2012 Brno MotoGP
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo joined title-rival Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Karel Abraham and Yonny Hernandez at the press conference on Thursday marking the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, which the injured Casey Stoner withdrew from on medical grounds earlier in the day.
Lorenzo, who is currently leading the standings by 18 points, stated that while Stoner’s news may help him in a competitive sense, it is unwelcome news for all.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It’s very bad news for the championship that Casey has retired from this race and the next two or three races. It’s also bad that Nicky [Hayden] and Héctor [Barberá] aren’t going to race on Sunday. So wish all three a quick recovery, especially Casey, as he is a very tough competitor for me and for Dani, so without him the next races will not be the same. For sure it will be easier for both of us to win races because Casey is always there; he’s very fast and very competitive.”
On the prospect of Brno, the Spaniard stated: “This is a very different track – much wider, the tarmac is different, so for sure my feeling on the bike will be too. But of course it’s going to be hard again, especially with Dani, but I think we can be more competitive than at Indianapolis.”
Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa, Lorenzo’s closest competitor, was equally downbeat on losing his teammate for a while.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Obviously it’s bad news, especially for my team and for me. Casey and me always push each other in every session. Being along in the team, I have to push all I can. Brno is a track I like so I like riding here. Last year I made a mistake, but I’m happy to race here and I hope to do well.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3′s Dovizioso, who was yesterday confirmed as Valentino Rossi’s replacement in the Ducati Team for next year alongside Nicky Hayden spoke about his enthusiasm for the new project, yet is focussing on his job at hand right now.
Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Yesterday we signed and it was a big decision. I’m so happy and so excited to be part of the project with Ducati and Audi. I spoke with Del Torchio and Preziosi and they explained the project to me as well as Audi coming in, so it looks like there are many things to get a result. Everybody knows Ducati’s situation, and I’m confident about us working together to get a result.”
He also commented on Stoner’s situation: “It’s not nice to get results like this and it’s always bad to see a rider crash and get injured, so this is really bad. Casey is a really fast rider and he can fight for the championship. Yes, I’ll have more of a chance to fight for third position, but right now I’m focussed to get a result. I’m really confident with the team, and the bike is always getting better.”
Cardion AB’s Abraham, who has had a difficult season so far said: “I’m definitely fully fit now, but it’s definitely been a bad season. But the last races in America were quite good, and we got a lot of points, which was good for us. I don’t think the championship can be good in the end because we’ve missed so many races, but I’ll definitely try to have some good races, which would be important for me and for my team’s mentality too.”
Earlier in the day, Repsol Honda’s Stoner gave a press conference explaining he has to head back to Australia to undergo treatment on his ankle injury sustained last weekend in Indianapolis. Stoner will leave Brno this evening for Australia after his doctors advised him to have surgery on his damaged ankle to avoid any permanent injury. The Repsol Honda rider stated that he hopes to be back for his home race in Philip Island in late October, yet said that nothing could be confirmed until the surgery has taken place. Stoner also sighted his severe disappointment at the injury, which he believes has put paid to his championship chances: “We’re pretty much out of it, even going into this weekend. But now that we’re not competing it’s done and dusted. Very frustrating, but life goes on.”
On the same day, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis spoke about Valentino Rossi’s role and confirmed that once he is back with the team from the 2013 season, both him and Jorge Lorenzo will get equal treatment and support, however the development lead will go to Lorenzo with Rossi in a supporting role. This is down to the fact that Yamaha still views Lorenzo as their most capable rider to win the championship.
It is yet to be seen whether Rossi will be able to bring his crew chief Jeremy Burgess and the rest of his team with him to the Japanese outfit, yet Jarvis dis say that the possibility exists. And to put any rumors about the Italian’s move back to Yamaha full to bed, the MD confirmed that is was Rossi who first approached them.