Czech GP: Fiat Yamaha preview

Fiat Yamaha Team pick up title gauntlet at Brno The Fiat Yamaha Team resume their pursuit of the MotoGP World Championship title this weekend after a four-week summer holiday, with Valentino Rossi leading the series into what promises to be a ...

Fiat Yamaha Team pick up title gauntlet at Brno

The Fiat Yamaha Team resume their pursuit of the MotoGP World Championship title this weekend after a four-week summer holiday, with Valentino Rossi leading the series into what promises to be a thrilling seven-race climax. The Czech Republic hosts round twelve of eighteen, with the town of Brno staging a Grand Prix for the 39th time since the original 14km road circuit was first used back in 1965.

Rossi heads to the motorcycling heartlands of eastern Europe with renewed energy and ready to resume battle at one of his most successful circuits, following a stunning maiden win at Laguna Seca before the break. The 29-year-old took his first ever Grand Prix win at Brno in the 125cc class and has since added to his tally there with a 250cc success and three wins in MotoGP, as well as three second places in the top class. His success in America, which came after a thrilling tussle with Casey Stoner, means the Italian leads the Australian by 25 points at the top of the standings.

Jorge Lorenzo was also in need of a rest after picking up the latest in a string of injuries at Laguna, where a first lap crash left him nursing three broken metatarsals in his left foot. However, intense physiotherapy during the well-timed summer break sees him nearing full fitness as he returns to action at a circuit where he has taken 250cc victory from pole position for the last two seasons, in addition to a 125cc win back in 2004.

Whilst the riders have taken a well-earned rest, engineers at Yamaha's factory headquarters in Japan have been working around the clock over the summer towards this weekend's race, as well as for the two-day test that will take place afterwards. The well-balanced nature of the Brno circuit make it an ideal testing venue, with its winding chicanes and dramatic elevation changes retaining much of the character of the original road circuit, which wanders its way through the surrounding forests.

Valentino Rossi - "Looking forward to more racing"

"Last year we had a bad time at Brno; I could only finish seventh and it was quite disheartening. This year, however, we're going there in a very different frame of mind: leading the championship, following a great win and with our bike and tyres working very well. I've had a good summer break, just relaxing with my friends and family, but now I am really looking forward to going racing again. I know that Brno is going to be hard and that Casey will be a formidable competitor once again, and we're going to have to work at the maximum from the first practice in order not to lose any time in finding out the right set-up for our bike. We have seven races left and I am dreaming of them all being as fun as Laguna Seca!"

Jorge Lorenzo - "High hopes"

"I am going to Brno with a high hopes and above all trying not to think about the disappointment of Laguna Seca; it's behind me now. In the USA I was fast once again and I hope that I can carry on like this in the Czech Republic. I know that I can. Brno is a circuit that I like a lot, it's one of my favourites. I've won there three times in 125cc and 250cc. It's a good place for my riding style and the weather is normally perfect. Physically I feel very good after the crash and the injuries, I definitely feel as good as could be expected. It's the first time this season that I've really had proper time to recover, thanks to the holidays, so I think I am in good shape. At the moment I am still using my crutches to walk but I have been able to do some training and I know that I won't have a problem when I arrive in Brno on Thursday."

Davide Brivi o- "Seven key races"

"Brno will be the start of a very important run of seven rounds to the end of the season. With 25 points on Stoner and 41 on Pedrosa we are in a good position, but we have to manage this advantage in the remaining races. It will be an exciting end to the season, with Pedrosa back in the fight and Lorenzo, I am sure, able to re-join the 'podium club'. Last year, at most of these final circuits, we weren't able to fight at the top but we are working hard now to be able to provide Valentino with the most competitive package to allow him to race at the front, as he has for the majority of this year's races. Every race from now on will be very important and Brno could be one of the most difficult for us against our competitors. We have to use all of our potential and work at 100% in all of the practices. Everybody in Yamaha is extremely motivated and we can't wait to be back in the battle, especially after the exciting Laguna Seca show!"

Daniele Romagnoli - "Time for a good race"

"From talking to Jorge it seems that he is feeling much better; he is back in training and we are expecting him to be as fit as he could be in the circumstances. The crash was a huge disappointment but at least he has had the maximum time to get over it and we know that he will have made the most of the break. In Brno, the first aim for Jorge is to get back the feeling and confidence that he had at the start of the season, so that he can enjoy the remaining races. We need to rebuild his confidence in the bike. In practice at Laguna he was looking good - he was fast and qualified fourth. Then on the day we had some rear grip issues and the crash was very unfortunate. Rear grip is now the biggest thing we have to work on improving on the bike; we need to work together with Michelin to improve this. The new surface also adds an unknown quantity to this race and so tyre choice is going to be especially important. The team is very motivated and looking forward to getting back to work; we're hoping for a good race, Jorge certainly deserves one!"


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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner