The show has finally begun. The MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championship has officially started the seventh round of the calendar with the staging of the first free practice sessions of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™, anticipating a thrilling weekend in the three classes.
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the rider to shine brightest today. The Frenchman set the pace, clocking the fastest time of the combined FP1 and FP2 time sheets with 1:40.079. The excellent performance of the Yamaha machine may be partly due to the current weather conditions. The sun was not too hot today at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and consequently the temperatures were not too high hindering the Yamaha’s rear tyre from loosing grip, as had happened in other events. Quartararo topped the sheets all day long, since he clocked the second fastest time in the morning, behind Marc Márquez. The Frenchman had already taken the pole position last year in the Moto2 class, as well as the victory and the fastest lap in the race. So far, this year’s event has started very positive for him as well.
The second fastest time was hard-fought. Three riders were only thousands of a second from being second best, although it was Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), who eventually made it. The runner-up in the World Championship stopped the clock at 1:40.360. Right behind him on the time sheets after FP2 are Takkai Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) and Pol Espargaró (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), with 1:40.381 and 1:40.393 respectively. Pol Espargaró, in his role as local rider, will have to show tomorrow if he is able to materialise the good result, as he was the fastest KTM today.
Despite not being among the top 5, one of the riders who grabbed the largest attention is the leader of the championship, Marc Márquez. The Repsol Honda rider clocked the fastest time in the morning, but finished the day on seventeenth position. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo used today a new tank cover, in order to have more support in the leg area. Although it is early to draw any conclusions yet, the rider born in Mallorca had rather average results today, finishing fourteenth fastest.
Thomas Luthi tops the Moto2™ classification
Thomas Luthi (Dyanavolt Intact GP) was the most outstripped in the class. The Swiss clocked his fastest time during the morning session, with 1:44.673, as did Álex Márquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), although one tenth slower, 1:44.733. The Kalex machines dominated the top ten positions of the classification, led by two of them. The only rider able to join them was Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) and his Speed Up. Navarro was third fastest with 1:44.740.
On the other hand, Lorenzo Baldassarri, will have to do his best tomorrow to defend his leadership. The Italian was ninth fastest today, while his immediate rivals in the fight for the title topped the time sheets today.
Alonso López dominates in Moto3™
Estrella Galicia 0,0 took the top positions of the time sheets today with their riders Alonso López and Sergio García, clocking 1:49.167 and 1:49.184. They both were able to hold one of the most feared riders in place, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing). The runner-up in the championship clocked his fastest time in the afternoon, finishing one tenth slower than López and García, on third position.
The overall top Moto3™ riders, leader Arón Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) and number three, Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), did not really stand out today. Antonelli closed the top 10 and Canet was eighteenth.
These are the news as regards the sporting side of the event, but once the track activity had finished the festival continued. Fans had the chance to have a closer look at the Circuit, specifically at the pit lane, a sacred place for participants and their teams. They were able to watch the pit garages and the motorcycles up close, and waited for their idols to cheer them up ahead of the race.
Innovation and mobility in a conference on Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs organised by ACCIÓ
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was host to a conference on innovation at large events and the challenges of mobility, organised by ACCIÓ, the Agency for Company Competitiveness of the Catalan Government, attended by start-ups and entrepreneurs. Jordi Aguasca, Manager of the Startups Catalonia programme by ACCIÓ; Miquel Martí, CEO Barcelona Tech City and Joan Fontserè, General Manager of the Circuit addressed the participant. Fontserè introduced the Catalan racetrack as a case of innovation in the world of large events. Mobility models in large cities was also a topic of the conference, by means of the hardware platforms by Timo Buetefisch, CEO Cooltra; Pep Gómez, CEO Reby; Raquel Prieto, CCO Europe Drivy; and Alessio Merella, CEO Abinsula. The Catalan Monister for Enterprise and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, Àngels Chacón, did also attend the event.
UEI-CERCLEM introduces a project of virtual and augmented reality
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was also the venue of a company meeting dealing with technological innovation in the industrial sector. Today Unió Empresarial Intersectorial-Cercle d’Empresaris (UEI-CERCLEM) launched CERVA 4.0, a virtual and augmented reality testing centre, with the mission of supporting small and medium-sized companies to adapt to the new technological applications. The event was attended by Joan Diaz, President of Unión Empresarial (UEI), Josep Mayoral, mayor of Granollers, Josep Ortega, Head of Business at PTC España, Joaquim Colom, UEI General Manager and Francisco Lettieri, Commercial Manager at the Circuit.
More excitement tomorrow
Tomorrow from 9h, the last free practice sessions will be staged, and at 12.5h the start will be given to the qualifying sessions.
There will also be non-stop fun off the track. In the afternoon, fans will have the chance to make a lap around the track on their own motorbike during the activity called Vuelta GP, only a few hours after the World Championship riders.
Tickets to enjoy the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ are available at www.circuitcat.com from 45 euros, to have fun and enjoy the show both on and off the track. There are discounts and a wide range of tickets for all tastes and budgets.