Now that the two-week summer break is over, riders and teams are preparing for Brno in the Czech Republic this weekend, Round 10 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo leads the championship with 210 points after taking six of nine events in the first half of the 18-race schedule. While on break, the Spaniard spent his time in the Dominican Republic fitness training, hoping to add to his record of wins (two in 250cc Class, one in 125cc Class) at Brno this weekend.
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa is 72 points behind Lorenzo. At the last round in Laguna Seca, the Spaniard was leading, but crashed out, resulting in a DNF. He will be looking to redeem some additional points at Brno.
In third is Pedrosa’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso with 115 points. Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner is in fourth with 103, and Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) is in fifth with 90 points.
Here’s what the riders are saying leading up to the Brno race weekend:
Jorge Lorenzo says: “The holidays were perfect. Ten days in the Caribbean for rest and fun, charging the batteries for the second half of the season. I needed it because the calendar has been busy in the last month and now I can focus on the rest of the season. We are going to Brno, a track I like and where I’ve won three times, but never in MotoGP.”
“I haven’t even got a podium here and this is my challenge, my first podium in the second part of the season and in Brno. Czech Republic is a nice country, with amazing people at the race and also the track is impressive, fast and with some good hills. After the race I will stay in Brno to try something new on the bike, something to improve our bike until the end of championship. Good place to restart!”
Dani Pedrosa says: “This has definitely been one of my best summer breaks of the last few years. I did nothing special, but I had a great time with my friends, enjoyed a lot surfing on the beach and was able to think only about having fun and relaxing rather than working to recover from an injury as has been the case in the last few years. It makes a big difference in order to recharge the batteries and go into the second part of the season with even more energy.”
“Now I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike at Brno. It’s one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar; physically it’s very demanding but it’s also very enjoyable to ride on a MotoGP bike. You have everything there: big elevation changes, very fast corners where you need to let the bike run through, and also hard braking zones where stability is very important. I would say that there is only one good line, so it’s crucial to be focused during the whole lap to get a good laptime – and it’s a very long circuit. I’ve had many podiums in Brno, including two wins, so I would like to add another one in MotoGP. It’s going to be a busy weekend for everybody, not only with the race but also because we stay on Monday for testing. It’s the only test day remaining this season so we have to make sure we do a good job to help us in the upcoming races.”
Andrea Dovizioso says: “We are very motivated for the next race at Brno and I’m confident that we can get a good result. Our target is to fight for second position in the championship, and so to do that we have to be up there battling for race wins every Sunday starting from this Grand Prix. I’m looking forward to this race weekend and also to the test on Monday because that will be really important for us.”
“We will have the opportunity to test some new material and it will be a good opportunity to make some further progress. Brno is a fast and challenging circuit. There are also many long turns that are quite demanding and you need to quickly adapt your riding style to the characteristics of the track and the technical nature of the layout. The atmosphere generated by the spectators on the banks and hillsides is always very special and it’s a circuit I enjoy racing at.”
“I’m feeling good going into the weekend after a having some time away from the MotoGP paddock. I spent the two weeks of the summer break at the seaside not far from where I live, with my friends, my family and Sara, my little daughter. Now I’m ready to get back on track.”
Casey Stoner says: ”Brno is one of my favorite circuits – I have liked it since I raced there for the first time back in 2002. It is long and flowing, with a lot of direction changes and plenty of opportunities to overtake. It is the kind of circuit that lends itself to spectacular races and I can’t wait to race there again – I wasn’t fit to ride last year and I missed it. I want to make up for that this weekend so we’ll be looking to find a good set-up for the bike, improve by a couple of tenths compared to the rest and be fighting for the win.”
Valentino Rossi says: “I’ve had a good break and it’s helped me a lot to have this time to work on my physical condition. I’m feeling good about my leg and my shoulder and I hope that this weekend I’ll be feeling much stronger. Brno is a great track for me and it’s always special because it’s the first place I ever won at. Last year I had a great race, this year will be harder because I’m not completely fit yet but I am looking forward to getting back on the bike. We have half the season still to go and our aim is to have a good second half!”
Nicky Hayden says: “It is nice to be back after a couple of weeks off and Brno is a nice circuit to come back with. I think all the riders like it because it’s fast, open and flowing – very different to the last couple of tracks we’ve been to, Sachsenring and Laguna, which are tight and have a lot of second gear corners. We’re heading into the second half of a season that started out with some decent results but we need to take another step forward now. It is not easy because the level of competition is so high in this championship but I think you always have to look to improve. We have a day of testing after the race and I hope that can serve to set us up for an improved second half of the season.”
Marco Melandri says “I expected to do better at Laguna Seca but unfortunately I was forced to accept that physically I wasn´t up to it. My shoulder wasn´t painful during the race but after ten laps I was exhausted. I had no feeling on the way into the corners and I couldn’t ride as fast as I’d hoped. Since then I took a short holiday near the sea but I´ve continued with constant physiotherapy in the hope that I can be back to full fitness for Brno. I like the circuit and if I have recovered as well as I hope and I can stay strong over race distance then I should be fighting near the front. I am not happy with the current situation because I don’t like to be making up the numbers in MotoGP!”
Marco Simoncelli says “The crash at Laguna left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. To be honest after practice and qualifying I thought I could do really well but I struggled more than I expected in the race and then I crashed, which wasn´t good. Whenever that happens you head home with your tail between your legs but I took a short break in Sardinia and then began to prepare myself for this weekend because it is going to be a very important Grand Prix for me.”
“Brno is a circuit I like a lot and I have always had good races there – especially the last two years, finishing third in 2008 and winning last year [in the 250cc class]. The Czech Republic has been kind to me in the past so I hope I can be strong again this weekend. We have more confidence now with the electronics package given to us by Honda in America so we should get more performance out of the bike. ”
Alex de Angelis says “I am happy that once again I am on the MotoGP Honda in Brno. Honda will give me some new electronic parts which will help to make the set up of the bike easier. The test after Brno will be very important for me to get a better feeling with the bike. Now there are at least two races remaining for me in MotoGP and I hope that they will be better than the two before. Brno is a very fast track and I like to go fast, so I hope I can get the team a better result.”
Mika Kallio says: “The United States Grand Prix was very important for me for two reasons, first of all because I have regained a place in the top ten, second because I realized that I have acquired a good feeling with my bike that will allow me to be fast in all the Grand Prix of the second part of the season. There are nine more races until the end of the Championship, I’ll give my best to conquer a good placement in all the race to repay the trust that the team has always placed in me despite negative results.”
“I consider Brno one of the most technical circuits of the Championship, I really like this track where I have got good results in the past. Here I have gain three consecutive podium, two second places in the 125cc category in 2005 and 2006 and a third place in 2007 in my rookie season in the 250cc category. Last year I had ran this race in the Ducati Team as Stoner’s substitute, I had start the race form the tenth place on the starting grid, but with two laps to go, while I was eighth, I was involved in an accident and I went off the track. ”
Aleix Espargarò says: “The summer break we had, helped me to take off a bit of disappointing feeling for the last three Grands Prix in which, also for the bad luck I had, I could not see the checkered flag. I hope that Sunday I’ll already return to gain an important position, I need it for my Team but also for myself as I have always fought and believed in me.”
“I never had a particular affection for Brno’s track, I was able to run here only four times in the past, one in 125cc and three in 250cc, gaining a tenth place as best result in 2008 in the 250cc category. It ‘s time to regain what I have lost in recent races. My season will restart from here.”
Álvaro Bautista says: “I am very fired up for Brno; I need to get back on the bike and racing again. I feel as fit as I have done all season and want to use this race as the ‘new start’ of the year. I don’t really like the Brno circuit, but it is a lot like Barcelona so I feel confident that I can go well there. I still have a lot to learn, but I hope this will be the start of a good run-in to the end of the season and we can get some good results and keep improving with every race.”
“The whole Rizla Suzuki team has been fantastic since I joined and has made me very welcome and been very professional and patient with me even while I was injured, so it is now time for me to start giving them something back and Brno will be a good place to start.”
Loris Capirossi says: “Brno will be a very important race for us, we know the GSV-R can go well there and it is a track I know well and like to race at so we will be looking to be competitive right from the start of the weekend. We also have an important test planned for the Monday after the race, so going into that in a positive frame of mind will be very good for the whole team so we will be hoping that the results are positive and we’ll be giving everything to make sure they are.”