After a three-week break in which the Grand Prix of Japan was rescheduled for October 3rd due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland (“virtually” replaced by the fab and funny TwitGP), the 2010 FIM MotoGP World Championship resumes at Jerez this weekend with the Gran Premio bwin de España.
It is a circuit which has been a favourite of Valentino Rossi who has most recently won there in 2007 and 2009, finishing second in the year in between. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo’s pace at the track is undoubted – he has secured pole position there in his two MotoGP races to date, but is yet to win in the premier class at Jerez. The pair arrive in Spain first and second respectively in the 2010 standings after the opening round in Qatar.
The Gran Premio bwin de España will provide Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner with the opportunity to get his campaign off to a genuine start after he crashed out on lap six when leading at Losail in round one. The Australian finished third at Jerez last season, and a podium will be the only result he will have his eyes this time around on as he looks to make up the early points deficit on Rossi and Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) got his season off to a thrilling start by beating Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) to the final podium spot in Qatar, and the duo will both be looking to at least consolidate if not better their respective results at Jerez.
Displaying his lightning pace off the starting grid in round one was Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and the Spaniard will want to carry that through to race distance at Jerez where he won in 2008 and finished second last year, whilst Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) are still striving to get the most out of their bikes. The veteran Italian won the race in 2006, whilst Edwards finished on the podium in 2007.
Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech3) announced his arrival as a full-time member of the MotoGP grid in style with a fifth-placed finish in Qatar, and the American now heads to a track he does not know. Spies was the highest finisher of the rookies in round one, but Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will all look to capitalise on their experiences of winning in the 250cc or 125cc classes at Jerez.
The Gran Premio bwin de España takes place from April 30th-May 2nd, with the opening practice session in the 125cc class commencing proceedings on Friday April 30th at 12.40pm local time. The 125cc race takes place at 11am local time on Sunday May 2nd, with Moto2 at 12.15pm and MotoGP at 2pm.