Yamaha Prepares for the Final Fly Away of the 2011 MotoGP Season
Yamaha Factory Racing is embarking on the final fly away of the season, a gruelling double header kicking off with Phillip Island this weekend and followed by Sepang a week later. The stunningly beautiful Phillip Island circuit with its sweeping and flowing nature has a reputation for unpredictable weather, providing challenging conditions including heavy rain, cold temperatures and high winds for the MotoGP riders to overcome. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo can claim two 250cc Grand Prix victories and one MotoGP second place podium at the track last year. The Mallorcan will be looking for any opportunity to close the current 40 point gap to Championship leader Casey Stoner with just three races remaining of the season.
Ben Spies is no stranger to Phillip Island, kicking off his rookie World Superbike year there with a race win in 2009 from pole position and enjoying a strong performance as a MotoGP rookie in 2010. Last year’s race saw him start from the front row alongside 2011 Yamaha team mate Lorenzo, finishing a respectable fifth and claiming the 2010 Rookie of the Year title.
“I am now heading to Australia after a few days of training in Indonesia. I’m looking forward to riding at the Phillip Island circuit, one of my favourite and probably the most beautiful track we race on. After the race in Japan, where we had a positive result, we are really determined to be on the podium again. We know it's not going to be easy because Casey is usually invincible on his home track, but I will try my best and won’t give up!”
“Phillip Island is such a great circuit to ride; I’ve got great memories there from Superbike and also last year where we had a really good race. We had yet another unlucky break in Japan but still managed to deliver a good ride so we’ll take the positive from that and give it 100% this weekend and see what we can do. I’ve been relaxing here in Australia for a few days so I’m fully fit and refreshed and ready for it!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“It’s always difficult with big fly aways overseas so it will be a tiring event for us. Casey is really fast at Phillip Island but if we can find our winning set up quickly then hopefully we can be up there. It will be difficult but we’ll give it our best shot as always. Jorge likes the track and Japan showed us that anything can happen during a race so we won’t give up until the end.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Phillip Island is a very special circuit, I think it could be a good one for us knowing our bike. I know that both riders really like riding there which is positive. In Japan we had good results in a difficult race despite all the problems Ben had during the weekend, this makes me confident for this race. Usually the Phillip Island race is characterised by unpredictable weather, it will be quite cold but hopefully dry otherwise it’s going to be a difficult weekend.”