Valentino Rossi has extra motivation to fight for second place in the championship.
After a superb race at Phillip Island where Yamaha filled the podium, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP heads to Malaysia for another heated battle at the Sepang International Circuit for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Strengthened by his victory from last Sunday, Valentino Rossi has extra motivation to fight for second place in the championship. The Doctor is a fan of the Malaysian track, where he stood on the podium nine times in his career. He has won at the Sepang circuit in the 500cc class in 2001 and claimed premier class victories in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
The bike has improved a lot and this showed with three Yamaha riders on the Australian podium.
During the race at Phillip Island teammate Jorge Lorenzo successfully fended off his rivals for second place despite suffering tyre problems. This weekend the Spaniard hopes to be able to ride a problem free race at Sepang. Though he likes the track, he has yet to claim a premier class MotoGP victory here. In previous years he climbed the Malaysian premier class podium on three occasions, claiming second place in 2012 and third place in 2010 and 2013.
The fast and wide Sepang International Circuit held its first Grand Prix in 1999 and is known to host some of the most exciting races thanks to its combination of four slow corners, two long straights and ten medium to high-speed corners. The circuit’s diverse sections not only provide challenges when it comes to the set up of the bike, but its 5.5 km length and extremely hot and humid conditions make it one of the most testing tracks for the riders. Only those in peak physical condition can endure a full race length.
Valentino Rossi (Championship: 2nd / 255 points): "Apart from the temperature being a bit too high for MotoGP racing, I really like the Malaysian track. I have always had good races here. We are doing a good job this season and I want to get a good result here. We are working well with the team and I feel very well.
The last victory in Australia was great, we are very happy but mostly it was another beautiful confirmation of the good work we're doing. This weekend we have to work well from Friday and fix every little detail to get to the race with a good set-up.
The bike has improved a lot and this showed with three Yamaha riders on the Australian podium. The race in Malaysia will be the last of three in a row. I will do my best to win again. I got my second win of the season and now I want to fight for second place in the championship. It will be a great fight with Dani and Jorge in the next two races!”
Jorge Lorenzo (Championship: 3rd / 247 points): “At Phillip Island it was a really difficult race, but despite all of the problems that we’ve suffered during the race we still managed to get another podium. I look forward to racing at Sepang, it's a nice track. Maybe it’s not the best place for our bike but we know this circuit really well because we usually do some testing here during the pre-season.
It's always tricky to race in Malaysia because of the weather conditions, but even if it's rainy the grip at the circuit is not so bad. I would like to be competitive again, especially because I want to fight for the second place in the championship. Personally, I’m feeling well and I’m in a good physical shape so we can be optimistic for this weekend.”
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director: “After two great weekends we arrive at the last of the three back-to-back races. We had some great results these last few weeks with Vale’s amazing victory at Phillip Island last weekend and Jorge winning the weekend before at Motegi, but the Grand Prix of Malaysia might be the biggest challenge of the three.
Sepang always is quite challenging because of the heat and its specific layout. Thanks to the pre-season test we have quite a lot of data and since the riders both like this circuit, I think we can be positive in our expectations.
The bike is working really well and it will be interesting to see how our newfound data from this season will affect our times. We are ready to do our best again, which is very important as we are almost at the end of the season."
Tech3 duo ready to power through the heat to success in final flyaway battle at Sepang
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith head to the world famous Sepang International Circuit for the last flyaway race this weekend as they are poised for further strong results at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The 5543 metre track is located approximately 50 kilometres south of the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur and was constructed in 1998, with the inaugural MotoGP race occurring a year later. The circuit is considered one of the finest on the planet and sets the standard for all Grand Prix tracks in terms of facilities and layout.
There are five left corners and ten right turns with varying degrees of angles and speed. The circuit ensures a thoroughly entertaining and memorable battle at every visit with plenty of fierce overtaking at the 25 metre wide, ultra modern track.
Pol Espargaro intends to determinedly bounce back from coming agonizingly close to seizing his first MotoGP podium in Australia, by storming to a top result this weekend at Sepang. The reigning Moto2 World Champion will be looking to use his experience of the pre season testing with the Yamaha YZR-M1 to battle for the leading satellite bike position.
Meanwhile Bradley Smith who rode to his first ever podium in the MotoGP class at the last race in Phillip Island, is aiming to continue his excellent form. He intends to seize a high flying finish to further his ambition of clinching sixth place in the championship standings as the season nears completion.
Pol Espargaro (Championship: 7th / 116 points): “After the unfortunate end to the tricky Phillip Island race, I am looking forward to going to Malaysia, which is a track I have had experience on with a MotoGP bike due to the successful pre season tests.
I feel confident as I am a fan of the Sepang International Circuit and I have learnt a lot since the beginning of the year, so I am certain that we can have a competitive finish. The heat and humidity will be tough to deal with as always, but it is part of the event and we will have to fight through it.
The Yamaha is quick on the Sepang track and it’s awesome to ride with a big mixture of fast and slow corners. The battle on Sunday will be a long and challenging one, with the circuit having one of the longest lap distances on the calendar. Realistically, I aim to be in the top six this weekend in Sunday’s race and I am ready for the fight in front of the fantastic Asian fans before we head back to Europe for the final race in my home county at Valencia."
Bradley Smith (Championship: 8th / 108 points): “After the fantastic podium experience at Phillip Island, I am feeling really optimistic for the next round in Sepang, where I will be pushing once again to be the quickest satellite bike. I have had some good results here in previous years and we undertook a positive pre season test earlier this year.
Therefore we have some valuable knowledge of the track which should enable us to hit the ground running. The circuit is one of the best on the calendar and it really is fantastic to ride around with its massive variety of corner styles and speeds, as well as the two long straights.
There’s always a lot of overtaking but I am ready for the challenge and I fully intend to get into the top six again. The weather situation can be a bit tricky in Malaysia, so we will have to keep that in mind for the weekend with some possible showers occurring. Still, I am excited to be back on the Yamaha for the final race in the east and I will be riding at full throttle to get another top finish."