2013 Austin MotoGP Press Release Previews

Press release previews ahead of this weekend's MotoGP round at Austin, Texas:

Yamaha Factory Racing Arrives in Texas for COTA Debut

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 16th April 2013

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team touches down in the USA this week and heads to Texas for round two of the 2013 MotoGP Championship at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin on 21st April.

Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi arrive in perfect form, World Champion Lorenzo leading the 2013 standings and teammate Rossi right behind in second after a dazzling performance by both riders at the season opener in Qatar two weeks ago.

This will be the debut COTA MotoGP race with only a very few riders having ever visited the track before. Lorenzo and Rossi are among those few having enjoyed a private test at the circuit in pre-season.

Created by leading circuit designer Hermann Tilke, the track will challenge the MotoGP grid over 21 laps with an incredible 41 metre elevation change as it winds through an impressive 20 separate turns over its 5.513km length. The track enjoys a variety of styles including fast sweeping sections and stop-and-go hairpin turns.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Qatar was stunning for us. A great start of a really competitive season. It’s always crucial to make a good beginning but Losail was just the first race of a long season. Now we have to change our mindset, we go to the USA and we visit a completely different track, not just the layout but also for the asphalt, the climate and some different circumstances.
 The Austin track has a very long straight and several corners in first gear where you are need good acceleration and traction. There we will have to work really hard from the first session to cut away the distance to our competitors. Anyway, I keep my confidence that we can also make a good result there. I want to win at Austin and that’s my mentality although I know in the USA it will be much more complicated.”

Valentino Rossi

“Austin will not be an easy race but for sure the podium in Qatar is giving us extra motivation. We have done a great job there and we can go to Austin with some more certainty. Our competitors will be very strong but our goal will be to bring home points. I am confident, I really like the track and my first impression, when we tested there, was that the circuit is beautiful. The track lay-out is very special: there is some downhill and uphill and the first braking zone is very technical. For me turn two is the best though and after when you enter into the chicane. The straight is very long, which is good for overtaking. I really look forward to racing at COTA.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

“I couldn’t go a few weeks ago to the test at COTA but what I hear about the track is that the feelings are much more different to the other circuits. Maybe it is because it’s new, with a special layout. We won at Qatar, this was a fantastic start for us and also for Yamaha but we have to think ahead and the season is long and hard. In theory, Austin is not really a circuit that will benefit us. Anyway, we will see how much we can improve our performance compared with the test and see about our pace over there. Finally, this is racing and you never know until Sunday!”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“We are going to Austin now in a different shape to one month ago. The data we collected there will help us to prepare the base set up with which we will start the practices and also for sure the results in Qatar will be helpful too. The latest modifications we’ve made to our bikes are going to help. Austin for us is not going to be an easy race but for sure it's going to be better than the test. The place is very nice and the temperature was perfect one month ago. We are looking forward to this next race, especially after the good spirit we got from the last one!”

Repsol Honda riders return to Austin looking to regain points

This weekend the MotoGP family heads to the U.S.A for the second round of the Championship at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

The first round took place in Qatar just over a week ago, and saw mixed fortunes for the Repsol Honda Team. Dani Pedrosa experienced issues with rear grip finishing 4th but rookie Marc Marquez had a great debut finishing 3rd.

As the team heads to Austin, where they were testing five weeks ago, Dani will be looking to regain his pre-season form and recover some points on his rivals with Marc focusing on confirming his great debut in the new class.

Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 4th - 13 points

"Qatar was not the start we expected, but I know what the issue was so it's clear for the next race. We were in Austin just over a month ago and I'm sure this will be useful for us as we have a base setting, there are a lot of tight corners at this track and the pace changes from section to section. However, the track will be quite different with so many more bikes there and much more rubber laid down, so hope the bike will still work well"

Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 3rd - 16 points

"To arrive on the podium in my first race was a dream come true, but now we must face the reality and focus on the job at hand. I am looking forward to going to Austin, it will be interesting as we have already been there testing and we found a good base set up. But we will see because it will be a different scenario with more rubber on the track and the conditions will change. We will concentrate on our work and our own agenda to prepare ourselves in the best possible way for the race"

The Ducati Team heads to Texas

With the 2013 MotoGP world championship having recently kicked off in the Middle East, the Ducati Team is now headed for round two, which will mark the first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Texas.

Situated near the state capital of Austin, the new Circuit of the Americas raises many question marks for the MotoGP riders, although Ducati Team racer Nicky Hayden had the opportunity to experience the Hermann Tilke-designed circuit last month on a road bike, when he and Ignite Pramac Racing rider Ben Spies, a fellow American, took part in the press launch of the 1199 Panigale R. For Hayden’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, on the other hand, this will mark his first visit to the facility.

Adding to the trial will be the fact that COTA is quite challenging to learn, being 5.513 kilometres long (3.426 miles), with a full 20 corners, including the track’s signature uphill Turn 1 lefthander. Much of the circuit is 15 metres wide (50 feet), making for multiple line options in many of the corners.

Austin will mark the first of three rounds this season to be held in the United States, Ducati’s number-one market.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team

“I haven’t been to the Circuit of the Americas, but from the video it looks like a really big and nice track, and it also looks really difficult. Unfortunately, we didn’t test there like some of the other guys, so it will be a problem for us in the beginning. Anyway, I’m really excited for us to be riding on a new track.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team

“Right after Qatar I had to fly to Asia for some promotional events, so I hope to be at my best for Austin! Having three GPs in my home country almost seems like a dream to me, and the Circuit of the Americas is really a great track that’s nice, safe and new, with great facilities. I’ve been around it on a street bike, so I know the layout, although it will obviously be much different on a MotoGP bike. The track has a little bit of everything, and it’s definitely not easy. It’s really long, quite wide, and very technical, with some very particular corners that have open entries—often blind—and tight exits. I like a good challenge, and this track definitely offers one. Hopefully the American fans will come out and support the race and set up a nice trend for the next two American rounds.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager

“The track will be completely new for us. Nicky did a sort of shakedown with a Panigale R street bike, and from the way he describes it, it will be quite difficult. There are fast straightaways with hard braking zones and very tight hairpins, but there are also sections with fast corners. Unfortunately, since the Ducati Team didn’t test at COTA, we’re at a bit of a disadvantage to our competitors; we’ll have dual assignments during the early sessions—we have to find a general setup and the correct settings for the electronics—so we hope to have good weather in all of the sessions. The weekend is a bit of an unknown for us, but we’re optimistic.”


The MotoGP World Championship arrives in Texas this week for the first ever visit to the “Circuit of the Americas,” host to the first of three rounds in the USA this season with Laguna Seca and Indianapolis also on the calendar. Alvaro Bautista arrives in Austin looking to build on a positive start to the 2013 season in Qatar. The Spaniard and his team will continue to work with Showa's engineers to try and improve his feeling with the front of the bike and they are confident that the RC213V will be well suited to the ”Circuit of The Americas.” Bryan Staring heads to the USA for the first time looking to make up for the disappointment of crashing out of his MotoGP debut after just one lap. Both Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini riders are looking forward to discovering a new and exciting track in the always welcoming surroundings of the USA.

Alvaro Bautista “The 2013 season has started really well. I am happy even though we had a few problems with the front in Qatar. It forced us to use the soft tyre because I had more confidence with it but we lost stability under braking. I made a good start and tried my best to stay with the guys at the front but it got to the point where I was taking too many risks and it was better to make sure of a solid position. It was an important sixth place, my best result in MotoGP in Qatar and that gives us optimism for t he future. The next round in Austin will be a new experience for almost all of us. They say it is a technical and demanding circuit and I am looking forward to getting on with the job of learning it and finding a setting that will allow me to fully exploit the potential of the RC213V. The level of competition is very high but I am confident that if we do our job right then we can be even more competitive than we were in Qatar. Myself and the team are determined to keep working until we show our best form. ”

Bryan Staring “I am still disappointed with the way my debut went in Qatar but I also know that it is all part of the process of picking up experience in a completely new category. We will learn from it and try to make up for our disappointment this weekend in Austin. It is a new track for all the CRT guys so we will start out on a more level playing field. I have seen some footage of the track and it looks awesome. I am looking forward to seeing it for myself and I am sure that the Circuit of The Americas will be fun to ride. This will also be my first ever trip to the USA so overall there is a lot to look forward to as we try to put Qatar behind us and focus on producing a positive performance in Austin.”

Fausto Gresini “There is a lot of interest and excitement surrounding this first visit to a new track. From the footage I have seen and the things I have heard it is certainly futuristic and a posit ive step for the future of motorcycle racing. We head to the USA feeling happy and satisfied with a positive start to the season in Qatar with Bautista. Alvaro had a good race and finished with a result that gives us something to build on. We will be working hard with the engineers from Showa to improve his confidence with the front of the bike and to adapt the setting as quickly as possible to the demands of Austin. Bryan Staring needs to get his confidence back after his disappointment in Qatar but crashing is part of learning and the team will help him bounce back. Bryan is a brave and intelligent young rider who knows how to turn negative experiences into positive energy and I am sure that before long he will be fighting at the front of the CRT pack:”


New track for World Championship at round two, where the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar team hopes to continue as CRT top dog

The MotoGP riders this week head to another circuit with an enormous potential for thrilling top speeds. At the new Circuit of the Americas they will have a 1200 metre home straight -the longest on the MotoGP calendar- on which to open the throttle of their powerful machines. Only a few riders tested at the US track during the winter, so it will be a surprise for most. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the Circuit of the Americas is one of a select group of tracks over 5km in length, and one of the few shared with Formula 1 -alongside Montmelo, Silverstone and Sepang. The USA now hosts three events, at the Circuit of the Americas, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis, placing the country second for most races behind Spain (with four). The recent race in Qatar's set the scene for what should be a fantastic season of action.

In almost a mirror image of last season, the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders were again the best CRT competitors at the opening round in Losail. Aleix Espargaró imposed himself on the CRT standings throughout the entire weekend, clocking similar times to the MotoGP riders in practice and qualifying. On the Sunday he finished as best CRT rider in the race. Randy De Puniet took longer to find a good feeling with his bike, but in the warm-up session he showed great improvement and in the first half of the race he was a tough rival for teammate Espargaró. The Frenchman finished as second best CRT rider. Both POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders head to Circuit of the Americas determined to continue as frontrunners.

Aleix Espargaró: "I can't wait to start the GP of the Americas, at a circuit that will be new to everyone -or at least for the CRT riders. I like the feeling of arriving at a new track, at which you must find your reference points. We will have to take it easy in the first practice to avoid any nasty surprises, but hopefully we can continue from where we left off at Qatar. I am very satisfied with the manner in which we started the championship. The only thing we could have improved was the start of the race. During the race I found it hard to match my times from practice. I believe that we must work with a full tank of fuel in order to match up the practice pace with that of the start of the race. We are only one GP into the season and we are already adapting well to the ART 2013, which is a good sign that we are doing things right."

Randy De Puniet: "I look forward to getting to the Circuit of the Americas and getting back riding again. I have seen footage of the F1 race there and it seems like a really interesting track. Riding there will be a new experience for everyone, except for the factory riders. All the CRT guys will be debuting there, so we will all start with the same conditions. In general I tend to be a rider who quickly adapts to any environment, so I am calm. I'm sure it will be an exciting weekend. In Qatar we started out a little lost, we struggled to find a good feel, but in the end we picked things up. Only a small mechanical problem prevented us from fighting with Aleix right up until the last lap. I hope that next weekend we can again fight to be the best CRT."

COTA ready for its debut

Following a few days of rest after a positive season-opening race at Losail, Qatar, where the Pramac Racing Team finished ninth and tenth, the squad has arrived at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The track, which opened last year in Austin, Texas, is 5.513 kilometers long (3.426 miles) and has 20 corners (11 lefthanders and nine righthanders), along with an uphill of 41 meters (135 feet). Although the facility is making its MotoGP debut, it has already earned a reputation for being among the nicest on the calendar.

Home rider Ben Spies (Ignite Pramac Racing Team) already had an opportunity to get a first impression of the Texas circuit while riding a Ducati 1199 Panigale R during that bike’s official press launch in March, shortly after a private test that was attended by Honda and Yamaha.

Both riders now look forward to COTA’s first MotoGP free-practice sessions, which are scheduled to get started Friday at 9:55 local time.

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team


“I’m really happy to race at home; even just a few years ago, I never would’ve imagined that it was possible. The track is very challenging, but because I was able to do some laps here last month, I know something about what to expect, and I’ll try to take advantage of what I learned.”

COTA ready for its debut

Following a few days of rest after a positive season-opening race at Losail, Qatar, where the Pramac Racing Team finished ninth and tenth, the squad has arrived at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

The track, which opened last year in Austin, Texas, is 5.513 kilometers long (3.426 miles) and has 20 corners (11 lefthanders and nine righthanders), along with an uphill of 41 meters (135 feet). Although the facility is making its MotoGP debut, it has already earned a reputation for being among the nicest on the calendar.

Before arriving in Texas, Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team) traveled to Laguna Seca for a few laps (also aboard a Ducati 1199 Panigale R) at another circuit that is unfamiliar to him, and which will host the season’s ninth round on July 21.

Both riders now look forward to COTA’s first MotoGP free-practice sessions, which are scheduled to get started Friday at 9:55 local time.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

“Before coming here to Austin, I went to Laguna Seca to try another track that I’ve never ridden—the Corkscrew is truly spectacular! It’s a shame that I couldn’t do it more than just a few times. Now I’m ready for another new circuit, and it seems very fun and challenging.”

Texas welcomes Colin Edwards and NGM Mobile Forward Racing teammates

The second race of the season takes NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team to the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) in Texas. The inaugural GP race in Texas will have a very special connotation for our MotoGP rider Colin Edwards. The American rider, also known as the “Texas Tornado” will be attending his very first home race.

The Moto2 riders look forward to improving their results with their SpeedUp bike from the first season race in Qatar; Simone Corsi is aiming to fight for the podium positions, Alex De Angelis is hoping for a quick adaptation process to be competitive, Mattia Pasini will aim to place better in qualifying to have a good race in Texas and Ricky Cardús is very enthusiastic about this first race at the COTA and show what he is made of.

The Texas Tornado and teammate Claudio Corti are in turn, eager to arrive at the Texan circuit. Both Edwards and Corti will be experiencing the track for the first time with their FTR-Kawasaki as of Friday. Both riders look forward to this second race of the season.

Colin Edwards – 5

“I´m really excited about the Austin GP, it will be the first GP I´ve ever driven to which is awesome. As far as expanding the audience we´ve had one out west side, one on the east side and now we get to have one south. I´ve got a lot of friends, a lot of family coming and I am looking forward to it. It should be good!”

Claudio Corti -71

“I always look forward to going to a new circuit, its like entering into a brand new playground when you are a little kid. I expect it to be s tought weekend since we have no data on this new track but will the experience adquired in Qatar I go into this race cold headed and confident about the team´s potential and my own.”

Simone Corsi - 3

“After the positive start in Qatar I am optimistic for the race in Austin! Its a new circuit for everyone and it will be key to find the best possible setting right away and memorize the track and the best line to follow. I had a good feeling with the bike on the first race and I hope to make a bigger step this weekend to be able to fight for the podium.”

Alex De Angelis - 15

“Its hard to make any assesments on how the race will go at Austin, Its a new circuit for all of us but in the past I have always been able to adapt to new tracks rapidly. I will do my best to improve the results from the first race in Qatar.”

Mattia Pasini - 54

“After an unlucky weekend in Doha I go very motivated into this second race of the season at Austin. We have to fix a few little problems in order to be as fast as we would want this weekend. With the work plan we have set with the team I believe we can be very competitive."

Ricky Cardùs - 88

“I am happy to be riding for the first time at this circuit. Its a race track that I have only seen photos of and so far has impressed me. Its a shame that I am not completely recovered from the Qatar crash but I hope that this last few days before the race will do the trick. It will be a fun race, I´m lookign forward to racing in America, a country that I really enjoy visiting and where I hope to improve my race results from Qatar.”

Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 2: Americas, Austin

16 April 2013

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

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

The second round of the 2013 MotoGP™ season takes place at the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas as the championship welcomes a new venue to the calendar.

At 5.515 kilometres in length, the Circuit of the Americas is a technical track featuring big changes in elevation, a combination of slow and fast corners and a 1200 metre back straight - the longest on the MotoGP™ calendar - which starts and ends with tight hairpin corners.

The Americas Grand Prix is the first event of the season in which CRT and non-CRT riders will be allocated different specifications of rear slick tyre. Although there are fewer right-hand corners compared to left-hand corners at this circuit, the presence of several mid to high speed right-hand corners creates higher tyre temperatures on the right shoulder of the tyres. As a result, asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulders will be offered at this race. A total of three rear slick compounds the soft, medium and hard options will be offered at Austin, with CRT riders able to use the soft and medium options, non-CRT riders the medium and hard.

Front slick compounds are the soft and medium options to give riders the highest levels of front-end feel through the twisting sections of the track which feature numerous changes of direction, while the main wet tyre for the Circuit of the Americas will be the soft compound option.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“The United States is a very important market to Bridgestone and to increase our presence in this region with a third race on the calendar is welcomed, particularly at such an amazing venue as the Circuit of the Americas. The first race in Qatar was a thrilling contest and I am sure that at this circuit, which is an unknown quantity for many of the riders, we will witness another exciting race. I am pleased that a new collection of American fans will get to witness what a great motorsport series MotoGP is, and I hope they turn out in large number to support their home-grown heroes Ben, Colin and Nicky and also to cheer on the two American wildcard riders, Blake Young and Michael Barnes”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Austin’s Circuit of the Americas welcomes MotoGP for the first time and its impressive layout created a real challenge for tyre development. Like the other American circuits on the calendar it is run in a counter-clockwise directions, and the track is technical with a mix of tight, slower corners and faster, more open sections. These features combine to place a great importance on front-end feel as maintaining good corner speed is critical at this track, so our front tyres need to provide excellent grip characteristics with plenty of stability, while the rears must give good drive out of the corners.

“Our data from testing shows that the faster right-hand corners at the circuit require slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder of the rear slicks for greater stability and durability, so we will bring asymmetric rear slicks at Austin. Front tyre compounds for this race will be soft & medium, while the rear slick compounds for CRT riders will be soft and medium, and for non-CRT riders, medium and hard.”

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