Lorenzo and Spies Deliver Double Podium in Catalunya
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies made it a double celebration today, taking second and third on the podium for the Grand Prix of Catalunya. World Champion Lorenzo grabbed the hole-shot off the line and team mate Spies shut the door neatly on Valentino Rossi to take third as they dropped into the first corner. The end of lap one saw Casey Stoner take the lead at the end of the straight, Lorenzo tucking in behind him and holding until the line for his fourth podium of the season. A white flag to signal some rain on the track caused some concern with 13 laps to go but was not severe enough to cause any rider to pit in and change to wet tyres.
Spies delivered the same consistent race pace in evidence from the beginning of the weekend, secure in third position from the first corner to the chequered flag. The Texan built a lead of around a second from Andrea Dovizioso for the duration of the race to claim his first podium for the Factory Yamaha Team.
The riders head straight to Silverstone now for a back-to-back race, Lorenzo still leading the championship with a seven point advantage over Casey Stoner. Team mate Spies jumps an impressive five places up the standings to seventh with 36 points, eleven points behind fellow American Nicky Hayden in sixth.
Position 2nd Time +2.403
“I’m really happy with the result, I gave it the maximum! I overtook Casey on the start but I knew he could overtake me. I tried to stay with him and not to lose his back wheel for as long as possible. At the end it started to rain a little and it was tough to keep concentration in the last sector but we managed it. We are still leading the championship so let’s see what happens in Silverstone.”
Position 3rd Time +4.291
“We just kept pushing and pushing and we were slowly catching up to Jorge, not necessarily to try and catch and pass him but to stay away from Andrea. The bike was great and I felt good on it and just needed a good result. After the first couple of laps I realised we had a shot at a podium so I rode as hard as I could. The tyre was a good choice for us today; we did what we came here to accomplish and that’s good enough. Big thanks to the team who worked hard to deliver a great package this weekend, bring on Silverstone!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Not a very spectacular race but second and third places are of course very important to us. We closed the gap we feel this weekend even if it was difficult circumstances. We said at the beginning it’s important to finish every race on the podium. We need to solve some more issues and make some more steps but we are definitely heading in the right direction. I’m very happy for Jorge that he finished on the podium in front of his home crowd and for Ben for bouncing back from a difficult start to the year with his first podium.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“This weekend started well from Friday and everyday was better. To get both riders on the podium is a great success for the team. We were not so far from the leaders having worked hard and improved the bike a lot. We are optimistic thinking about the Silverstone race as that was also a good race last year for Yamaha.”