The Yamaha Factory Racing Team touches down in the USA this week and heads to Texas for round two of the 2013 MotoGP Championship at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin on 21st April. Riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi arrive in perfect form, World Champion Lorenzo leading the 2013 standings and teammate Rossi right behind in second after a dazzling performance by both riders at the season opener in Qatar two weeks ago.
This will be the debut COTA MotoGP race with only a very few riders having ever visited the track before. Lorenzo and Rossi are among those few having enjoyed a private test at the circuit in pre-season. Created by leading circuit designer Hermann Tilke, the track will challenge the MotoGP grid over 21 laps with an incredible 41 metre elevation change as it winds through an impressive 20 separate turns over its 5.513km length. The track enjoys a variety of styles including fast sweeping sections and stop-and-go hairpin turns.
“Qatar was stunning for us. A great start of a really competitive season. It’s always crucial to make a good beginning but Losail was just the first race of a long season. Now we have to change our mindset, we go to the USA and we visit a completely different track, not just the layout but also for the asphalt, the climate and some different circumstances.â€¨ The Austin track has a very long straight and several corners in first gear where you are need good acceleration and traction. There we will have to work really hard from the first session to cut away the distance to our competitors. Anyway, I keep my confidence that we can also make a good result there. I want to win at Austin and that’s my mentality although I know in the USA it will be much more complicated.”
“Austin will not be an easy race but for sure the podium in Qatar is giving us extra motivation. We have done a great job there and we can go to Austin with some more certainty. Our competitors will be very strong but our goal will be to bring home points. I am confident, I really like the track and my first impression, when we tested there, was that the circuit is beautiful. The track lay-out is very special: there is some downhill and uphill and the first braking zone is very technical. For me turn two is the best though and after when you enter into the chicane. The straight is very long, which is good for overtaking. I really look forward to racing at COTA.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“I couldn’t go a few weeks ago to the test at COTA but what I hear about the track is that the feelings are much more different to the other circuits. Maybe it is because it’s new, with a special layout. We won at Qatar, this was a fantastic start for us and also for Yamaha but we have to think ahead and the season is long and hard. In theory, Austin is not really a circuit that will benefit us. Anyway, we will see how much we can improve our performance compared with the test and see about our pace over there. Finally, this is racing and you never know until Sunday!”
Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“We are going to Austin now in a different shape to one month ago. The data we collected there will help us to prepare the base set up with which we will start the practices and also for sure the results in Qatar will be helpful too. The latest modifications we’ve made to our bikes are going to help. Austin for us is not going to be an easy race but for sure it’s going to be better than the test. The place is very nice and the temperature was perfect one month ago. We are looking forward to this next race, especially after the good spirit we got from the last one!”