Yamaha Factory Racing will mark 50 years in Grand Prix racing once again at this weekend's United States Grand Prix, with Jorge Lorenzo looking to celebrate the occasion in style.
Lorenzo is the form man heading to Laguna Seca having beaten Casey Stoner in each of the last two races to close the Australian's lead to 15 points and the reigning champion is eager to continue the fightback in California
“We are very strong at the moment with a great result at both Mugello and Sachsenring, we will try to continue to reduce our gap to Casey. I have had great moments in Laguna; above all last year when I won, but also in 2009 when I got pole position even with a big crash and at the end got a podium. Laguna is amazing; for the American style and atmosphere, but above all because of the corkscrew. I think maybe it is the best corner in the Championship, the place everybody wants to meet! I am looking forward to being back on my M1 there, riding to fight for the title!”
This weekend will be a homecoming for teammate Ben Spies as he prepares to race in front of his compatriots, as well as his close friends and family. Yamaha will be racing in their 50th anniversary colours once again after previously running them at Assen, a race won by Spies, and the 27 year old hopes they will bring him more success on Sunday.
“It's always exciting to race in front of the home crowd and It's going to be a big event for Yamaha with the 50th anniversary colours being run again. They were lucky for me at Assen and hopefully they can bring me more luck in front of my friends and family. I've had some pretty good results in my AMA days at Laguna and I love riding the circuit. It's going to be a serious race weekend but it's also going to be a lot of fun so I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of old faces at the track.”
Sunday's race will also mark the halfway stage of the season and Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg has stressed the importance of heading into the three-week summer break on a high.
“Laguna was a very nice event last year when Jorge won after a great race. We will have a big break afterwards so it is a very important moment in the season with ten races completed. Jorge really enjoys Laguna and it's a home circuit for Ben so I think our guys will be able to do a good job. The whole crew are looking forward to getting out to California!”
The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend starts on Friday evening with FP1 at 18:10 UK time, and The Checkered Flag will have full coverage throughout the weekend.