Casey has never missed the podium at Catalunya. The Australian champion, currently second in the championship eight points behind Lorenzo, will fight to close this gap in Montmeló, where last year he took a solid victory.

Dani knows how it feels to be on top at his home Grand Prix; he has won here in all classes and after missing the race last year due to injury, he is more motivated than ever. Dani wants to enjoy the race in front of his fans and reduce the gap in the championship standings as much as possible. He is third with 65 points, 25 behind the leader.

It will be a long weekend for the Repsol Honda Team, with a one day test scheduled on Monday from 10am to 6pm.

CASEY STONER World Championship Position: 2nd with 82 points

"Catalunya is one of my favourite races and it was the first major grand prix circuit I tested on. Ever since that moment I fell in love with the track, the big fast sweeping corners there's a lot of control in the middle of the turn trying to get grip for the exit. We know the Honda works well here and we had a good race here last year, I just hope this weekend will be dry, that would be great! After the race we have a test on Monday. I really hope the weather is good for us as it's an important test going forward for the remainder of the season".

DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position: 3rd with 65 points

"Catalunya is, obviously, one of my favourite races because all my family, friends and fans are there supporting me and it's a very special date on the calendar. I'm really looking forward to getting there after missing the race last year. I want to feel the atmosphere again and I'm very excited and motivated to do well and fight for victory. Catalunya is a hard track because normally it is hot, but it would be good to have good weather for a change! The test on Monday will be also very important for the team. Catalunya is a very good track to test the new tyres because it is one of the circuits where you stay on the edge of the tyre longer and a long time turning right, you need good feeling in the front. It will be important to have a good test to arrive at Silverstone with the best information possible".


Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 5: Catalunya

29 May 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

The technical layout of the Circuit de Catalunya, the venue for round five of the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship, is one of the toughest on the calendar for Bridgestone’s MotoGP™ tyres and has produced many memorable races over the years.

Unlike the last round at Le Mans, Catalunya is a fast circuit with an array of right-hand corners that are taken at high speed and large lean angles and as a result, the circuit places greater stress on the right shoulder of the rear tyre than any other course on the calendar.

The intense forces imposed on the right shoulder of the rear tyre at this circuit means Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds two steps harder on the right shoulder than on the left for this race. At the front of the bike, the numerous hard braking zones require a tyre with good braking stability, so the medium and hard compound front slick tyres will be available to riders and in case there are unusually cool conditions, the soft front slick tyre will also be available to ensure maximum rider safety. Due to the generally high energy levels placed on tyres at Catalunya, the main wet tyre for this weekend will be the hard compound.

For Catalunya, Bridgestone will offer riders two of the new specification front slick tyre in the hard compound and this weekend’s race marks the last event where limited supply of this tyre will be provided as from the next round at Silverstone, the new specification slick tyre will become the standard offering and will make up the whole front slick tyre allocation.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“I have many good memories of the Catalunya Grand Prix as it has hosted many exciting battles in the past and the crowd is always extremely passionate. This circuit is particularly hard on the right shoulder of the rear tyres, but I am very confident that our 2012 specification tyres are more than up to the challenge. I would also like to welcome back Colin Edwards who will be back on his bike after missing Le Mans through injury.

“Catalunya will be the last time we offer just two of the new specification front slick tyres to riders as this specification will become the standard front slick tyre from Silverstone onwards. In what will be a busy week for Bridgestone, we will be supporting a post-race test on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya and also the test scheduled for next Wednesday at Aragon which was organised as a replacement for the Estoril test after it was cancelled due to wet weather.”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Catalunya is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar and is a high-speed track featuring eight right-hand and five left-hand corners that combine to generate significant loads on Bridgestone’s MotoGP tyres.

“The right-hand turns on this circuit are generally fast and create very high temperatures on the right shoulder of the rear tyres, while the left-handers are slow, resulting in a considerable imbalance in the forces sustained across the rear tyre. For this reason, asymmetric rear tyres are a must at the Circuit de Catalunya with the rubber compound used on the right shoulder being two grades harder than that on the left. Additionally, there are numerous hard braking zones at this circuit - particularly at the end of the two straights - and this places considerable stress on the front tyres as well. Overall, the distinctive layout of the Catalunya circuit makes it one of the toughest events on the calendar for tyres.”


Edwards is back at Montmelo

Colin Edwards is ready to get on his Suter-BMW this weekend for the Catalunya Grand Prix at Montmelo. The NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team is happy to have its GP rider back and to continue with theh developement of their CRT prototype.

The recovery has gone as expected after the surgery performed on his left collarbone. Last week the Texas rider got his staples removed and has been able to exercise with full mobility.

Catalunya will be the scene for Colin Edwards Comeback. The main goal is to Developer the new electronics that Chris Vermeulen tested in wet conditions at Le Mans and get back the feeling with the bike from Losail.

Colin Edwards - 5 -

“I’m excited to come back, I’m probably not 100% yet. I was actually thinking of riding here at the boot camp this past weekend but decided to give it a rest for a few more days. I got the staples taken out last week. I I’ve been swimming a lot these last few days and it feels good, I have full movement and it doesn’t hurt. I would say I’m at about 90% right now. Looking forward to this weekend.”

In Moto2 both riders are eager to make up for what was a very unlucky weekend for them at Le Mans. The crash of both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders at the last race make them more motivated than ever to begin this Catalunya GP.

Alex De Angelis ha shown a considerable improvement with his Suter and hopes that Barcelona will be his season’s turning point. At Montmelo the rider from San Marino has stepped on the podium both in 125cc and 250cc while in Moto2 he has always fought with the front group.

Yuki Takahashi won the Catalunya GP in 2010 in the Moto2 category. This weekend will be the occasion for him to get his first points of the season while fighting with the top riders.


BAUTISTA AND PIRRO AIM TO REDISCOVER GOOD FEELING IN BARCELONA

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro head to the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Barcelona this weekend aiming to put behind them the disappointment of a wet weekend in France. Alvaro is confident that the good feeling he found with the front at Le Mans two weeks ago can help him enjoy a positive weekend at Montmelò on board the Honda RC213V. The same is true of Michele, who showed good pace in the dry in France, where he was challenging with the best of the CRT bunch until the rain came on Sunday. The Italian is hoping for good weather this weekend as he aims to establish himself as a frontrunner in the new concept of MotoGP racing.

Alvaro Bautista “We did a good job in the dry conditions in France to improve our feeling with the bike and close the gap to the top guys. Unfortunately the feeling wasn't as good in the wet and we really struggled for grip so we know we have improvements to make if we get those conditions again. I also had some problems with my visor so it was just a case of coming home with as many points as we could manage. Now we go to Catalunya and a circuit that I like and feel at home at. We will continue with the work we started in France and try to close that gap to the front still further. Obviously we will have to wait and see what the weather does but I am sure we will get normal conditions and be able to rediscover the confidence in the bike that we found at Le Mans. I am determined to get that positive feeling back and put the French race behind us. Montmelò is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar because it is fast and technical, with long sweeping corners where you can get the rear sliding. There are also some big braking zones so we'll need to find a stable setting for the bike and the correct tyres because it is a circuit that works the right hand side very hard.”

Michele Pirro “I am still disappointed with the race at Le Mans. The weather ruined it for us because we really struggled in the wet, which was a shame because in the dry we would have been fighting with the top CRT bikes. I was looking forward to seeing how we got on but it wasn't to be. Right now we're just hoping for nice weather in Barcelona and to rediscover the positive feeling we had with the bike at Le Mans. We have some new things to try this weekend so I am really looking forward to getting out on the track. It is a great track and it should suit our bike so I am sure we can have a good race this weekend.”

Fausto Gresini “Catalunya is another home race for one of our riders and a track that should suit both our bikes well. We should benefit at Montemelò from the improvements we made at Le Mans and Alvaro will hopefully close the gap to the guys at the front, as he would have done in France. He loves the track and we have a good opportunity to get a lot of work done on the bike over the course of the weekend and in the test on Monday. The track should also suit the CRT bike and that should help us pick up with the progress we were making in France. We are on a par with the best of the CRT bikes and if the weather gives us the chance to work on the telemetry and gather some data we can make another big step forward. I am confident that both Alvaro and Michele can enjoy a positive Grand Prix.”


Ducati Team returns to Spain for Catalan Grand Prix

The Ducati Team is preparing for Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix at the wonderful Circuit de Catalunya, which hosts the second of four MotoGP races held in Spain this season.

The circuit is one of Valentino Rossi’s favorites, having served as the scene for nine of his victories, and while Nicky Hayden has only achieved one podium finish at the track, he also appreciates its fast, open layout.

In addition to working on a race setup, the riders and the Ducati Team engineers, headed by Filippo Preziosi, will try to confirm that the development work on the Desmosedici GP12 is heading in the right direction. On Monday, they’ll also take part in a post-race test.

VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team

“Two Sundays ago, we got a nice result because we took advantage of the wet track, a condition in which we know we can be competitive, but we’re aware that we must continue improving in normal, dry conditions. Some of the things we tried in the Mugello test last week seemed promising. It will be interesting to try them on a different track, and with must less time to set the bike up, to see if they’re really a small step forward. The Catalunya circuit has always been one of my favorites, and although it’s hard to imagine another podium, we must still do our best to finish with the front riders.”

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team

“Although I’ve struggled a bit at Catalunya the last few years, I do like the track, and it’s one of the calendar’s great GPs. It’s pretty wide, open and fast, and it’s really important to have good edge grip, especially in the last bit with all the long right-handers. Luckily we got some good weather in Mugello and were able to test a few things with setup, and I look forward to taking them to a race to see if we’ve really done any progress.”

VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager

“First of all, I’d like to extend a thought to the people who were affected by the earthquake that struck the Emilia Romagna region, which we’re all deeply attached to, and in which Ducati and its workers are located. As for our work, we’ll continue giving our all. We’re going to Catalunya, which is a fast track with big, long corners that require good grip. It’s a good opportunity to check the work we’ve been doing. At Le Mans we confirmed that we’re competitive in the wet, but our main goal is still to reduce the gap to the front in the dry.”


POWER ELECTRONICS PAIR HEAD TO FRIENDLY TERRITORY FOR ROUND FIVE

Espargaró scored his first podium at his home circuit in 2011 and De Puniet his first win in 2003

Four races into the season and the two most recent MotoGP World Champions Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner are embroiled in an epic battle for the series lead. With two wins apiece the Spaniard holds an eight-point advantage over the Australian as they head to the Circuit de Catalunya for the second race of the season to take place on Spanish soil. Dani Pedrosa, third in the championship, will be extra keen to pick up his first win of the season whilst plenty of attention will again focus on the battle between the new generation CRT bikes led by POWER ELECTRONICS pair Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet.

Both riders have great memories of the circuit and plenty of reasons to look forward to this weekend. For Espargaró, of course, this is his home circuit and the scene of a memorable podium in the Moto2 race last season - his first ever at Grand Prix level. De Puniet, meanwhile, took his first ever victory in the now defunct 250cc class back in 2003 at Montmeló and the Frenchman is hoping it can now be the scene of a change in fortune after some bad luck so far this season.

Aleix Espargaró: "I live virtually next door to the circuit so I have a lot of great memories here. It is quite a fast track and I love the majority of the corners. I am looking forward to racing in Spain for the second time this season and I usually go well at fast tracks so in general I am hopeful that this can be a positive weekend for us. Montmeló is one of the most complete circuits on the calendar in terms of its layout and also the facilities. I like that it is fast and wide, which makes it one of my favourite circuits in the world alongside Sepang. We have to continue working in the same way as we have done up to now and try to be amongst the fastest CRT bikes on Saturday and finish the race as best we can on Sunday. Hopefully it will be a fight between my team-mate Randy and myself to be the top CRT."

Randy De Puniet: "I am feeling highly motivated ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix, firstly because I am almost completely recovered from the pain in my ribs following the crash at Estoril. I adore Montmeló as a circuit and I have two wins there in the 250cc class, including my first ever in 2003, as well as some good races in MotoGP to look back on. Just thinking about the circuit brings back good memories. Luck certainly hasn't been on our side so far this season so I hope that changes at a talismanic venue for me. Hopefully the weather is on our side too so that we get good conditions all weekend. Montmeló is quite a fast and technical track where you have to keep a good line all the way round, otherwise you lose a lot of time. I guess we will concede a lot to the factory bikes down the long straight but hopefully we can make some of that back up around some of the other corners that I love."


Vicci Welcomes MotoGP Rider Andrea Dovizioso to the Family

Petaluma, California – May 29, 2012 –Vicci Fashion Group, a leader in technology and design in custom apparel, has inked an agreement with MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso. The terms of the multi-year relationship name Vicci as the Official Apparel Supplier and Licensee for Dovizioso’s apparel and merchandise.

Vicci collaborated with Dovizioso and his team during the early months of the year to create the new 2012 merchandise collection. The Spring 2012 items are currently available for sale online and the Summer 2012 pieces will be released in the coming weeks.

“We are honored to be associated with such an esteemed rider as Andrea,” said Allan Hermansen, President and Co-Founder of Vicci Fashion Group. “His history in the sport of motorcycle racing speaks for itself and we’re thrilled to be working with him on this new collection.”

Dovizioso joined the Monster Tech 3 Team after riding three years with the Repsol Honda team. During his tenure with Repsol Honda, Dovizioso collected 15 podium finishes, rounding out the 2011 season in 3rd place in the MotoGP points race. Other credentials during his motorcycle career include a 2001 GP125 European Championship, 2004 MotoGP 125cc World Championship, and 4 wins & 26 podiums from 2005-2007 during his career in the 250cc World Championship.

The Italian-born rider is excited for the 2012 season as well as the new partnership. “The timing was great for us to create a new merchandise collection for the 2012 season. Working with Vicci to build the line has been a great experience and I think the fans will really like what we’ve created.”

The new Dovizioso merchandise line will be available for sale at www.vicci.com and trackside at MotoGP events worldwide.

Vicci Fashion Group is a progressive apparel house specializing in custom clothing for the motorsports industry. Vicci outfits many of the biggest names in motorsports, including organizations in MotoGP, Formula1, IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, World of Outlaws and more. www.Vicci.com


THE PRAMAC TEAM GETS READY FOR THE SECOND RACE OF THIS 2012 IN SPAIN

The Pramac Ducati Team moves to Spain for the fifth race of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the second on Spanish soil this season, after facing the French round at the Bugatti Circuit.

The Catalan layout features have one of the longest main straights in the world, watched over by a vast grandstand, which is always full to bursting from Saturday morning.

The rest of the track is characterised by long radius, medium and high-speed sweeping corners, with two tight left-hand hairpins thrown into the mix. This variation combined with regular changes in camber makes the circuit particularly demanding on chassis balance and means that front-end feel is a key concern for every rider.

The 2012 Grand Premi de Catalunya will see the White and Green rider Hèctor Barberà prepared to ride on a circuit that suits his riding style, providing another opportunity to gather experience aboard on his Ducati Desmosedici and points for the World Championship standing.

On this track, the 25-years-old rider, has often gotten brilliant results, as a first place riding an Aprilia 125cc or a couple of podiums during his middle class seasons in 2008 and 2009.

From tomorrow Hèctor will look for a good setup on his GP12 and he will work deeply with his crew to redeem the sour French result.

Hèctor Barberà – Rider Pramac Racing Team

“The Grand Premi de Catalunya is an event that I always love. It is the second round of the year in Spain and signals the end of the first quarter of the 2012 campaign.

The last race didn't go at too badly considering the good points that we were able to take home. Ninth place was a good result but we have to target to a better result and I hope we can move up the scale this weekend. I like Montmeló a lot, it is one of those circuits that tends to suit me, with fast and technical corners.

We have to work hard from the first session of the race, give it our best and the results will come. I have got good memories of this track because I had one of the best races of my entire career here in 2004, so i'm optimistic about this weekend.”

Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team Manager -

“We arrive in Barcelona hoping for the sun or for stable weather conditions, compared to the tricky conditions that we have had until now.

The work with Hèctor, the crew and on our Desmosedici is keeping up and is improving race after race and I'm confident with our capability.

We are happy to have a steadfast presence in the Top Ten standing, but we could be able to achieve more consistent results until the end of this 2012 campaign.”


2012

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