Reigning MotoGP champion Casey Stoner will be the main obstacle between a coveted home victory for the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa in Sunday's Catalan MotoGP.

Stoner has finished on the Barcelona podium for the last five years, including victories in 2007 and 2010.

The Australian, who intends to retire at the end of this season, heads into this weekend's event second in the championship to Lorenzo by just eight points.

The Repsol Honda star will thus be seeking to at least close the points gap and bid a fond farewell to a circuit he 'fell in love with' early in his career.

"Catalunya is one of my favourite races and it was the first major grand prix circuit I tested on," explained Stoner.

"Ever since that moment I fell in love with the track, the big fast sweeping corners there's a lot of control in the middle of the turn trying to get grip for the exit.

"We know the Honda works well here and we had a good race here last year, I just hope this weekend will be dry, that would be great!

"After the race we have a test on Monday. I really hope the weather is good for us as it's an important test going forward for the remainder of the season," he added.

Both Lorenzo and Stoner have won two of the four races so far this season.

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