The possible appearance of rain, fast corners, tyre degradation or the improvements implemented by certain teams are just some of the factors that the protagonists of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ are relying on to change the dynamics of the Motorcycling World Championship. The rivals of leader Pecco Bagnaia are looking to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as a possible turning point in the development of the current season.
For many it is their home Grand Prix, for others it is a circuit that suits their strengths but, without a doubt, the great mystery is whether these arguments will be sufficient or more powerful than those demonstrated by Pecco Bagnaia, the reigning world champion and clear candidate to retain the crown.
He himself pointed out on a first day dedicated to media engagements that “I don’t feel invincible, I feel I’m enjoying myself and I have a lot of affinity with my team and my bike. We are improving all the time and every weekend, even though Saturday mornings are not our strong point”. The Ducati rider has a comfortable lead that would allow him to make a mistake in Catalonia, although he doesn’t look set for that to happen.
His nearest challenger, Jorge Martín, returns to a circuit that saw him celebrate from the second step of the podium last year. Even so, and despite his position in the points table, the Spaniard admitted that “I think that in general terms I’ve been quite unlucky. Whether due to crashes, yellow flags or other factors” and added that “hopefully on Sunday I can match last year’s position with a race without mistakes”.
The third in contention, Marco Bezzechi, addressed the most talked-about issue of the last few days, his renewal with Valentino Rossi’s team. “It was not easy to make the decision, because the possibility of having a better bike is always tempting. But the human side of the team has been a very important part of my decision. This has made it easier for me to stay, and also that Valentino was pushing for me to stay, he is my mentor and he believed in me many years ago,” shared the Italian.
Also in the spotlight were some of the local representatives of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™. The protagonists of the launch of the event, which took place yesterday in Barcelona, have once again attracted all the attention today at the Circuit. They are Pol Espargaró, Aleix Espargaró and Marc Márquez.
Aleix Espargaró gave his point of view on the mistake he made last year, adding that “the Circuit is a track I love, it’s a very fast track and that’s something I feel very comfortable with, so it’s a good place to be able to shine”. The Aprilia rider is seventh in the World Championship standings, with a mixed bag of results this year, including a win. The home race will certainly give him an extra boost.
On the other hand, everyone is still focused on Pol Espargaró’s recovery. “Everything is happening very quickly since I got back. We have a frenetic pace with this new format and my physical condition doesn’t help. But it’s good for me to be there, to improve more and more,” said the Granollers rider about his performance on the bike. Despite his gradual recovery, Pol Espargaró showed at the last event that he has great pace.
Marc Márquez has been direct and concise about what can be expected from him and Honda this weekend: “the mentality is the same as always, to give the maximum of ourselves despite knowing what our limitations are. It’s a circuit that is difficult for me but we’ll try some new things to see how the bike behaves and on Saturday we’ll decide if we’ll keep them or not. The fans will certainly be keeping a close eye on the multiple World Champion.
The best local representative MotoE™ could have, Jordi Torres, has also dropped by the press conference. He did so in the company of his immediate rivals for the electric championship crown. The MotoE™ leader spoke openly and said that the most important thing is “to take advantage of the home weekend, to be at the front and to do well, as the next round is on Italian soil”, referring to the home of Casadei and Ferrari. The Catalunya event should help him to extend his lead at the top of the points table.
Inauguration of KISS Barcelona
This year, the KISS Barcelona sustainability programme celebrates a decade of history coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the FIM Ride Green. To commemorate it, both parties held an opening event this afternoon at Turn 12, which was already christened the “FIM Ride Green Turn” in 2016. Rider and FIM Ride Green ambassador María Herrera did not miss the event, and was accompanied by authorities such as Circuit General Manager Josep Lluís Santamaría; Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO; and Ignacio Verneda, FIM Vice-President.
A sustainable event
The Gran Premi de Catalunya MotoGP, an ISO 20121:2013 certified event, is once again promoting actions within the framework of the United Nations SDGs. Some of these actions are the use of 100% renewable energy, the rental of low-emission generators, the commitment to energy self-consumption, the donation of surplus food, the offer of km0 and ecological food, the presence of drinking water sources in the public areas, the improvement of the biodiversity of its green areas, the collaboration with companies with social value, the valorisation and recycling of waste, the promotion of sustainable mobility, the use of the circular economy, and many more.
Tickets available at www.circuitcat.com
The Circuit has an attractive offer of tickets to attend the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™. Starting at €72, fans can enjoy three days of competition on the track and many proposals outside it. In addition, some of the riders of the motorcycling world championship have reserved areas for their fan clubs in different grandstands, a highly recommended option to experience many emotions.