Friday, September 2, 2011

Yamaha heads to 'home' race, Rainey returns

After mixing emotions last weekend at Indianapolis - when Jorge Lorenzo lost further ground in the championship, but Ben Spies scored a home podium - Yamaha is aiming for a strong result from both riders at Misano.

Reigning world champion Lorenzo insists he won't give up on the championship, despite dropping 44 points behind Casey Stoner with six rounds remaining.

“I hope to leave the last race behind us. We go straight to Misano now, a track I like and where I have won and got some podiums. My team and I will try to come back to the top and continue fighting for the Championship!” he declared.

Spies also has high expectations; the Texan displayed his impressive overtaking skills at last year's San Marino Grand Prix, recovering from tenth to take a respectable sixth at the line. Spies can also claim a World Superbike race win in 2009 on the twisty, challenging circuit.

“It's pretty tiring heading back to back across the Atlantic but I have always enjoyed racing at Misano. I had really good fortune there in my World Superbike year and enjoyed some great battles last year in my first MotoGP race on the track," he confirmed.

"We're taking the confidence of the podium finish with us from Indianapolis so I'm looking forward to setting up on Friday and tackling the track on a factory bike for the first time.”

Team director Massimo Meregalli hopes his riders can put on a good show in their 'home' event.

“The team headquarters are just a couple of hundred kilometres away so Misano is one of our 'home' races and we are all looking forward to it," he said. "Ben's fight back to the podium in Indianapolis proved that we have a competitive package and we know that Jorge is strong at this circuit and still fighting for the Championship. We will look to find a good set up quickly and I have confidence we can challenge for good results.”

This weekend will also see Yamaha legend and triple 500cc world champion Wayne Rainey return to Misano, 18 years after the accident that ended his career.

Yamaha is to host a special event for Rainey on Friday evening.

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