JORGE LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m very excited to be coming back to Jerez again. We were very strong here in our test and I have always had good results. The competition will be tough; I expect Casey and especially Dani to be very fast. Qatar was a perfect start to our season; we worked very hard for that incredible victory. Now we get to race in front of our home fans, I will try to make sure we make a good show for them! Let’s hope it doesn’t rain this year!”
BEN SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m feeling good, I haven’t had great results at Jerez yet but we had a really positive test there so I’m confident. The Yamaha M1 is working well at all circuits we’ve been to so far. After a tough start at Qatar my goal at Jerez is starting the season again, I’m going to do the best I can to deliver. We had a good Qatar weekend except for the race, we know our pace is strong, the bike is competitive and I’m riding well so we should have a successful weekend”.
DANI PEDROSA (Repsol Honda): “The pre season test at Jerez was positive for us, we had good feelings on the bike and finished happy, so I’m really looking forward to going there for the Grand Prix this weekend. We need to be very focused and have a good qualifying session in order to start the race in a good position. I love the Jerez circuit and the passionate support of the Spanish fans, I hope the grandstands are full again as it adds to the unique atmosphere there. We had a great race in Qatar and to start the season on the podium is important, but we cannot relax, we will be aiming for another strong race this weekend”.
CASEY STONER (Repsol Honda): “After a difficult race in Qatar, I’m looking forward to Jerez. We had a very good pre-season test there, it’s a track that hasn’t been so good for me in the past so the fact we were able to hold a good pace there in testing has given us a lot of confidence. We still have some issues that we really need to resolve with the bike especially the chattering in the entrance and exit of the corner, when we solve these we believe we will have a very competitive package. Since Qatar I’ve been working on the arm pump issue I experienced in the race and it’s definitely feeling better, we’ve treated it the same way as when I had it in 2010 at Silverstone so I’m hoping it won’t be a problem for us this weekend”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (Ducati): “I’ve always liked the Jerez track a lot, and we certainly must try to do better than in Qatar. By the end of the three-day test in March, we had found a decent setup for the GP12, so we have a base to start from for this track as we prepare the bike for the race. It will be very important to work well during the Friday and Saturday practice sessions, focusing particularly on maintaining a good direction and on taking advantage of what we currently have to work with”.
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati): “I really enjoy the Jerez GP. In some ways it’s like the first race all over again, because it’s a little bit different than Qatar. We’re back in Europe, with our trucks and all the crowds. It’s also a special track. It’s really tough, with very few straightaways, so you have to ‘connect the dots’ and do some hard braking. If you want to do a good lap time, it’s important to be fast in those last two right-handers. I’m looking forward to it. We tested there last month, but since then we have a race under our belt and a bit more data to consider. We know the general setup of the bike now. Last year the weather definitely mixed things up a bit, so we’ll see what it does this time”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “It was a tough weekend for us in Qatar because I struggled to find the confidence with the bike that I had enjoyed during preseason testing. We tried a lot of things without ever establishing a good feeling and I had to work very hard in the race to get 100% out of what we had. It was important for us to finish the race and to finish it in seventh was a positive way to finish a difficult weekend. During this short break I have been training hard every day and enjoying some time relaxing with my family, without ever taking my mind off the job. We have some extra PR work to do this weekend but I always look forward to Jerez because it is a very special race to me. I missed out last year through injury but we gathered some good data during preseason that should help us have a good race on Sunday. Our objective is to run with the guys at the front, which would be great because it is always such a pleasure to race at Jerez in front of the fans. Jerez always feels like the true start to the season because it is the first European round and everything runs according to the normal daytime schedule. It is a real festival of motorcycles and it’s exciting for the fans and riders. I have some unforgettable memories of Jerez because it was here that I took my first ever Grand Prix win and it would be nice if I could get my first MotoGP podium here too”.
MICHELE PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “It was exciting for me to make my MotoGP debut in Qatar, racing alongside so many great champions. Unfortunately it wasn’t an easy debut from a technical point of view because our bike still has some teething problems, which is to be expected, so I wasn’t able to find my limit despite a lot of hard work from the team. They are putting in a huge effort and I hope that is rewarded in a positive fashion in Jerez. It won’t be easy because we don’t have a magic wand to wave but I am confident that we can take another step forward and be on the pace of the best CRT bikes out there. Jerez is one of the best events on the calendar and the atmosphere there is very special. We all believe in this project and hopefully Jerez can prove to be a launchpad to bigger and better things”.
STEFAN BRADL (LCR Honda): “I am really looking forward to the first round in Europe. We have tested the bike there in March gathering useful data for the race weekend and I was comfortable with the bike’s overall package. I am happy to be back in Europe because we return to the standard time schedule and the atmosphere especially in Spain is very warm. I like the track even if I feel the difference between the lower classes and the MotoGP bike: it seems that the track is smaller because the riding style is different. The race will be also harder, physically speaking, as there are no long straights and just a few ‘relax points’ along the track, but I feel ready”.
HECTOR BARBERA (Pramac Racing): “After the mistake I made in Losail, which forced me to lose some places as final result, i will start off this first European race with a redemption feeling. The Andalusian circuit layout didn’t fit my riding style, but, during this weekend i will work together with the White and Green Team, concentrating primarily on the set-up of our Ducati to be faster and more consistent. I will certainly work tirelessly to be the first Ducati rider who will cross the finishing line in the Sunday’s race, using more wit and less instinct, compared to the Qatar’s race”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I have finished on the podium here in the 250cc class but never in MotoGP™, even though I have always been fast in practice. We had some good tests with the CRT bike here in the winter and our objective this weekend is to be the first of the new bikes home. I was lacking a little confidence in Qatar, mainly because of the characteristics of the track, but it should be a different scenario at Jerez. I even think we could be very close to some of the factory MotoGP guys and the new Bridgestone front will definitely help us. If it rains I won’t be bothered because our bike is easy on the wet tyres”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am very motivated for this weekend. I left Qatar feeling disappointed that we’d been unable to make progress all weekend and didn’t achieve anything in the race. Bridgestone have the new ‘tyre 21’ for us here, which should solve our chattering problem completely. We were faster than our rivals at Jerez during the IRTA tests so we’ll be looking to confirm that this weekend”.
JAMES ELLISON (PBM Racing): “I made the trip to Jerez a little early so I could get out on my bicycle in the Spanish hills around Madrid and also catch up with my wife’s Spanish side of the family, it’s been really good to see them and also great to get out on my bike without being soaked to the bone! It was a tough weekend mentally in Qatar as I didn’t gel with the bike as much as I was hoping until the race and I made two big mistakes which cost us 10 seconds in total. Without those mistakes the result would have been far more promising so I have taken the positives out of it and will work really hard again at Jerez to try to carry on with the improvements we made in Qatar”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús