Aleix Espargaro, the only CRT rider to haves scored points in all four races, will be looking to extend his advantage as the top privateer in front of his home fans at Catalunya this weekend.

Espargaro scored a memorable podium in the Catalan Moto2 race last season, marking his first ever grand prix rostrum.

"I live virtually next door to the circuit so I have a lot of great memories here," said the Power Electronics Aspar rider. "It is quite a fast track and I love the majority of the corners.

"I am looking forward to racing in Spain for the second time this season and I usually go well at fast tracks so in general I am hopeful that this can be a positive weekend for us.

"Montmel? is one of the most complete circuits on the calendar in terms of its layout and also the facilities. I like that it is fast and wide, which makes it one of my favourite circuits in the world alongside Sepang."

Espargaro starts round five holding twelfth in the world championship standings, behind eleven manufacturer riders, and with a six-point lead over the next best CRTs of team-mate Randy de Puniet and Speed Master's Mattia Pasini.

"We have to continue working in the same way as we have done up to now and try to be amongst the fastest CRT bikes on Saturday and finish the race as best we can on Sunday," said Espargaro. "Hopefully it will be a fight between my team-mate Randy and myself to be the top CRT."

Despite often setting the CRT pace in practice and qualifying, de Puniet is yet to finish as the leading privateer in a race.

The Frenchman, who endured a miserable home race last time at Le Mans, also has favourable memories of Catalunya, where he took his first victory in the now defunct 250cc class back in 2003.

"I am feeling highly motivated ahead of the Catalunya Grand Prix, firstly because I am almost completely recovered from the pain in my ribs following the crash at Estoril," said d Puniet.

"I adore Montmel? as a circuit and I have two wins there in the 250cc class, including my first ever in 2003, as well as some good races in MotoGP to look back on. Just thinking about the circuit brings back good memories.

"Luck certainly hasn't been on our side so far this season so I hope that changes at a talismanic venue for me. Hopefully the weather is on our side too so that we get good conditions all weekend. Montmel? is quite a fast and technical track where you have to keep a good line all the way round, otherwise you lose a lot of time.

"I guess we will concede a lot to the factory bikes down the long straight but hopefully we can make some of that back up around some of the other corners that I love."


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