When the 2012 MotoGP Championship throttled into action the first week of April at Qatar, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo made history, becoming the first rider to take a win in the new 1000cc era.
And now, the championship heads to one of four home-rounds for Lorenzo at Jerez, Spain, a track that is especially kind to the 2010 MotoGP Champion. This will be the 26th running of Jerez MotoGP.
Firstly, Jerez is the circuit where Lorenzo made his GP debut back in 2002 in the 125cc class. He also won back-to-back there in 2006 and 2007 in the former 250cc class, and 2010 and 2011 in the MotoGP Class. The M1 has also won there the past three years – Lorenzo’s two wins combined with his former teammate Valentino Rossi’s win there in 2009.
Also, at 2012 Jerez MotoGP, the Yamaha YZR-M1 rider will be seeking his 40th GP victory (19 in MotoGP, 17 in 250cc, 4 in 125cc).
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m very excited to be coming back to Jerez again. We were very strong here in our test and I have always had good results. The competition will be tough; I expect Casey (Stoner) and especially Dani (Pedrosa) to be very fast.
“Qatar was a perfect start to our season; we worked very hard for that incredible victory. Now we get to race in front of our home fans, I will try to make sure we make a good show for them! Let’s hope it doesn’t rain this year!”
As for Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies, the American doesn’t have much luck at Jerez. During his debut year on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Spies suffered a DNF after 20 laps, and last year crashed out under extremely wet conditions. But Spies, who finished 11th at Qatar, is determined to fix the chatter problems he faced at the season opener, and is hoping for better results at Jerez.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m feeling good, I haven’t had great results at Jerez yet but we had a really positive test there so I’m confident. The Yamaha M1 is working well at all circuits we’ve been to so far. After a tough start at Qatar my goal at Jerez is starting the season again, I’m going to do the best I can to deliver. We had a good Qatar weekend except for the race, we know our pace is strong, the bike is competitive and I’m riding well so we should have a successful weekend.”
Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha Racing Team Manager) says: “I’m looking forward to Jerez, it’s always a great event with a lot of spectators. Jorge has won two years in a row; our aim is to make it three! After Qatar we are very confident with the package, with the hard work of the team and with Jorge’s performance. We’re looking forward to Friday to start again.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Racing Team Director) says: “We are arriving in Jerez in the best possible way after Jorge’s win in Qatar. The team is very confident that we can continue to deliver strong results. Despite the issue in the race Ben had a very strong weekend in Qatar in the practice sessions so we know he can be very competitive against his rivals. When we tested here earlier in the year the 2012 1000cc M1 was immediately fast so we expect to start this way on Friday.”