Mon 10 August 2015
Double MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has signed up for this year’s Race Of Champions on November 20-21 at the Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the iconic home of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Lorenzo is one of motorcycling’s current superstars, having announced his arrival on the world stage with his two 250cc titles in 2006 and 2007. He has since sealed two MotoGP world titles in 2010 and 2012 in the course of a glittering top flight career for Yamaha. He is also among the leading contenders to repeat the feat this year, after kickstarting his championship challenge with a string of four straight victories.
The Spaniard has already made one Race Of Champions appearance in Bangkok in 2012. That time he partnered ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen to the semi-finals of the ROC Nations Cup for Team All Stars. Now Lorenzo will face a wide range of motor sport’s greatest names when he heads to London in November.
Along with Lorenzo and Kristensen, other drivers already confirmed for ROC 2015 include four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, F1 grand prix winner Daniel Ricciardo, the reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, current ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard and another motorcycling legend in five-time 500cc MotoGP world champion Mick Doohan.
Lorenzo said: “This is an exciting year in MotoGP and I can now look forward to rounding it off by taking on the world’s best drivers at the Race Of Champions. Of course I don’t underestimate the challenge of racing them at their own game but I’m glad to see Mick Doohan in the field too. We’ll both do our best to remind them that bikers can race on four wheels too. I hope the public enjoy it and have fun with all of us. Now all that’s left is for me to work hard over the rest of the MotoGP season to come to London as a triple world champion rather than a double world champion!”
The Race Of Champions is an annual end-of-season contest which has been held for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, MotoGP and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.
The event is run over two days: first comes the ROC Nations Cup (on the evening of Friday November 20) when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. Then on the afternoon of Saturday November 21 it’s time for the Race Of Champions itself, when teamwork goes out of the window and it’s a flat-out battle for individual glory.
ROC president Fredrik Johnsson said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jorge back to the Race Of Champions for a second time. He has been one of the biggest stars of world motorcycling for over a decade now, with a mighty string of victories and titles. Since his arrival in MotoGP he has always been a leading light – and it is no surprise to see him in contention for the world championship again this year.
“But Jorge’s skills do not stop with two wheels, as he showed on his last appearance at ROC in Bangkok. No doubt he and Mick Doohan will be keen to show they can mix it with the best car racers in their own speciality too. What is for sure is that this show is not to be missed. Now we hope to fill out the former Olympic Stadium in November with bike fans cheering on their heroes against some of the world’s best car drivers.”
In recent years ROC has visited the Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium in Beijing (2009), Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena (2010-2011), the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok (2012) and Bushy Park Barbados (2014). Now the contest is returning to its European roots at the iconic home of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The former Olympic Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was the backdrop to some of the most memorable action of London 2012, plus the opening and closing ceremonies. Now it is being transformed into a year-round multi-use venue that will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and community legacy in east London. The works will be paused this autumn for a range of international sporting events – including its fastest ever race as ROC comes to town – before it closes for further refurbishment ahead of its full re-opening in 2016.
Tickets for ROC 2015 in London are now available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/roc. For access to rights-free high-resolution imagery and to keep up with all the latest news ahead of this year’s event please visit www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook plus @raceofchampions and #ROCLondon on Twitter.
Drivers already announced for the 2015 Race Of Champions: