JORGE LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing): “We start the Asiatic tour leading the championship and in a good shape after the Aragón race. For sure it’s going to be difficult because our competitors at this moment of the season are very strong but we have to play our cards in the best possible way. Motegi is a track that I like, I won here in 2009 and I think we can fight for the win again this weekend”.
BEN SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m looking forward to the weekend. We had some bad luck last year on the first lap when Valentino crashed but we had really good pace. We’ve had a couple of decent results running up to this weekend so hopefully we can put together a good result for Yamaha here at their home race”.
DANI PEDROSA (Repsol Honda): “Motegi is a race I always look forward to. It’s the most important weekend for Honda and I really enjoy the circuit. We have now the most demanding period of races ahead, but we will keep taking things step by step, thinking race by race. I love Motegi, it’s a track with strong braking and strong acceleration. You must work very hard for the anti-wheelie, handling with the throttle, braking stability and good drive out of the corners. We had a good race there last year and we will work hard with the team to be as competitive as possible”.
CASEY STONER (Repsol Honda): “It’s going to be great to see all my team and get back on my bike in Motegi this weekend. The last six weeks have been pretty tough for me, I’ve had to sit around and rest my ankle, get some physio and try to occupy my time – thankfully I’ve had Ally around to keep me occupied. I’ve been watching the races at home, I felt bad for Dani in Misano, but these things can happen – as they did for Jorge in Assen. The Motegi circuit is very stop-start with a lot of hard braking and accelerating; it’s pretty tough on the body and physically quite demanding. The first session on Friday will be crucial to see how my ankle feels in the boot and the degree of movement I have and pressure I can apply”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “This track is good for my style and it will be really interesting to see how it will be with Yamaha. For sure Dani is really fast at the moment and especially at this track, but my goal is to try to be in the middle of the battle of Dani, Lorenzo and maybe Casey, I don’t know how fast he can be with his injury. I’m really confident and we have to start to be able to see our level”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “Here will be crucial for me because there is one area where I am still struggling and that is in the braking and this track is all about braking. That will make it a difficult weekend but in a way it will give us the chance to work on it and improve in that area. It looks like we are going to get a dry weekend, so each night we will be able to look over the data and see what improvements we are making. I know what I have to do because the set-up I like on the bike doesn’t help my braking situation. But I am expecting a difficult weekend. I like to enter the corner fast and release the brakes but we have to gain a little bit on the initial braking. So we will change the bike to help the initial braking and slow up a little bit on corner entry. The problem is that Lorenzo is able to do both on a set-up that is similar to mine, but that is down to his experience as well. Dovi is very good on the initial part of braking, so if he gets in front of you it is very hard to get back by him. I know corner entry, mid-corner and exit I am as good as anyone but 100% Yamaha is going to struggle here with acceleration and power. I won’t be expecting any miracles but it will be tough to beat Honda round here”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (Ducati Team): “I like Motegi a lot. It’s a nice track with good grip, and I have a positive memory of last year. We steadily improved the bike’s setup over the course of the weekend, and I think I could have had a good race if I hadn’t crashed on the first lap. At the moment, we’re still missing a couple of tenths with our pace to think of the podium, but at the last two races, we were still able to ride at a good, constant rhythm until the end, which is positive. At Motegi we’ll try to continue working in this direction and to take advantage of the Ducati’s potential, which is usually very high at this track”.
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Team): “Japan has a lot of passionate fans, and it’s a place where motorcycle racing has a rich tradition, which is nice even though I wouldn’t say Motegi has been one of my favourite or best tracks. It’s the first race of three in a row, and it’s really important. I thought I had escaped unscathed from the crash at Aragón, but unfortunately it looks like I picked up another injury. When I got home, my right hand was bothering me a bit, so I went for an X-ray and CT scan, and it turns out I have a fracture in my right radius. It’s definitely not the best situation, but as it’s not too painful and I have pretty good grip strength, I’m hopeful that it won’t cause too many problems this weekend. Racing’s full of ups and downs. We’ll try to ride this one out and hopefully get a decent result in Japan to get a little momentum going and get some confidence back”.
STEFAN BRADL (LCR Honda): “Motegi is one of my favorite race tracks and this GP it’s even more special to me because I am a Honda MotoGP racer. I like the warmth of Japanese fans and will do my best to get a good result for my team and the Honda fans. I already cancelled the bad memory of last race in Aragon. We have the potential to fight for a podium finish and now we must stay very concentrated”.
ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Aragon was something of a difficult weekend thanks largely to the mixed weather. We were never able to work as we wanted to during practice with the new material that Showa brought for us. In qualifying I struggled for feeling on the front, the bike was moving around a lot on the rear and we were unable to solve our problems in time for the race. I would have liked to have been fighting for a similar result to Misano but the bike wasn’t in the right shape. I managed to make up positions in the race and improve my pace from practice but no more than that so we have to focus on the positives, which were championship points and important data for Motegi, where will again work hard to fix our set-up problems with the bike. If everything works as we hope then we should be competitive. We have to work a lot on the bike under braking because this is the most important factor at this circuit. Starting off the flyaway triple-header on the right foot will be fundamental, plus we are racing at Honda’s home circuit and I would like to offer them a good result as a way of thanking them for all their support throughout the season. I have been competitive at Motegi in the past so I hope to repeat that this weekend. Motegi is a circuit where you need a bike that is stable on the brakes and has good traction in corner exit. It should be well suited to our bike, which has great acceleration”.
MICHELE PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Unfortunately the conditions at Aragon were a disaster and ruined the work we had planned after a fantastic weekend at Misano. It really wasn’t easy to try and find a set-up for the bike but in the end we managed to finish the race and pick up an important point which gives us all renewed belief in the project. It promises to be an important finale to the season and we need to try and close the gap down to the top CRTs. At Motegi we’ll try to take another step closer. It’s a technical track and even though it is not one of my favourites I will try my maximum alongside the guys in the team to fight to be the best CRT and come away with a good result”.
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ (Pramac Racing): “In Aragon I had an unsatisfactory weekend and unfortunately I had also missed out the last four races because of my injury. This run of three races will be tough for everyone, but I will be working hard as ever, looking for re-acquaint myself with the bike and hoping for some good results. As always our target will be the top ten and catch as many points we can take without risking too much. We will do our best and see what happens!”
RANDY DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “You could say that Motegi isn’t one of the most interesting circuits on the calendar as far as I am concerned. There are too many braking zones and I don’t enjoy riding there really although the flip side of that is that it has always been good to me in terms of results and performances. It will be an important Grand Prix for us anyway. There are just four remaining this season and the fight with Aleix is going to be very tight, so we have to remain competitive over the next three weekends and at Valencia. Hopefully the weather is good to us because normally in Japan it tends to rain a lot in October. Whatever the conditions we have to give our best to bring home as many points as possible from each of the remaining four rounds”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ (Power Electronics Aspar Team): “Now we go to Japan and we have three races in a very short space of time. To be honest I don’t like spending so much time away from home but the good thing is that we’re going to race at some of my favourite circuits, especially Sepang and Phillip Island. We will have to work hard at Motegi this weekend if we want to leave there with a good result. It is a circuit with a lot of hard braking and that should suit us because it is probably our strong point. We are highly motivated after an excellent weekend at Aragón and the objective will be to finish ahead of Randy again and make up the points he took from us at Misano a couple of races ago. Every race has to be like that now if we want to get to Valencia fighting to finish the season as the top CRT rider”.
COLIN EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “We have made several improvements in the last few races, lets hope they come in handy and allow us to find the right setup of the bike to be able to be with the top CRTs”.
YONNY HERNÁNDEZ (Avintia Blusens): “I am happy with the latest result and I want to repeat it. I finished third in the CRTs again at Motorland and I scored points. That’s the least I want to achieve in Japan but honestly my true objective is to win. It is not an easy track and we’ll have to wait until we see how the motorbike is going but if we have enough time to find out the right setting-up, then nothing should be dismissed”.
IVÁN SILVA (Avintia Blusens): “As you can imagine I am very pleased to get back to MotoGP with the team. I am not familiar with this track, Motegi, but I am excited after the race in the European championship. I felt competitive again in Albacete, in the European Superstock 1000 Championship. I enjoyed myself and I was very close to become champion again. This has given me strength and even if I have to prioritise work I can assure you that the remainder of the season will be totally different from what has been seen so far”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús