The Yamaha Factory Racing team is ready to take on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca MotoGP with much incentive this weekend. Both riders – Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies – have been successful at the shortest track on the 2011 MotoGP circuit.
As for Lorenzo, the reigning MotoGP Champion took the pole there last season. He followed that up with his debut Laguna Seca win, taking victory 3.5 seconds over then-Ducati rider Casey Stoner, and 13 seconds ahead of then-teammate Valentino Rossi.
As for Ben Spies, the Texan will be home for the first of two stateside races (including Indy) this weekend, and has much success at the 2.238-mile track featuring the famed corckscrew. Spies took three victories there in AMA Superbike, also setting the AMA SBK track record there in 2007.
Besides having wins at Laguna Seca in Montery, Calif., Lorenzo and Spies will be piloting the special red and white YZR-M1 prototypes that celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Yamaha GP racing. The last time the Yamaha Factory Racing team contested on these machines in Assen, Spies took his debut MotoGP victory.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing M1 MotoGP) says: "We are very strong at the moment with a great result at both Mugello and Sachsenring, we will try to continue to reduce our gap to Casey. I have had great moments in Laguna; above all last year when I won, but also in 2009 when I got pole position even with a big crash and at the end got a podium.
"Laguna is amazing; for the American style and atmosphere, but above all because of the corkscrew. I think maybe it is the best corner in the Championship, the place everybody wants to meet! I am looking forward to being back on my M1 there, riding to fight for the title!"
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing M1 MotoGP) says: "It’s always exciting to race in front of the home crowd and It’s going to be a big event for Yamaha with the 50th anniversary colors being run again. They were lucky for me at Assen and hopefully they can bring me more luck in front of my friends and family.
"I’ve had some pretty good results in my AMA days at Laguna and I love riding the circuit. It’s going to be a serious race weekend but it’s also going to be a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of old faces at the track."
The riders will be on the track Friday for the first of three free practices for Round 10 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship at Laguna Seca.