Lorenzo seeks Aragon break to consolidate lead
ALCANIZ, Spain - Agence France-Presse
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo seeks his seventh win in the MotoGP season when he is racing in his country. Lorenzo leads the season standings with 270 points, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, second and third respectively.World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo will hope to bury his winning woes on the Aragon MotoGP track and consolidate his lead ahead of Spanish compatriot Dani Pedrosa.
In his penultimate home race of the year, Yamaha rider Lorenzo sits on 270 points, 38 clear of Pedrosa, after a convincing victory in last weekend’s San Marino MotoGP in Misano.
But a win has so far eluded Lorenzo in Aragon, having secured a third place podium finish in 2011 and just missed the podium by less than a tenth of a second in 2010.
“Aragon has not been the strongest track for us in the last two years, but I think we have found something in recent testing which will help us to be more competitive here,” said Lorenzo.
“We will try to make a good show for all the Spanish fans who come to see us and we will try to win.”
At just over five kilometers in length, Aragon was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and features a back straight almost one kilometer in length and a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves - 17 in total.
Pedrosa said there was still everything to race for, with just four races to come after the outing at MotorLand Aragon on Sept. 30: in Japan, Malaysia, Australia and the season-ender in Valencia, Spain.
“All races are important and so far we have tried to fight to the fullest,” the Honda rider told motogp.com.
“This is another important race, and we’ll try to carry on as before, riding well. Aragon is a nice track, where I hope to have many fans to encourage us.”
Pedrosa added that it was still too early to say whether Australian teammate Casey Stoner, returning from injury and third in the overall standings, could be of any help in his title challenge.
“We will have to see in what condition he comes back, how he is physically and what his pace is,” he said of Stoner, whose place will be taken by substitute rider Jonathan Rea.
“Now, it is difficult to know whether or not it can be a help, but he is certainly a rider who wants to win races.”
Aragon has been a successful venue for Honda in the past, with both Stoner and Pedrosa topping the podium in 2010 and 2011, two victories for the Australian rider and two second-places for the Spaniard.
“The bike is working well and I’m feeling good; we go there with the same determination as always and motivated to continue riding well and have another good race,” said Pedrosa.
Italian Valentino Rossi, fresh from a second placed finish in Misano, is sitting in sixth overall, but the Ducati rider has faith in his new Desmosedici chassis despite Aragon being one of only two current tracks on the calendar where he has not finished on the podium, the other being Silverstone.
“We come to Aragon with a positive outlook after the Misano result, even if we also know that every race has its own story,” said Rossi, the former nine-time MotoGP champion.
“It will be our first chance to check if the progress we’ve made will also be confirmed at this track, which is very different from Misano.
“It’s fast and challenging, and managing the tyres at lean angle is very important. Concerning that, during the test after the last race, we tried a swingarm that I liked as it provides a bit more grip with the bike leaned over and stresses the tires less.
“Anyway, we’ll see. It will be a chance to understand if we’ve really improved.”