MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RETURN TO TEXAS FOR GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS
Austin, Texas (USA), 29th September 2021
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team are travelling to America for the 16th Grand Prix on the 2021 MotoGP calendar. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli are both looking forward to riding at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) again for the first time since April 2019.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team are making their way to Austin, Texas in the United States of America for a single fly-away race before tackling the three GPs of the final European leg. After the positive results of the MotoGP test at the Misano Circuit last week, both Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli are fully motivated to strive for top results.
Quartararo arrives at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) holding the lead in the championship with a 48-point advantage and four races to go, including this weekend‘s encounter. El Diablo is a racer through and through and has made up his mind to keep his ’all or nothing‘ winner‘s mentality going for the upcoming head-to-head in Austin, Texas.
In his very first year of visiting COTA, in 2015, the Frenchman immediately scored second place in the Moto3 class, his only podium at this track so far. He has ridden a MotoGP bike in Austin just once, in April 2019, taking seventh. With the experience he has gained since then on the M1, he is confident that he can fight for top positions this time round.
Morbidelli counts himself lucky to have escaped injury after some falls in the Misano Test last week. The following days off have given him time to get recharged and he is looking forward to trying the Factory YZR-M1 at another track and continuing the positive manner in which he finished the test.
The Italian is currently 17th in the championship with 40 points, but rather than overall rankings, getting the feeling back after his rehabilitation period is his main goal for this weekend. Always up for a challenge, Morbidelli is a fan of the tricky Austin track and is anticipating making laps there. Some of his best results include his win in 2017 in the Moto2 class and the fifth place he scored with Yamaha in the premier class in 2019.
Constructed in 2013, the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is one of the newest on the calendar, having been added to the Grand Prix schedule that same year. Its 5513m length and mixture of fast straights and tight hairpins make the track both challenging and exciting to master for teams and riders. They need to find exactly the right balance for the bike‘s set-up to suit the 11 left and 9 right turns in combination with the 1,200m straight in order snatch a place on the podium. The especially sharp Turn 1 will be a place where the fans can expect a lot of overtaking action, both at the start and during the race.
Those who wish to be reminded of COTA‘s lay-out can refresh their memory by watching this eSport video.
Our team is really quite excited to return to Austin. Though it‘s one of the more complicated tracks, it is a venue that we always feel very welcome at and that our crew really enjoys. It’s even more special this year because we were not able to race here in 2020, so we are determined to put on a good show this weekend. This circuit’s lay-out is a bit tricky, and theoretically it‘s perhaps not the best suited to our bike, but in recent years our team has scored a good number of podiums here. We know Fabio wants to keep taking things one race at the time and focus on getting top results, so our goal with him will be another podium finish. As for Franky, we noticed improvements at the Misano Test. For him the objective this weekend will be to keep making laps with the bike and improve his feeling, like he has been doing. If they can both make a good start to proceedings on Friday, we should be in for an enjoyable race weekend.
We start the race weekend in Austin with a 48-point advantage, and after this there are three more races, so my mentality stays the same as it was in Misano. Originally my goal was not to think about the championship until the San Marino GP, but I have decided to keep it going. I think that‘s the right thing for me: to be in the moment and fight for the victory if I can. In Misano that nearly gave my mum a heart attack and my dad for sure enjoyed it a lot. I‘ve had this idea already at the beginning of the year that ’no matter if I‘m fighting for the championship or not, I want to win‘. That was the case in Misano, and I want it to stay like this.
I enjoy riding in Austin. It‘s a track that‘s tough and difficult, but I really like it. In 2019, the last time we rode there with MotoGP, I had a good result. I hope to be there, improve the feeling with the bike, and improve my overall performance. We made a really good step during the Misano Test. I definitely had more feeling already in the final lap on Day 2 than I did in the first few laps on Day 1. This is already positive. We are moving forward and are trying to improve as fast as we can.