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.
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.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest time of the second in-season test at the Motorland Aragón track today, ahead of Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow.
Lorenzo set a 1.49’187 late in the day, as the Yamaha team set out to confirm what they had found on Monday in terms of engine spec and electronics, whilst also working on the set-up for the track. His teammate Spies was just over two tenths behind. Their satellite team counterparts in the form of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 were closely in tow, with Crutchlow half a second behind Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso a further two tenths down. Dovizioso, who finished Monday’s test fastest, continued his work on electronics, engine, and track set-up, while Crutchlow tested all the components he couldn’t test due to crash damage last time out.
Casey Stoner announced yesterday that he will withdraw from MotoGP at the end of the present season, something that was published two weeks ago in a spanish magazine but even Casey said the opposite when was asked about it.
Becasuse of this, his definitive withdraw announcement was a completely shock in the paddock of Le Mans. Everybody in the press room was talking about except the ones who were joking the past two weeks because of the failed of the spanish magazine.
Anyway, the Stoner’s withdraw will be an irreparably loss and, without any doubt, we will miss his incredible riding style.
We’ve made a quick video selection for your enjoyment. Have fun!
-Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the second successive race. He will be aiming to become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2001 to win the opening two races of the year in the premier class.
-Dani Pedrosa, who starts from second place on the grid, has finished either first or second in all six appearances at Jerez in the MotoGP class. Pedrosa is making his 100th start in the MotoGP category.
-Nicky Hayden is third fastest qualifier, which is his first front row start since the Portuguese GP in 2010. This is also the first front row start for a Ducati rider since Casey Stoner was on pole at the final race of 2010 in Valencia.
-Cal Crutchlow heads the second row and will be aiming to be the first British rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class since Jeremy McWilliams was third in the 500cc race at Donington in 2000.
-Casey Stoner is fifth on the grid, which is his worst starting position since joining the Honda factory team at the beginning of last year.
-Taking the final place on the second row of the grid is Ben Spies, who has not managed to finish on his previous two MotoGP appearances at Jerez.
-Andrea Dovizioso heads the third row, making it four Yamaha riders in the top seven on the grid for the second successive race.
-Eighth-fastest qualifier Alvaro Bautista missed the Jerez race last year with injuries
sustained in the opening GP of 2011 in Qatar.
-The best of the CRT riders on the grid is Randy de Puniet in tenth, who has qualified in front of three of the Ducati riders.
-Valentino Rossi, who is thirteenth fastest qualifier, will be making his 200th start in the MotoGP class; the only two other riders to have reached this milestone are Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi.