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Aug 23, 2012

MotoGP Riders React To Stoner's Withdrawal From Czech Republic Grand Prix

From left: Karel Abraham, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Yonny Hernandez. Photo courtesy of
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo joined title-rival Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Karel Abraham and Yonny Hernandez at the press conference on Thursday marking the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, which the injured Casey Stoner withdrew from on medical grounds earlier in the day.

Lorenzo, who is currently leading the standings by 18 points, stated that while Stoner's news may help him in a competitive sense, it is unwelcome news for all: "It's very bad news for the championship that Casey has retired from this race and the next two or three races. It's also bad that Nicky [Hayden] and Héctor [Barberá] aren't going to race on Sunday. So wish all three a quick recovery, especially Casey, as he is a very tough competitor for me and for Dani, so without him the next races will not be the same. For sure it will be easier for both of us to win races because Casey is always there; he's very fast and very competitive."

On the prospect of Brno, the Spaniard stated: "This is a very different track much wider, the tarmac is different, so for sure my feeling on the bike will be too. But of course it's going to be hard again, especially with Dani, but I think we can be more competitive than at Indianapolis."

Repsol Honda Team's Pedrosa, Lorenzo's closest competitor, was equally downbeat on losing his teammate for a while: "Obviously it's bad news, especially for my team and for me. Casey and me always push each other in every session. Being alone in the team, I have to push all I can. Brno is a track I like so I like riding here. Last year I made a mistake, but I'm happy to race here and I hope to do well."

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Dovizioso, who was yesterday confirmed as Valentino Rossi's replacement in the Ducati Team for next year alongside Nicky Hayden spoke about his enthusiasm for the new project, yet is focussing on his job at hand right now: "Yesterday we signed and it was a big decision. I'm so happy and so excited to be part of the project with Ducati and Audi. I spoke with Del Torchio and Preziosi and they explained the project to me as well as Audi coming in, so it looks like there are many things to get a result. Everybody knows Ducati's situation, and I'm confident about us working together to get a result."

He also commented on Stoner's situation: "It's not nice to get results like this and it's always bad to see a rider crash and get injured, so this is really bad. Casey is a really fast rider and he can fight for the championship. Yes, I'll have more of a chance to fight for third position, but right now I'm focussed to get a result. I'm really confident with the team, and the bike is always getting better."

Cardion AB's Abraham, who has had a difficult season so far said: "I'm definitely fully fit now, but it's definitely been a bad season. But the last races in America were quite good, and we got a lot of points, which was good for us. I don't think the championship can be good in the end because we've missed so many races, but I'll definitely try to have some good races, which would be important for me and for my team's mentality too."

Earlier in the day, Repsol Honda's Stoner gave a press conference explaining he has to head back to Australia to undergo treatment on his ankle injury sustained last weekend in Indianapolis. Stoner will leave Brno this evening for Australia after his doctors advised him to have surgery on his damaged ankle to avoid any permanent injury. The Repsol Honda rider stated that he hopes to be back for his home race in Philip Island in late October, yet said that nothing could be confirmed until the surgery has taken place. Stoner also sighted his severe disappointment at the injury, which he believes has put paid to his championship chances: "We're pretty much out of it, even going into this weekend. But now that we're not competing it's done and dusted. Very frustrating, but life goes on."

On the same day, Yamaha Factory Racing's Managing Director Lin Jarvis spoke about Valentino Rossi's role and confirmed that once he is back with the team from the 2013 season, both him and Jorge Lorenzo will get equal treatment and support, however the development lead will go to Lorenzo with Rossi in a supporting role. This is down to the fact that Yamaha still views Lorenzo as their most capable rider to win the championship.

It is yet to be seen whether Rossi will be able to bring his crew chief Jeremy Burgess and the rest of his team with him to the Japanese outfit, yet Jarvis did say that the possibility exists. And to put any rumours about the Italian's move back to Yamaha full to bed, the MD confirmed that is was Rossi who first approached them.

More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:


Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet look to bounce back from Indy setbacks to resume CRT dominance at Brno

After back-to-back races in the United States and a two-week holiday in between the MotoGP World Championship returns to Europe this weekend for the twelfth round of the season. After a visit to one of the most famous circuits in the world in Indianapolis the series now heads to Brno, one of the oldest on the old continent, with the gap at the top of the championship closing race by race. Dani Pedrosa is now just eighteen points behind fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo at the top but this fast, flowing and wide circuit represents a very different challenge to recent venues.

The good thing about having two races so close together is that if you've had a bad weekend you don't need to wait too long to put it right. That is the case for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair Randy de De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró, who both enjoyed positive practice sessions at Indianapolis before suffering mechanical setbacks in the race. This weekend their joint aim is to get back on form and continue to be the reference in the new CRT category.

Randy De Puniet: "The setback at Indianapolis just gives us more motivation for this weekend. We lost some important points because of a mechanical problem so we need to make them back up at Brno. I love the circuit and I am looking forward to finding out how our bike feels around there. The bike is working really well in general but we need to work hard to make sure we don't get any nasty surprises like the other day. These things happen but we still have to try and keep things within our control. I am sure I can be just as fast at Brno as we have been at other circuits so far so more than ever the target is to be the top CRT".

Aleix Espargaró: "Brno is a circuit I like a lot. It's fast and technical and normally suits me well. We had some really good practice sessions at Indianapolis and I enjoyed myself on the bike so it's a real shame we had the gearbox problem in the race. We need to have a look at it on Friday and work out what went wrong. Other than that we have a good base set-up so we need to work on that and make sure we improve it because our rivals are making progress and getting closer so we have to stay focused."

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:

Avintia Blusens MotoGP has great expectations for Brno after their result at Indianapolis

Last Sunday the Avintia Blusens MotoGP team members received the reward they had deserved after so much effort. Yonny Hernández got a great win among the CRTs' on the mystical U.S. track and battled against the riders who have come out on top of the championship so far. Yonny was leading the class throughout the race with such a consistency that it points out that it will not be a one-off. For his part Iván Silva finished third in the CRT's and set very good times with worn-down tyres. Now they are looking into Brno where both riders want to repeat their U.S result. Both the team and they believe that they can play a major role among the CRT's and in the remainder of the season. Avintia Blusens MotoGP co-owner and team manager Raúl Romero was very excited after the previous result and has great expectations for Brno.

Raúl Romero (Team Manager MotoGP):"I am pleased with the result in Indianapolis. Yonny and Iván's performances confirm I was right when a while ago I said both the team and the riders had the potential to improve the result they had had so far. They both took a step ahead and proved to be more competitive. Yonny completed a great race which feels like glory to us because we have made great effort to achieve this result. Iván was not familiar with the track and improved in the race to end up with a very good pace and the third position in the CRT's. It is undoubtedly a great result but I am convinced we haven't reached our top level yet. We can and must improve. In Brno we'll try to take a further step ahead as we will have a new engine at our disposal which I am sure will enable us to consolidate our positions on the CRT podium. Also we have planned to run a test on Monday right after the G.P. during which we'll try out an Öhlins fork among other things. If it gives a positive result we'll use them at the G.P. of Misano. We have also planned to have Loris Capirossi try out our motorbike. As you can see we work hard. Now we are at the right moment we have some potential left and I'd like us to take advantage of it."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 12: Brno, Czech Republic

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-hard. Rear: Medium, Hard
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Round twelve of the 2012 MotoGP™ season sees the championship head to the Czech Republic and the idyllic Automotodrom Brno, a fast circuit with striking elevation changes that is splayed across wooded hillsides.

Brno's layout features a series of straight sections broken up by a series of technical corners including four left-right corner combinations and the difference in elevation between the highest and lowest part of the circuit is almost 75 metres. As a result, the challenging downhill braking sections require front tyres with excellent stability, while superior rear grip is vital to provide good drive onto the straight parts of the circuit. Adding to the technical complexity of this circuit for tyres is the abrasive tarmac which demands high levels of durability.

There are a total of eight right-hand and six left-hand corners and though asymmetric rear slicks are provided at Brno, the loads imposed across the left, centre and right of the rear tyre are fairly similar at this circuit. The rear tyre options supplied at Brno are the medium and hard option asymmetric rear slicks, though the difference in rubber hardness between the left and right shoulders is not as great as at other circuits such as Indianapolis. Front slick options for the Czech Grand Prix are the soft, medium and extra-hard compounds.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

"The Brno circuit is one of the most impressive venues that MotoGP visits, both because of its forest setting and the wide, flowing nature of the circuit. Interestingly, the rider who has won at Brno for the last five years has gone on to win the MotoGP title and this reflects the Czech Republic Grand Prix's importance in the fight for the world championship. Also, the Czech Republic Grand Prix for the last few years has had the highest number of race day spectators on the entire calendar, with 155,000 fans flocking to the circuit to watch the races on Sunday last year. This creates a fantastic atmosphere and I am sure we can expect a similar level of participation this year. This weekend will be another busy one for our technical team as we will be supporting teams in the post-race test on Monday where we will supply some experimental tyres as part of our ongoing tyre development programme."

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

"Brno is a rider favourite as it has a fast layout with a wide track and since being resurfaced in 2008 has good, consistent grip levels. This resurfacing has also resulted in the tarmac becoming very abrasive, so the circuit is now more demanding on tyres and requires harder tyre compounds, especially for the front which has to deal with considerable weight transfer under braking into the downhill corners. Many corners at Brno are high-speed and flowing and so the lateral loads generated are substantial, with the right shoulders of the rear tyres put under slightly more stress than the left.

"The medium speed corners require good shoulder stability and traction from the rear tyres on corner exit and it is also really important to find a good setup here, as excess sliding around this fast circuit can result in high levels of tyre wear due to the abrasive nature of the tarmac. Our front tyre allocation for Brno changes slightly this year with the medium and extra-hard options providing the necessary stability and durability needed for this circuit, while the soft option is offered in case of unexpectedly cool conditions. Rear tyre options remain the same as last year with the medium and hard asymmetric options being supplied."

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Brno, 23th August: less than one week after the eventful Indianapolis round the premier class will be contesting the popular Brno track for the Grand Prix Ceské Republiky this weekend. LCR racer Stefan Bradl always looks forward to Brno, the track where he scored his first grand prix victory on a 125 in 2008. He was on the podium in last year's Moto2 race.

Bradl is now in sole possession of sixth place in the championship standings and certain to be the top rookie thanks to his most consistent run which saw the 22-year German aboard the RCV grabbing the top ten finish every Sunday since his debut in the premier class.

Stefan: "Brno is a nice track for me because I won the first race in 2008, so it is always a special feeling. I think it's a good circuit, the layout is interesting and I enjoy riding there. I am looking forward to go there because we can perform very well. After Indy GP I want to be back to our standard form, which has been very strong so far in the season. It was a bit frustrating after the race in Indy, but Brno will be different."
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