Yamaha Factory Racing return to Spain this week for the second Spanish race of the 2012 MotoGP Championship. Round five will be played out at the Montmeló circuit, a stone’s throw from Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo’s home in Barcelona. The local hero will be determined to repeat last week’s decisive victory in Le Mans in front of the Catalan crowd. Lorenzo has a strong record at the Montmeló circuit, taking second in 2009 after an intense battle with Valentino Rossi, a victory in 2010 and second in 2011. He currently leads the 2012 Championship by eight points over Casey Stoner.

Texan Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies arrives in Spain with renewed determination to put his Championship attack firmly back on track. Montmeló is a strong circuit for the American, delivering his first Factory podium last year with third behind his team mate Lorenzo. The result moved him five places up the Championship standings, a result he will be determined to repeat this weekend.

The Catalunya circuit can boast one of the longest main straights in the world. Riders Lorenzo and Spies will need bikes with optimum chassis balance and front-end feel to deal with the long radius, medium and high speed sweeping corners along with the two tight left-hand hairpins and numerous camber changes.

Jorge Lorenzo

“Now we arrive at Montmeló, with no need to fly, I love to have this race so close to my home! I remember my victories and podiums here well, not just in this class but also from my 250cc days. It’s going to be a tough race because our competitors are very strong but our victory in Le Mans has given us extra confidence. We know we can be very fast and competitive so we will be focused from the first session. This is a special race for me as my home race so I want to give all the fans the best show that we can.”

Ben Spies

“I really enjoy riding this track so I’ve been looking forward to getting here and getting started. It’s been a really challenging season so far, I really believe this weekend will see a turn around and we can get it back on track. As always I’m going to give it 100% to produce the best results possible. We know the bike is competitive so we’ll focus on finding a good base set up quickly and hope we finally have a full dry weekend for everyone!”

Wilco Zeelenberg

“This is of course the home race for Jorge. His racing has always been very spectacular here and it’s a favourite track for him, we’re looking forward to seeing all the Spanish fans cheer us on. The whole team loves the atmosphere and the Yamaha is good here as it’s a smooth fast track so hopefully it’ll stay dry because I’ve seen enough rain this year!”

Massimo Meregalli

“Montmeló is traditionally a very good track for Yamaha and we have had excellent results here with both riders last year. It’s a special race for Jorge in front of his home fans and with the race win last weekend we are expecting a strong performance. We know Ben likes this track a lot and his podium finish here last year gives me confidence that with the right set up he can perform strongly and put a difficult start to the year behind him.”