Lorenzo & Spies Head to Mugello MotoGP

2012 Mugello MotoGP

Things have been drastically different for Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo since the three-week stretch of MotoGP races began at Assen two weeks ago.

At the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen, the Spaniard suffered his first DNF of the 2012 MotoGP Championship following a wreck caused by fellow countryman Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini). Due to his DNF, Lorenzo lost 25 points, and that race’s winner, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, became tied with Lorenzo for the championship.

But during last week’s race at Sachsenring, Germany, Stoner crashed out on the last lap. Lorenzo, meanwhile, ran a smooth race, finishing second behind Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. With his podium finish, Lorenzo regained the championship lead, now having a 14-point advantage over Pedrosa.

And now the series heads to Mugello in Italy, round nine of 18. At Mugello, Lorenzo has finished on the podium four times, including two wins – one in the 250cc class, and last year’s MotoGP.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “After two very difficult race weekends we arrive at Mugello, where we delivered a great victory last year. I love the track; it’s very fast and should be a good one for our bike. I’m very happy to be leading the Championship but we still have many races to go so our target is to again aim for the podium and victory if it is possible.”

As for Lorenzo’s teammate, Spies heads to Mugello following some tire issues at Assen and Sachsenring. The American will be searching for proper setup to help battle these tire issues.

His first visit to the Tuscany circuit provided an entertaining battle, running as high as fourth at times before finishing in seventh in 2010. Last year saw another strong fight with the Texan eventually finishing just off the podium in fourth place.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Sachsenring was a very difficult race for us, with the different weather conditions it proved to be hard to find the right set up. Having found something that worked on Sunday we were then unfortunately compromised by a lack of side grip so were unable to ride to our full potential. Mugello is a much faster track which should suit our bike well so I can’t wait to get started on Friday.”

The Mugello circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP Calendar. With a straight of over a kilometer in length fans can expect to see some incredible speeds as the 1000cc prototypes race there for the first time. The rest of the track is guaranteed to provide exciting racing with varied camber and gradient changes and high speed chicanes set on an extra wide track with many overtaking possibilities.

Wilco Zeelenberg (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager) says: “We’re looking forward to some stable weather, the last couple of races were quite dramatic on that front. Jorge had a fantastic victory at Mugello last year, we know he’s fast there and he loves the track. It’s the ninth race so we are half way in the season and so far we are looking under control and fighting for the Championship.”

Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager) says: “The last two weekend’s have been not what we predicted, but finally we head to Mugello with a lead in the Championship, a place where we know Jorge is very fast from last year’s race. Ben has had two difficult weekends but has ridden very well under compromised situations. We know the bike can work well so we hope to find a set up and a tire choice that work well as early as possible this weekend and hopefully enjoy stable weather to focus on race day!”