The traditional pre-race MotoGP press conference got underway Thursday at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix.
In attendance was currently MotoGP Championship points leader Marc Marquez, along with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, Repsol Honda’s Team Principal Livio Suppo, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis.
Taking questions first was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the 20-year-old rookie who won five races this season. The Spaniard is 30 points ahead of fellow Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, and 39 ahead of Lorenzo with six rounds remaining.
Marquez began by discussing his shoulder injury sustained during warm wup for Silverstone.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I feel quite good, nearly 100%. It’s not perfect, the shoulder, but I have good memories at Misano. Every year I ride quite well and it looks like Honda is quite good here. Brno and Silverstone are big circuits with fast corners. This is smaller, but I usually ride quite well on small circuits.”
As for Lorenzo, he will be riding with a new “seamless transmission” this weekend at Misano. This transmission is supposed to make the YZR-M1 more completive with the YZR-M1.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “It [seamless transmission] will be here for the weekend. We can say that. Tomorrow! After a nice victory at Silverstone, normally Misano is good for me, I have always finished first or second in MotoGP. I like the track and I think we’re in good shape.”
This will be a home race for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who has great memories at Misano.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Yes, this is a special track for me because I grew up here, and the first time I used a real bike on a circuit was here. It’s my home Grand Prix, so it is a special track and I like it.
“I have had good results in the past, especially with the Yamaha but also with my best result for Ducati last year. We have to improve on the results of the last three races and try to fight with the top three guys.
“We will try the new gearbox from tomorrow and we are so happy. For sure it is important, it is very good for the rider and a big help. Misano is a track on which you use the gearbox a lot, so we hope that will be a good advantage when fighting with the Hondas.”
Ducati’s Iannone has been injured for most of his debut year in MotoGP, but is pleased with his progress.
Andrea Iannone (Ignite Pramac Ducati GP13 MotoGP) says: “Yes, many, many [injuries]! But, okay, it’s a very difficult season for me this year. My last injury with the shoulder is a big problem for me, last three races very hard, much pain, but with the Clinica Mobile I have been trying different solutions and last week I worked very hard to try and improve my situation. I am very happy with the development of it and I think it is ready for this weekend, I will try to do my best.”
Suppo confirmed not only that the Honda “production racer” is proving competitive in tests, but also agreed that the championship on a whole was heading in the right direction. He also had to rebuff questions regarding a possible return of Casey Stoner: “Sure. We have to find a way to find teams reasonably competitive machines for reasonable prices. It’s not easy because the level of factory machines is very high, but we are trying. Yamaha is doing similar things and it’s good.
“Of course, when you speak about Casey everybody is interested in knowing if he will be back one day, but there is nothing more to it at the moment. He is enjoying it [testing] and for sure for any manufacturer something like this is a dream for testing. We are very, very lucky. For sure, he loves riding the bike because you can’t replicate that. So he is happy to go there testing, no media attention or anything. I think he loved the competition but he just wanted to be in his kind of isolated world, and that is the case with the tests.”
Jarvis spoke of Yamaha’s plan for next season, and discussed the new seamless transmission.
Lin Jarvis says: “Earlier today we announced the renewal with Tech3 for another two years, which is very important with them using the factory-spec bikes. Just now we have come from the Forward Racing press conference; we have a one-year program to provide them with our solution to the ex CRT class. We will provide them with the package. They are not ready with their riders yet but the project is taking fruition, so that is new and exciting. In addition to that it is our second home race based in Italy – a really busy time to the year. And now we introduce the new gearbox we have been waiting for a while, so it’s a very exciting weekend.
“[The transmission was brought in now] with the pressure from these two! But if it’s ready for Monday, it’s ready for now. We have a deficit to Honda and need to do everything we can to challenge them over these next six races.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith, Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis, as well as Yamaha Team Director Massimo Meregalli, all participated in a 5km uphill bike ride up Mount Titano to the Old Town of San Marino, supported by four members of their personal team. Starting at Fonte dell’Ovo, it was Pirro who came out on top with his team, starting his home race weekend in the best possible way.