Rossi and Lorenzo determined to ensure a happy return to Circuit of The Americas on April 10-12
AUSTIN, Texas (April 2, 2015) – The MotoGP season roared back into action last weekend in Qatar, where Valentino Rossi’s sensational victory signaled the start of what promises to be another incredible season of two-wheel racing. With all eyes now turning to the Texas capital of Austin, home of the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas™ (April 10-12), Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team’s riders, Rossi and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who finished in 4th place in Qatar, have outlined their expectations ahead of their return to Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
The 2014 race in Austin proved to be a difficult one for the Yamaha duo, who finished in 8th and 10th place respectively. The Italian legend Rossi, who is closing in on the all-time record for grand prix wins after last weekend’s success, acknowledges that the circuit has been difficult for his Yamaha to master in the past: “We have struggled here. Even though we always try to do our best but so far we just can’t find the perfect compromise to go fast.” He went on to note that the “two long straights (at COTA) are weak points for us.” However, in spite of this he is still a huge fan of the circuit, adding that “the track is very modern and I do really love some of the corners. I think we can do even better this season there, especially because the bike is good and we have made some important improvements. I would like to be on the podium but it won’t be easy!”
Jorge Lorenzo also shared his teammate’s feelings on the Austin circuit, reflecting on his race last season as “awful. I made a big mistake, which was pretty bad regarding the championship. Austin is a beautiful racetrack, unfortunately it suits some of our rivals better but it is always a nice place to ride.” However, he is determined to improve upon last year’s showing when he returns to race on American soil. “Hopefully this year we can improve our result there [COTA] so it’s a nice challenge for all the Yamaha family. I want to be on the podium at the very least!”
In their assessment of the host city, Austin, both are overwhelmingly positive. Already one of the most popular destinations for motorsport teams and fans alike, Rossi and Lorenzo are excited to get to know the city even more in 2015. Rossi in particular enjoyed his visit to Austin and is eager to explore it a little further: “I had some time last year to go out and have some nice dinners and fun. The city is very animated and it was honestly speaking not at all what I expected. I would definitely like to have a little more free time to enjoy and discover the city this year but first and foremost we are in Austin to race!”
This sentiment is echoed by Lorenzo, who adds: “Unfortunately I couldn’t explore the city properly [in 2014]but I could see at first sight that it’s a bustling place with plenty of people in the streets and with a very different look and feel to other cities in the US. It’s also great to see so many young people everywhere!”
Both men are hugely optimistic with regard to the growth of MotoGP’s popularity in the United States, with Rossi stressing the importance of continuing to establish the sport in the U.S.: “We have a lot of fans in America and I truly believe it is key for motorsport to have MotoGP in the United States.” His Spanish teammate is even more effusive in his assessment of the situation, noting how “the US is an important market for selling bikes all around the world so it’s crucial to have some races there. The fans here are very passionate and knowledgeable about racing. The US has a huge heritage in terms of racing with legends such as Lawson, Schwantz, Rainey and Mamola. It’s great to be here racing in front of these American fans. And Austin especially has a nice racetrack so for me the future looks bright for MotoGP in the US.”
With both riders more determined than ever to succeed in 2015, the thousands of MotoGP fans due to visit Circuit of The Americas over the weekend of April 10-12 are sure to be treated to an incredible few days of motorcycle racing as the two Movistar Yamaha champions go head to head with their rivals in Austin.