Watching the 22-year old in action so far this season, his riding style and the smoothness of the YZR-M1 are clearly in perfect harmony and the Spaniard can?t wait to get a taste of the Yamaha?s speed at COTA. He is a big fan of the circuit?s elevated character and has a lot of good memories from this place, where he secured a strong second place in Moto3 in 2013 and won his first Moto2 race in 2014. His best MotoGP finish at the American track was a fourth place, just off the podium, last year.
Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a very strong start to the season and has shown twice that he knows how to come out swinging in the race, regardless of grid position. Together with his teammate, he is the proud owner of a 100% podium finish rate in 2017 and has a plan to keep it that way.
The Doctor aims to find a good balance for his bike early in the race weekend, so he can not only feature at the front but also put a claim on the top step of the rostrum, 13 years after his first win with Yamaha (April 18th, 2004, Welkom, Africa?s Grand Prix). Last year he had a difficult race at COTA, but he will use the experience as extra motivation to show the American fans what he?s got in store, like he did in 2015 when he finished third.
The Circuit of the Americas was constructed in 2012 and appeared on the MotoGP calendar in 2013. The 5.5km-long track is run counter-clockwise, has 20 corners in total (11 left turns and 9 right turns), a longest straight of 1.2km and has a 41m-elevation change. Its tight hairpins, inclines, declines and a fast straight make finding a well-balanced setting vital, but the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is up for the challenge.