Of the World Championship at Estoril
After the first two exciting races, the World Championship arrives in Portugal on the Atlantic coast and the circuit of Estoril.
This is a demanding and complicated circuit, with a real mix of corners where the right set-up is
crucial for both rider and bike.
JiR Team Scot rider Andrea Dovizioso has already shown his talent in MotoGP, but now he's looking for some confirmation of this with a good result. In the last two years in the 250cc two-stroke class, Andrea has scored a victory and a second place and obviously he now wants to achieve a good result here in Portugal on the 800cc MotoGP bike.
Yuki Takahashi, following his podium in Jerez, wants to continue battling at the front of the pack and is now fourth in the championship. So far he has been able to show the handling qualities of his Honda RS250RW to the full and he hopes to continue this at Estoril.
Gianluca Montiron Director JiR Team Scot
The beginning of this championship shows how MotoGP is so demanding and we can see this as even from the first free practice session riders have to find the best compromise between chassis, tyres and power delivery of the 800cc engine to go fast and record a good lap time. This all has to be done to obtain the maximum performance during the race, as this is something that can make a real difference especially in the last part of the race. At Jerez, Andrea had to make a comeback from the rear of the pack using his bike at the maximum, asking everything of his whole technical package. MotoGP is very competitive and a good start to the weekend at Estoril in the early practice sessions could be a good indicator of what position we will be in at the chequered flag on Sunday. It has been a very good start so far to the season and even at this early stage of the year we have had the chance to acquire a lot of information, which is important for the next race and the next. In 250s, I'm sure Yuki will show that he's a consistent rider and I'm confident he will do a good job, ride the bike on the very edge all weekend and try to grab another podium like he did last Sunday in Spain!
Cirano Mularoni Team Manager JiR Team Scot
Estoril is a circuit which has been a friend to our riders as they've both had good results there. It's a difficult racetrack, but with many interesting characteristics: hard braking areas, some slow parts to the track as well as the very slow and tricky chicane, which goes up-hill. It's not just a slow circuit though, as you also have a long right-hand corner, which puts tyres under a lot of stress before a short straight, which is no longer than half a kilometre. Andrea is very motivated to do better than in Jerez, which obviously didn't make him happy. Meanwhile Yuki after his podium in Jerez has found the motivation he was looking for after a difficult winter and I'm sure he wants to maintain the positive trend from the start of his championship.
Andrea Dovizioso Rider, JiR Team Scot MotoGP Honda RC212V
In Estoril I've had very good results on both the 125 and 250cc bikes, which is why I feel I can do the same with the MotoGP bike, even though I have never ridden it at the circuit. Obviously though, knowing where to put the front wheel on the racetrack and enjoying it so much still should be an advantage. The track itself is slow in parts but with a very long main straight, which may not be the best thing for my bike, but the tight and slow turns could be to my advantage. Either way, I'm looking for something better than at Jerez! I want some confirmation to show what I've learned after these first two races and I want to be competing and fighting with the best. After Jerez I went back home to London just to relax and not think of racing bikes for a few days. I took some time out with some friends and I worked on my fitness programme, as unfortunately I didn't have a chance to do any motocross which is the way I normally like to keep fit. I will head to Italy before going to Estoril to enjoy a few days with my family. After this I know I will be ready for the third round of the championship.
Yuki Takahashi Rider, JiR Team Scot 250GP Honda RS250RW
The race in Portugal could be another chance to get a good result for us! Basically the layout of the track is a mixed one, with some very different corners and a very long main straight which probably wont be the best thing for my 250cc bike, especially if on the last lap I'm in a battle and it comes down to a race to the start-finish line! Also parts of the track are not in such good condition, as they race cars here, which can make the circuit bumpy and there are also some areas which have been resurfaced. This will be an interesting weekend as this is a circuit that we have not had any testing time on. I have had some problems with front-end grip at Estoril before, but since then I have changed my riding style and I think this problem has now gone. The championship has started very well for us and I want to go on like this for both myself and the whole team.
JiR Team Scot