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Moto GP news

KUCIAR666

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Bautista visits Motorcycle Live in the UK



Rizla Suzuki?s ?lvaro Bautista made a fleeting visit to the UK this week as he attended the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham.

Bautista was the special guest on Tuesday at the UK?s premier motorcycle show, which is being held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England. During his one-day visit, Bautista visited Suzuki?s stand to sign autographs and chat with fans and staff about life in MotoGP. The Spaniard was then guest of honour at the Riders for Health booth where he announced that he would be joining MotoGP?s official charity for a fund-raising bike ride in Zambia in November 2011, to raise money to save lives in Africa. Bautista will be joined on this unique motorcycle journey by former Suzuki Grand Prix star Randy Mamola, who is a co-founder of the charity.

Bautista spent the day meeting and greeting more fans around the show, before taking part in a fun quiz on the show?s main stage. A ?Question of Bikes? was hosted by BBC TV?s Steve Parrish and Bautista was joined onstage by former Suzuki BSB rider Tommy Hill and British Supersport Champion Sam Lowes. The three went head-to-head in a well-fought battle against WSBK rider Sylvain Guintoli, BSB star Michael Laverty, actor Danny John Jules and speedway legend Barry Briggs, with the game finally ending in a well-deserved draw.

Bautista will next be in action at Sepang in Malaysia in early February for the first test of 2011. The start of the MotoGP season is scheduled for Sunday 20th March at Losail in Qatar.

?lvaro Bautista:


?I really enjoyed the show and it was great to see so many people having a good time in and around motorcycles. The quiz was fun ? even if I didn?t really know what was happening all the time - and it?s always great to meet the fans. It?s been a good opportunity to spend some time having photos taken with the visitors to the show and to do some autograph sessions. It?s a fantastic event with so much to see and do, I?d like to come back as a visitor, but can it be when it?s warmer next time ? I?m not too keen on snow and frost!?

Finlay McAllan - Managing Director of Event organisers, MCI Exhibitions:

?It was another brilliant day for us at Motorcycle Live and to have another one of the biggest names from the racing world come along to add their support was fantastic. ?lvaro was a great sport and a brilliant ambassador for Rizla Suzuki and MotoGP; he certainly entered into the spirit of things and made many new fans in the UK. He seemed to really enjoy the ?Question of Bikes? quiz that we arranged on the show?s main stage and added greatly to overall feel of the event. We are very grateful to him for flying in from Madrid just for us and he is welcome back at any time.?
 

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Rizla Suzuki and Bautista relishing the challenge for 2011

Rizla Suzuki?s ?lvaro Bautista is eager to get back to work and taking on the responsibility of leading the team forward during the forthcoming season.

Bautista will be heading to Sepang in Malaysia for the first test of 2011 in good spirits and is planning to continue with the progress the team made at the Valencia test during the last outing of 2010. Bautista is keen to assess the improvements the Factory has made to the GSV-R in readiness for his assault on this season?s championship and believes that, with all the focus of Suzuki and the team being on him, it will benefit his chances of good results.

Suzuki?s Spanish star had an impressive outing at the 5,548m Sepang circuit last year when he finished in fifth place with possibly his best ride in MotoGP to-date. The Malaysian track has become a regular venue on the test schedule due to it offering a near perfect mix of tight turns, fast sweeping corners and long straights. This, added to the usual good weather, makes it almost perfect for MotoGP testing and this is the reason why two of the three pre-season tests will be held there.

Bautista will take to the track on Tuesday 1st February for the first day of a three-day test, which will see the whole team undertake a thorough and comprehensive test programme to evaluate the GSV-R and begin the process of preparing the machine and rider for the opening race of the season at Qatar in March.

?lvaro Bautista:

?I cannot wait to get back on the bike, because it has been such a long time since I?ve ridden and want to get back to work as soon as possible. I?m looking forward to see what the guys have achieved at the Suzuki factory and what new things we have to test at Sepang. I have had a good holiday and was able to totally relax; now I?m fully re-charged and ready to go. I?ve been in the gym a lot and I?m 100% fit - I also managed to do some good ski training to improve my stamina and fitness. We know this year is going to be very hard work, but I?m not afraid of that and we?re all looking forward to the challenge. The whole team worked so well at Valencia, they were all focussed on the job we have to do and I can only see that getting stronger as we become a solid unit. We are all very motivated and now we need to get on the track and show what we can do ? I?m excited and very positive about 2011.?
 

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MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo confirms he will race with No 1

A triumphant 2010 MotoGP racing season witnessed Yamaha Factory Racing Team rider Jorge Lorenzo charge to World Championship victory with an incredible nine race wins and a record breaking 383 championship points earned. The status of reigning MotoGP World Champion gives the young Mallorcan rider the unique opportunity to change his racing number to No 1 as he defends his title this season. Lorenzo today confirmed his intention to run the coveted No 1 on his Yamaha Factory Racing M1 race bike, revealing a clever design incorporating his JL initials. This will be the first time a Yamaha MotoGP rider has worn the No 1 since Wayne Rainey defended his World Championship title in 1993 for the third consecutive time.

"Today I can reveal my No 1," said Jorge Lorenzo. "I am very proud because you have to work very hard to have the option to wear it. I have been lucky with my design because the No 1 works really well with my JL initials, maybe with different letters it would have been difficult to make it look right, I hope my fans will like it! I won't forget my No 99 this season, it will be there somewhere on my leathers because No 99 is in my heart. It was a difficult choice to change my number but I have earned the right for this unique opportunity to wear it."
 

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YAMAHA ENTERS 50TH YEAR OF ROAD RACING
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIX

2011 witnesses a landmark of World Championship Grand Prix racing for Yamaha, having successfully competed at the highest level for 50 years. From the very first Grand Prix entry in the French GP of 1961 to today, Yamaha has been an icon at the forefront of Grand Prix racing with countless victories delivered the world over to the delight of the many loyal and dedicated fans. Yamaha will commemorate this incredible achievement over the course of this year with a number of actions.

A special 50th Anniversary logo has been created using Yamaha's corporate colours and will be used during the season. The logo will be proudly displayed on the 2011 YZR-M1 fuel tank, on all Yamaha Factory Racing Team uniforms, within the pit garage of riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies and also on the Yamaha Factory Racing trucks.

The World GP 50th Anniversary will also be celebrated online with a special dedicated website - http://www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/race/wgp-50th/ (English); http://www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/profile/sports/race/wgp-50th/ (Japanese) - live from tomorrow, 1st February 2011 (11am JST - 2am GMT). The website features an impressive archive tracking the history of Yamaha's involvement with racing along with detailed historical information. Throughout the season the site will be regularly updated with columns and videos along with exclusive messages and interviews of key people involved in the Yamaha story.

Several exciting events are also planned to bring some of the glorious racing history to life. A special demonstration run for the public and global media at Motegi in Japan will see iconic machines back on track. The legends on the circuit for this special event will include the 1974 YZR-500 (OW20), Yamaha's first 500cc factory bike and the 1978 YZR-500 (OW35K) which delivered three championships at the hands of Kenny Roberts. This event will also be scheduled for Assen to allow European fans to take part in the celebrations and see Yamaha's racing history come alive.

When Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies take their places on the grid to contest the Dutch TT at Assen, their YZR-M1 race bikes will wear a unique Yamaha 50th Anniversary livery design, reflecting Yamaha's legendary GP racing activity.


Message from Hiroyuki Yanagi
President, CEO and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.


"As we enter the 2011 race season, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of our Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix category. These 50 years of continued challenge at the top level of the sport would not have been possible without the support of the fans, our suppliers and sponsors and the race organizers. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to everyone for this.

Yamaha Motor Company began participating in races from the year of our company's founding in 1955. Our history of competition in the World GP began in 1961, when we entered a team with riders Taneharu Noguchi and Fumio Ito in that year's French GP.

In these 50 years of competition, Yamaha has tasted sweet victories as well as bitter defeats, but through it all we have never lost the "spirit of challenge" that we started out with. Those ongoing efforts have brought us countless technological breakthroughs and, equally important, has enabled us to share the Kando* of racing with people all over the world.

We are both grateful and proud that one of the highlights of our history of World GP competition came last season, when Yamaha won the Triple Crown of rider, team and manufacturer titles in the pinnacle MotoGP class for the third consecutive year. This is another achievement that would not have been possible without the support of the fans and everyone involved. At the same time, I believe it stands as proof that our spirit of challenge is as alive today as it was five decades ago.

Although economic conditions and the business environment may be tough at the moment, I promise that we will continue our race efforts as the "Kando Creating Company" we strive to be. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude once again and ask for your ongoing support of Yamaha Motor's corporate activities."

*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feeling of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that people experience when they encounter something of exceptional value.


Message from Shigeto Kitagawa
Senior Manager of Motorsports Development Division, Motorcycle Business Operations, and President of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl


"It is my honour to announce that this year marks the memorable 50th Anniversary of our great challenge for the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, started in 1961.

Since then we have consistently produced many exciting scenes for our global audience and various motorcycles for our customers with excellent cutting edge technology from the racing world.

In this memorable year we are planning to express our gratitude to the people all over the world who supported us with their help and expectation. We will do this through the various events throughout the season.

We will start strongly for the next 50 years remembering our primary mission which is to create fresh emotion, new technologies and potential engineers to contribute for the promised future".
 

KUCIAR666

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MSC FANTASIA WELCOMES PRAMAC RACING TEAM 2011 OFFICIAL PRESENTATION
Amazing location for the official presentation of the Pramac Racing Team 2011.
On board MSC Fantasia, the flagship of MSC Cruises fleet, at the port of Genoa, Paolo Campinoti and his new riders, Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet, unveiled the new Ducati GP11 satellite that will take part in the MotoGP World Championship 2011. The riders of the Pramac Racing Team arrived at the port of Genoa aboard two Ducati (Hypermotard and Monster) branded Pramac, with which they performed at the side of the vessel MSC Fantasia before boarding.
The press conference was also attended by Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Corse, and Federico Maccotta, Lombardy Area Manager of MSC Cruises.
MSC Fantasia, which together with her sister ship MSC Splendida, is the largest ship ever commissioned by a European ship owner. The ship - a masterpiece of Italian style with the perfect mix of high technology, elegance and exclusive services - has a very nice in every detail and is equipped with swimming pools, bars, restaurants, areas for relaxation and fun, a large health club and for those who want luxury and privacy without sacrificing the benefits that offer large cruise ship, the exclusive VIP area MSC Yacht Club.
The tenth season in MotoGP for Pramac has officially started!

Paolo Campinoti - Pramac Racing Team Principal:

"MotoGP for Pramac means adrenaline, passion and fun. For ten years we are part of this world and we aim to stay here for many years. We're still a young and want to grow year after year to improve both in terms of results and in terms of services for our partners. For the season that is about to begin, we focused on top class riders like Loris Capirossi and Randy de Puniet. We are sure that thanks to their talent we will have many opportunities to celebrate at the best our first ten years in MotoGP. We know that fighting with the official teams will be very tough: our minimum goal for this season is to become the first satellite team in the standings. Next year, with the return to 1000cc, will be a new adventure for everyone and we will see what will happen. If this change will bring us to attend events such as the new Moto2 last year, then it will be fun for everyone. Our philosophy of Green Energy Team continues and even become stronger. Next year we will have a completely new hospitality structure with big news: it will, in fact, be powered by solar panels and a wind turbine. Of course all made by Pramac."

Claudio Domenicali - CEO Ducati Corse

"Our relationship with the Pramac Pramac Racing has been very good since the early years. We are very comfortable with Paolo Campinoti and its structure, and we hope to continue this project for many years. The Pramac Racing is indeed a satellite team, but given the relationship we have enjoyed over the years we try to give more and more support to them. Surely we consider the Pramac Racing Team part of our family, some of our best engineers are working within their structure and so it will be in the future. The return to 1000cc will be a great adventure for us and as always we will give it all to ensure that our Ducati, including those in the Pramac Racing Team, will be among the best bikes."

Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing rider

"I spent five seasons with Ducati, to return three years later to its for me like coming back to my family. For me to run with the Pramac Racing Team means the certainty of being able to get good results. I have not reflected a moment when I was asked to return to Ducati. In a few days we will be back on track in better shape for the second session of testing at Sepang. We surely need to improve in some aspects but we were happy after the first winter test. For example, I found some difficulty in braking and the riding during corners, but the simple fact that we have improved our lap times constantly it means that we are on the right direction. Then with Randy on the team will be much easier. Between us there is great harmony. It 's the perfect companion to this adventure in Ducati. My story in MotoGP is not over yet. I think I can give so much more to this category, regardless of the new rules. "

Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing rider

"I am happy with this new adventure in Ducati. I am back 'Italian' again, as in the past I have already ridden an Italian bike. I really enjoyed riding with my Ducati, even if sometimes it is still a bit hard to control, especially when cornering. Last year, despite the bad leg injury, I have achieved good results. Now the most important thing for me is knowing that the leg has not given me any problems and in these first tests I was able to push hard. The goal is certainly to be repeated this season. With my work and my engineers we are confident that this goal is easily attainable. Already in a few days we will face a new test in Sepang and I am sure that we can already improve our results."

Federico Maccotta, MSC Crociere Area Manager (Lombardy)

"The official presentation of the Pramac Racing Team with his new riders and the new Ducati jewel it seemed like a good opportunity to remind all of us the value of teamwork as an ideal method to achieve its objectives. MSC Fantasia, which is recognized by all as one of the most beautiful ships in the world, with its 1,400 crew members who work every day as a team to meet the needs of the 4,000 guests on board is therefore the ideal location for such an event. See the Ducati GP11 Sat and its riders on board of one of our ships is certainly an exciting. From MSC Cruises a big 'good luck' to Loris, Randy and all the Pramac Racing Team."
 

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Rizla Suzuki ready for second Sepang test

Publish Date: Monday, February 21, 2011

?lvaro Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki squad are back in Malaysia for the penultimate pre-season test of 2011 with another comprehensive test schedule ahead of them.

Bautista had an impressive first test of 2011 at the Sepang circuit ? despite missing the final day due to illness. He recorded his fastest ever time around the 5,548m circuit earlier this month and is in a determined mood to continue with the work he has already begun.

The team has another busy workload during the three days which will see Bautista test new and updated chassis parts, as well as significantly revised electronic control strategies. This is a very important test as it will be the last time that Suzuki?s engineers will have significant time following a test to scrutinise the data and make any further changes in readiness for the start of the season. The final test ? at Qatar ? is just a few days before the first race, so Bautista and the team will be looking to get every last bit of track-time and information from these three days as possible.

Suzuki?s MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will also join the Sepang test with his own GSV-R and support crew, and will be concentrating on refining the newly developed strategies as well as confirming the base specification for 2011. He will fly in from Japan having tested at Suzuki?s private test track last Saturday, where he was joined by long-time Suzuki Factory racer and tester Yukio Kagayama for his first feedback on the 2011 GSV-R prototype.

Rizla Suzuki will take to the track on Tuesday 22nd March to continue its countdown for the 2011 MotoGP season, which gets underway next month, with the first scheduled race at Losail in Qatar on Sunday 20th March.

?lvaro Bautista:

?I am eager to get to the test and continue with what I started earlier this month. I tried many new things in the first test, but didn?t finish the whole schedule because I was ill on the last day. I am sure the engineers at the factory will have some more updated parts for me to check out in Sepang, because with even missing the final day we still did lots of laps and I?m sure they?ve put the data to good use. I know after the first test that we can be more competitive and fight for podiums at some races - I feel very positive about 2011. As I am the only rider in the team it?s great feeling to know that a Factory like Suzuki is working just for me! We know the bike works well in hot conditions ? like we have in Malaysia ? but in this test we will be trying lots of components and strategies that should make it work better in other situations.?
 

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Sepang

21.02.2011

2011 YAMAHA FACTORY RACING LAUNCH Q&A


Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing rider:

1. Winning the MotoGP World Championship in 2010 was a fantastic achievement, how did you feel afterwards?

The MotoGP World Championship is the highest title a rider can get, to get it at 23yrs old makes me feel very proud of my team and of myself. We enjoyed some time over the winter break, I would have liked some more free time but I understand that when you become a champion you have responsibilities for your team! I did have time to take a holiday in Bali and relax, so we celebrated and now it's time to start again.

2. Does it feel different to start your racing season as the reigning world champion?

No, I try not to have so much pressure on myself. I always try to improve and work harder every year. If I am prepared things can be good, if I'm not then it's more difficult. Not everything depends on me, racing is difficult and success depends on many things so I try to make sure the rider is as perfect as can be.

3. This year is a very special racing year for Yamaha as it is the 50th Anniversary of MotoGP participation, what does this mean for you to be part of it?

When I first came to Yamaha it was a dream for me at 19 yrs old, the legend of Yamaha was very big. To be one champion in the history of Yamaha champions is good. I am looking forward to being part of this special year.

4. You have a new team mate this season with Ben Spies joining the team, are you enjoying working with a new rider?

Yes, Ben is a friendly guy, he is serious on the track like me but we have no problems between each other and I don't think we will have in the future either. Our situation is very strong as we are two very fast riders. I think the way we are on track and the way we are away from the track are very different. It's good for us to have a great relationship, not just for us but to help Yamaha to develop the bike.

5. You have completed one test now here at Sepang, what is your feeling for the 2011 YZR-M1?
I don't think any rider is ever totally satisfied but I understand it is really difficult to improve a MotoGP bike at this level when it is already so successful. I have confidence in Yamaha and believe we will keep on having a winning bike like the previous years.

6. This year you have chosen to run the number one on your bike, what was your reason to do this?


Whenever I have the opportunity I will put the number one on my bike. When I was in Mallorca racing in the Mallorcan championship I always put the number one on and when I won the world championship in 250cc I put the number one on. Traditionally when a rider becomes champion they earn the right to do it so I will keep doing it whenever I have the chance.

7. Last year you were famous for your unusual race victory celebrations, do you have anything exciting planned for this year?

No plans yet but if I did I couldn't tell you!

8. You will be testing again tomorrow here at Sepang, what is your focus for this test?

I've worked a lot on my physical condition over the last two weeks as I felt quite tired in the last test after so long not riding a MotoGP bike. Now with a better condition and more used to the bike again I'm going to push harder and see what Yamaha has to bring for the test.

9. Do you have a message for Yamaha racing fans?


It's the 50th anniversary of Yamaha in Grand Prix racing so it's a very special year. Finally we have the number one on the bike after 17 years so it's an important year for the whole Yamaha family, I hope you all enjoy this year's races.

10. You've had an opportunity to see the 2011 special Yamaha corporate racing blue livery on your bike now, what are your first impressions?


It's really nice, I'm a big fan of the official colours of Yamaha so I'm very happy with it.

11. What are your predictions for Ben this season?

I think Ben is going to fight for the championship. He is very fast and has already shown he can fight to the front of the pack and was the best satellite rider last year.



Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider:

1. 2010 was an impressive MotoGP debut for you, earning the Rookie of the Year title, how was your first full season in MotoGP?


It was good, I had a lot to learn. It was definitely the most learning and the toughest year I've had in racing, which was to be expected as MotoGP is the elite racing league. I learnt a bunch of new tracks and got to grips with a new team, it was a big learning year! We hit our stride mid-season and kept working on it, scoring a second place, a pole position and a couple of podiums. Securing the factory ride made it a great year.

2. As a result of this success you are now a Yamaha Factory rider this season. How does it feel to join the top team in the championship? Is it a different experience?

A lot of people might look at it and think it's a lot of pressure but for me now the pressure is off. Last year I needed to prove something which I did. Now I'm on the factory team I feel I worked hard last year to get there and deserve it. Now I need to keep giving 100%, I've got a great crew behind me and am riding for a great manufacturer. We should have a great bike this year and I've got a world champion team mate so I've got the best of the best. This is the last step, MotoGP, on a factory bike, the only thing left to do in a rider's career is win a MotoGP race and win a MotoGP championship and that's not impossible.

3. This is now your third year as a Yamaha rider, considering this is the 50th Anniversary of Yamaha's MotoGP racing is it a unique experience to be part of the Yamaha family?


For sure, just to be part of the Yamaha family is a big thing, I've been here for three years now and it's been great. They welcomed me in my first year and I'm proud that I've been able to win the first world superbike title for them. This year moving to the factory team in the same year as the 50th anniversary is huge for me, there's going to be some special things going on during the season and being team mates with the world champion at this time is very cool.

4. How are you finding the 2011 YZR-M1?


It's good. We've had three days on it now to evaluate. We've still got a lot of stuff to work through and test and look at and hopefully some more stuff at Qatar. With 2012 coming and 1000cc rule changes there's not going to be any mind blowing changes to the bike on the grid, but Yamaha have made some improvements for what we needed.

5. It must be a great learning opportunity to share your garage with the reigning world champion?


Absolutely! Jorge is the fastest guy in the world, you can either be intimidated by it or learn from it. I'd like to think there's a lot of things I do like the way I approach my racing and the way I race a motorcycle that I like, but there's things I need to learn that I'd like to learn from Jorge, not just how to go faster on a motorcycle. He's got that pure speed so again there's no one I'd rather be team mates with than the fastest person.

6. You spent a productive year in 2010 learning the new circuits of this championship, what are your goals for this season?


You can't just jump in and say we're going for the championship this year, it's still early and it's only our second season. We finished sixth at the end of 2010; I always want to do better every year I race so I want to finish inside the top five this year. Realistically my aim is to battle for wins and podiums. Usually in a MotoGP race you can see clearly one guy who looks good for the win, and then you can see the podium battle, I want to be in that battle every weekend and I want to win a couple of races. Obviously we want to win the title, that's everybody's goal, but realistically a battle for the podium and aim for top five every race is the target. When there's a win possible we'll go for it and hopefully we'll get a couple of shots at it.

7. You have some old faces and some new faces in the pit-garage this year, following your test two weeks ago, how is the feeling with your crew?

The feeling is really good, the last test was the first time I've worked with everybody on the team, it's my first year with the data engineer who used to be with Valentino obviously knows the bike really well. I've been with my Crew Chief and head mechanic for years so I know them really well. I've worked with some of my mechanics before either in World Superbike championship, wild cards in MotoGP or in AMA. The team director Massimo Meregalli was my team manager in Superbike and helped me win my first world title.

8. What's your game plan for this next test here in Sepang?

During the last test we worked on some key elements, this time we'll be working on the set up, trying to get that fast lap time out of the bike and some more race distance runs to see how the bike behaves after a few laps. We'll mess with the electronics a little bit and see what we can do. The last test was evaluating and choosing parts to use for the year, now we have a base pack and we need to fine tune it to go faster!

9. Do you have a message for Yamaha racing fans?


I think Yamaha is a great team, it's a great year with the anniversary going on so it's going to be spectacular. A lot of people are going to be wanting to watch the racing and be involved.

10. You've had an opportunity to see the 2011 special Yamaha corporate racing blue livery on your bike now, what are your first impressions?

I think it's really good, I love the corporate colours and think it looks very professional. It's pretty loud and very unique and classic. I'm a big fan of the style!

11. What are your predictions for Jorge this season?

I think he's the man to beat for sure. He's the guy that when he puts his helmet on he has one thing on his mind. On the track he's matured and we can all see that. He's got the speed and he's learnt how to harness it. When he needs to turn it up he's able to do that so I predict he's the man to beat, if anyone wants to win the world title they've got to go through him.



Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Srl:

1. How significant is the 50th Anniversary of Yamaha's involvement in Grand Prix racing for the team?

This year will be a very exciting year for us. Yamaha has been involved in racing for so many years, since almost the beginning of the company. It really is something that's in our DNA so to celebrate the 50th Anniversary as the factory team this year is an honour.

2. This will be the third consecutive season start for you as holders of the Triple Crown in MotoGP. Does this give you extra pressure for the championship?


Not really, in racing you have to be realistic; at the start of every season you actually have nothing to lose because everybody starts with zero points. What we've achieved with the hat trick of Triple Crowns is fantastic and it's in the history books already. If we can do it a fourth time that's great, we'll certainly be putting our maxim effort in.


3. Jorge Lorenzo performed fantastically last year, taking the well deserved championship title, what are your hopes for him this season?

We've seen Jorge grow step by step in the three seasons he's ridden for us. In the first he was fourth, the second he was second then he became champion. If he can keep his focus as pure as it was last year, have the same dedication towards the title and if we as a team can provide him with the bike then I think he's in good shape to win the title again.

4. You welcome 2010 rookie of the year Ben Spies this season as you go into a new era for the team, why was he chosen as Jorge's new team mate?


Ben was a natural choice for us, he's entering into his third season with the Yamaha family now. He joined us in World Superbike and that sensational debut year gave Yamaha its first ever WSB title so he showed immediately his potential. We knew before we signed him he had talent, once we saw him close up it was confirmed that he was a very talented rider and very ambitious as well. I think he can have a very strong year and I think he will really benefit from the step into the factory team.

5. There are many new faces in the team with a new crew supporting Spies, how is the feeling in the team for the new season?


It's good! Obviously we had Vale with us for seven years which was an amazing era. Now were stepping into a new time. The whole team has been refreshed and regrouped. We have Maio Meregalli joining us from Word Superbike as Team Director and we have Wilco Zeleenberg staying onboard with us for his second full season so we have a strong management team. Although the Ben Spies side of the team is new many of them have worked with Ben over the years and some have worked with Yamaha last year so it's a re-assembly of Ben's side of the garage. On Jorge's side of the garage there's no change. They say you should never change a winning team so we haven't changed a single thing. I think we're in good shape and I can see the team working more as a single unit this year.

6. After a successful relationship with FIAT you will be starting the 2011 season with no title sponsor, how does this affect the team for the season?


Obviously it's a pity that FIAT is not with us this year as we had four fantastic seasons together, I think they were probably the most successful title sponsor ever in the sport; four seasons, three championships and three Triple Crowns. They have now changed their communications strategy and along with the departure of Valentino we have seen a shift in our focus area towards sponsorship, having been primarily Italian based in the past. We've been talking to several potential sponsors and partners in Asia and in Spain but finally we haven't been able to find anything that will work well for us at present. As a result we will start the season in blue which is quite appropriate as we are celebrating our 50th anniversary so it's fitting we begin in our corporate colours. There's no negative consequence of this situation, it actually gives us freedom to do some extra special things in our 50th year. For the future we would welcome any new partner to get involved with us and we are open to changes.

7. Although Yamaha Factory Racing will not be starting the season with a title sponsor, we do have two new official sponsors joining us this season, would you like to introduce them?


Firstly, before introducing the newcomers, I would like to reconfirm that we will be continuing with our existing important major sponsors which are Petronas, the Malaysian oil and petrochemical company and also Semakin di Depan, which is our Yamaha Indonesia sponsor. In addition to that we have Yamalube and Iveco on board and all our technical sponsors are staying with us.

The two newcomers we have this year are an Italian company called FAAC which is a leader in electronic gates, barriers and security systems and we also have Akrapovic joining us as an exhaust pipe manufacturer, supplier and sponsor. We have many partners that we continue with and we are delighted to welcome some new.
 

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Hopkins and Rizla Suzuki reunited in Qatar

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP welcomed back former rider John Hopkins today as he helped the team with some PR work in Qatar.

Hopkins raced to fourth in the MotoGP World Championship in 2007 for Rizla Suzuki and looked right back at home on the latest version of the Suzuki GSV-R ? despite only lapping at exhibition speeds - as he joined forces with current star ?lvaro Bautista for a full day of filming around the 5,380m Losail circuit.

The Anglo-American star is re-building his career after a wrist injury almost caused his retirement from racing last year. However, pioneering surgery from American specialist Dr. James Chao in San Diego repaired the damage and enabled Hopkins to compete again. Hopkins will be racing in the British Superbike championship this year for the Samsung Crescent Racing team on a Crescent-prepared GSX-R1000, with a clear target to fight for the BSB title.

Rizla Suzuki gets down to some serious work tomorrow when Bautista will be out on the Qatar circuit for the first day of a two-day test, as the team prepares for the first race of the MotoGP season ? also at Qatar ? on Sunday 20th March. Hopkins will make his BSB debut at Brands Hatch in England on Monday 25th April.

John Hopkins:

?It?s really good to have been given this opportunity and it?s just been great to be here! It feels really cool to be back out and riding on a GP bike, even if it was just for filming it was still a lot of fun. I did start to get a decent feeling on the bike and it still feels awesome, even with the minimal amount of laps we were doing. It would be great to race the Suzuki in a MotoGP event, so hopefully I can have some success in BSB and get the chance to go for it in a Grand Prix again sometime in the future. My ultimate goal is to get back to MotoGP, but for now my full focus is on doing the best I can in the British Superbike championship with the Samsung Crescent team. I?ve really enjoyed today and I am very grateful to Rizla Suzuki for giving me the chance to be here - and thanks to ?lvaro for letting me use one of his Rizla bikes.?
 

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Lorenzo and Spies Set for 2011 MotoGP Season Opener at Qatar
This weekend marks the end of a long winter of waiting as the hugely anticipated 2011 MotoGP season bursts into life on the floodlit Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo steps up to the grid to challenge for a second title at the controls of his YZR-M1 with nothing less than victory in his sights. Joining him in the garage and completing Yamaha Factory Racing's line up for this season will be 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Ben Spies.

The 2010 season saw Lorenzo firmly cement his place as one of the Grand Prix elite. The 23 yr old Mallorcan stormed through the 18 round season to take an impressive nine race wins and a premier class record breaking 383 point tally on his way to title victory. The Yamaha Factory rider has started every MotoGP race in his premiership career at Qatar from the front row, taking a pole position in his 2008 MotoGP debut and has always finished on the podium, although a race win has so far eluded him.

Spies, the Texan Factory newcomer, is no stranger to Yamaha having taken the Yamaha Factory Superbike to victory in the 2009 World Superbike Championship. He went on to impress in his debut season in MotoGP in 2010 on the Tech3 Yamaha M1, securing sixth in the championship standings as the highest placed non-factory rider, scoring two podiums and a dazzling pole position start for his home race at Indianapolis in the process. The 2010 season opener at the Losail circuit saw the 25yr old push on from a fourth row grid start position to finish the race in fifth, just 3.9 seconds from the race winner.

The pre-season winter testing has seen both riders perform strongly, posting impressive race pace as they set up their 2011 M1s for what will be the final year of the 800cc MotoGP class. The updated 800cc machines have made advances in grip level, stability and electronics to give Lorenzo and Spies the best possible weapons in their fight for the chequered flag.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider

"The new season is here and I'm very proud to be able to start it with the number one. Our bike has been better and better from the first test but there is still room for improvement. Winning the World Championship last year was a great achievement but everybody starts the same this weekend with no points and the competition is very tough. I have been training very hard over the winter to be ready and I am excited to start."

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider
"It feels really good to be here as part of the Factory Team, we worked really hard last year to get here. I've got a great crew around me, I've worked with most of them before in different teams so it's almost like a reunion! Everything has gone really smoothly in the tests, I have to say I'm more of a racer than a tester so I'm pretty impatient now to get to it and see what we can do."

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
"We are now in the same position as we were here in Qatar last year, starting with zero championship points. Last season Jorge started injured and was recovering from his broken thumb so the pressure was not on him. Now he is World Champion and physically fit but his rivals have been extremely fast during the winter tests, so to me it means again he can start without the pressure from being the favourite!"

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
"This is a very exciting moment for Yamaha Factory Racing, we are starting this season at a special time marking the 50th Anniversary of Yamaha's involvement in Grand Prix racing. We have two very strong riders, the reigning World Champion and the 2010 Rookie of the Year onboard so we have the potential to do very well. I am confident that come Sunday everybody will perform to their best. The competition this year is possibly the highest it has been in MotoGP for some time so it will be a tough season, however our expectations are high. Whilst we prepare for our first race, our thoughts and sympathies are also with those in Japan following the terrible recent tragedy."
 

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DE PUNIET: REMOVED THE SCREW IN HIS LEFT KNEE

Yesterday, the Ducati Pramac rider, Randy De Puniet, was subjected to a surgery to remove the screw from the left knee which was inserted into his broken leg after last year's crash at Sachsenring. The operation was successful, now the Frenchman will be taking some time off before the third race of the MotoGP in Estoril.

"I'm fine -said De Puniet-, though now that the local anesthesia has lost its effect I feel a bit 'of pain. One chapter closes, now without this screw I hope to improve my performance on track. In these days I hope to reach my physical condition in view of race in Estoril".
 

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Yamaha confirm Ben Spies contract extension



08/06/2011
Gerno di Lesmo (Milan, Italy), 8th June 2011 ? Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Ben Spies have signed a one year extension to the current rider agreement that will see Ben Spies continue as a Yamaha Factory Racing rider in 2012.
 

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Cal Crutchlow recovering after successful surgery

Cal Crutchlow has undergone successful surgery on the broken left collarbone he suffered during last weekend's British Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old had a titanium plate and several screws inserted in the shoulder in an operation carried out by specialist surgeon Doctor David Clark at the Royal Derby Hospital. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider broke his left collarbone in five places in a high-speed accident during qualifying for his home race at the Silverstone circuit.

Surgery on the damaged collarbone was delayed while Crutchlow was assessed for a neck injury suffered in the crash. Initial checks at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford showed a suspected non-displacement fract ure of his C2 vertebrae. But CAT scans showed no damage to his neck, and he was immediately transferred to the Royal Derby Hospital for surgery on his left collarbone.

Crutchlow has already started the recovery process with intensive physiotherapy, but it is too early to know whether the 2009 World Supersport Champion will be fit to participate in the Dutch Grand Prix at the historic Assen circuit next weekend.

Further information on Crutchlow's recovery will be made available in the next few days.

Cal Crutchlow:
"The operation on my collarbone was a success and the doctors seems really happy with the outcome. But I am still in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, the break is a lot worse than the one my team-mate Colin Edwards had in Catalunya and I've got different pain and movement levels. And I've spent two days lying on my back with a suspected neck injury, so my shoulder just got swollen. I am not very happy that this happened to me in my home race at Silverstone when things were going really well for the weekend. I don't know if I will ride in Assen. We will have to wait and see, but I'll be trying 100 per cent to be there if I can.?
 

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Hopkins and Rizla Suzuki re-unite


John Hopkins will race for the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team in the Czech Republic round of the MotoGP World Championship at Brno on Sunday 14th August.

Hopkins will make his second appearance of the season for the Rizla Suzuki squad, this time as a team-mate for ?lvaro Bautista rather than as a replacement. Hopkins deputised for the injured Spaniard at Jerez and scored a creditable 10th place at the Spanish Grand Prix, due to Bautista?s inability to ride following the broken femur he suffered in Qatar.

The Anglo-American racer last rode at Brno for Rizla Suzuki in 2007 and recorded his best-ever finish in a MotoGP race by bringing his Suzuki GSV-R home in second place - a result that went some way to seeing Hopkins secure fourth place in the championship that season.

Hopkins is currently in second place in the British Superbike championship onboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000 with the Samsung Crescent Racing team. His next event is at Silverstone in England, when he gets a taste of World Championship motorcycle racing as he competes in the WSB series on Sunday 29th July.

John Hopkins:

?It?s a real thrill to get the opportunity to ride at Brno and I?m really looking forward to it. I?m very pleased that we have been able to achieve it because it is something we have been working on for a long time. To be honest it couldn?t be at a better track for me either, I had my best result in my MotoGP career at that track and I?m really pumped that I am going there again. As far as the Suzuki goes, I think it?s a great bike and the package is a lot better than when I last rode it in 2007. I think that in comparison to what I was able to do in Jerez, I believe I will be able to perform a lot better because back then I hadn?t been on a bike in a competitive environment for six or seven months. I got thrown in at the deep-end in Spain, but this time I will have a lot more race-craft. It?s also a huge benefit for me to be riding alongside ?lvaro instead of riding in-place of him, so that will be really good, not just for me but for the whole team. With the two of us we can help develop the bike and share the extra data to get the best out of the GSV-R. It will be better to be riding with him in the team instead of replacing him, because nobody likes to see a rider injured and having more bikes on the grid is always better for everyone. I really want to thank everyone at Suzuki for giving me this chance and my Samsung Crescent team back in England for letting me take the opportunity to go back to MotoGP ? even if it is just for one ride at the moment!?

Paul Denning ? Team Manager:

?Everyone at Rizla Suzuki is looking forward to welcoming John back into the fold for the Brno Grand Prix. It is a track that the GSV-R has gone well at in the past, a track that John really enjoys and we?ll be doing everything we can to give him a decent platform to get a good result. We also hope that John?s MotoGP experience and data during the weekend will help us find a better solution for both riders and increase our performance overall.?
 

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Bautista?s Laguna Seca ?Hope for Japan? helmet up for auction now

Publish Date: Thursday, September 01, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's ?lvaro Bautista and Troy Lee Designs are showing their on-going support for the relief efforts following the tragic events in Japan earlier this year, by holding an auction for the actual custom painted Shoei helmet worn by ?lvaro Bautista during the USGP race in Laguna Seca.

This beautiful paint-scheme has been created by Troy Lee Designs' Japanese designer Maki Ushiroyama and features all the flags of the fourteen countries on the MotoGP calendar, with pride of place going to the Japanese 'Nisshōki' or 'Hinomaru' ? as it is more commonly known ? on the top of the helmet. The colours of all nations is to represent the global support for Japan following the tragedy in March and an added message in Japanese translates as 'Ganbare Nippon', which literally means 'Cheer up Japan, do your best and don't give up!' This is the actual helmet worn and raced at Laguna by Bautista, and features some road-rash after he low-sided his Suzuki GSV-R while battling for a top-six finish. The helmet is also personally signed by Bautista and Troy Lee.

Click here to follow this auction on eBay and bid on this exclusive helmet, or follow this link to see a cool video from TLD showing the process of producing this fantastic design for Bautista at Laguna Seca.

The bidding for this special helmet began on Thursday 1st September and will run for 10 days, ending Sunday 11th September, with all the proceeds from this one-off auction going directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help the people of that country as they continue to re-build following the tragic events earlier this year. Any other donations received through your country?s Red Cross or Red Crescent Society will be used for Japanese Red Cross relief and early recovery activities, for example, for the purchase of a set of electric household appliances for people moving into purpose-built temporary houses and the provision of specially-equipped beds for elderly people who requires special care. As of 18th August 2011, JPY 40.6 billion (over ?370,000,000) has been donated through National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world
 

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CAPIREX ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Loris Capirossi is saying goodbye to the motorcycling world. The Italian wanted to make the announcement at Misano, the home Grand Prix for the rider from the Bologna area. After 22 years of traveling around the world, the MotoGP veteranwinner of three world championships (two in the 125cc class, one in 250cc)thanked the Pramac Racing Team in during a press conference for having given him the opportunity to race his final season aboard a Ducati Desmosedici.

Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team Rider

Its an important moment in my career, and the decision I made has come about after a lot of reflection. Im happy that after 25 years, of which 22 were in the world championship, Im at a point where I can still have a smile on my lips as I part ways, even if its difficult to think that I wont be riding a bike next year. I must think the many, many people who over the years have followed me, encouraged me, motivated me. That includes Team Pramac, who gave me my final opportunity to race a motorcycle. Im sorry that I havent brought home good results this year, but Im confident for the final part of the championship. Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang are my favorite tracks, and Ive won many races there. It will be difficult to get my hundredth podium, but Ill fight to the end. As for my future, I still dont have clear ideas. The only sure thing is that I wont be a racer anymore. In life, its not easy to make these decisions, especially after so many years. Still, Im sure that my new life will be thrilling, just like the one before it was.
 

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Yamaha Complete Second Successful 1000cc Test in Misano



Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies had their second opportunity to ride the 2012 1000cc YZR-M1 today at the Misano circuit in San Marino. The test followed Lorenzo?s flawless Grand Prix win yesterday, his second Italian victory of the season. The bikes tested were the same as first used in Brno in August, with minor changes to set up and electronics for the tighter, twistier Misano circuit.

Jorge Lorenzo Position : 1st Time: 1'33.7 Laps: 60


?It?s been a little bit more difficult here than Brno, which is a very fast track. Misano is a little bit slower so the difference between the 800 and the 1000 is much smaller. It?s difficult to understand the riding style you must use straight away. We?ve made a lot of progress in a couple of hours and the bike has a lot of potential. I?m very excited about the future. We?ve been working on the electronics to help in the braking area but mainly I?ve been getting used to the riding style of the bike and also adapting the bike to my riding.?

Ben Spies Position : 2nd Time: 1'34.3 Laps: 74


?We rode the same bike as we did in Brno but we changed a bunch of things and started working on a lot of electronics. Misano is a much more physical track; it?s quite tight so there?s a lot of wheelies and rear spinning. It?s fun to ride but very physical compared to the 800. I enjoyed it a lot and we went quite fast on it, getting some pretty good lap times. We?ve got a lot of data now for the engineers to go away and work on the next step for our next test. I think next year is going to be really good and I?m looking forward to racing the thousand!?


Test Times

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'33.7
2. Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 1'34.3
 

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Yamaha Factory Racing confirms full attendance at the Motegi GP running Yamaha's WGP50th Anniversary special livery

Yamaha Factory Racing herewith confirms the attendance of its riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies to compete for round 15 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship at Motegi in Japan on 2nd October.

The Yamaha Factory Racing team will race in Yamaha's WGP50th Anniversary red and white livery for the 4th time this year at the home GP of team owner Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
 

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CAPIROSSI FORCED TO MISS THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
As always during his long career, the Italian champion of the Pramac Racing Team has tried his best, but after several consultations Loris has decided to follow the advice of doctors and will miss the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi, which takes place in ten days, to return in the best condition possible for the last three rounds of both the 2011 MotoGP World Championship and his glorious career.

Loris Capirossi ? Pramac Racing


?I wanted to race in Japan, one of my favorite tracks where I have achieved many good results and much satisfaction, but the doctors were more than clear. After an initial consultation in Monaco, where it was recommended I immediately undergo surgery, which would have meant three months out and the end of my career, I went to Imola to see Dr. Costa. He is used to seeing other riders in these conditions, and I thought he might have other ideas. Unfortunately, he was also quite hard about it, and I was strongly advised not to take part in the Japanese race. My shoulder hurts, and it will take at least two weeks of full rest plus a week of rehabilitation. I regret this very much, but I think this is the best choice for ending my season, and my career, in the best way possible for the last three races in Australia, Malaysia and Valencia.?

Doctor Costa Claudio ? Clinica Mobile

?I saw Loris? fall, which was spectacular and of course very dangerous. He again suffered a dislocation of the right clavicle, which he had already dislocated in the Netherlands Grand Prix. Now if he were to have another similar accident, with the ligaments that have just healed and are therefore no longer totally healthy, it could be dangerous and not worth the risk. Strong pressure would be enough to damage his shoulder even more and thus obligate Loris to surgery and consequently the end of his career. My suggestion is that, although it is difficult, he should take a break and miss the race in Japan in order to keep the shoulder protected for two weeks by immobilizing it. After that, a week of therapy in the water and he can return to the track for the last three races.?
 

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Hopkins and Rizla Suzuki back together at Sepang


John Hopkins will re-join the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team as a wild-card rider in Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday 23rd October.

Hopkins will make a welcome return to the Rizla Suzuki squad for his second wild-card event of the season. His first event was at Brno where he unfortunately crashed and injured his right hand in a practice session. He had shown huge potential during the first day and had finished in 10th place on the time-sheets, but his injury on day two stopped the Anglo-American from showing what he might have achieved after a full weekend on-board the Suzuki GSV-R. Hopkins has already completed a MotoGP race this season, after he deputised for ?lvaro Bautista at Jerez and scored a creditable 10th place at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hopkins is currently leading the British Superbike championship onboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000 with the Samsung Crescent Racing team. The final event of the season will see him compete in a triple-header race weekend at Brands Hatch in England on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October, as he attempts to secure the championship during his debut season.

John Hopkins:

?I am really pumped to get this chance to ride in a MotoGP race with the Rizla Suzuki team. I thought after Brno that I wouldn?t get the opportunity again and was really disappointed that I missed out there due to a silly mistake, so to be heading to Sepang is fantastic. It is one of my favourite tracks and I know it well because we used to test there a lot. My main focus is on the British Championship at the moment, but as soon as that is over I will be in MotoGP mode and putting all my efforts into getting a good result at Sepang and showing that I can perform at the highest level. I really want to get back into MotoGP and this is a great chance to show what I can do.

?Again I need to thank everyone at Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity and my Samsung Crescent team ? I hope that by the time I get back on the MotoGP bike we will have been celebrating something really big at Brands Hatch!?

Paul Denning ? Team Manager:


?We?d intended to give John at least one outing on the Rizla Suzuki Grand Prix bike this year and we?re delighted that he?ll join us in Malaysia to form a two?man team with ?lvaro. Sepang is one of John?s favourite tracks and also one that the GSV-R has performed well at in the past. What happened in Brno ? with John?s injury ? and the way he has worked so hard to come back from it, and challenge for the British Superbike Championship, has only reaffirmed his commitment to success and getting back to the top level. Let?s hope at Sepang we manage to line up at the start of the race with two Rizla Suzukis and that ?lvaro and John can show what they and the team are all capable of producing.?
 

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Tech 3 Yamaha and Andrea Dovizioso reach agreement for 2012
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with Andrea Dovizioso for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.

The 25-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the French-based Tech 3 Team having proven to be one of the fastest and most consistent performers on the grid since his MotoGP debut in 2008.

Five podium finishes, including four second places in 2011, have put Dovizioso in a fantastic third place in the World Championship standings with just three races remaining.

The Italian, who was 125cc World Champion in 2004 and twice runner-up in the 250cc class, will join Cal Crutchlow at Tech 3 for the hugely anticipated first season of the new 1000cc MotoGP era, which kicks off in Qatar on April 15, 2012.

Andrea Dovizioso:

"I'm happy to have reached this agreement with Tech 3 for next year and I want to thank Herv? Poncharal for the opportunity he is giving me. I am excited to become part of Herv?'s squad and to be teamed with Cal. I am sure this new challenge will be exciting, motivating and fun. Now that 2012 is sorted I want to focus on finishing the season in the best possible way."

Herve Poncharal ? Team Manager
:

?I am delighted that a rider of Andrea's stature has decided to commit his future to Tech 3 and Yamaha. He is without doubt one of the fastest riders in the world who has proven on a regular basis that he is capable of challenging for the podium in MotoGP. I am thrilled that he trusts the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team to take his career to the next level and we can look forward to 2012 with high expectations. I am convinced that with Andrea and Cal we have one of the strongest line-ups on the grid in 2012 and both of them will demonstrate the potential of Yamaha's new 1000cc machine.?
 
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