The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team starts the tenth MotoGP round with more determination than ever after a four-week abstinence from MotoGP racing. As the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské Republiky at the Automotodrom Brno is rapidly approaching, the team can hardly wait to get the show back on the road.
Maverick Viñales arrives in the Czech Republic in second place in the championship standings, five points from first, and with a great hunger to reclaim the number one spot.
Feeling refreshed after four weeks of training and spending time with family and friends, the young gun is ready to commence the title challenge in the second half of the championship, starting this weekend. He stood on the Czech podium once before in 2013, having secured second place in the Moto3 race. His best finish on a MotoGP bike in Brno is ninth place.
Teammate Valentino Rossi is also looking forward to stepping aboard his YZR-M1 again this weekend at the hilly circuit of Brno. Currently in fourth place, just ten points behind the championship leader, the Doctor has all to play for at a track where he holds a stunning record.
The nine-time World Champion secured his first ever 125cc win at the Czech Republic track in 1996. This was followed by a 250cc win in 1999, a 500cc victory in 2001 and modern era premier class Brno victories in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009. All combined, he stood on the podium there 14 times, including the two consecutive third places in 2014 and 2015 and a second place last year, making him a tough contender to bet against.
The first motorcycle racing event in Brno took place in 1930, while the first Grand Prix was held there in 1965. Racers would ride 500cc bikes through the villages and western parts of the city on a 13.94km road track, until the new circuit was built during the 1980s. In 1987 the 5.4km Automotodrom track (six left corners, eight right corners) hosted its first FIM Czech Grand Prix, which became popular with both fans and riders thanks to its great atmosphere and location. The natural bowl in which the circuit is situated, offers spectators a perfect view of the action as the second half of the season kicks off.
Championship: 2nd – Points: 124
“I’ve enjoyed the summer break a lot. I spent it with friends and family, but now I can’t wait to be back aboard my Yamaha YZR-M1 again. We have to be focused on the second half of the season as it is going to be crucial if we want to fight for the championship title. There is no room for mistakes. I’ve been training during these weeks to be ready for Brno and Austria, two tracks that I really like and where I think that I can be strong.“
Championship: 4th – Points: 119
“I’ve rested during these holidays. I’ve passed a lot of time with my friends, but I returned to training and preparing myself as soon as possible and I feel good. I trained at the gym and on the bike, but now I want to go back to my M1 and work together with my team. The championship is still wide open and we will have to work hard to be always on the podium. Brno’s is a track I really like, I have a lot of good memories of this circuit and I hope I can make it another nice race this weekend. It will be important to be quick from the first session!”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“It’s great to return from the holidays with recharged batteries and, having been able to rest, we can’t wait to get back out on track. Both the riders kept busy preparing themselves for the championship challenge during the summer break, so we arrive in the Czech Republic in good shape. This will be crucial in this closely contested season, especially with back-to-back races in the next two weeks. There are four riders within ten points at the top of the championship standings, so over the next nine races we have to keep focused and put in a 100% like we always do, starting this weekend. Brno is quite an iconic circuit, that’s loved by both the fans and the riders. The atmosphere there is really nice, so we are eager to get back into the rhythm with renewed energy.“
Fired up Tech3 Duo Ready to Get Back to Business at Czech GP
Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger keenly await the Monster Energy sponsored Czech Grand Prix after the summer break where they hope to continue their superb rookie MotoGP campaigns. Top independent rider Johann Zarco aims to bring his Yamaha home in a notable position with his sights set on sealing another podium to consolidate his 6th position in the championship standings. Whilst Jonas Folger confidently seeks to seal a top tier finish after memorably clinching a 2nd place finish at his home Grand Prix. The action commences at 9:55 on Friday.
Championship: 6th – Points: 84
“The Czech GP is coming and after the summer break, my energy is good. I have a lot of confidence for this track and since the start of my racing career, I’ve been quite fast there. It was a tricky weekend at the Sachsenring, but I learnt a lot, and Jonas’ podium performance has given me a high level of motivation for the next rounds. When I struggled a bit in Germany, he did such a solid job, which means that we have the right bike and team. Overall, the layout of the Brno track is very good for the Yamaha so I will be focused and I hope to achieve strong results on all three days. I will push every time and work for the race where maybe I can get a podium.”
Championship: 7th – Points: 71
“I am really looking forward to getting back on my Yamaha at Brno. It was nice to have a short summer break and recharge the batteries after Sachsenring, and now I aim to go to the Czech Republic and keep the same positive feeling from the last race. I feel confident and I think that the bike can work really well at Brno and together with the improvements that we have made, Im sure that we can have another great weekend. We want to show once again that we are very competitive and that we can stay at the front and be strong at this race.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“After what seems like a long time off for the summer break, everyone is incredibly impatient to get going again. I can tell you that both Johann and Jonas can’t wait to get back on their YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes in the Czech Republic and do what they do best. Of course, the riders have been following the testing of the other teams, especially those that went to Brno, and I’m sure this made them jealous but keen to return to work. It was nice to have some time off to reflect on the incredible first part of the year for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. However, we all thought a lot about how we can perform as well as we did in the opening nine rounds, in the second half of the season. The schedule will be full on for the next few months, with three races in August, two in September and then the super busy month in October with three back-to-back flyaway events. Yet, for now, everyone is excited and ready to return in Brno. Our batteries are fully recharged, physically and mentally, which is also very important and you always eat better when you are hungry and we are really hungry to restart the season! The Czech circuit is special but the weekend will be even more important for us as it’s an event which is sponsored by Monster Energy, our title sponsors. A lot of top Monster Energy staff will be attending the race and I truly hope that we can make some progress with our talks. The feeling is positive on both sides, but we haven’t finalised anything yet so I am looking forward to shaking hands with all the relevant people so that we can finish the year with a comfortable state of mind. Everyone will be glad to be back at the track soon and we all can’t wait for FP1 to start on Friday in the Czech Republic.”