Fresh from the recent successful tests in Aragon, the Yamaha World Superbike Team head west for the next stop on the 2011 World Superbike calendar which will take place in Miller Motorsports Park (MMP), on Memorial Day, Monday 30th May . Situated just 35 miles from Salt Lake City in Utah and 1,340 metres in altitude, MMP is set amidst a picturesque backdrop offering unique sightlines for spectators.
The track was originally conceived by Larry H. Miller as a personal playground and novelty track but due to the popularity of motorcycles in the area it soon developed into a project which would become renowned as the finest facility of its type in North American, hosting the most significant production model racing series in the World. The track first opened in 2006 and welcomed the World Superbikes in June 2008. As a contrast to the historic circuit in Monza, MMP is a new, modern road layout with four separate internal courses but it is equally challenging and technically demanding. The World Superbike Championship is held on the 3.06 mile outer course, one of the fastest track layouts in North America. The circuit is practically flat, incorporating several significant elevation changes adding character and challenge.
The Yamaha YZF R1 has not disappointed on the American track in previous years. 2009 saw Ben Spies take a double win on the road to the championship title and in 2010 Cal Crutchlow also gained a place on the podium.
Marco Melandri heads to Miller Motorsports Park for the first time, after proving yet again in Monza that unfamiliar track layouts are no obstacle. The Italian is currently sitting second in the championship standings and is determined to close the 27 point gap in this coming Monday's races. Eugene Laverty jumped up the classification to fifth place after his sensational double victory in Monza. Further motivated by his recent winning streak, Laverty goes West with intention of closing the gap and continuing to prove to be a strong contender for a top position in the 2011 championship.
Yamaha World Superbike Team
"It's another completely new track for me but I've heard plenty positive comments so I'm eager to go there and experience it for myself. On the down side, I know it's one of Checa's best tracks! I intend trying to close the gap between us in the standings but that won't be easy in Miller. I'm pretty sure we will be very competitive, obtain good results and enjoy the weekend in Salt Lake City."
Yamaha World Superbike Team
"I am really looking forward to the weekend at Miller Motorsports Park especially after my double win in Monza. It's probably one of the tracks where I have performed best in the past so it should be an ideal place to pick up where I left off in the last race, just less than 3 weeks ago! I have always been immediately quite fast in Miller on the supersport bike and hopefully I will be again this year on my R1. The bike is working very well, so I'm feeling pretty confident that I can have a good weekend."
Miller technically speaking according to Silvano Galbusera
Marco Melandri's Crew Chief
"Miller is situated approximately 1,350 metres above sea level and as a consequence the engine loses between 10 and 12% of its power. It is a completely new track for Marco, as was Monza but it's more difficult to learn. Saturday will be very important for Marco to get acquainted with what the track has to offer. We are currently working to improve the chassis set-up in order to provide better stability for the bike on exiting corners. We know it's one of Checa's favorite tracks. We'll do our best to reduce the gap, keeping in mind also that this is where Biaggi got a double win in 2010."
Miller technically speaking according to Frankie Carchedi
Eugene Laverty's Crew Chief
"Miller is a track which has different characters; the first part is fast and flowing and the second more twisty and technical. It is very important to maintain edge grip for the duration of the race. The past years races show that consistent lap times are rewarded come the end of the race. We will start one bike with the same set-up as Monza race and Aragon test which has been our base set up this year. With the second bike we will try a different front end set-up to gain more contact in change of direction. Our target is to keep the momentum we have gained in the last few races and gain further valuable points in the championship."
Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"This is a very important race for us but it won't be easy. We want to reduce the 27 point gap between Marco and Checa in the lead and Eugene's 60 point gap, on a track where we know the Spaniard has been flawless in the past. The data we have picked up at the recent tests in Aragon will be fundamental in resolving the problems Marco encountered in Monza, so he can simply concentrate on getting to know the track. For Eugene the target will be to continue on the trend of positive results he has begun this year. We are off to the States confident to put on an impressive display for the American fans and especially also for our partner MONSTER ENERGY at their "home" race."
2011 World Superbike United States
Salt Lake City 24/05/2011
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Carlos Checa, 5/31/2010)
Last Years Winner: