Yamaha Factory Racing are fired up ahead of their home Grand Prix in Japan as the World Championship fight moves into its’ closing stages. Jorge Lorenzo trails Casey Stoner by 44 points and the upcoming triple-header in Asia looks likely to decide the outcome of this year's title race.
Although Yamaha couldn't match the pace of Repsol Honda at Aragon, Lorenzo is targeting the top step of the podium at a circuit he enjoys particularly well.
“Japan is a home race for Yamaha and for us it is always a pleasure to ride here. Motegi is a track where I have won before and last year I had a nice fight for the podium. I would like to win again here, so that is my aim this weekend. After all the confusion with Fukushima we are here, fit and ready to put on a good show for Yamaha in this special year for them. We will begin on Friday and try to do everything really well!”
Ben Spies lit up last year's race as he fought his way through the field after a poor start and the American hopes to be racing at the front this weekend in order to assist his teammate.
“I really enjoyed the race here last year once I got over the frustration of losing so many places in the opening laps. I managed to overtake quite a few riders on my way back up to eighth which always makes the race more exciting. I hope to be higher this year from the start so won't have to do so much catching up! We're racing in the red and white livery again which always seems to bring me luck!”
As far as the championship is concerned, Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg is relishing the challenge in front of the Japanese squad, and believes Lorenzo is too.
“Here we are finally in Motegi, at a very exciting time for us. A 44 point gap is a big one to try and close in just four races but we go into every round aiming to win, we will never give up until the end of the season. Jorge is in great form and looking forward to the challenge. He does love the track here and we've seen he really knows how to fight here. All the guys will be giving everything from the first session on Friday to see what we can do.”
The Grand Prix of Japan weekend gets underway with Free Practice 1 at 02:10am UK time on Friday. The Checkered Flag will have full coverage throughout the weekend.