MotoGP riders look ahead to an exciting weekend of Brno MotoGP action
MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez was joined by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Pol Espargaro, Andrea Iannone and Karel Abraham to address the media on Thursday ahead of the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, the Brno MotoGP round.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez remains undefeated so far in 2014 following a tenth victory in a row at Indianapolis on Sunday and he goes into the Brno round full of confidence after a successful test at the Czech track just over three weeks ago.
He previewed round 11 saying, “I feel good after winning at Indianapolis. Here in Brno it is a completely different circuit to Indy but we did a test three weeks ago, so we should have a good set up. Yamaha were close to us in Indy and I expect them to be strong again here, but I am feeling good and we’re ready to fight.”
One of those Yamaha riders looking to break the winning run of Marquez is Rossi, who has a strong record at Brno, including his first ever Grand Prix triumph, 18 years ago in the 125 class.
The experienced Italian said, “I have great memories from this track especially my first victory in 1996. I remember it very well. It is one of my favourite circuits and it is fantastic to ride with a MotoGP bike. You can use the maximum potential of the bike here. My recent results here have not been great and last year I was too far from the top three. So my target this weekend is to improve my lines, improve my riding, I need to do that if I want to be on the podium. I think the race from Indy was one of the best in the recent period. It was a great race.”
Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP colleague Lorenzo stated, “I was really pleased with the second place at Indianapolis. We arrive here now at a track which theoretically is good for our bike and my riding style, with the chicanes and the importance of corner speed. We’re very motivated this weekend and we will be aiming to repeat Indy. Brno is faster and wider than Indy and I have won here four times, so we need to do the job on the track.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s impressive premier class rookie Espargaro added, “It was a good result to finish fifth at Indy but we were too far from the front riders. We had a good race and a good weekend in general. We just have to keep improving. I am really happy with my first half of the year, so thanks to Yamaha and my team. I’m still young and I know I can do better. It’s just experience, race by race, I’m learning all the time with the bike.”
Pramac Racing rider Iannone gave his contribution to affairs, commenting, “Brno is a good track, I have some great memories from Moto2 and some good battles with Marc (Marquez), but he was always a little stronger than me! Indy was a strong weekend for me, I was fast throughout and we had a good feeling on the bike. But in the race we had lots of problems and it was impossible to finish.”
Home rider Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) provided a summary of his season so far and spoke of the pressure of being the only Czech rider in the premier class this weekend.
“I’m happy to be fit this time because last year I came here with a lot of pain in the shoulder and afterwards I had to go for an operation. So it feels good to be arriving here fit and ready. It has not been a great season, but we have been consistent and even at the beginning of the season we were not sure how the shoulder would be, so it has been ok. It is big pressure for me riding here at Brno, but that’s just how it is,” said Abraham.
A Go Karting race at Brno circuit’s karting track earlier on Thursday saw Abraham and Pol Espargaro joined by Scott Redding, Jack Miller and Karel Hanika as the riders got competitive on the eve of the Grand Prix.
Another important Brno press conference will take place on Friday when Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC Executive Vice President), Kouichi Tsuji (General Manager Motorsports Division / YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd), and Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) sit down to talk to the media at midday.
After completing the first of three August races in the calendar at Indianapolis, the Ducati Team has now returned to Europe, and the Czech Republic, for the eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend at the Automotodrom Brno.
The circuit, which was built in the mid-80s, offers a fantastic spectacle for teams, riders and fans alike, with the main features being a succession of variable-radius corners together with numerous steep uphill and downhill sections. Fast and flowing with plenty of room for different lines, the Brno circuit is one of the most popular tracks on the calendar for riders.
Both Ducati Team men have been on the podium once in the premier MotoGP category in the Czech Republic race: Andrea Dovizioso finished runner-up in 2011, and his team-mate Cal Crutchlow third in 2012. Last year Crutchlow also set his second-ever MotoGP pole position at this circuit.
For the fifth time this season, the Brno race will see the participation of Michele Pirro, who will be out on track again with the Ducati Test Team’s GP14.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – “Brno is a nice, difficult track and totally different from Indianapolis. I like its up-and-down layout, even though it’s not one of my favorite circuits. The track itself has got a lot of straights, and my Desmosedici GP14 is certainly not lacking in power after the debut of the new engine at Indianapolis, so I’m feeling confident that we can again be closer to the others, like we were at Indy.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – “I’m looking forward to going back to Brno, which is one of my favourite circuits, and I’ll be aiming to get a good result there. The track seems more suitable for the Ducati, because there are a lot of hard acceleration areas where I think we can gain some time, and the GP14 is also strong in the braking zone, even though we still need to still improve the cornering. My guys are working very hard for me and I look forward to working with them again in Brno.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – “I am very happy to return to the track to take part in a grand prix race. I have been training hard and I hope to be able to help the engineers to gather data on this track, but at the same time I want to try and get as close as possible to the factory riders. The Brno circuit is not one of my favourites, but I am convinced that in any case I can get a good result.”
Fresh from an impressive ride at the Indianapolis Grand Prix last weekend that delivered a double podium, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team head to Brno this weekend for Sunday’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
Valentino Rossi arrives in Brno in confident mood after a strong performance in Indianapolis that saw him leading the race in the early laps and ultimately taking a third place podium finish. The Italian nine-time world champion has a stunning record in Brno, claiming a 125cc race win in 1996, a 250cc win in 1999 and one 500cc victory in 2001. In the modern MotoGP era Rossi also counts premier class Brno victories in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Jorge Lorenzo arrives in Brno with his confidence and fitness both back at peak levels. His performance in Indianapolis firmly re-established the four-time world champion as a key protagonist with a second place finish on the podium. Lorenzo also has a strong record at Brno, claiming one 125cc victory in 2004, two 250cc victories in 2006 and 2007 and a maiden GP win in 2010. Lorenzo missed out on victory by just 0.178 seconds after a stunning duel with Dani Pedrosa in 2012 and continued his Czech podium run with third place last year
Valentino Rossi – “I really like the Brno circuit. In the past I really did good races although in the last couple of years I’ve not had a great performance there. In Czech Republic we will have to repeat what we did in Indianapolis; concentrate, study corner by corner in every practice and do the maximum to fight with Marc and Jorge. It would be great to return to the podium there.”
Jorge Lorenzo – “I think Brno could be good for us like in Mugello or Montmeló. It will be difficult because Marc is pretty constant in all the tracks. We have improved a lot from Barcelona and we found some little things that permit us to be more constant and competitive as well. Physically I feel already in a good shape and I can keep a good pace during the race. Maybe in Brno with this bike we can fight for the win but to be more competitive in all the tracks we need more efforts to get some more tenths. Anyway I’m happy after the race at Indy and we will keep fighting until the end.”
Massimo Meregalli – “We are all excited to be back in Europe after a great performance in Indianapolis. Both Vale and Jorge are in very competitive shape and we know that Brno is a track that can suit us pretty well so we want to get to Friday and begin to work as soon as possible.”
Repsol HRC Preview
With no rest, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have arrived in the Czech Republic in anticipation of this weekend’s Brno GP.
A popular circuit with both the riders and fans, Brno is built in a natural bowl which has many elevation changes as the circuit navigates itself through the beautiful wooded scenery offering the spectators spectacular places to view. Marc and Dani were testing here in July – before the Summer break – and they’ll be hoping this will give them an advantage in terms of setting up the bike.
Both riders have enjoyed good results here in the past with Marc winning here last year (MotoGP) and also in 2012 (Moto2). Dani’s stand-out race here is from 2012 when he had a memorable battle with Lorenzo, claiming his first win at the Czech circuit in the MotoGP class where he’s also won in 250cc (2005) and in 125cc (2003).
Marc Marquez – Championship Standing: 1st – 250 points – “We’ve not really stopped! After the race on Sunday we had a nice dinner with the team and then yesterday we were travelling all day to Europe. Brno isn’t one of my favourite tracks but I’ve had quite good results there in the past. We were testing here a month ago and even if the grip was very low at the time, I hope some of the data we collected will be a help! Everyone knows that historically Yamaha are strong here so we’ll have to work hard from Friday to give ourselves the best chance on Sunday!”
Dani Pedrosa – Championship Standing: 2nd – 161 points – “Brno is a track that I really enjoy, I usually do well there. I am really looking forward to get there and get back the feeling with the bike since Indianapolis did not go too well. I am hoping to be able to take full advantage of the good feeling we had while testing there before the Summer break and the setting we found then will help us push to get good results”
Gresini Honda Preview
After the return to action from mid-season break at Indianapolis, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini heads straight back to Europe this week to prepare for the round 11 of the 2014 campaign, the Grand Prix České Republiky, at the sweeping Brno track.
Alvaro Bautista will try to forget the disappointment of Indianapolis, where he was involved in a crash after just four corners from the start: the Spaniard, fifth last year at Brno after a thrilling battle with Valentino Rossi, will try first of all to find a solution to the rear grip issues on his Honda RC213V with the help of his team and Showa technicians, and thus regain the confidence which early in the season had led him to be among the fastest riders.
Fresh from the first Open Class win of the season, thanks to the ninth place finish in the United States, his teammate Scott Redding arrives at Brno with the utmost motivation, determined to confirm itself as the leading “Production Racer” rider and even try to reduce the gap from some Factory spec machines
Alvaro Bautista – “We want to forget as soon as possible the Indianapolis weekend, in order to get to Brno motivated and full of charge. We will find a very different track from the one we faced in the last Grand Prix, wide and characterized by really fast changes of direction; last year we were competitive, so we expect to be able to find a good feeling with the bike also this year, although at the moment we are struggling. Of course, we will give our best, as always, and especially it will be important to work well with the team and with Showa technicians to try to fix the rear grip issues that made us struggle in the last few races”.
Scott Redding – “Brno is not one of my favourite circuits, however with this bike my riding style is different compared to the past and therefore it suits a lot of tracks. In fact, I’ve never loved Sachsenring, but this year I was fast there. We just need to see the conditions once we get there, and then try to replicate the good job done in Indianapolis, maybe taking another step forward and trying to close the gap to some Factory guys. It’s going to be hard because like I said Brno is not one of my favourite circuits but now I have a strong motivation because I know that I’m growing step by step, so I want to keep this rhythm and keep learning”.
Fausto Gresini “We arrive in Brno in a very strange situation: on the one hand, we really hope that Bautista can change direction, since lately he struggled a lot. It’s clear that we don’t like this situation, and we will do everything to find a solution, possibly trying major changes to the bike set-up. On the other hand, Scott returned to action after the summer break even stronger, and in Indianapolis we have reaped the fruits of this growth. Now the goal is to keep moving forward”.
Drive M7 Aspar Preview
The MotoGP World Championship heads from suburban Indianapolis to the forests of the Czech Republic this weekend as the Brno Circuit plays host to the eleventh round of the season. The MotoGP riders will need to make use of the energy they have saved up over the summer break to tackle a second Grand Prix in as many weekends on opposite sides of the Atlantic, especially if they want to halt the historic victory march of Marc Márquez – unbeaten in ten races and on course to double the points tally of his closest championship rival Dani Pedrosa.
Hiroshi Aoyama came through a difficult weekend at Indianapolis to score an outstanding top ten finish on Sunday, a result that provides a welcome boost to the DRIVE M7 Aspar rider at an important stage of the season. The Japanese rider is now fourteenth in the championship on 34 points and one of the most consistent points-scorers, having done so in nine of the ten races so far – a statistic he is aiming to add to this weekend. Leon Camier didn’t manage to score points on his MotoGP debut as a replacement for the injured Nicky Hayden but if he continues to progress in the way he did last weekend then a top fifteen finish is not out of reach at Brno. The British rider showed a rapid adaptation to the Honda and he is looking forward to building on it at a circuit he knows.
Hiroshi Aoyama: “The tenth place finish at Indianapolis gives us great motivation for the second half of the championship. It is really important that we came back strongly after the summer break but we still have a lot of work in front of us. We need to find some more mid-corner speed this weekend and some more confidence on the front. Hopefully at Brno we can get through practice without the setbacks we had last weekend. We will try to be strong from Friday and work from a good plan that will see us competitive right through the weekend.”
Leon Camier: “Even though I didn’t manage to finish my debut MotoGP race at Indianapolis I learnt a lot of things – mainly in terms of the direction we need to go with the chassis set-up and what I need to do to ride this bike fast. Hopefully at Brno we can continue working in the same way. I felt more comfortable with every passing lap of Sunday’s race and understood what I needed to do to improve my pace, so I think that will be an important step for us going into this weekend at a circuit I know well.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Round eleven of the 2014 MotoGP™ season the series return to Europe with the Czech Republic’s stunning Brno circuit providing riders with technical corners and big elevation changes.
Brno is 5.403 kilometres in length and has numerous straight sections joined together by a series of left-right corner combinations. The circuit also features an elevation difference between its highest and lowest sections of over 70 metres, which make braking into the downhill sections challenging and require the front tyre to provide high levels of stability. Exceptional grip from the rear tyre is also important to ensure optimum drive onto the straight sections of the circuit and adding to the technical complexity of this circuit for tyres is the abrasive tarmac which demands superior durability.
There are eight right-hand and six left-hand corners at this circuit and although asymmetric rear slicks are provided at this circuit, the difference in force imposed on the left and right shoulders of the rear tyre is not as large as at other circuits. The rear slick tyre options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders at Brno are the medium and hard compounds, while the Ducati and Open-class riders get the soft and medium compound options. The main front slick options for the Czech Republic Grand Prix are the soft and medium compounds, while a maximum of three front slicks in the alternative, hard compound are also available to riders.
The main wet tyre for Brno is the soft compound, although every rider will be able to also select up to two front and rear wet tyres in the alternative, hard compound option.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “The Czech Grand Prix is always well-supported by fans and the spectacular Brno circuit with its big elevation changes has hosted two incredible races in the last couple of years. Marc’s amazing record continued last week at Indianapolis but we saw that many riders were competitive in America, and as every race passes there is great anticipation about whether Marc will once again be able to fend off his challengers come Sunday. The Brno round is also important due to the post-race test, the data from which will help form the basis of our MotoGP tyre development for the 2015 season.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “The Brno circuit features quite abrasive tarmac and elevation changes which place considerable stress on the tyres, particularly the front. There are fast corners, as well as some mid-speed left right combinations so having a balanced bike setup at this circuit that uses the tyres effectively is important here to ensure good lap times and durability, given the abrasiveness of the tarmac. The changes in elevation at Brno requires us to provide front tyres with high levels of braking stability, while also giving good warm-up performance in the cooler morning sessions. The weather forecast for this weekend is for cooler temperatures, hence we have decided that the soft and medium compound front slicks are our main front tyres for this weekend, although the hard compound front slick will also be available to riders.”
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