Yamaha duo highly impressed by Circuit of the Americas

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will host its first MotoGP™ race next month, but the Yamaha Factory Racing riders enjoyed their first taste of the track on Tuesday. Furthermore, both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were very much taken aback by the venue.

The track – which becomes the third-longest on the calendar after Great Britain’s Silverstone and Malaysia’s Sepang – was completed only last year, wowing motorsport fans the world over with its sweeping curves and dramatic elevation changes.

"I think it’s very important to come here and learn the track," the world champion explained. "I haven’t learnt 100% of it - I need more laps to learn my lines - but for the moment it’s a very beautiful track which is very complete, with every kind of corner.

"At first it was difficult to understand the lines, but I have improved by three seconds since my first lap today; that means it's a hard track to learn and a difficult track to go to the maximum on. I think it helps more than at some other places to have this extra time…three or four practices before the race will not be enough to understand it, so some of the riders who didn’t come here will have a little disadvantage."

With Lorenzo adding that crosswinds caused several issues, he also pointed out that – with only five riders in action this week – it is taking longer than usual to clean the racing line.

"It’s difficult to understand if it’s very grippy or not," he added. "It’s hard to know if it will be much better on the race weekend, or just a little bit."

Rossi was equally awestruck by both the COTA facility and its surroundings.

"I really like the track - my first impression is that it is beautiful," the Italian began. "It’s very flowing with a lot of fast corners and direction changes – it’s fun on the bike! There are three hairpins that are very tight; that’s better for Formula 1 overtaking, but for us they are a bit slow. In general the track is good.

"The city is great and the atmosphere is very good, so I think it is a very good place for a race. It's very important to have this time as the track is so difficult - there are a lot of blind corners where you have to understand where to brake. It’s important for MotoGP to have a third race in America; we have a lot of good riders from the USA, so it’s right to be here."

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