MotoGP: MotoGP™ riders look ahead to an exciting weekend of Brno action
MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez was joined by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Pol Espargaro, Andrea Iannone and Karel Abraham to address the media on Thursday ahead of the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez remains undefeated so far in 2014 following a tenth victory in a row at Indianapolis on Sunday and he goes into the Brno round full of confidence after a successful test at the Czech track just over three weeks ago.
He previewed round 11 saying, “I feel good after winning at Indianapolis. Here in Brno it is a completely different circuit to Indy but we did a test three weeks ago, so we should have a good set up. Yamaha were close to us in Indy and I expect them to be strong again here, but I am feeling good and we’re ready to fight.”
One of those Yamaha riders looking to break the winning run of Marquez is Rossi, who has a strong record at Brno, including his first ever Grand Prix triumph, 18 years ago in the 125 class.
The experienced Italian said, “I have great memories from this track especially my first victory in 1996. I remember it very well. It is one of my favourite circuits and it is fantastic to ride with a MotoGP bike. You can use the maximum potential of the bike here. My recent results here have not been great and last year I was too far from the top three. So my target this weekend is to improve my lines, improve my riding, I need to do that if I want to be on the podium. I think the race from Indy was one of the best in the recent period. It was a great race.”
Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP colleague Lorenzo stated, “I was really pleased with the second place at Indianapolis. We arrive here now at a track which theoretically is good for our bike and my riding style, with the chicanes and the importance of corner speed. We’re very motivated this weekend and we will be aiming to repeat Indy. Brno is faster and wider than Indy and I have won here four times, so we need to do the job on the track.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s impressive premier class rookie Espargaro added, “It was a good result to finish fifth at Indy but we were too far from the front riders. We had a good race and a good weekend in general. We just have to keep improving. I am really happy with my first half of the year, so thanks to Yamaha and my team. I’m still young and I know I can do better. It’s just experience, race by race, I’m learning all the time with the bike.”
Pramac Racing rider Iannone gave his contribution to affairs, commenting, “Brno is a good track, I have some great memories from Moto2 and some good battles with Marc (Marquez), but he was always a little stronger than me! Indy was a strong weekend for me, I was fast throughout and we had a good feeling on the bike. But in the race we had lots of problems and it was impossible to finish.”
Home rider Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) provided a summary of his season so far and spoke of the pressure of being the only Czech rider in the premier class this weekend.
“I’m happy to be fit this time because last year I came here with a lot of pain in the shoulder and afterwards I had to go for an operation. So it feels good to be arriving here fit and ready. It has not been a great season, but we have been consistent and even at the beginning of the season we were not sure how the shoulder would be, so it has been ok. It is big pressure for me riding here at Brno, but that’s just how it is,” said Abraham.
A Go Karting race at Brno circuit’s karting track earlier on Thursday saw Abraham and Pol Espargaro joined by Scott Redding, Jack Miller and Karel Hanika as the riders got competitive on the eve of the Grand Prix.
Another important Brno press conference will take place on Friday when Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC Executive Vice President), Kouichi Tsuji (General Manager Motorsports Division / YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd), and Luigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) sit down to talk to the media at midday.