Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix at Barcelona:
Marquez and Pedrosa head home to Catalunya
This weekend the Repsol Honda Team heads to Spain for the GP of Catalunya, known for the incredible atmosphere and support the home fans give their Spanish riders.
One of the most modern and well-appointed circuits in Europe, Catalunya is located in the hills just 12km north of Barcelona. Its 4.7km long track features a blend of eight right-hand turns and five lefts. Championship leader Marc Marquez – who has won every race this season from pole – has enjoyed podium finishes here in the past four years and will be looking to continue his incredible run so far this season, although he admits the track layout isn’t one of his favourites. He currently lies 1st in the standings with 150 points.
The Montmelò track is a favourite for teammate Dani Pedrosa who has a fantastic record here having won in all classes with a total of nine podiums, and holds the circuit record (1’42.358, the fastest race lap in 2008 on his way to victory). Dani, who is hoping his arm will have healed further after the recent surgery, is 3rd in the Championship standings with 96 points, just one point behind 2nd place Rossi.
After Sunday’s GP, the team will remain at the Montmelò circuit for a one day test on Monday.
Championship Standing: 1st - 150 points
“I really enjoyed the battle in Mugello with Jorge, it was so nice! Now we head home to Montmelò which is a track that I haven’t enjoyed myself at so much in the past but the layout is good and with a year’s experience I hope the situation will be different this year! The fans and of course my fan club all make the journey to come and support us and this gives me extra motivation, so I hope we can put on a good show for them all!”
Previous Results in Catalunya 2013 3rd (MotoGP), 2012 3rd (Moto2), 2011 2nd (Moto2), 2010 1st (125cc), 2009 5th (Moto2), 2008 10th (125cc)
Championship Standing: 3rd - 96 points
“Mugello was more difficult thank I expected and my arm still wasn’t 100%. I had a check-up with Dr. Mir after the race who confirmed everything is healing correctly, so I hope this weekend it will have improved and I can be in the battle at the front. As always, I’m looking forward to going to Montmelò, the track is nice but the atmosphere is amazing! We will have to work hard but I hope that the bike works well there as you spend a lot of time on the edge of the tyre here so a great setup is a huge advantage! Let’s hope the weather is nice and it’s a good weekend!”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP head to Montmelò
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 11th June 2014
After an incredible showdown in Mugello in front of Valentino Rossi’s home crowd, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP now return to Spain for this Sunday’s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to battle in front of Jorge Lorenzo’s local fans.
Both Rossi and Lorenzo will aim to continue their stunning form from Mugello at the Catalunya circuit, a track both riders are fond of.
Rossi brings his current front running pace to a circuit that has seen him record no less than six Grand Prix victories in the premier class.
Teammate Lorenzo has been focusing further on improving his physical condition and maximising the Yamaha YZR-M1’s potential with the aim to make this race in Montmeló his third consecutive Catalunya Grand Prix victory in a row, something only Rossi has achieved.
The Cataluyna circuit is known as one of the most atmospheric races on the calendar, drawing record crowds. The track opened in 1991 and has hosted the Catalunya Moto Grand Prix since 1995. One of the most memorable races witnessed at the track remains the famous battle between Lorenzo and Rossi in 2009.
46 Valentino Rossi
“I am very happy to go to Barcelona, especially after the good weekend at Mugello where we put two Yamaha's on the podium. I really like the Grand Prix of Catalunya. It is a track that I like a lot, it's fantastic! I know that to fight with Jorge and Marc I have to give my best from the first free practice to be very strong on Sunday. I will try to do everything to be in front with them, once again. I am very happy with how we are working on the bike. I know that we can do even better, the team is very motivated and for that I really want to start the weekend in Barcelona!”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
“In Mugello I tried my best, I felt stronger and I think we did a really good job. We were really close to the victory and my physical condition improved a lot compared to the last races. The bike also worked well and I guess if we can do a step ahead either with the bike or my physical condition we will fight again for the victory. Now we are heading to Montmeló, one of my favourite tracks like Mugello and I would like at least to be on the podium. Last year we could find a good pace for the race and I remember we won in front of the two main rivals, achieving a great win. Hopefully this season we can fight once again; that would be so special considering Montmeló is like my home race. I’m looking forward to racing in Barcelona in front of all the crowd!”
“We are all feeling good after Mugello; we’ve got a bit more confidence again. Like Mugello, Catalunya is another track where both riders have a really good history and it’s now Jorge’s home race. He arrives feeling good after such a close finish in Mugello; he has his confidence back. We will start this weekend with both Vale and Jorge as key protagonists. We are looking forward to first practice on Friday morning to begin set up and prepare as much as possible for both qualifying and the race.”
Ducati Team back on track for Catalan GP at Montmelò
With exactly one third of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship behind them, the Ducati Team are about to tackle the next event this weekend in Spain, at the Montmelò circuit near Barcelona. The long straight and many overtaking points of the Catalan circuit make it one of the most spectacular races on the calendar and the GP de Catalunya always attracts massive crowds to the grandstands.
In 2013 Andrea Dovizoso was unable to obtain the desired results in both qualifying and the races, but in any case the Montmelò track, where he won in 250 GP in 2006, remains one of the Italian rider’s favourites. After an unfortunate part of the season, his team-mate Cal Crutchlow is still searching for his best form. Last year he qualified second on the grid but DNF’ed in the race after a crash while in fourth place.
For the second successive race, the two Ducati Team men will be joined by Test Team rider Michele Pirro, who will be competing in the Catalan round as a wild-card.
Immediately after the weekend Dovizioso and Crutchlow, as well as Pirro, will take part in Monday’s IRTA test, during which they will continue development work on the Desmosedici GP14. Pirro will remain at Montmelò for a further two days’ testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“I hope to do well at Montmelò with my Desmosedici GP14: it’s a very strange track, with lots of fast corners and one long straight. Last year was quite bad, with ninth on the grid and seventh in the race, but it is one of my favourite tracks. The bike is a little bit better than last year, and we have to try and get the maximum as always.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“After my unfortunate crash at Mugello, now we have to go to Barcelona and improve. I think it’s going to be a tough circuit for us, because the long corners come back on themselves quite a lot, which could make things a bit more difficult. As always we will try and be competitive: we are definitely very strong in the braking area and also in the straight line and we go to Barcelona with a new attitude again.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51)
“It’s good to do this second race on the run at Barcelona, which is a track that I like and I hope to find the conditions that will enable us to carry out our work. I will also be staying behind for three more days next week, so we’ll use the race weekend to establish a good basis and then continue the work over the next three days.”
Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya
In 1998, through joint collaboration between the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmelò Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on giving one of Europe’s most beautiful cities a state-of-the-art circuit to match. Located 20 km north of Barcelona, it was inaugurated in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event the same month, the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the GP de Catalunya. The Catalan circuit is one of the best designed modern-day circuits and can accommodate up to 104,000 spectators.
BAUTISTA AND REDDING READY TO RESUME BATTLE IN CATALUNYA
After the Italian Grand Prix, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini heads this weekend to Spain to compete in a traditional and one of the most charming events on the calendar, the Grand Prix de Catalunya at the fast Montmelò circuit, situated on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Alvaro Bautista boasts excellent results in all three classes at the Circuit de Catalunya: the Spaniard there has in fact won the 125cc race in 2006 and 250cc race in 2009; achievements to which we must add a second place in 2008, again in the quarter-liter class, and the fifth place finish of 2010, in his debut year in MotoGP.
His team-mate Scott Redding, who counts 21 points in the standings thanks to the 13th place finish at Mugello, is now just two points away from Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama, also riding a “Production Racer” Honda RCV1000R: in Catalunya the goal of the English rookie is to close this gap from his direct rivals with another solid performance.
ALVARO BAUTISTA “In Montmelo I’ve always been strong and this is a track that I really like; in addition, racing in Spain always gives me an extra motivation. We will start the weekend making a comparison between two important suspension solutions provided by Showa, to quickly identify the best direction to take: the new front fork has worked very well at Le Mans, while at Mugello we preferred to race with the race the old solution. We must therefore determine which one is best suited to this track, which is fast and in some ways is similar to Mugello”.
SCOTT REDDING “Barcelona is not one of my favourite circuits, but with this bike could be different. We will face again another challenge: another new circuit for me to learn aboard a MotoGP, so for sure we will have to work hard in the beginning, but I think we have a good setting now, so hopefully we can try again to be the top ‘Production Racer’ Honda. The two long straights will cost us a lot of time: it’s a bit frustrating because you put in so much effort just to see other guys get past you in the straight. However, we need to stay strong and just keep doing what we do”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Barcelona is another important race for Bautista, who had a lot of good moments in this circuit. The track is also well suited to the characteristics of the Honda machines, so hopefully we can return to a good level of competitiveness, as already shown in other occasions. Recently, our performance is characterized by ups and downs: we alternate good performances and disappointing races. But we know our potential, now we just need to find more consistency. Scott, despite being a rookie, is already close to his rivals in the standings: we are confident that also in Montmelo he can continue his growth”.
NGM Forward Racing Team heads to Spain, Espargaro’s home GP
NGM Forward Racing Team heads to Spain this week for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, at Montmeló circuit, located just 25 km north of Barcelona.
For Aleix Espargaro, who used to live just 3 km far from the racetrack, this is really his home GP and the Spaniard looks forward to make a good race in front of his home crowd. To celebrate this special occasion, Aleix will have on Sunday a special bike livery, helmet and leather suit.
After a complete test of the new chassis during the Italian GP, Colin Edwards will be back on track at Montemelo on board of his Forward Yamaha, continuing the development of the new chassis, that gave him very good feeling in Mugello.
Fresh from a well deserved 4th place in Mugello, also Moto2 rider Simone Corsi is eager to repeat a strong performance in Spain, aiming at conquering another podium finish, as he already did in Le Mans.
After the difficult home race, that saw him crash out when he was in 5th position, Mattia Pasini is determined to come back fighting this weekend in Spain.
The Spanish GP will be an exciting weekend on and off track with many appointments with guests and media, starting from Thursday 12th June at 15.30 with the press conference at the NGM Forward Racing Hospitality that will launch the new MotoGP 14, the official video game of the World MotoGP Championship by Milestone. Partner of the team, Milestone, the biggest Italian videogames developer, will launch the MotoGP 14 video game, that saw Colin, Aleix, Simone and Mattia as the official testers.
“Barcelona has always been one of my favourite round on the GP schedule. After our first run with the new chassis at Mugello, I’m excited to get back to work. Our main focus will be more on the electronics side but we will be trying different chassis settings as well. If all goes well, it should be a good weekend”.
“Catalunya is really my home GP as I used to live just 3 km far from the racetrack. I remember that from my class at school we could hear the bikes testing on the track, so it’s a very familiar and special place for me. No need to say that I look forward to get a good result here. I like the track very much, I know every single meter. Catalunya has one of the longest main straight in the world and we know that we will struggle a bit in terms of top speed, but I like the long turns and I’m very motivated to do well”.
NICKY HAYDEN KEEN TO ATTEMPT BARCELONA COMEBACK
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider hoping to race despite recent wrist surgery, Hiroshi Aoyama looking forward to 'second home race'
Fast, wide and with a mixture of technical and demanding corners, the Circuit de Catalunya plays host to the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend - the second race this season to take place on Spanish soil and with home riders battling for glory. Marc Marquez is aiming to extend his run of victories to seven from seven for the season with his team-mate Dani Pedrosa and resurgent rival Jorge Lorenzo both aiming for home success - not to mention multiple Catalunya race winner Valentino Rossi also looking to join in the party.
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden is travelling to Spain after undergoing surgery on his injured right wrist in Italy last week, with plan being to ride his Honda during free practice on Friday so that he can fully assess the extent of his recovery so far. After missing the last race in Italy the American rider is determined to get back into the action but is experienced enough not to risk further damage if it is not necessary. His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, a Barcelona resident since 2004, is also looking forward to riding this weekend after missing his 'second home race' last year through injury.
Nicky Hayden: "I am happy to say my hand is feeling better then before surgery and in Mugello, but it's only been seven days since the operation so still a bit to early to say how I will be in Barcelona. After resting it after surgery for a few days I know started rehabbing it but I really have to wait a few more days to know my level and if it's possible to go this weekend. I think I will try in FP1, see how I feel and discuss it with my team and doctors to know if we can do the race. For sure I would hate to miss another race after two non point scores but also we have to be smart and think long term and make a decision with both our heart and head. So we wait and see, hope for the best. This track is fast and challenging with a bit of everything, and a lot of long corners with a lot of lean angle where if we can make the soft tyre last it can help us be more competitive with the extra edge grip."
Hiroshi Aoyama: ''I have lived in Barcelona for a few years now so Catalunya is like a second home Grand Prix for me, I know the track perfectly and it always a pleasure to ride at this circuit. Last year I missed out because of injury so I am looking forward to it even more this time and I hope it can be a good race for me. Even though we still have a lot of work to do we are improving our feeling with this bike every weekend and hopefully my track knowledge here can help us make quick progress with the set-up."
Espargaro and Smith set for Montmelo assault
Monster Yamaha Tech3s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith have both confidently set their sights on further top field finishes for this weeks round 7 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
The 25-lap battle will commence on Sunday around the 4727 metre circuit in Montmelo, 20 kilometres north east of Barcelona with the crowd capacity able to stretch to 104,000 spectators. The technical and flowing Catalan track features 5 left and 8 right corners as well as one of the fastest sections of the entire championship with the Yamaha YZR-M1's reaching speeds of over 340 km/h on the 1047 metre start finish straight, in what will be a guaranteed spectacle for the ever passionate fans.
Rookie Pol Espargaro intends to continue his recent, hugely impressive run of form at his home circuit where he will work towards inching closer to the top 3 and pulling off a superb result in front of his fans. Whilst Britain's Bradley Smith will intrepidly proceed in his quest to become the leading satellite bike by battling tirelessly to cruise to a confidence boosting result in Catalunya.
Championship : 6th
Points : 49
Espargaro - Mugello - 2014"It goes without saying that I am so excited for my home GP and I will try my absolute best to get a top result in front of my Catalan fans. My confidence is high as I feel that I am steadily improving my adaption to the MotoGP bike. In fact both my qualifying performances as well as my race pace have become much more competitive since the beginning of the season, especially in the last two races where I have consistently been in the top five. Therefore I truly hope I can continue this trend for the weekend. In addition, I have had some great results here previously, for example last year in Moto2 where I started on pole before winning the race. So this weekend will for sure be one to remember for me in my first appearance on a MotoGP bike. I can't wait!"
Championship : 10th
Points : 34
Smith - Mugello - 2014"The last Grand Prix at Mugello did not go exactly how I had planned and it was not a true representation of my race ability. We were just a bit unlucky which can sometimes happen to any rider, however I am confident as always and I know I can get a strong result this weekend. The Yamaha works well here and last season I got my joint best result of 6th in my rookie season. So this year I plan to up the stakes and finish higher. It's demanding and technical but good fun to ride so I am charged and ready to do my best at the Monster Energy sponsored Grand Prix."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
"This weekend sees the MotoGP circus moving to the very popular race track in Barcelona. The circuit is fantastic and due to its layout, it's easy to see why people like it so much. It will be a big race for the whole Tech3 Team as our title backers Monster Energy sponsor the event and it will also be Pol's home GP who was born basically just behind the main grandstand! Moreover he has done excellently in the past two races and his huge level of improvement is obvious to see, so we are convinced he will put on a superb show for his home fans by trying to fight for a top5 finish again. As for Bradley, the team and I are sure of a strong result this weekend. It was unfortunate what happened in Mugello but we are all completely confident in his ability. He will perform well at a track that suits the Yamaha and which he also enjoys. I have great confidence in both of our boys and the race on Sunday will be a memorable one as it always is in Catalunya."
Pramac Racing is back in Spain for the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship
Almost halfway through the MotoGP world championship it’s time for Barcelona after Mugello and before Assen the three most delightful tracks are held in less than a month, races where there is an particular atmosphere made of passion, personality, charm. And at Mugello the Pramac Racing team turned in one of it’s best races more. Andrea Iannone (# 29) qualified with the second fastest time in and tried the taste of first place for a couple of corners. Then he fought with the top-riders finishing seventh, but demonstrating that before the tires wear out he is competitive.
Yonny Hernandez (# 68) on the other hand has partially solved his troubles in Italy understeer and is in fact managed to finish in the top ten.
The Pramac Racing team arrived in Barcelona to confirm and improve what has been achieved at Mugello. On the Tuscan track Iannone reached - according to the telemetry of his Desmosedici - the stratospheric speed of about 360 km/h limit that in Barcelona could be equaled. We will see, in the meantime, we will continue to work on technical equipment of the Italian Grand Prix, technical updates will arrive in Barcelona probably, but after the race for monday test.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) will race at the Circuit de Catalunya his five-hundreth Grand Prix. He has raced in 77 125 (4 wins), 51 moto2 (8 hits) and 22 motoGp.
"I will continue like in Mugello trying to improve constantly to get more and more comfortable on my bike. We still have limits on the long runs, but I'd like to stay a bit longer with the top-riders, maybe even be able to start again in the first row. We'll see, I'm confident. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) will race in Montmelo his seventieth -GP (31 moto2)
"After a lot of work we were to solve the problem of understeer that prevented me from riding as I like, at Mugello we finally managed to almost eliminate the inconvenience and tenth place rewarded our efforts. Here in Barcelona I'd like to repeat myself and - why not - maybe even get better. "
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 7: Catalunya
Wednesday, June 11 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
MotoGP™ returns to Spain for round seven of the 2014 season as the Circuit de Catalunya gets set to provide a tough test for riders and tyres alike.
As well as its high average speed, the Circuit de Catalunya features many corners that require high lean angles for long periods of time, which results in extreme tyre temperatures. The fast, long-radius corners, heavy braking zones and high ambient temperatures at the Catalan Grand Prix combine to make it one of the most severe races for Bridgestone’s MotoGP™ tyres.
The difference in forces imposed on the opposing shoulders of the rear tyre at this circuit is so great that Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds up to two steps harder on the right shoulder compared to the left, this weekend. The front tyre has to provide good braking stability for the hard braking zones at the end of the straights, yet also ensure good edge grip through the sweeping corners.
Rear tyre options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the Ducati and Open-class riders are allocated the soft and medium compound rears. The front slick options for this weekend are the soft, medium and hard compound. Due to the high tyre severity rating of the Montmeló circuit, the main wet tyre for this weekend will be the hard compound, although the riders can also utilise the soft compound wet tyre in the case of exceptionally cool conditions.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The Catalan Grand Prix at Montmeló is a classic event, and in recent years has proved a stern test for the riders, bikes and tyres. Last year the track temperature during the race was close to sixty degrees, which created extremely challenging conditions for the riders, at what is one of the fastest venues on the MotoGP calendar. The last race at Mugello was one of the most exciting battles in recent years, and I expect we will see a large crowd present this weekend as fans flock to see the next thrilling chapter in what has been an intriguing season so far. There have been some incredible races at the Circuit de Catalunya over the years, such as Valentino and Jorge’s great contest in 2009, and perhaps this weekend we will have another special memory to add to the collection.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Circuit de Catalunya features many long, sweeping corners where the riders reach high lean angles for long periods of time, particularly in the right-hand corners of which there are eight compared to just five left-hand corners. These long-radius corners generate very high tyre temperatures and help make this circuit one of the most severe on the calendar for our tyres. However, the grip level of the track surface is not that high, so we still need to ensure the tyres have good edge grip and braking stability, as well as resistance to overheating. Also, many of the left-hand corners are slower than the right-handers, so there is a significant imbalance between tyre temperatures in the right and left shoulders. This necessitates asymmetric tyres with rubber that is significantly harder on the right shoulder compared to the left. On the Monday after the Grand Prix, we will be supporting the teams taking part in the post-race test, where we will be providing some new slick tyre developments for testing. After the test at Montmeló, some teams will head to Aragon for another test so it will be a very busy period!”