With his second-place finish at the opening round in Qatar, Jorge Lorenzo has a strong start to defend his title in the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
And the Jerez circuit in his homeland of Spain may easily add some big points as Lorenzo chases the title; he has much luck there. Lorenzo won at Jerez in 2006 and 2007 while in the 250cc MotoGP class; he also took the 250cc titles both of those years.
And last year Lorenzo had a spectacular win after passing his then teammate Valentino Rossi, and then taking Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa at the end of the race to take the win.
As for Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, the 2010 MotoGP “Rookie of the Year” has shown promise on the factory Yamaha M1, taking sixth at Qatar after battling with Rossi for the position. In 2010, during his second MotoGP race on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Spies had a DNF after 20 laps.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “I am ready to come back to Jerez. We started the Championship so well in Qatar and I believe it is a great moment to ride for my people and my Fan Club here in Spain.
“Last year the situation was quite similar and perhaps I got the best victory of my career, closing a big gap in the last few laps. We can’t make predictions for Sunday, but my crew and I will work as much as possible to be in front. Jerez is a special place for me, maybe the best track in the world. When I was only 15, the day right after my birthday, I raced for the first time in front of 100.000 people here.”
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “I have unfinished business here at Jerez. I really enjoyed riding here last year and was disappointed not to be able to take some points from the race. Now I’m back with a full factory machine so I believe the outcome should be a little different!
“We have track knowledge from last year so we can focus straight away on getting the 2011 M1 set up and we’ll see what we can do. It’s my team mate’s home race so I’m expecting a great atmosphere.”
Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager) says: “After a great first race we are actually quite keen to get to Jerez because we know Jorge has good speed here, especially compared to Casey. He won his first ever Spanish MotoGP race here last year so we can’t wait to see if we can fight like we did in Qatar, maybe even a little better! The results from the first race give us extra confidence, we know we can be fast and Jorge has the talent to fight with the best for the podium.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha MotoGP Team Director) says: “I think Jerez can be a good circuit for Yamaha, after seeing what we achieved in Qatar we are going there with good optimism. It’s the home race for Jorge and a great victory for him here last year, when you ride in front of your fans it can give you an additional boost.
“Last year was unfortunate for Ben during the race but during the practice and qualifying the times weren’t so bad. For sure he knows the circuit so he can be immediately focused on finding the right set up and concentrating on a decent tyre choice. The fast corners of Jerez are good for us, our bike works well and we have always had good results here with the M1.”