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Yamaha hoping to capitalise at Le Mans

Yamaha hoping to capitalise at Le Mans

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies are prepared to push hard at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, where their team hopes they will see the benefits of positive findings from the Estoril Test.

Jorge Lorenzo heads to Le Mans this weekend for the French round of the 2011 MotoGP Championship in confident mood. Having celebrated his 24th birthday last week the reigning World Champion will be looking to extend his unbroken run of podium finishes so far this year. An impressive race win at Jerez in treacherous racing conditions and two superb second place podium finishes at Qatar and Estoril mean Lorenzo is the current Championship leader with a four-point advantage over fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa. Le Mans has so far delivered great results, Lorenzo winning there the last two years consecutively and not forgetting a victory in 2007 in the 250 class.

Fellow Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies arrives in France determined to break his run of bad luck with two DNFs from the previous two rounds. Spies’ last visit to Le Mans in 2010 was also hit by misfortune, a big high side in the final free practice session seeing the American tackle qualifying and the subsequent race in some pain with a swollen ankle, ultimately resulting in a crash on the seventh lap and a DNF.

Jorge Lorenzo:
"I am coming back to Le Mans, a track I really enjoy and where I won last season. The people in Le Mans love motorbikes, they love the smell of fuel. We are on the top, but we should be focused on getting as many points as possible. Our main goal is the podium, our fourth podium, and to be in front in Montmeló. This track has a lot of chicanes and is funny for me. The weather is always changing, we have to be careful with the forecast, it can change everything."

Ben Spies:
“I’ve had a really relaxing few days off after Estoril back home in Como, Italy. I had a good chance to get out on my bicycle and really work off some of the frustration from the race. Having felt so good at the start I really believed we could have delivered some strong results in Portugal. Anyway, we all move on together and as a team we’re coming to France determined to make up for it and really kick off our 2011 season again.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager:
“We had a fantastic test in Estoril, everybody was surprised with the good weather so we had the opportunity to try many things. We’re looking forward to Le Mans; Jorge has always been good there. Hopefully we’ve found our way back from the test to an improved setting so Jorge can go back to his old riding style of fast corner entry which he was missing a little for the first three races. We’ve given that back to him so were confident he can perform well in France and for the rest of the season. Le Mans is a Yamaha track, it works well for us so it’s also a great place for Ben to come back and aim for the podium.”

Massimo Meregalli, Team Director:
“We left Estoril with some good points from the test and some valuable information. We are going to Le Mans with good confidence to continue our strong performance. Jorge intends to keep his performance high; he has already proved he is strong at Le Mans. Ben has had a challenging start to the year however we had a really good test at Estoril and we are confident he will kick start his championship attack on Sunday in France.”

MotoGP, 2011, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

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