MotoGP Preview: Grand Prix Of Spain

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Share |

American John Hopkins will return to the MotoGP grid for the first time since 2008 this weekend with Rizla Suzuki at the Grand Prix of Spain.

EVENT: Grand Prix of Spain

WHERE: Jerez de la Frontera Circuit, Jerez, Spain. Circuit is 2.748 miles (4.423 km), with 13 turns. Race is 27 laps.

WHEN: Sunday, April 3. It is the second of 18 events this season.

2010 RACE WINNER: Jorge Lorenzo, by .543 of a second over Dani Pedrosa

2010 POLE WINNER: Pedrosa, 1 minute, 39.202 seconds

U.S. TV: MotoGP race, 8-9 a.m. (ET), Sunday, April 3, SPEED (live). Moto2: 1-2 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, April 5, SPEED (delayed). 125cc: Noon-1 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, April 5, SPEED (delayed).

THE AMERICANS: U.S. riders Ben Spies (Longview, Texas, Yamaha Factory Racing), Nicky Hayden (Owensboro, Ky., Ducati Team), Colin Edwards (Houston, Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and John Hopkins (Ramona, Calif., Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Team) will compete in the MotoGP race. Spies is sixth, Edwards eighth and Hayden ninth in the standings after one race. This is Hopkins’ season debut. Kenny Noyes (Borrego Springs, Calif., Avintia-STX) will compete in the Moto2 race. Noyes did not score points in the season-opening race.

FORM BOOK:

Up – Casey Stoner. Stoner opened the 2011 season with a victory in his Repsol Honda Team debut March 20 at the Grand Prix of Qatar, beating defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo by 3.440 seconds.
Up – Jorge Lorenzo. Many expected a Honda whitewash at the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar after the manufacturer led every day of preseason testing and won the pole at Qatar. But Lorenzo opened his championship defense with a spirited ride to second place, showing Yamaha may have the pace to compete with Honda in 2011.
Down – Dani Pedrosa. 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP champion Pedrosa faded from the lead to third at the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar, complaining of having no feeling in his left arm after the race. Pedrosa will undergo surgery after this race to repair compression of an artery under his collarbone.
Down – Alvaro Bautista. Bautista will miss his home Grand Prix this weekend after suffering a broken femur during a practice crash at the Grand Prix of Qatar. This opened the door for the return of American John Hopkins to the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team this weekend. Hopkins will race in MotoGP for the first time since 2008.

FAST FACTS: There will be four Americans on a MotoGP grid for the first time since the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in September 2008, as John Hopkins joins Ben Spies, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden. Hopkins is replacing Alvaro Bautista at Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, as Bautista suffered a broken femur in practice at the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar. Hopkins competed full time in MotoGP from 2002-08, riding a Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki … Casey Stoner’s victory March 20 at Qatar was the first win for Honda there since Sete Gibernau triumphed in 2004 … Stoner has won his debut races with the factory teams for which he has competed. He also won the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar in 2007 for the Ducati Team … Stoner is the first rider to win in the 800cc era of MotoGP (2007-11) on bikes from different manufacturers … When Alvaro Bautista didn’t race at the Grand Prix of Qatar because of his broken femur, it was the first MotoGP race since the Grand Prix of Germany in 1974 without a Suzuki on the starting grid … Seven-time MotoGP World Champion has won six times in the premier class at Jerez ... This is the first of four Grands Prix this season in motorcycle-crazy Spain. The others are June 5 at Barcelona, Sept. 18 at Aragon and Nov. 6 at Valencia.

***

2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets are on sale now.

To buy tickets, visit www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at IMS.

Race Day general admission tickets cost $40, with Friday general admission $10 and Saturday general admission $20. A three-day general admission ticket is $60. A Friday-Saturday general admission ticket is $25.

Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the three days of the event when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

Race Day reserved seat prices will start at $70.