Andrea Dovizioso, who currently sits in fourth place overall in the MotoGP championship standings, will join Nicky Hayden on the team. The pair will face next season together, working on development of the Desmosedici and the MotoGP project for the championship in which Ducati has played an important role since 2003.
Valentino Rossi first joined Yamaha in 2004 and achieved four MotoGP World Champion titles with the Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2004 & 2005 and again in 2008 & 2009. He won 46 Grand Prix races with Yamaha over a 7-year period before leaving at the end of the 2010 MotoGP season.
Rossi, who is presently 8th in the Championship standings, will partner Jorge Lorenzo who currently leads the 2012 MotoGP World Championship by 23 points, having taken five victories from the first ten completed races of the 18 race series.
The first and third positions achieved by Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa at Laguna Seca mark 300 premier class rostrum appearances for the alliance of Repsol and Honda since their start together in 1995.
Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner reached a new milestone for Repsol Honda Team at the US Grand Prix this past weekend. After eighteen years of successes, including over 100 victories and 9 world titles, the team achieved the 300 podium landmark through Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa’s efforts in the tenth round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship season.
- Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the third time this year and for the first time since the Spanish GP at Jerez. This is the fourth successive year that Lorenzo has started from pole at the US Grand Prix.
- Lorenzo’s pole position lap is the fastest-ever lap of the Laguna Seca circuit by a motorcycle, 0.146 seconds faster than the previous record set by Casey Stoner during qualifying in 2008.
On the eve of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca at Thursday’s press conference, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, joined by championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards, confirmed that he will be leaving the team at the end of the year, yet remained tight-lipped on his plans for 2013. This has subsequently sent so-called “silly season” into overdrive with regards to riders’ contracts, especially with Ducati Team’s Rossi considering his future options for next year.
Grand Prix racing numbers
75 – Stefan Bradl has scored 75 points from the first nine races since moving up to the MotoGP class – this is already the highest number of points scored in a single season by a German rider in MotoGP. The record was held by Alex Hofmann who scored 65 points in the 2007 season.
33 years – On race-day at the US Grand Prix it will be exactly 33 years to the day that Randy Mamola finished second at the 1979 Finnish Grand Prix at Imatra to become the youngest-ever rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class. The record of 19 years and 260 days still stands to this day.
Following a hectic European race schedule, the MotoGP™ premier-class is making its way to sunny California to contest the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo looking to extend his lead at the top of the championship standings.
- Spanish riders have taken all three front row places for the first time ever in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing,
- Dani Pedrosa starts from pole for the second time this year. Following his win in Germany, Pedrosa will be aiming to take back-to-back wins for the first time since at the Indianapolis and San Marino Grand Prix in 2010.
- Pol Espargaro starts from pole for the second time this year – his other was at Silverstone where he also won the race.
- Marc Marquez starts from the front row of the grid for the eighth time this year. Marquez has won for the last two years at Mugello – the 125cc race in 2010 and the Moto2 race last year.
- Maverick Viñales starts from pole for the fourth time this year. His three previous poles this year have resulted in wins at Catalunya and Silverstone, and a crash at Le Mans.
- Championship-leader Sandro Cortese, who starts from second place on the grid, has finished on the podium seven times in the first eight Moto3 races of the year.