The MotoGP™ pre-race Thursday press conference saw Repsol Honda Team’s championship leading rookie Marc Marquez joined by Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, as well as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Moto3™ leader Luis Salom, as they get set for the second race in successive weekends. Marquez, despite his current form, does not believe he is the favourite for this weekend: “It’s an important moment of the season. It looks like Yamaha will be strong here because they have already done a test, especially Jorge looking strong; but we will see and try to do our best here and beat them. Every race will be close, with everybody fighting to be in front. We will see. At the remaining races the championship is quite close with many, many points left – still nearly half a season in front of us.” Lorenzo on the other hand, despite having tested at this track during the summer with his teammate, is adamant that the Hondas remain the bikes to beat, and that he needs to get back to winning ways as soon as possible: “It’s not so simple. I don’t think we’re the favourites at any race at the moment, but I do think this track will be good for my riding and the Yamaha…We didn’t crash at Indianapolis and got a podium after some weeks without it. Now, if we want to win this world title, we have to win as soon as possible. At the moment it’s not so simple, but we’re going to try.” Rossi is hoping to start the weekend significantly better than he did at Indy, and spoke about his memories at the track where he took his first ever win in 1996: “We have to do better by being stronger in practice, starting further in front and being better in the race. On paper this track is good for the M1, but right now Honda – especially Marc – is very strong so we have to do a great job to stay with them. “It’s a long, long time! But I’m very proud to still be here and to have stayed at the top. It was a moment I will never forget, because in a career of a rider, your first World Championship victory and your first pole is always fantastic. I like this track a lot.” Hayden, who missed Brno through injury last year, believes that this race could suit them better than Indianapolis, and was not yet able to clarify the rumours surrounding his future: “I didn’t come to Brno last year, so I hope on paper we can be a bit more competitive with less bumps and longer straights – but I’m sure everybody thinks the same! Brno is a track I really love and I think everybody does. Let’s hope we can be more competitive than last week. “I really can’t (tell you anything). It’s not just me, I really don’t know yet, but it does look exciting because a month ago I didn’t have this many options – some that are really quite exciting that got me looking forward to the future. These next few weeks are a crunch time, I would say, to make some choices, but I’m looking forward to making some decisions and see what is left.” Abraham is still recovering from his big crash last weekend, and is hoping he can do well in front of his home crowd: “We tried to push at Indy but had some technical problems which basically kicked me off the seat. My left shoulder is almost dislocated and now really hurts. We have already made our decision. I definitely want to race on Sunday. We’re working really hard, physio on shoulder every day. It will probably be necessary to get some anesthetic on the shoulder – don’t really want to – but it’s necessary.” He also confirmed that the team is in talks about buying Honda’s “production racer” for next year, yet said that nothing had been signed at this time. Salom, another one to injure himself during Indianapolis, will be gritting his teeth this weekend to keep his lead in the championship: “I had an injection before the race but sometimes couldn’t feel my foot and for that reason kept putting the bike into neutral. Last night I went to hospital again, who did an x-ray and revealed the foot was broken. I don’t have so much pain now, so I’ll try to be back okay again. Yes, they are looking at Monday [to operate] but I really don’t know. We need to try tomorrow and see how it is after, but I hope not to have so much pain, to be able to go really fast, and not think so much about the foot.” Thursday also saw riders from all three categories, including LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, Karel Abraham, and Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek, as well as Moto2™’s Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter, Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Luthi, Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese and Moto3™’s Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil, visited the Vankovka Mall in Brno to sign autographs and have a Q&A session with local fans. More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing: Just three days after the last GP, held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team and Andrea Iannone arrive at Brno prepared to resume work ahead of the race that will be held on Sunday, 25 August. Iannone earned a Moto2 victory at this track in 2011, along with a pair of third-place showings (in Moto2 in 2010 and in the 125cc class in 2009). He’s still struggling with pain in his right shoulder, injured during the German Grand Prix, but he’s more determined than ever to improve his performance and to build upon the good work done during the last GP, in America. The Czech Republic circuit was inaugurated in 1987, when it began to regularly feature on the MotoGP World Championship calendar, with one interruption in 1992. Previously, competitions were held on the city streets. Laid out among forested hills, the 5.403 km Brno circuit (3.357 mi) includes six left-hand corners and eight rights, along with a 636-meter straightaway (0.395 mi), and it’s characterized by fast corners and constant changes in elevation. Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team “I’m quite well, although I’ve had a lot of discomfort in the shoulder these days. My lower back bothered me during the last race, and also at the end, due to the riding position I had to adopt on the bike because of to the shoulder pain. I’ll definitely go to the Clinica Mobile to check if that’s still due to the inflammation, or if it’s just caused by all the effort that my muscles have been subjected to. I hope to get better this weekend, and of course I want to be at 100% for Misano. Monday I was very tired, but yesterday was better, and I hope to make further improvements. I need to regain strength and get the shoulder ready. The team and I will evaluate whether to change the position of the footrests in order to facilitate my riding position. I’m ready.” More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing: Just three days after the last GP, held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Ignite Pramac Racing Team arrives at Brno prepared to resume work ahead of the race that will be held on Sunday, 25 August, with Michele Pirro. The Italian, who already rode with the team in the rounds at Le Mans, Barcelona, Assen, and the Sachsenring, will again replace Texan Ben Spies, who injured his left shoulder during the third free-practice session at Indianapolis. The Czech Republic circuit was inaugurated in 1987, when it began to regularly feature on the MotoGP World Championship calendar, with one interruption in 1992. Previously, competitions were held on the city streets. Laid out among forested hills, the 5.403 km Brno circuit (3.357 mi) includes six left-hand corners and eight rights, along with a 636-meter straightaway (0.395 mi), and it’s characterized by fast corners and constant changes in elevation. Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team “I’m glad to get back to racing, although I’m obviously very sorry about what happened to Ben. I’ll use his bike instead of the ‘lab’, and I’ll do my best to contribute to the continuing work. Next week I’ll be busy with a test at Misano for the new project, but then we’ll meet again at Silverstone.” More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone: Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview – Round 11: Brno Thursday 22 August 2013 Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric) Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative) Round eleven of the 2013 MotoGP season the series to Europe with the Czech Republic’s stunning Brno circuit providing riders with technical corners and big elevation changes. Measuring 5.4 kilometres in length, Brno is one of the longer circuits on the MotoGP calendar and has numerous straight sections joined together by a series of technical corners including four left-right corner combinations. The circuit also features an elevation difference between the highest and lowest part of the circuit of over 70 metres which make braking into the downhill sections challenging, thus requiring the front tyre to provide excellent stability. A high grip levels from the rear tyre is also important to ensure 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 superior durability. There are eight right-hand and six left-hand corners at this circuit and though asymmetric rear slicks are provided, the loads imposed across the left, centre and right of the rear tyre are similar. The rear slick tyre options for CRT riders at Brno are the soft and medium compounds, while the works riders get the medium and hard compound options. Bridgestone originally planned to introduce a new hard compound rear tyre at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, but after recent testing at the Brno circuit has decided to change supply. Another hard tyre specification which has a softer compound on left side with current hard compound on the right side will be supplied this weekend and this change was made in agreement with the Grand Prix commission at Indianapolis. Front slick options for the Czech Grand Prix are the soft and hard compounds and the main wet tyre is the soft compound option. Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department “For good reason Brno is one of the favourite tracks on the calendar for MotoGP racers and fans as it is a wide circuit with a technical layout that has produced many thrilling races over the years. There is always a huge crowd in the Czech Republic for MotoGP races and this also adds to the allure of the event. Last year at this circuit we saw an amazing last-lap battle between Jorge and Dani and I expect both these riders to be very competitive this weekend as they continue their recovery from injury, and focus on closing the championship points gap to Marc who is riding extremely well at the moment.” Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “The Brno circuit was resurfaced in 2008 and since then has been quite abrasive on tyres, posing more of a challenge for tyre durability and requiring harder rubber compounds, particularly for the front tyre. The corners are generally fast and flowing so the lateral loads generated are high – particularly on the right shoulders – and the elevation changes also present a challenge for the front tyres, especially into the downhill corners where the weight transfer under braking places them under extreme loads. The medium speed corners require good shoulder stability from the rear tyres and good traction on corner exit. Finding a good setup at this circuit is important, as excessive sliding from the rear at this circuit can hurt lap times and also rapidly accelerates tyre wear given the abrasiveness of the tarmac.”
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