We Arrive On Spanish Soil – Jerez 2021 MotoGP, Ready For The Battles!
Welcome to Jerez! A circuit that is favoured by a lot of riders and in particular Fabio Quartararo. The French rider is super excited to get back on track and expects big things to happen and a strong weekend to take place. Quartararo has become more calm on the motorcycle and his results are reflecting the change in persona. The growth we have witnessed in Quartararo is refreshing because a rider can be at the top of the sport and then crash and burn never finding that form again as a result of their mindset. Therefore, this weekend will be vital to ensure the Monster Energy Yamaha rider brings home the goods Yamaha has dreamed of since the glory days of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Staying highly motivated, working through mixed conditions and deciding on which tyres to utilise will be the key ingredients for the Yamaha squad this weekend. Maverick Vinales is for sure being pushed by his teammate and watching the French riders wins will be making him eager to dethrone the young rider.
“I’m excited to go racing in Jerez this weekend. We start this GP with a lot of confidence. Last year I won both races at that track. This year I begin the Spanish GP having won the two previous races. Of course, you never know what can happen in MotoGP, but I’m feeling good at the moment, so we will do our best again!”
“Normally, I feel really good in Jerez. It’s a track where we usually go fast and are quite consistent. The race in Portimao didn’t go as planned, but last year we have seen how strong we can be in Jerez. If everything goes like that again this weekend, I can take care of the rest.”
When it comes to rhythm, Marc Marquez is finding his feet once again and his debut race was superb considering the severity of his injury. Spending as much time as possible on a MotoGP machine is key to bring the fitness level up to scratch and compete at 100%. The benefit Marquez has over his own teammate is the fact that he knows the Honda bike like a map to a treasure chest. The multiple World Champion has been following the recovery plan diligently and we are very excited to see him battle once again knowing that his body will allow him to do so. Every MotoGP race deserves a bit of the MM93 elbow style and pushing other riders to their absolute limit. In comparison, Pol Espargaro loves the Jerez circuit though as a first timer onboard a Honda, it may not be the kind of race he anticipates where he is battling in the top ten. Normally, Espargaro would rely on the crowd to boost his confidence, unfortunately, he will have to rely on his own team personnel to give him the energy lift he needs to find form and be competitive.
“Now we are back into the rhythm of racing, after a productive week we are coming back to the track. I have continued to work through my recovery programme to make sure my physical condition is improving and following the advice of the doctors I have not ridden a motorcycle since Portugal. So, of course I am excited to get back on the bike! We approach Jerez the same way as Portimao; we are here to keep improving step by step and do the best job that we can. My recovery is continuing, and the important thing is that we keep improving our consistency. Let’s put on a great weekend for the fans who can’t attend.”
“Jerez is a circuit we all know very well but it will be my first time there on the Honda. Stefan has been doing a lot of riding there with the Test Team, so we will have some good data to look at before the weekend and the work begins. Improving our Saturday performance remains one of my major goals, if we get this right then we can show our true potential on Sunday. We were unlucky in Portugal, now we reset and come at this new weekend ready to deliver on what we know our potential is. It’s a shame not to have all the fans track-side, racing in Spain is always special and especially in Jerez there’s an incredible atmosphere normally.”
With the news of Aprilia renewing to stay in MotoGP and Rossi looking to have his own team, the excitement levels have grown though things are still up in the air. Rossi looks to have secured money and sponsorship from a Saudi holding company which belongs to Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Suad as well as Tanal Entertainment. The Saudi company is known as Aramco, although no official confirmation has been written and sent out. There will be mixed feelings about the sponsorship purely based on where it is coming from. Could we see the Rossi factor on the grid in MotoGP 2022 from a completely different perspective and will he be the main feature rider? We must be patient to find out what exactly is taking place behind closed doors. In the meantime, Rossi has a job to complete at PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing MotoGP Team and the demands for results are clear. At present, Rossi is having a terrible season and it is not normal to see the Italian rider struggling for pace, crashing too often and emotionally charged inside the box. We anticipate that he will find form, it is just a matter of when this actually takes place because the title is running away from him and towards others! In contrast, Franco Morbidelli has picked up the pace and found a level of confidence that was present in 2020 when he finished second, taking home some silverware. Jerez will be a match that he needs to light and find form in order to keep the team happy.
“I think Jerez is one of the circuits on the MotoGP calendar that I most look forward to racing every year, because I have some great memories from there. In fact, last year I was on the podium in the second race of the season – the AndaluciaGP. My pace during the race in Portugal last time out was quite good, we made some improvements, so we go into this fourth round of the year with more optimism than before. For sure, a lot of riders will be strong in Jerez, because we all know it very, very well, but we will try our best and see what we can do to return to the top positions where we have to be.”
“The track at Jerez is really nice and I have been fast there. Last year I was very close to finishing on the podium in both races we had at Jerez, so I hope we can actually make it a podium this time. This year the competition is tougher and the level is higher, but I will be trying my hardest to stay as close as possible to the top-three and we’ll just have to wait and see if I can manage it. We need to be ready to react to the circuit and the other riders, but we are ready to give our maximum and to be the best that we can.”
In terms of the Ducati outfit, this weekend we have Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller fighting for glory whilst Tito Rabat fills in for the injured Jorge Martin. In 2020, Bagnaia had bad luck at the Jerez circuit with the engine failing, so he has every reason to want to make Jerez a circuit where success is achieved. Confidence will be everything for the Ducati riders this weekend. In fact, it is vital to see Australian rider Miller on the podium or top five because the more his teammate outperforms him, the more Johann Zarco is fuelling the fire to take his job. We know how hard Ducati work their riders for wins, podiums and points. The threat is real. It was a good move to bring in Rabat for the Pramac ride purely because he has experience with the Ducati set up, style and was on track with MotoGP last year. We will be keeping our eyes on Rabat, just to see how things play out considering Martin’s recovery program.
"After the second place in the last round at Portimão, where I struggled a lot in 2020, I arrive at the Spanish GP full of energy and determination. Last year I was very competitive at Jerez, and this year I feel I can be even stronger, although obviously, we'll have to see how this weekend develops. I feel very comfortable with the team, and we're doing a really good job together, so I'm confident that we can have another good race on Sunday".
"I'm really excited to be back racing at Jerez, a track where I was very competitive last year, finishing fourth in the Spanish GP. The first races of 2021 were quite difficult, but my feeling with the Desmosedici is good, and after the operation on my right forearm, I didn't have any more arm pump issue during the weekend. I am confident I can have a good race this Sunday".
Further down the grid, Alex Marquez is motivated to with the return of his brother and feeling more at home with his LCR Honda machine. The jokes between the two brothers are fun and engaging as baby Marquez was beaten in Portugal by his brother. The eagerness to perform is red hot now as the two brothers certainly work together to stay in the top of the timing sheets. A home race is always a nice way to push limits and defy critics, so we are excited to see the LCR Honda in action on track this weekend.
“We go to the Jerez GP 100% motivated after a good result in Portimao. It’s true we still need to improve a lot and work a lot, but it’s a good step for us to get all the information from Portimao, we’ll get a lot of data to improve. Everything will be more clear, but with the same objectives which are to finish (well) in the race, but also qualifying a bit better to help make a good race. As we’ve always said, Saturday is half of the race, to get a good qualifying and a good position on the grid. So I’m looking forward to being there and working with the team, it’s a home GP and a special race and we’ll look to be competitive from the beginning.”
Team Suzuki Ecstar are the ones to beat as you look towards consistency. They are a solid team with reliability and two quality riders. The one main difference between Joan Mir and Alex Rins is staying board the bike. If Rins can perfect his race distance and fighting tactics, his opportunities for victories and podiums will grow. Both riders like the circuit, the bike is well suited and the team is hungry for the top of the podium. It was at this circuit that Rins did his shoulder, so there will be skeletons in the closest that he will have to move on very quickly in order to be at 100% focus and at a level that enables him to chase the victory.
“I was really pleased to be on the podium in Portugal, and I want to match this result and better it, my goal is to be in the top three every race if possible! Here at Jerez I think our bike can be strong, and it’s a circuit I like a lot, but I’m also expecting the competition level to be really high - even more than normal - because all the riders know this circuit very well and in general the level is extremely high this year. But as usual I will aim to put in the best performance possible and bring Suzuki a nice result and a bunch of points.”
“It’s so nice to arrive here in Jerez in good shape, last year was very hard with my injury and it’s a great feeling to come back here fully fit. I’m confident with the way the bike is working at the moment, and this is a circuit that I like a lot. For sure it will be a very intense weekend with a lot of riders being very competitive, but I’m excited to put any bad memories behind me and get a great result.”
Let the weekend get underway and the Spanish party of racing entertain everyone from across the globe!Protect your Motorcycle. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.