MotoGP finally resumes action this weekend, after the recent Icelandic Volcano forced the postponement of the Japanese GP. It has been a frustrating time for the paddock as the ash cloud has billowed over Europe and it will be an excited Fiat Yamaha Team that lands in Spain this week, with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo itching to get back to action after their brilliant one-two in the opening round.
Rossi has an impressive record at Jerez, with seven wins in all classes there including three for Yamaha in 2005, 2006 and last year, when he overhauled Dani Pedrosa to take his first win of the season. Despite being on a high from his brilliant win in Qatar, Rossi was perhaps more grateful than most for the volcano’s eruptions as he slightly damaged his shoulder muscles in a motocross training accident ten days ago. The cancelled race has given him unexpected extra time to recover and he hopes to be in good enough shape to put up a fight in Jerez.
The Andalucian city of Jerez is a shrine for Spanish motorcycle racing and draws one of the biggest crowds of the year. More than 120,000 fans make the pilgrimage south and pack into the natural amphitheatre to create a three-day carnival. The track itself has few hard braking points and little opportunity to fully open the throttle, but often throws up some spectacular racing. The 4.423 km layout features regular and quick changes in direction, meaning the rider requires a responsive overall set-up and good grip at maximum lean angles.