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MotoGP™ is back!

MotoGP™ is back!

The main players in the MotoGP™ title battle attended the Indianapolis GP Press Conference as they returned from their summer break.

Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Bradley Smith, Stefan Bradl and local hero Nicky Hayden all took part in the official Press Conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the MotoGP™ World Championship returns from its summer break.

Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi, who currently heads the standings with 179 points and has never lost a premier class title when he was leading after nine races, was the first to address the world’s media. The Italian has not won at Indianapolis since 2008, and knows he will face a tough task ahead: “It will be very difficult now and all the races will be very difficult with all the riders very, very fast. We are here and will try to be ready, this track is not one of my favourites but last year was a good race and I enjoyed a lot.”

Rossi also addressed Honda’s domination of the last 5 races at the circuit: “Yes usually in the past this track is a bit better for Honda, especially for Marc. Dani has also won in the past and has been very strong here. Marc has won twice in a row and last year we were happy with two M1s on the podium, not too far behind. It’s another season and every weekend is a new story and we have to push hard.”

His teammate Jorge Lorenzo is his main championship rival, trailing Rossi by just 13 points. Lorenzo won at Indianapolis back in 2009 (the last non-Honda winner) and has six podiums finishes to his name in just 7 races at the circuit. The Spaniard thinks the changes made last season to the track make it more suited to his M1: “Last year I think the modifications they made to the track made life easier for Yamaha riders as the track is more flowing and less slow, the chicane flows more and is faster which is better for us.”

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone is still not 100% after his shoulder injury sustained during their test at Mugello in May. The 25-year-old Italian has not finished outside of the top six this year, but feels that he and his team need to make a breakthrough in the second half of the season: “This track is good but not easy. It has a lot of braking points and so it’s not my favourite. I think for the GP15 it’s a good track, with the GP14 it wasn’t so bad and this bike is even better. I will try my best with my team.”

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has won the last 6 MotoGP™ races on US soil, and the last two at Indianapolis from pole. Marquez, who trails Rossi by 65 points, hopes his victory at the Sachsenring will mark a turning point in his season: “Yeah of course 65 points is a lot for the first part of the season, but maybe they can lose in the second part! I know it’s not easy and it’s a big difference but of course we will try to focus like the last two races and try to push at the limit and see what happens.”

The leading Satellite rider, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, is currently sixth in the championship standings and was a part of the Yamaha team that won the Suzuka 8 Hours race during the summer break: “It was a nice way to spend the summer break two weeks in Japan and to bring home the Suzuka 8 hour victory for Yamaha and the new R1.”

Although the British rider admitted he is looking forward to getting back on his M1: “The pleasure will be not having the traffic, 70 riders on track is a lot! Like I’ve said before the R1 and M1 feel very similar so in terms of jumping back on the bike here it shouldn’t be so bad.”

One of the big stories of during the summer break was the news that Stefan Bradl had joined the Factory Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. After being forced to miss his home race at the Sachsenring through injury, the German is raring to go with his new team: “I’m really happy we were able to do this as it was not an easy time for me in the last three weeks. I was still recovering from the scaphoid so I was sitting on the computer a lot, answering emails and waiting for replies. I’m really pleased Aprilia are giving me this chance to finish the season and help develop it.”

Finally, local hero Aspar MotoGP Team’s Nicky Hayden who grew up about 200 miles from the circuit also addressed the media. The ‘Kentucky Kid’ is determined to put on a show for his passionate home fans: “Indy really is a special place with a lot of history. They made a lot of changes, I didn’t get to try them last year but the riders seem to enjoy them a lot. I look forward to trying it tomorrow.”

The biggest laugh came when Jorge Lorenzo was asked if he would lend Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton a go on his Yamaha after it was revealed he would love to test a MotoGP™ bike, to which the double MotoGP™ World Champion simply replied: “Sure, I would lend him my M1…but with rather a large insurance policy!”

The track action kicks off on Friday at 9:00am local time in Indianapolis with Free Practice.

Check out the full schedule for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

MotoGP, 2015, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Andrea Iannone, Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith, Nicky Hayden, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Repsol Honda Team, Aspar MotoGP Team, Ducati Team

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