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.
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.
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.”
1st – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), 1’54.634
“I am really happy with tonight’s result. I had to push more than 100% to make pole position but I pushed to the limit and managed to make a perfect lap. We still have to improve the power on the straight and our maximum speed but in the rest of the track the bike is working really well. Tomorrow will be a tough race and tyres will be very important I think. A big thank you to Yamaha and my team for giving me such a good bike!”
Champion, Katsuaki Fujiwara made clear of his determination to defend the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) SuperSports 600cc crown having wrapped up the pre-season test on top of the timesheets at the Sepang International Circuit, today.
Despite the scorching heat, the Manual Tech BEET Kawasaki Racing completed 47 laps in total during the three test sessions before breaking his own lap-record of 1’06.538s from last season to replace it with 1’05.924s followed by Mohd Zamri Baba (PETRONAS Yamaha Malaysia) second fastest with 1’06.461s.
Yamaha Factory Racing 2012 officially launched this evening during a special event at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The event was attended by nearly 100 invited media, selected MotoGP guests and the entire Yamaha Factory Racing team.
The event began with a guided tour through Yamaha’s newly designed pit garage and refreshed hospitality unit. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies, along with senior Yamaha Motor Racing and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd management were then present to unveil the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1 machines in their striking new livery for the assembled audience.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing Rider): “It’s very exciting to be here so close to the first race. I love the new livery and Yamaha’s hard work has given us a very competitive bike to fight with this season. It’s good to be here at a different track to test against our competitors before we start next month. It was a pleasure to see so many of our MotoGP media friends here to take part in the launch, nice to see so many take their picture with my bike!”
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing Rider): “I’m loving the new bike, man it’s great to be back on a 1000cc machine! The riding style is much closer to my natural way of riding which makes it a lot more fun. The colours look great so I’m ready to get out there tomorrow for our final shakedown before Qatar.”
Lin Jarvis (Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing): “Firstly I’d just like to say a big thank you to all of the media that turned out here for our press conference at Jerez today. For us it was a pleasure to see so many of the media here showing attention and focus on the new MotoGP season which is only two and a half weeks away. We were delighted to be able to unveil our new bike, new colours and new pit garage and hospitality. We’ve made a major refreshment of all our materials for this year and we’re very excited to be at what we consider today to be the start of the season. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens over the next couple of days at this test, having had two successful tests at Sepang we’ve moved to a new circuit with new demands. We’re quietly confident our bike will perform well here, then after this it’s flat out and ready to go for the first race in Qatar!”