After a well-earned two-week break the MotoGP paddock heads back across the Atlantic this week for the second of the two US rounds, The Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday 19th August.
The Legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway has traditionally been good to current Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, his fourth place finish in 2011 being the only year he has not finished on the podium in the premier class. 2009 saw a brilliant race win which few fans will forget due to the special ‘Captain America’ helmet he wore for the race.
Team-mate Ben Spies has always performed strongly in front of his home crowd, taking pole position in 2010 and converting it into his first ever MotoGP podium with a second place finish. 2011 saw another stunning ride; Spies overtaking team mate Lorenzo to secure third on the podium.
With 257,000 permanent seats the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest spectator sporting facility in the world and fills to capacity for its flagship events, The Indy 500 and Allstate 400 car races. Originally constructed in 1909 with a 2.5-mile oval, an exciting 16-turn motorcycle road circuit, which includes part of the historic oval, was purpose built for MotoGP. The circuit was resurfaced last year, improving grip levels considerably for the riders.
“I really enjoy riding the Indy track, and have good memories here from my podiums in 2008 and 2010 and my great win in 2009. Last year I really struggled with grip in the race so I hope we can improve that this year. I’ve had a nice break but also been training to make sure I’m fit for this weekend!”
“It’s going to be great to get out in front of all the US fans again, I love racing in America, the reception is always awesome. Indy is a track we go well at, and is pretty special to me for my first GP podium. I’m hoping we can make it three years in a row on the podium here!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We had some problems with grip in the race last year but we’ve moved forward since then so I’m hoping this won’t be an issue this year. It’s again the first time we’ve been here with the 1000 so it’s pretty exciting. Jorge likes the track and goes well here so let’s see if we can increase our lead in the Championship again!”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“It’s the second home race for Ben so expectations are quite high as he’s always performed well here. He was riding a very strong race in Laguna until the technical issue cased his crash so we are expecting that speed and form to continue here. We are confident he can fight to be on the podium for the third year running.”
Source: Yamaha Racing