Inside MotoGP

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MotoGP Race Preview and Predictions: Jerez

May 1st, 2009

Here I look at the prospects of each rider for this weekends race in Jerez. I have them listed in the order I think they will place. There are quite a few riders who have the potential to be on the podium this week and many of them have a lot to prove. Some want to win their first race of the season, some want to do well in front of a home crowd and some want to improve on last week’s disappointing results.

Valentino Rossi - He has yet to win a race this season and will be really motivated to do so. His free practice times on Friday are showing that he can do it.

Casey Stoner – Casey’s brake problems cost him the race last week. He has slipped to third in the overall rankings and will be looking to get back on top. He dominated in the winter testing at Jerez, so he will be tough to beat.

Jorge Lorenzo – Not only is this race in Spain, it will be his 22nd birthday on Monday as well. He got the better of Rossi last weekend, but I don’t think he’ll be able to do it again with all the pressure.

Dani Pedrosa – He has had a remarkable comeback from his injuries. This Spaniard will be looking to repeat his podium performance in front of a home crowd.

Loris Capirossi – Capirossi has been performing well at Jerez and is likely to continue. The Suzuki’s haven’t seemed to live up to their potential in actual races yet, but this might be the race to show that bike can get some serious championship points this year.

Colin Edwards – He had an incorrect wet race electronics set-up in Motegi which slowed him down a lot, but other than that he has been performing well this season. He’ll be out to get a podium after being very frustrated last week.

Andrea Dovizioso – With a very consistent year – two 5th place finishes – he could have podium potential this year, but has yet to show that something extra that will get him there.

Mika Kallio – Has shown that he can ride the Ducati and put in a great race last week, moving steadily through the field into 8th place. He should be able to keep up these good results and maybe even start to improve them.

Chris Vermeulan – Shifting problems last week dropped him to tenth place in the race. He hopes to do better than the mid-pack results he has had during the season so far.

Marco Melandri – Has been surprisingly good on his ex-Kawasaki. He should be able to place fairly well – for now. As the other bikes improve, his factory-less bike is in danger of slipping down the time sheets.

Nicky Hayden – Bad luck has been following him. He is desperate to show that he can put in some good results on the Ducati, but just hasn’t has the chance to do so. The weather should remain good this weekend in Jerez, allowing Nicky to get in some much needed time on the bike.

James Toseland – He has continually struggled with his Yamaha this season and will probably continue to do so.

Sete Gibernau – The returning Spaniard has not been able to regain his former glory and has not done well on the Ducati. Putting on a good show in front of his home crowd will be a tall order.

Alex de Angelis – Slipping from 6th in Qatar to 13th in Japan was not a good sign. He has some work to do if he wants to get close to the podium.

Randy de Puniet – He has not been terribly impressive this year, but at least he is not falling as much as past seasons. He will probably continue to struggle somewhere in the pack.

Toni Elias – The front tire grip on his Honda has been giving him problems (as evidence by his low-side last week), and he will probably continue to struggle with this.

Yuki Takahashi – Hopefully he will be riding a bit more carefully this week so he won’t take anyone down with him. I don’t expect a lot of improvevment from him yet.

Nicollo Canepa – Has been outclassed in MotoGP. His transition from student to full time rider will take some more time.

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