JORGE LORENZO/Fiat Yamaha was fastest in Sunday morning MotoGP warm-up at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. For the most part, it was the usual suspects up in front: Lorenzo, CASEY STONER/Ducati, DANI PEDROSA/Repsol Honda, VALENTINO ROSSI/Fiat Yamaha, MARCO MELANDRI/San Carlos Honda Gresini, BEN SPIES/Monster Yamaha Tech 3, NICKY HAYDEN/Ducati, ANDREA DOVIZIOSO/Repsol Honda, COLIN EDWARDS/Monster Yamaha Tech 3, and LORIS CAPIROSSI/Rizula Suzuki MotoGP.
It was a chilly 57 degrees F/14C with 83 percent humidity. But there were no problems.
Lorenzo, current points leader, has never won at Laguna Seca, and is aiming to extend to ten his current run of consecutive podium finishes.
ALEX CRIVILLE, 1999 Motorcycle World Champion, is the only Spanish rider with more MotoGP wins than Lorenzo or Pedrosa, who have ten each.
Rossi’s sixth place grid spot is his lowest since the last 2008 race.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO/Repsol Honda had his first MotoGP front row grid position in his third year in the top tier series.
WAYNE RAINEY, Motorcycle World Champion 1990-1992, for whom Rainey Curve is named at Mazda Raceway Laguna, also consults with Yamaha. BOB STARR, Yamaha Communications Manager of Yamaha Motorsports Group, said Rainey was more than a consultant. Rainey is part of the family.”
After the Saturday noon Yamaha press conference, Rainey had some interesting things to say, when asked about Yamaha’s support for its riders given the current situation: two riders – one current points leader and going for the Championship, and the other recovering from injuries which interrupted his Championship chase. “Yamaha wants the Championship. Since the accident of Rossi’s (VALENTINO ROSSI-seven time MotoGP champion,) Yamaha has given its support to Jorge (JORGE LORENZO.) Yamaha is going to have a big problem if Rossi wins the next four races.”
Rainey said as a rider, “It’s my job to convince the other rider that I’m Number One” and get the team to treat me as that.
BOB STARR, Communications Manager of Yamaha Motorsport Group, was asked what he thought about the American interest in motorsport. “Interest has never been stronger in motorcycle racing, and that’s why Yamaha supports United States motorcycle racing.”
Does BILL PATTERSON, Official Artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, know something we don’t know?