Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's round at Barcelona:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Continue Championship Quest in Catalunya
After scoring strong results at Valentino Rossi‘s home race in Mugello, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP heads to Jorge‘s home race in Montmeló for this weekend‘s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 10th June 2015
After a sensational race in Italy where Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo scored the team‘s third consecutive double podium, they head to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the seventh round of the championship.
After being serenaded by home fans for his third place podium finish in Mugello, Rossi is excited to head to the next round in Montmeló. He has been leading the championship standing since the start of the season and is clearly in great shape. The Doctor holds a record of six premier victories with wins in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 and is also one of only two riders who have won the race in Catalunya from pole position, the other being his teammate.
Lorenzo has every reason to be happy; having found a good set up for his YZR-M1 he has won the last three races and currently holds second place in the championship. He hopes to continue his winning streak this weekend and bridge the six-points gap to his teammate in the overall standing. As Montmeló is a circuit he knows and loves, the Majorcan fancies his chances to add a fourth Catalan premier class victory to his earlier wins in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
The track hosted its first MotoGP race in 1992 and has been a crowd‘s favorite ever since. It has won the IRTA ’Best Grand Prix‘ trophy in 2001 and is known as one of the most atmospheric and exciting races on the calendar. The most famous battle in Montmeló happened between Rossi and Lorenzo in 2009.
I think Catalunya GP will be another good race, it seems that all races are great this year. The three main manufacturers are more or less at the same level and at every race you can expect everything. I love Barcelona, this is one of my favorite tracks. It‘s always difficult to go fast in that track but last year I rode one of my best races and this year I'm in good shape. We have to improve a few little things. We have to be better at finding the right set up for the bike and we have to be faster so we can start the race from a better position. The YZR-M1 is going really well, we are first and second in the championship and the last few races of Jorge proved the bikes' competitiveness. We are close and we will work strongly to make it a nice weekend in Barcelona.
Three in a row is a good number of victories. I‘d never thought this would be possible after a strange beginning of the championship with some external problems that affected my riding and also the results. After the win in Mugello I‘m happy with my performance and also with the team‘s work. Everything is going well right now, I‘m only six points behind Vale and the bike is feeling the way I like. The next stop is Barcelona and this is like my home race. I know Montmeló really well, I‘ve been riding there for many years and I feel at home there. The track is really nice and is also good for Yamaha. I will give the maximum there and try to be prepared for the race so I can fight for the podium again.
We had a great weekend in Mugello and we are feeling motivated for the next round in Catalunya. Last week it was Vale‘s and the team‘s home race, this week it‘s Jorge who gets to put on a show for his home fans. He is feeling good with the bike after his third victory in a row. Valentino is also in a good condition and will be strong here as always. Both of them really like this circuit and have had good results here in the past, so we are looking forward to getting started. It will be important to hit the ground running on Friday, so we are prepared for both qualifying and the race.
Marquez and Pedrosa head home for Catalunya GP
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.
Reigning World Champion, Marc Marquez, has enjoyed podium finishes here in the past five years and will be looking to take his second win of this season. 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 ten podiums. The local rider is still recovering from his recent surgery but enjoyed a strong race in Mugello taking 4th place.
After Sunday’s GP, the team will remain at the Montmelò circuit for a one day test on Monday.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 5TH - 69 POINTS
“It was disappointing to crash out in Mugello but this can happen when you’re on the limit. This weekend we head to Catalunya for my home GP and we have a lot of work to do to prepare the bike. I’ve had good results at this track and won there last year, so will hope to do the same in front of all my fan club! Let’s hope we can have a good battle and put on a good show.”
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 13TH - 23 POINTS
“Mugello was pretty positive as I can feel my arm improving all the time. I’ve continued my rehabilitation since the race and now we head to my home race in Montmelò. We have a busy weekend ahead as we need to work hard on the bike to solve some issues. Setup is key at this track as you spend so much time on the edge of the tyre. You can feel the energy of the fans and I hope we can take advantage of it! Let’s hope it’s nice weather and the fans can enjoy the weekend!”
ESPARGARO AND VIÑALES HEAD TO HOME GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 10.
This weekend’s GP of Catalunya will be an emotional home race for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales as both are born and bred in Catalunya and will be surrounded by a huge number of fans and friends at the Montmelò circuit.
Espargaro’s right hand is now much better following his practice crash in France. Surgery was required on the resulting ligament damage that made for a hard and painful weekend in Mugello two weeks ago. His feeling is getting better and he is hoping to make a positive weekend after the tough time he had in Italy, which culminated in a race crash following a collision caused by another rider. He will also wear a special edition helmet this weekend which he will be presented with before Sunday’s race.
Viñales is also eager to meet the huge crowd of fans in the magical surroundings of Montmelò. Many of them will also be celebrating the very positive result that the young Spaniard had in Italy, with his seventh place finish, which is also his best result of the season so far. He is showing consistent improvements in his riding style and his capabilities of managing the weekend from session-to-session, achieving better results each time out on the bike.
The Circuito de Catalunya in Montmelò, Spain, is one of the most historic circuits of the Championship. Opened in 1991, it started to host the GP of Catalunya in 1995. It has very fast corners that will test the stability and precision capabilities of the chassis and set up of the GSX-RR and will be very demanding for the tyres. With five left-hand corners and eight right-hand corners it will require the machines to be equipped with asymmetric slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder.
“Catalunya will be magic for me; it will be my home race and I’ll have a lot of support from friends and fans. I come from a hard weekend in Mugello that needs to be reset and cancelled: I struggled in many sessions and finally I couldn’t even put my race plan into action as I was taken out at the very beginning. My GSX-RR has proved to be performing well during this early part of the season and my feeling is that we still didn’t get the results we deserved. In Barcelona we will get some new parts and I’m very curious to see how the machine will be improved, I know that in Japan our engineers are working very hard because we fully believe in the project, so I’m looking forward to do my best and make a positive weekend.”
“I’m feeling very good for going to race at my home circuit for the first time as a factory rider; it will be a unique emotion. I’m coming from a positive series of results and every time I take the track with my GSX-RR I feel better and better and the last race in Mugello gave me a lot of satisfaction. I’m pretty confident that I will enjoy the Circuito de Catalunya on the Suzuki, it’s a fast track and our machine proved to be very good to ride thanks to its chassis. Plus we will get improvements for the engine of our machine, I’m really curious. I’m aware that I still have a lot to learn, in particular my team and I are working on the management of the sessions and the tyres, to improve the pace but also to be more effective in qualifying and to enter Q2 to have a good position on the grid. This will be key for the future.”
Ducati Team arrives at Montmeló for the Catalan Grand Prix
With exactly one third of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship completed, the Ducati Team is about to tackle the seventh round of the season this weekend in Spain, at the Montmeló circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona. A long straight and numerous corners with good overtaking points make the Catalan circuit one of the most spectacular on the calendar and the Catalan GP always attracts massive crowds year after year.
Last year’s edition saw Andrea Dovizioso start from seventh on the grid, and finish eighth in the race. In any case the Montmelò track, where he won in 250cc in 2006, is one of the Forlì rider’s favourites. His team-mate Andrea Iannone on the other hand, started from eleventh on the grid with his Pramac Racing GP14 and finished in ninth. Both riders will be trying to continue the Ducati Team’s run of positive results, which has so far extended to six podiums in the first six rounds of the season.
The Catalan GP weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first session of free practice at 09.55 CET, while the 25-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (83 points)
“At Montmelò we want to confirm the speed we had at Mugello, and I think that the Desmosedici GP15 can also be competitive at Barcelona. All of our disappointment over what happened at Mugello has been channelled into the determination and desire to get a good result there. I really like this circuit, it’s one of the best in the calendar and I can’t wait to make up for the last race. At Mugello we lost a lot of points in the championship, but we must think positively and I believe that at Barcelona we can fight for the podium once again”.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th (81 points)
“It’s a good moment for me and I am very happy to return to the track and do the next race. Barcelona is a great track and I’ve won races there in the past, once in Moto2 and once in 125cc. This week I managed to train a bit better and my shoulder is a bit better, still not 100% but it’s OK. Despite my physical difficulties, the Mugello weekend was fantastic, so we’ll try and do our best also at Montmelò”.
The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit
In 1989, through the joint collaboration of the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmeló Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on building a state-of-the-art race track for one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Located twenty or so kilometres north of Barcelona, the circuit opened for business in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event that same month with the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the Gran Premio de Catalunya. Considered to be one of the best circuits of the recent era, the Circuito de Catalunya can accommodate over 100,000 spectators.
CATALUNYA GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
Montmelò (Spain), 11 June 2015 - The 2015 MotoGP World Championship resumes this weekend with the seventh round on the calendar, the Catalunya Grand Prix on the Montmelò track just outside Barcelona. This is another important round that will let Aprilia Racing Team Gresini continue development of the Alvaro Bautista's and Marco Melandri's Aprilia RS-GP bikes which have recently undergone various changes involving different areas, from the transmission to the engine and even aerodynamics and chassis.
Precisely with the intention of conducting an in depth check of the numerous technical changes which were recently introduced and testing other new frame solutions, before heading for Spain the team completed a day of testing on the Misano circuit. Spaniard Alvaro Bautista was on the track astride the Aprilia RS-GP.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“The first third of the season has been in line with the goals we set at the beginning of the year when we decided to return to MotoGP 12 months ahead of schedule. The project has had some difficult moments and it has made clear progress, which is all quite natural. Now we simply need to consistently continue the trend of general improvement in terms of bike performance. At Mugello we introduced a number of changes. These are goals which have been achieved for us, fundamental technical foundations for the design of the new bike as well. Barcelona will be important to once again verify the effectiveness of all the changes made and to have them work together to improve performance in practice and in the race.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“We'll be going to Barcelona motivated with a great desire to improve. Compared with the events at Mugello, on paper the Montmelò circuit should suite the characteristics of our bike better, so we are confident that we'll be able to do a good job on the bike throughout the weekend. Before leaving for Spain we had a very important test at Misano where Bautista had the chance to test new chassis solutions that the Racing Department has prepared.”
“I like the Montmelò circuit and it's always a pleasure to race for my home fans, so I am expecting a nice weekend. In any case, before going to Barcelona I made a stop in Italy to do some testing on the Misano circuit. We had the opportunity to do some further checks on the changes that we had already introduced during the Italian Grand Prix in order to better understand which solutions to take forward. Our goal remains the same: to develop the bike during all the practice sessions, trying to achieve the best possible feeling in view of the race. Montmelò is another new track for the Aprilia, so we'll be trying to work hard from the beginning to gather as much data as possible.”
“We arrive in Barcelona with good intentions. I want to work without thinking about the rumors regarding my situation. I hope to do a good job and I will give my best as always. My team is working hard and I hope that the new technical updates can give us a positive feedback”.
Espargaro and Smith primed for Catalunya battle
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are geared up and ready for round 7 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Both riders will intend to clinch two strong results after concluding the Italian Grand Prix in positive style aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1's. The twisting 4.7 kilometre circuit has held many memorable MotoGP battles in recent years and Smith as well as Espargaro will aim to ride to glory in the satellite riders battle in front of the ever passionate Catalan crowd.
Bradley Smith produced his best performance so far this season by clinching a hard fought result of 5th at Mugello and will seek put himself in the mix for a top six placement in the 25 lap sprint around the Circuito de Catalunya. He currently sits in 6th in the championship and at the front of the satellite MotoGP riders and will look to continue his positive form by adding more points to his tally of 57. Furthermore, Pol Espargaro will be intending to speed to a top finish in front of his adoring home fans by battling with his teammate and challenging for the leading satellite bike position under the Catalan sun. The Spaniard determinedly bounced back from his recent arm surgery with an impressive showing in Mugello where he seized 6th and will look to go one step further at his home Grand Prix.
Championship : 6th Points : 57
"I will arrive at the Monster Energy sponsored Catalunya round confident of opening the weekend in positive style as we have been strong at almost every GP this season. It is a circuit that I enjoy with it's variety of different corners and the crowd is always amazing, especially in the last part of the track! In addition, the layout seems to suit the characteristics of the Yamaha YZR-M1 quite well, therefore, I'll be gunning for another top finish. In Mugello, the qualifying didn't go to plan so I aim to rectify this in Catalunya and grab a solid starting position to give me the best possible chance of success in the race. We also have a test on Monday where we will try out a few new ideas in order to help me in various areas as we look to bridge the gap to the leading riders. However, before that, there's the Catalan Grand Prix and my fists are clenched already for the battle on Sunday, which I can't wait to partake in. "
Championship : 8th Points : 45
"Round 7 means it's time for my home Grand Prix and of course, this is one of the highlights of my season, especially as it's also sponsored by our title partner Monster Energy! To hear my fans cheering is an amazing feeling and I will do my very best to please them particularly as I grew up very close to this circuit, therefore it doesn't get any more of a home GP than this for me! Mugello was quite a positive race and most importantly a definite improvement after my recent arm surgery and so, I intend to do even better this weekend as I was able to start training again. I definitely have some good memories of racing at this track, like winning the Moto2 race from pole in 2013 which was the year I became champion and I aim to add another one to the collection this time. We also have a test after the race which will be very useful as we have a few things to adjust and amend, so I look forward to this week at home and I can't wait to get the show on the road! "
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It's time to head to Catalunya and to Pol's backyard for the MotoGP race this weekend at the 7th round of the championship. It's always special for a rider at their home GP, but Pol grew up almost next to the track, so for him it must be amazing to be racing so close to where everything began. The Mugello weekend was very productive for our team as Bradley and Pol finished 5th and 6th which are two strong results. As a team we moved up to third position in the team championship standings which is fantastic at this point in the season and just in time for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. This run needs to be extended and we expect to close this weekend with two more positive finishes. Bradley continues to confirm his progress each race and with the Yamaha suiting the Catalunya track, we are confident that he will be able to run where he was at Mugello and fighting for the leading satellite position. As for Pol, it was a solid race from him in Italy, plus his arm has had two more weeks to recover, so we hope that he will be fighting with Brad for the lead position with the satellite bikes on Sunday. It's a great race and one with a superb crowd who really show their love for our sport. So, we aim to hit the track at speed to make them cheer even louder!”
Hector Barbera ready to race in Barcelona
09/06/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP Grand Prix of Catalunya – PREVIEW
One week ago Hector Barbera underwent a successful surgery in his right forearm to solve the arm pump problems that have been hampering the rider in the last few races. Dr. Xavier Mir made the surgical intervention at the Hospital Universitari Quiron Dexeus and tomorrow the doctor will make the final check to the Avintia Racing rider at the circuit. Barbera has no doubts; he is confident to ride his Ducati from Friday. During these days the stitches have healed and free of arm pump issues, Hector is ready to fight for to be the best Open Class rider in the MotoGP World Championship this weekend in Catalunya.
Mike Di Meglio has been training hard in the last few days with his dirt track bike in France. The Avintia Racing rider heads Barcelona with high motivation after the positive line of work he found in Mugello together with his crew. Di Meglio is looking forward to get his first points of the season at his team home race
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ #8 / @HectorBarbera
After some races with arm pump problems we decided to get under the knife. The surgery was great, I have a big cut but I had plenty of time to heal thanks to the quick response of Xavier and his crew that found time to operate me last Monday. Tomorrow I have the final check to get the okay to race, but my feeling tells me I’ll be on the bike. Barcelona is one of the most special Grand Prix for me, I won one of the most important races of my career back in 125, it was long time ago but the memory is perfect. The problem is solved and although I couldn’t train because of the stitches I feel strong thank to the good fitness program I did during the winter. The target is clear, to be fighting to win in Open Class.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / @Mikejpp63
Barcelona is a track I really like and we learned many things in Mugello that will be useful for this weekend. In Italy we started to work more calmed and it worked, so we’ll have the same approach in Barcelona, and we’ll work step by step. During the last week I’ve been training hard to arrive at the maximum to this Grand Prix. As always my goal will be scoring my first points of the season, but the practice days will be crucial to get a good result in the race.
CRUTCHLOW ON COMEBACK FROM INJURY IN CATALONIA
The CWM LCR Honda Team will be looking to bounce back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, after a disappointing event at their home round in Italy just over a week ago which saw both their riders slide out of the race.
The team’s British star, Cal Crutchlow, suffered a dislocated right ankle in the Mugello crash, but has spent the time between races working on his fitness by cycling hundreds of kilometres near his Italian base. He has also undergone extensive physiotherapy to keep the ankle moving, and is hopeful that his hard work will pay off at this weekend’s latest MotoGP race in Spain.
Cal Crutchlow #35
“I’m not feeling too bad. I had some great therapy in Italy – I stayed there between the last race and this one – and also did lots of cycling because if I stayed still for a long time, I could hardly move it. I never really rested too much, and I can move my ankle up and down now, but we rest our feet on the outside of the pegs so I will only know how it is once I get on the bike.”
“We’ll take the morning session to get familiar with the track again, but from then on will be trying my best to see what we can do this weekend as ever. I’ve been looking forward to Barcelona as I think it is a better track for our bike, and we’ll work in our normal way to make sure we get the best out of the CWM LCR Honda package.”
MILLER POSITIVE HEADING INTO BARCELONA ROUND
The CWM LCR Honda Team will be looking to bounce back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, after a disappointing event at their home round in Italy just over a week ago which saw both their riders slide out of the race.
For Australian Jack Miller, who has a European base near the city of Tarragona 100 kilometres to the south, this track is almost like another home round of the MotoGP World Championship. It is particularly familiar to him from the time he spent in the junior classes and so he and the team remain positive that they can return to point-scoring ways with his Honda RC213V-RS this weekend.
Jack Miller #43
“I look forward to this race as a kind of second home GP after the race in Australia, with my European home being just down the road. I have always had a good feeling with this track and I’m looking forward to doing a good job here this weekend.”
“The last two races we have looked quite strong through practice and then really struggled in the race, so we just have to make it happen here. Without a doubt we need to pull the finger out, and I can’t think of a better place to do that than here at the Catalunya circuit, with a track I like a lot. Let’s see what happens.”
Athinà Forward Racing arrives in Catalunya for the seventh race of the season
After the home race in Mugello, Barcelona will host the seventh race of the 2015 season, the second on Spanish soil, which is scheduled this weekend at the track on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Loris Baz, Open class winner on the Italian track and second in the standings only behind Barbera, comes to Spain motivated to reduce the gap with his rivals and score points once again. It will be a welcome return to the Catalunya circuit where he raced for the last time in 2008.
Stefan Bradl is looking forward to jump again on his Yamaha Forward bike. The German, who was forced to retire prematurely at Mugello, proved to be consistent all weekend long and is aiming to lead the Open class in Montemelo.
In Moto 2, Simone Corsi and Lorenzo Baldassarri are ready to hit the track. Corsi will try to redeem himself after withdrawing from the Italian round when he was fighting for podium. Baldassarri will be fighting again to reach Top10.
"We have been battling all weekend with the other Open bikes at Mugello. Unfortunately I was forced to retire after a contact when I was fighting for the head of the class. We have made a good step forward after the test in Jerez and I’m arriving in Barcelona convinced that I can do well. The goal remains to win the Open class".
"I'll be back on the Barcelona track after so many years: the last time I rode here was in 2008. After the victory at Mugello, I’m motivated to do well again. We did a good job with the team and we are on the right track. Our target is to top the Open standings again and to score more points for the championship".
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS looking for improvements in Barcelona
Gosselies, Belgium – 10 June 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Catalunya with the same goal as always; to find a solution to the issues that have hampered Scott Redding’s progress aboard the factory Honda RC213V since the start of the season.
Redding dropped to 14th in the championship standings after a disappointing and frustrating ride to 11th place last time out in Mugello, after struggling once again with a lack of rear edge grip in the race. The fact that he was one of only two factory Honda riders to finish was little consolation to the Briton.
While Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS have worked tirelessly to find a solution ahead of Barcelona, and will continue to do so over the course of the race weekend, they will also look to utilise the vast experience that HRC have with the RC213V to assist them in their quest to put Redding back into the top ten where he belongs.
“In Barcelona we need to continue trying to improve, increasing the pace in free practice so that I go straight into Q2 and have the chance to qualify higher up the grid. In the race I need to get a better feeling for the tyres during the early laps, especially when the track temperature is high, because there is a lot of movement and it’s difficult to understand where the limit is. I think we’re close with the set up of the bike; yes, there are a few issues, the lack of edge grip for example means we’re losing time out of every turn, but I still think the next step needs to come from me. We can start looking again at the set up once we’re doing the same pace as the other factory Hondas, until then I need to focus on what I can do to improve our performance, both in qualifying and in the race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We are not where we expected to be when we embarked on the MotoGP project and we need to understand better the reason for that. The situation is clear; the results haven’t been there, with Scott uncomfortable on the bike and unable to push for the top ten finishes he should be capable of. The problems we are experiencing are not unique to us but Scott is struggling more than other riders and we need to understand why. A lot of people have invested time, effort and money in this project and they did so with certain expectations. We need to find a way to meet these expectations and we need to find it quickly.”
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 7: Catalunya
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
The fast and challenging Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts round seven of the 2015 MotoGP season and the Montmeló circuit is set to thrill riders and fans alike with its array of high speed corners.
The high speed sections of the 4.7 kilometre circuit see the MotoGP riders reach high lean angles for long periods of time, which combined with harsh braking zones and high ambient temperatures means that the Catalan Grand Prix is one of the most severe races for Bridgestone’s MotoGP tyres.
Such is the difference in force imposed on the right and left shoulders of the rear tyres at this circuit, that Bridgestone provides asymmetric rear slicks with rubber compounds up to two steps harder on the right shoulder compared to the left. Meanwhile, the front tyre allocation has to provide good braking stability for the hard braking zones at the end of the straights, with excellent edge grip for the fast, sweeping corners.
Rear tyre options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders at Montmeló are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the rest of the field will be allocated the soft and medium compound rear slicks. The front slick options for this weekend are the soft, medium and hard compound. Given its severity on tyres, the Catalan Grand Prix is one of just four events on the calendar where the main wet tyre allocated to riders is the hard compound specification.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“MotoGP returns to Spain this weekend at one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This circuit has fast and flowing sections that help create exciting racing and in recent times, the 2007 and 2009 races here stand out as being particularly memorable with the winning margin being less than one tenth of a second. We often experience very hot weather at Montmeló and when conditions are hot, this event becomes even more demanding for the riders, machinery and tyres. After the race, we will be supporting teams in a MotoGP group test at the circuit as we continue to invest in our MotoGP programme for the 2015 season. This weekend we will also be hosting our annual Bridgestone Kart Challenge where media teams go head-to-head in an endurance kart race. This event continues to grow in popularity and as always we look forward to welcoming the media and MotoGP riders to this fun event on Friday.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya features many long, sweeping corners where the riders reach high lean angles for long periods of time. Most of these long-radius corners are right-handers, and overall there are eight right turns compared to just five left-hand corners so we provide asymmetric slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder at this circuit. The long-radius corners generate very high tyre temperatures and help make this circuit one of the most severe on the calendar for our tyres. Adding to the challenge, the grip level of the track surface is not that high so we need to ensure the tyres have good edge grip and braking stability, while also being resistant to overheating. Our front tyre allocation for this circuit needs to provide the riders with good edge grip and stability to ensure high performance and safety in the high speed sections of this track.”
Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya - preview
ROUND SEVEN 2015 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 14TH JUNE
CRUTCHLOW FIGHTS TO BE FIT FOR BARCELONA CLASH
Cal Crutchlow is fighting to be fit to continue his battle with Bradley Smith in round seven of the MotoGP™ World Championship in the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Barcelona–Catalunya circuit in Spain on Sunday. The Isle of Man–based midlander dislocated his ankle when he fell from the CWM LCR Honda at the previous round in Mugello. He has been cycling to keep fit and is confident of riding in the 25 lap race round the 2.937 miles circuit as he attempts to close the ten points advantage Smith has opened up in their battle for top British rider in the Championship.
Andorra-based Oxfordshire rider Smith has been in the form of his life and after the Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider finished fifth in Mugello he moved into sixth place in the Championship. He has finished in the top six four times already this year and is just 12 points behind World Champion Marc Marquez in fifth place.
It has not been such an easy time for Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding on the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Honda. He has struggled with front end and grip problems which have kept him down to 14th in the championship and he and the team will be looking forward to the one day test at the circuit on Monday to sort out the problems. Eugene Laverty secured his second points scoring finish of the season in Mugello and looks to continue on Sunday riding the Aspar MotoGP Open class Honda.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes took his second Moto2™ pole in Mugello, but during the race he was involved in an early incident with Italian Simone Corsi but fought back on the Speed Up machine to finish fourth for the second grand prix in succession to retain his fourth place in the Championship.
Twenty one year old Danny Kent from Wiltshire is running away with the Moto3™ World Championship as he attempts to become Britain’s first grand prix world champion since 1977. Riding the Leopard Racing Honda he finished second in Mugello and his three wins this year have given him a mighty 46 points lead in the championship at one third distance.
Scotsman John McPhee is at the other end of the emotional scale and is striving to end the nightmare of major set–up problems with the SAXONPRINT RTG Honda. The Racing Steps Foundation – supported rider dropped to 12th in the Championship after such a promising start.
LOCAL HERO SEEKS CHANGE OF FORTUNE
World Champion Marc Marquez returns home for round seven of the MotoGP™ World Championship on Sunday seeking a change of fortune. The Repsol Honda rider is 49 points behind Championship leader Valentino Rossi when he arrives at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya for the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya. Last year he won the race, with his brother Alex victorious in the Moto3 race, but this year it’s a very different story.
He has won just one grand prix while the Yamahas have dominated the proceedings. Rossi leads the title chase by a slender six points from his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who has dominated the last three grands prix. Both have an impressive record around the 2.937 miles circuit on the outskirts of the Mediterranean city. Rossi has won nine times including six MotoGP victories while Lorenzo has won four including three MotoGP wins. They will be difficult to beat on Sunday.
The Ducatis have also given Honda a tough time. Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone are separated by just two points in their battle for third. Iannone is a former Moto2™ winner in Catalunya and fresh from his second place in Mugello he is 12 points in front of fifth place Marquez, whose team-mate Dani Pedrosa will be hoping for a return to full fitness.
Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow are fighting a tremendous battle for the top Satellite factory machine with Smith leading the way by ten points after Crutchlow crashed out of the last two races. Right on their heels is Smith’s Monster Tech3 Yamaha team-mate Pol Espargaro who lives a couple of miles from the circuit and with his brother Aleix will relish the challenge in the 25 lap race. Hector Barbara returns after an arm pump operation and leads the Open Class after scoring points in every round.
Another Spanish World Champion seeking his second grand prix win of the season is Moto2 Champion Tito Rabat. Similar to Marquez he won the Moto2 race last season but trails Johann Zarco in the Championship by 31 points despite moving into second place after winning in Mugello. Frenchman Zarco was third last year and has finished on the podium in every race after finishing eighth in the opening round because of mechanical problems. Tom Luthi dropped to third in the championship after crashing in Mugello as did Jonas Folger who is the only Moto2 rider to have won twice this season.
Britain’s Danny Kent is running away with the Moto3™ World Championship and has built an incredible 46 points lead after winning three races. Italian teenager Enea Bastianini is second but the big threat on Sunday should come from the KTMs of Italian Romano Fenati and Portugal’s Miquel Oliveira who won his first grand prix in Mugello. With the long finishing straight in Barcelona it promises to be yet another 15 rider slipstreaming battle to the line.
- Only three current venues have a longer ongoing sequence of hosting grand prix events: Jerez, Mugello and Assen.
- The last time that Spain did not have at least one GP winner across the three classes at the Catalan Grand Prix was 2002.
- Spanish riders won all three classes in Catalunya in both 2013 and 2014. The last non-Spanish rider to win a grand prix in Catalunya is Andrea Iannone in the Moto2 class in 2012.
- During the four-stroke MotoGP era, Yamaha have taken seven victories, Honda have had four wins and Ducati two.
- The last win by Suzuki at the Catalunya Grand Prix was in 2000, when Kenny Roberts won the 500cc race. Since the introduction of the MotoGP formula in 2002 the best results by Suzuki riders have been 4th place finishes by John Hopkins in both 2006 and 2007.
- The last podium finish by a Ducati rider at the Catalan GP was the 3rd place finish by Casey Stoner in 2010.
- Honda riders have started from pole for the MotoGP race in Catalunya for the last four years, but none of those riders have gone on to win the race from pole. The last Yamaha rider to start from pole was Jorge Lorenzo in 2010. Ducati have had a single pole at the Catalunya GP – with Casey Stoner in 2008.
- Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all grand prix classes at the Catalunya circuit with nine victories (1 x 125cc, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP). The next most successful, with four wins each in Catalunya, are Jorge Lorenzo (1 x 250cc, 3 x MotoGP) and Max Biaggi (4 x 250cc).
- There have been eight premier-class victories by Spanish riders at the Catalunya circuit; Alex Criville in 1995 & 1999, Carlos Checa in 1996, Dani Pedrosa in 2008, Jorge Lorenzo in 2010, 2012 & 2013 and Marc Marquez last year.
- There has been at least one Spanish rider on the podium in the MotoGP race at the Catalan GP for the last eight years.
- Only two riders have won the MotoGP race at Catalunya from pole position: Valentino Rossi in 2006 and Jorge Lorenzo in 2010.
- The win by Marc Marquez in Catalunya last year was the 100th victory for Honda in the four-stroke MotoGP class which was introduced in 2002, as a replacement for the 500cc category as the premier-class of grand prix racing.
- The three riders who won at Catalunya last year all went on to win their respective world titles.
- Marc Marquez won the MotoGP race at Catalunya last year and Alex Marquez won the Moto3 race - the first time in 66 years of World Championship competition that siblings both won Grand Prix races on the same day.