After a short two-week break, the 2011 MotoGP convenes at Brno this weekend for round 11 of 18, the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
And both Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, have wins at the 3.357-mile circuit.
Lorenzo’s luck at Brno is exceptional. The Spaniard has four victories there – one in the former 125cc class, two in the 250cc class, and Lorenzo’s win there last season en route to his first MotoGP title.
Lorenzo also set the Brno Lap Record in 2009, a 1:56.670; that same year his then-teammate Valentino Rossi set the best lap at Brno, a 1:56.145
With 10 rounds complete, Lorenzo continues to chase his second MotoGP title; the Mallorcan trails Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner by a mere 20 points.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “After the long break we are going to Brno completely recharged and ready to fight and try to reduce the gap with Casey. This is a track I like and where I won last year. I hope we can start the second half of the season on the podium. After the race we will be testing the 1000cc bike for one day. I am really looking forward to discovering the new Yamaha.”
As for Lorenzo’s teammate, Ben Spies won at Brno in 2009 en route to taking the World Superbike Championship in his rookie (and only) year in the series. He then followed up the win with a second-place start on the grid the following year while a rookie in MotoGP, the Texan just missing the pole by 0.338 of a second to Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It’s been really cool to hang out at home with my friends and family in Texas and take a break from the racing. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike now, especially at Brno which is a track I really enjoy.
“It was good to me in Superbike and we showed a lot of potential there last year, I nearly had pole position and think I could have challenged for a podium if I hadn’t suffered a frond end grip issue early in the race.”
This year’s race will mark the 42nd World Championship race on the Brno circuit, having first appeared on the calendar in 1965 as a road circuit. Now a fully closed track, the circuit is a favorite with many riders for its dramatic elevation changes and the fast close racing it generates.
Following the Brno race weekend Yamaha Factory Racing will remain at the circuit for a one-day 1000cc test in preparation for the 2012 Championship.