After a stretch of 6 races in 8 weeks, the MotoGP riders got a short summer break after the Laguna Seca event. Now well rested, the racing action returns at the Czech GP this weekend for the 11th round of the 2011 MotoGP season.
Casey Stoner leads the way for the MotoGP series. Stoner's win at Laguna Seca, his fifth this season, gave him a 20 point lead over 2010 Champion Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner be looking to extend his lead, and his streak of consecutive podiums (he's scored 8 in a row so far), even further this weekend.
"I'm looking forward to going to Brno, it's a circuit I've always enjoyed and I believe with the results we've had in the past years we can expect to have a good race there," Stoner said. "I expect Stoner to be fast there as well, so I'll be watching him."
Lorenzo took the BRNO race win last year and will be looking to do the same in 2011. Lorenzo has finished second to Stoner in the last two races, but the Yamaha rider has been "recharged" during the break, and is ready to reduce the gap at the front.
"After the long break we are going to Brno completely recharged and ready to fight and try to reduce the gap to Casey," Lorenzo said. "This is a track I like and where I won last year. I hope we can start the second half of the season on the podium."
The third and fourth place spots in the overall standings are occupied by Stoner's Repsol Honda teammates, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa. Dovizioso has been extremely consistent this season. The third place rider has scored in the top 6 at ever race this season. But Dovizioso will have to score some race victories if he wants to contend for the title.
"I'm confident that we can be competitive at BRNO," Dovi said. "The Honda machine is working very well and the characteristics of the track suit my riding style too. Casey, Dani and Jorge will be strong rivals, but I'm confident that we will be able to fight with them. We are determined to return on the podium. This is our target."
Dani Pedrosa sits in the fourth place position despite missing three races due to a broken collarbone. Pedrosa hasn't been at 100% since he returned to racing, but that hasn't stopped him from taking a race win. Just a few weeks after his return Pedrosa found the top of the podium in Germany. Now with some more time to rest during the break, Pedrosa is the rider to watch this weekend.
"The truth is that I needed this break," Pedrosa said. "First of all to rest after the last few races that were physically hard for me but also to disconnect a little and to train, to get back my physical strength and be fit again. I'm looking forward to competing again and enjoying the races until the end of the season."
Valentino Rossi sits in the fifth place spot, just two points behind Pedrosa. Rossi has been struggling to find the right setup with his Ducati this year, but the team keeps improving at every race. Rossi hasn't scored a victory yet this season. It is the first time since Rossi's rookie GP season in the 125cc class that he's started a season without a win in the first 10 races. Coincidentally, it was at BRNO where Rossi scored his first victory to break his 10 race losing streak.
"I like the track not only because it's very nice, wide and fast, and I've always gone well there, but also because it's a special place for me since it's where I earned my first pole, my first win and my first world championship," Rossi said. "During both the race weekend and the Monday test, we'll continue concentrating on the bike's setup, with the goal of reducing the gap to the lead group."