Lorenzo and Rossi braced for tough weekend

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Following their impressive one-two finish in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi now target the maiden MotoGP™ victory in Austin. However, both admit that their rivals are likely to have the upper hand.

Circuit of the Americas becomes the third American venue on the calendar, with Laguna Seca and Indianapolis set to host their respective races in July and August. With 17 of the 18 Grands Prix still to run, Lorenzo carries a five-point championship lead over his Yamaha Factory Racing teammate.

"Qatar was stunning for us," the current title holder states. "A great start to a really competitive season. It’s always crucial to have a good start, but Losail was just the first race of a long season. Now we have to change our mindset; we go to the USA and we visit a completely different track - not just the layout but also for the asphalt, the climate and some different circumstances.

"The Austin track has a very long straight and several corners in first gear where you need good acceleration and traction. We will have to work really hard from the first session to cut away the distance to our competitors. Anyway, I keep my confidence that we can also have a good result there. I want to win at Austin and that’s my mentality, although I know it will be much more complicated."

Lorenzo’s comments refer to last month’s three-day test at the track, in which Repsol Honda Team and Marc Márquez led the way. Rossi echoes his teammate’s sentiments, confessing that climbing to the top of the rostrum will be difficult.

"Austin will not be an easy race, but for sure, the podium in Qatar is giving us extra motivation," the Italian begins. "We did a great job there and we can go to Austin with some more certainty. Our competitors will be very strong but our goal will be to bring home points. I am confident, I really like the track and my first impression – from when we tested there - was that the circuit is beautiful."

Sunday’s race will consist of 21 laps and begin at 2pm local time (GMT -5).

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