Bel-Ray Racing Weekend PreviewFriday, July 13, 2012 | 7:30 PM
Racing action continues this weekend for Bel-Ray’s teams and professional racers. This upcoming weekend will feature racing in Italy, Latvia and the United States in both on and off road competition.
MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Following their appearance at the Sachsenring in Germany just a week ago, the MotoGP tour continues their series this weekend in Italy for the Gran Premio d’ Italia TIM. Held at the famous Mugello circuit in the beautiful Tuscany countryside north east of Florence, Mugello is challenging circuit for the racers and is known as one of the most modern and scenic stops on the tour.
The battle for the top CRT spot in the 2012 Moto GP World Championship series is between Power Electronics Aspar teammates Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro. With just a point separating the two talented racers, this weekend in Mugello, the battle continues. The early season advantage went to the Spaniard, Espargaro, but Frenchman, De Puniet, has experienced resurgence lately and is currently the top CRT racer.
Both racers look forward to continuing the battle and spoke about it earlier this week as they prepared for the event.
"I go to Mugello with a lot of confidence after two great results in the last two races. Mugello is one of my favorite circuits. It is fast and has a lot of elevation changes and fast corners. You have to ride well to set fast lap times there and I always enjoy it. Our objective are the same here as anywhere else. To be the best CRT and to continue our positive progression over the last few races,” said De Puniet.
Espargaro added; “Having so many races so close together is draining but now we go to Italy and we are ready for it. It promises to be a tough race out there because of the heat but I like the circuit and we have an extra day there on Monday for testing so it will be an important weekend. After that we get to rest a little before heading to the USA. The circuit is technical and demanding, one of the longest in the championship and in my opinion one of the most challenging. We'll be working hard from Friday morning to find a good set-up, which is fundamental to a quick lap time at Mugello."
Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar racer Toni Elias comes to Mugello looking to put his disappointing finish in Germany behind him. As one of his favorite circuits, his familiarity with Mugello should propel him to the front of the field. Teammate Nico Terol also enjoys the Mugello facility and was the winner last year in the 125cc class at the Italian circuit.
Both racers spoke about their fondness for the track and the upcoming weekend. "I am looking forward to arriving at Mugello and getting back to work. I want a good result more than anything else in the world right now,” said Elias. He continued by saying, “I have great memories of Mugello, I have always been fast there and I have enjoyed some good results in the past. It is one of the most spectacular circuits on the calendar but it is also very demanding.”
Terol added "I love Mugello, I've always gone well there and I can't wait to try this bike there. We found a good pace at Sachsenring so I hope we can carry that through to this weekend. Mugello is a very technical circuit with a lot of linked corners that require a smooth riding style. It suits me well but our feet are firmly on the ground because we know we have a lot of work ahead of us. I won there on my return from injury in 125cc last year so that will provide an extra source of motivation."
Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar racer Hector Faubel raced to a stunning 7th place finish last weekend in Germany. The race began with Faubel on pit lane and his charge through the field from the back of the pack was a confirmation of his racing prowess. Teammate Alberto Moncayo’s German Grand Prix ended with a bike issue but he optimistically looked forward to this weekend in Italy.
Moncayo spoke about Mugello and the upcoming race. “We had a setback with the engine so our first job at Mugello will be to try and fix it. We have been out of the points at the last two races so the goal is to make up for that as much as possible this weekend. I like Mugello a lot but I know how important it is to have the bike working well there. We took a big step forward with the chassis two races ago and I feel very secure with the bike in corner entry, so now we have to get the engine right so that we don't have the same problem as Sachsenring."
Faubel is looking forward to Mugello for a podium appearance. "I adore Mugello; it has always been a good track for me. We have found a good balance, the chassis feels good and handles well and the engine is improving. Even so we have to keep working. We are on the right lines but we have to turn our efforts into podiums and I am sure that will happen soon. Hopefully we can get to the end in the lead group because the slipstreams will be decisive at this race."
The World Grand Prix Motocross Championship series continues this weekend at the Kegums circuit in Latvia for round 10 of the 16 round championship series.
Following the previous round in Sweden Bel-Ray backed Team CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit racer Christophe Pourcel closed on his quest for his World Championship goal. Just 12 point from the top step of the podium, Christophe sits in third place in the overall seasons standing. Consistent top results will be needed, as the series continues, if Christophe hopes to obtain the number one plate. Teammate Sebastein Pourcel raced to the best finish of the 2012 season just 2 weeks ago in Sweden. His 3-6 moto scores were good for 4th overall and a positive feeling coming into the rest of the season.
With podium finishes in all but one moto this season, Bel-Ray backed Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit racer Tommy Searle has been the man to beat in 2012. Unfortunately that one moto result has caused him to struggle to obtain the red plate as the championship point’s leader. Now, just 16 points off the top step of the podium in second place, Searle has closed ground in his quest for world championship glory. Teammate Joel Roelants has experienced some difficulty following a large crash earlier this season but has been performing very well and is currently 4th place in the overall season’s points standing.
AMA National Motocross
The 2012 AMA National Motocross series continues this weekend at Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville, Minnesota. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80’s all day Saturday, quite a difference from the 100+ degree temperatures that occurred at the last round in Michigan just a week ago. Bel-Ray supported teams and Elite racers are scheduled to compete in both the 450 and 250 classes with L&Mc Racing’s Andrew Short leading the way in the 450 class while the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki team of Hunter Hewitt, Blake Wharton and Jason Anderson are the riders to watch in the 250 class. Joining Short in the 450 class are Elite racers Derek Anderson, Tucker Saye, Dakota Kessler and Ronnie Stewart while the Reed and Reese racing team of Lowell Spangler and AJ Catanzaro and Elite racers Steve Roman and Tyler Wozney compete in the 250 class alongside the Rockstar racers.
You can watch the racing action live on www.allisports.com Saturday afternoon.
The 2012 ATV MX Championship series continues this weekend at the Can Am Northeastern ATV National. The race will be held at the famous Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin NY, the site of some of the most exciting races in the sports history. Bel-Ray backed Baldwin Motorsports rider Josh Upperman comes to Unadilla fourth in the points standings after a 4-3, 3rd place overall finish in the previous round at Sunday Creek. Upperman hasn’t finished out of the top 5 at any race this season and his consistent excellent starts put him at the front of the highly competitive class each moto. Upperman looks to improve this weekend and is eying the top step of the podium.
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Check out MY LIFE IN MOTORCYCLE RACINGin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.