Teams Arrive In Barcelona Eager To Fight For Spanish Victory!
- 14 June 2019
The MotoGP paddock has arrived in Barcelona and made their way to the famous Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya which is 4.6km long and full of passionate fans both in grandstands and within the prestigious paddock. It was a very unique celebration on Thursday with the riders dressing up in suits and enjoying a photoshoot opportunity on the race track to signify 70 years of the World Championship. The riders look very dapper in their outfits as they prepare to get set for race mode. There is scope for four to six riders charging for victory and pushing one another to the limit which is exciting for fans and the sport.
The target for each rider is to enter the garage, start well and feel comfortable from day one. As they ride around the paddock, it is hard to get a glimpse of the super stars at times when they go to and from their trailers to the garages to the track. The rhythm and routine is a very important part of their success campaign.
Marc Marquez will be going for victory and this was clear in the pre-event press conference. Points of course, he sets a reasonable target level as opposed to a guarantee. MM93: “We arrive in good form after Mugello. The bike and I are in a very good position now, I was able to rest a little between races and I’m back to full strength. There’s always a bit more excitement heading into a home GP and it's always a great pleasure to ride in front of all the fans. I’m hopeful of another strong result here in Catalunya to continue the work we’ve been doing.” Marquez is very aware of the Mission Winnow Ducati MotoGP rider’s ability to be finishing in the top sector of results. He feels they are a threat for the title and are great opponents.
In particular, Danilo Petrucci looks relaxed, composed and smiley again which makes a great difference to his results. Petrucci wants to continue fighting for podiums and race victories. The relationship Petrucci has with Andrea Dovizioso is intriguing. On one hand you have a tight knit Italian force and then you have a very fractured sense of jealously because points are key. Regardless of DesmoDovi helping Petrucci in the winter season, the goals are individual at times and it is clear that even with no team orders, the red riders are free to fight so long as it does not cost valuable Ducati one and two finishes.
In contrast, the rumour mill was running wild over the past couple weeks regarding Jorge Lorenzo. There are some people saying he will not last at Honda, others saying it is only a matter of time before he improves and many more fearing that it could be another season of winless emotions for the Spanish former World Champion. We know that once Lorenzo feels good and comfortable, he will be very fast and completely confident. JL99: “After a mixed weekend in Mugello, I am hoping that we can do good work this weekend in Barcelona. We will keep working at our maximum to close the gap to the front. We also have a test after the race, which I am looking forward to as well. I had a very interesting trip to Japan and we were able to work on many things, some which will help this weekend and some for the future.” The visit to Japan was an essential ingredient to improving Lorenzo’s race package and it is nice to see that he is dedicated. The Spartan wants to win with the Honda machinery.
Credit: CormacGP & LCR Honda Castrol MotoGP Team
In terms of other Honda crew, Cal Crutchlow is looking for a brighter finish in Spain. The last two races have been quite challenging and the team somewhat frustrated as they know the capability of Crutchlow and their package. CC35: “I hope so (that we’ll perform well here), but going on our previous results, it will be difficult – that’s the reality of the situation. But I’m very optimistic and am hoping that I have a good weekend. We were dissatisfied with the result after Mugello, but I’m looking to enjoy myself here and ride well with the team. We look forward to trying to regain some more points in the championship. Last year I had a good result in Barcelona and this year we’ll be looking to do the same again too”.
The Jack Miller factor is also going to push friend and on track foe Crutchlow because you have to beat as many riders as possible. Ride or put away the leathers is a clear mentality! With the disaster finish in Mugello for Miller, his aim is to finish as close to Marquez as possible knowing that if he can pump in the points for the team, his journey at Ducati is far from over. The moment he starts to fall behind, is the time when conversations behind closed doors take place and they are not positive ones to say the least. Come on Jack!
In talking grid place frustration, if there are any riders frustrated it is Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. Race after race they struggle. In practice they can showcase speed, strength and a prediction of pace. When Sunday arrives, it changes dramatically. Fingers crossed for good grip is Vinales main point of the weekend. Vinales has to improve his results because there are plenty of other riders wanting a bite at his feet to take his job! Rossi on the other hand just feels slow. VR46: "After the complicated weekend in Mugello we head to Barcelona, a track that I really like. Surely it will be another challenging weekend in Spain, because we were not very competitive last time round, and we need to work hard. But we will try to do our best to fix the problems and to achieve the best possible result. On Monday there will also be a test day and we will try to work as well as possible and make the most of the occasion.” At this stage, the Yamaha bike is not an ideal package nor a Championship winning bike which is concerning for the Japanese manufacturer. Changes are required quick smart in order to salvage their season.
In this sport, operations mid-way through a season are common and so is arm pump. If you ask a rider what it is like, they describe excruciating pain and a lack of strength which causes them to feel quite out of place on board two wheels. Fabio Quartararo has just experienced this and also undergone surgery which went well. The recovery process is key and he has been cleared fit for the weekend. FQ20: “It’s an operation that we hadn’t previously scheduled, but which we decided to go ahead with after discussions with Dr. Xavier Mir following the Italian GP. The conditions I experienced last Sunday weren’t normal, and they alerted us to the possibility of an arm pump issue. I preferred to have it treated now, in order to avoid any surprises in the future and be able to forget about it for the rest of the season. It was a short operation and one often performed on many riders, and was done by an expert on the matter. I want to thank Dr. Mir and his team for their availability and their work.” With the pump issue out of his mind, Quartararo can begin to chip away at more points and allow himself to grow as a rider from a strength and mindset perspective. Anything is possible with this young rookie who is an absolute go-getter!
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