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.
- 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.
The Spanish motorcycling has made history today at the Italian Grand Prix. Seven Spanish riders have managed to be in the front row of the grid in MotoGP and have achieved a hat-trick with Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Barbera in the top three positions.
This is a unique result in the history of Spanish motorcycling proving again that it is in excellent shape.
Following two weekends of action-packed racing, the MotoG grid heads south to the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello for the final race of the triple-header. Having encountered mixed weather and high-profile crashes in both of the preceding races, the teams and riders will no-doubt be hoping for an incident-free and sunny weekend in Italy.
Press Statement – Tuesday 12th June 2012, 09.00hrs CET, Gerno di Lesmo (Italy)
It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd can confirm the extension of Jorge Lorenzo’s contract to ride for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for 2013 and 2014.
Jorge Lorenzo joined Yamaha in 2008, achieving fourthplace in his first season and claiming the Rookie of the Year title. He was then second in 2009, went on to become MotoGP World Champion in 2010 and was second again in 2011.
Lorenzo currently leads the 2012 MotoGP World Championship by 20 points having taken three victories from the first five completed races of the 18 race series.
“I am extremely happy to have signed with Yamaha for two more years. They’ve made great efforts to retain me in the Factory Team so I want to thank all those involved at Yamaha for this. I’ve been treated like part of the Yamaha family since 2008 and I love working with them. It has always been my first option to stay here and so I’m happy that this important negotiation has finished with such a positive outcome. Now I can focus on the Championship and I’m looking forward to paying back Yamaha’s trust in me starting at Silverstone this weekend. I look forward to winning many more Championships together; my dream to finish my career with Yamaha is now closer to becoming a reality!”
LIN JARVIS, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing
“This is excellent news for Yamaha and for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team. Jorge has been with us since 2008 and achieved superb results in the first four years, the highlight being his World Championship victory in 2010. He’s currently on top form having won three of the first five GP races and finishing second in the other two. Jorge’s contract extension allows both him and Yamaha to concentrate 100% on this year’s Championship challenge without any distractions and also to make future plans together to further strengthen the winning partnership.”
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.
On a weekend that featured tremendous races in all three MotoGP™ classes, it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who stormed to victory in the premier-class at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in front of his home crowd ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.
After a wet morning warm-up, the field got away in dry conditions this afternoon, and it was Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa who got the holeshot from the second row, hotly pursued by Yamaha´s Ben Spies, who also had a tremendous start from fourth. Lorenzo pushed his way past Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner into third, as the whole grid was tightly bunched in the first lap.
WINNER – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)
“What an amazing race! I put everything I have, all my energy into the track, this victory is because I never gave up, kept pushing and trying. Casey was very strong at the beginning and opened a gap. Fortunately for us he struggled at the end and dropped his pace where I could keep mine so I managed to pass him. I am very grateful to Yamaha because they have made a big step this winter on the YZR-M1.”