Just a few days after the British Grand Prix, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, being based in Germo di Lesmo, Italy, looks forward to starting round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, which can be considered their second home race of the season.
Riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are in high spirits as they head to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for Sunday's Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi ended a challenging weekend at the Silverstone Circuit on a high last Sunday, securing a hard-fought third place. He arrives at his home GP fresh from the podium, re-energised by the close racing and more eager than ever to narrow the 50 points gap to the championship leader in the overall standings.
The Doctor can expect a lot of support from the many members of the Valentino Rossi Fan Club that traditionally parade from Rossi's home in Tavullia to the Misano track along a 14km route. The local hero hopes to greet a sea of yellow from atop the rostrum again this weekend. He has stood on the podium in Misano several times, scoring three MotoGP victories, in 2008, 2009 and 2014, a second place in 2012 and a third place in 2010.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo moves on from a challenging British Grand Prix by arriving at one of his most successful circuits on the MotoGP calendar. Until 2015 he secured a place on the podium every year since the track was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2007. He has three wins in the premier class at this circuit, in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and has taken four second-place finishes in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. He also won the 250cc race at the Misano track in 2007.
With a 64 points gap to the championship leader and 14 points between him and his teammate, the Mallorcan is determined to hit the ground running on Friday in the first free practice sessions. He hopes to return to the Misano podium this year to bounce-back from last year's maniacal dash that saw the field come into the pits twice in one race to switch tyres.
The Misano track was constructed in 1972 and is ridden clockwise since a radical renovation was done to meet MotoGP's safety regulations in 2007. During the upgrade a new chicane was added, giving the 4.2 km track its current lay-out of six left and ten right corners and a 530 m longest straight. These improvements not only made the track safer, but also increase the race excitement as the numerous fast corners provide many overtaking possibilities, making the circuit one of the riders' favourites.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"After just four days, we will be back in action again, this time at Misano, which is our second home GP. The team is always looking forward to this race, because they enjoy the great location and the special atmosphere. Vale and Jorge have been very competitive at this track in previous years and we are determined to continue this trend."
Championship: 2nd, 160 points
"Next week at Misano will be the most special weekend of the season, because Misano is "my race", it's my home. Usually we are quite good there, so we hope to be competitive. There will be a great atmosphere: a lot of fans, a lot of people around and also a lot of pressure, so we have to try to give 20% more than the maximum!"
Championship: 3rd, 146 points
"Silverstone was another disappointing race where we could have gotten a good result. We struggled the whole weekend and finally we used a different setting for the race and it worked worse than we expected. However now it's time to forget about what happened in the past and focus on the next Grand Prix in Misano. This is one of my favourite tracks, so let's see if we can turn the tide. Right now the only thing we can do is work even harder and try to get the best result possible. I don't want to think about the championship because it's very difficult."
San Marino contest up next for Espargaro and Lowes
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team duo of Pol Espargaro and Alex Lowes, have set their sights on success at the second pair of back to back races after the summer break, fresh from competing at the tough British Grand Prix last weekend. The 13th round battle at the iconic Misano Adriático circuit, on the east coast of Italy, will see both riders aiming to close the weekend with two respectable results.
Pol Espargaro will look to re-establish himself as the top independent rider in the World Championship standings with a top eight finish this weekend. The Spaniard who suffered a frightening fall on the opening lap at Silverstone was later examined and luckily escaped with no serious injuries. He now determinedly seeks to get back up to speed at the track, where he previously won the Moto2 race as well as ending up on the podium in the intermediate class.
Meanwhile, Alex Lowes fully intends to build on his impressive showing at his MotoGP debut in Silverstone, by clinching another strong result in San Marino, as he stands in for Bradley Smith for the second time. The 25-year-old completed the British Grand Prix in 13th, despite never having ridden the Yamaha YZR-M1 for a full race distance. However, he aims to continue to progress with his learning this weekend and even potentially exceed his previous performance whilst fighting to finish as close as possible to his teammate.
Championship: 9th, 81 points
"Firstly, I have to start by saying that I am lucky to have walked away unhurt after the nasty incident in Silverstone. The weekend in Great Britain was tricky due to the mixed weather conditions, which made the qualifying difficult, and then the race itself, which was cut short before I even began. After the crash, I was checked over by the medical staff, but I'm thankful to say that I didn't pick up any injuries. This means that I will be fine to ride in San Marino, and there I hope my fortune will change and I can have a more positive time as opposed to the past few races. In 2014, I finished in 6th and I also won the Moto2 race in my title-winning year, plus I scored a podium there the season before. Therefore, I definitely have some good memories at the track and I hope to add even more in the next few days. Ducati have been testing in Misano recently, but Yamaha have a strong history there, so I am feeling confident as the bike suits the track."
Championship: 23rd, 3 points
"After getting my first MotoGP race out the way, I feel much calmer and prepared for Misano, as I have a rough idea about what to expect. I really enjoyed the British Grand Prix, and I learnt a huge amount in just a few days, especially during the race on Sunday. Anyway, I believe we are in a better position this weekend, as I have raced in Misano in June and the track is still fresh in my memory, plus I will be able to give the guys some feedback when coming back to the garage, which wasn't really the case at Silverstone. Yet, the plan is to get as many laps as possible under my belt on Friday because I still have not completed my first 100 laps on the YZR-M1. I'm looking forward to the event and I will do my best to try to be as close to Pol as possible. As for Sunday, I am not aiming for a certain position but my main target is to reduce the gap to the winner. Finally, I have to repeat that I am sorry that Brad can't race here because he had an excellent result last year, where he scored second. Therefore, I hope for a positive performance in order to thank the team and Yamaha for giving me this great opportunity."