Motorcycle Racing News Yamaha's Spies & Lorenzo to Indy MotoGP

Yamaha’s Spies & Lorenzo to Indy MotoGP

2011 MotoGP

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has continually been a proven ground for Yamaha Factory Racing team riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo.

While competing on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha M1 in his debut season, Ben Spies took his first-ever MotoGP pole at Indy last year, following it up with that season’s best finish, second.

The Texan is still experiencing numbness in his arm, which arrived in Brno resulting from a trapped nerve in his neck.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m really hoping to be completely fit for this weekend. I’ve still got some numbness in the arm but it is better than it was at Brno. We’ve been working hard to get it right and we will of course give it 100% as always.

“I’ve been looking forward to this race all year; it was pretty crazy last year as a rookie to take pole and a second in the race. We’re going to put on a good show for all the home fans and see what we can do.”

As for the reigning MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, despite struggling with sweltering track conditions in 2010, he finished just behind Spies, taking the final podium position on the Yamaha Factory M1.

Lorenzo also won at Indy in 2009, and took his first-ever wet podium there in 2008 during his rookie MotoGP season.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Indy is a track I really enjoy. I treasure wonderful moments like the podiums in 2008 and 2010, and my victory in 2009 wearing Captain America’s helmet.

“I am now in good shape and am ready to regain the ground we lost in Brno, where a mistake put a distance between Casey and I. I hope the good energy I feel in this track will still help us to fight for the title. I am really looking forward to going back to the US and riding my M1.”

With 257,000 permanent seats the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world and fills to capacity for its flagship events, the Indy 500 and Allstate 400 car races. Originally constructed in 1909 with a 2.5-mile oval, an exciting 16-turn motorcycle road circuit, which includes part of the historic oval, was purpose-built for MotoGP. The circuit was resurfaced earlier this year, improving the grip levels considerably for the riders.

As part of Yamaha’s ongoing 50th Anniversay of Grand Prix racing celebrations, Yamaha Factory Racing will again run the special red and white livery at Indianapolis, just as it did at Laguna Seca.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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