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MotoGP champ Marquez leads Superprestigio line-up

Reigning MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 world champions Marc Marquez, Esteve Rabat and Alex Marquez to take on likes of Troy Bayliss and Brad Baker for Superprestigio dirt track title
Not content with claiming his third world championship in as many years and smashing Mick Doohan's 17-year old record of race wins in a single MotoGP season, Marc Marquez is preparing to take on a selection of the world's finest dirt trackers at the Superprestigio event in Barcelona.

Following on from the successful inaugural event last January, the second running of the Superprestigio takes place on Saturday and boasts a line-up befitting of its venue and organiser. Set in the classy Palau San Jordi, metres from the old grand prix road circuit in the Montjuïc hill overlooking the Catalan capital, Marquez has invited an all-star cast to lay siege to the 200-metre circuit.

Usually the scene of music concerts and national basketball events, the arena has been transformed into a dirt-lined oval for the season-ending event. On Friday it welcomes six road racing world champions in the 'Superprestigio' class and a further four in the 'Open' category for testing before the practice, qualifying and racing heats take place on Saturday.

Continuing the proud Catalan tradition of hosting world class dirt track events which pit grand prix stars against American dirt trackers, the 2014 showcase will see a repeat of the January vintage, in which Marquez was overcome by American Grand National flat track champion Brad Baker in the final for the maiden Superprestigio title (pictured).

Baker and Marquez's job will be a notch more challenging this time around after the announcement that three-time World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss had entered the event. Now 45-years old, Bayliss has been taking dirt track seriously since his world championship retirement in 2008 and is the current holder of Australia's 250/400cc dirt track titles.

The two remaining 2014 grand prix world champions, Tito Rabat and Marc's younger brother Alex, are also entered alongside MotoGP 'Factory' riders Scott Redding and Bradley Smith. Add in ex-world champions Toni Elias and Julian Simon, plus grand prix winners Mika Kallio, Johann Zarco, Jordi Torres and Jonas Folger and the 'Superprestigio' category alone enjoys a superstar-studded feel.

No less than 112 grand prix victories and eleven world championships are shared across the class.

Baker meanwhile will have to contend with current American Grand National flat track champion Jared Mees and 2012 All-Star Pro champion Shayna Texter in the 'Open' class. Fresh from claiming his second national title in October, Mees will have American expectations resting on his shoulders as he aims to uphold the USA's proud dirt track tradition in his first European race.

Great Britain is well represented in the 'Open' category too, with Guy Martin, 15 times a podium finisher at the Isle of Man TT, the highest profile participant. As was the case in 2013, British dirt track specialists Tim and Tom Neave are among the 48 entries. Ex-World Superbike runner and former British Supermoto champion Christian Iddon will line up in the 'Superprestigio' class.

The 'Open' class also boasts four world champions of different racing disciplines. Four-time World Enduro champion Ivan Cervantes will compete alongside Taddy Blazusiak [five time Superenduro world champion], Thomas Chareyre [three time Supermoto world champion] and Joonas Kylmakorpi [three time FIM Long Track Champion].

Riders got a feel for their machines on Thursday afternoon at the pre-event shakedown at the Rufea dirt track, 100 miles west of Barcelona. An hour-long test session gets underway on Friday evening before free practice starts at 11.00 on Saturday.

The Superprestigio and Open heats then begin at 18.00 before the four best riders from each class subsequently meet for a twelve-lap dash in the 'Superfinal' event.

If January's event is anything to go by Saturday should serve up another scintillating battle, befitting of its location and entry that will go some way to showing whether Americans can still claim to be the masters of dirt track.

The 2014 Superprestigio Dirt Track line-up can be seen below:

Superprestigio class
93 Marc Márquez (ESP) – MotoGP
53 Esteve Rabat (ESP) – Moto2
12 Àlex Márquez (ESP) – Moto3
24 Toni Elías (ESP) – WSBK
60 Julián Simón (ESP) – Moto2
21 Troy Bayliss (AUS) – WSBK
45 Scott Redding (GBR) – MotoGP
38 Bradley Smith (GBR) – MotoGP
36 Mika Kallio (FIN) – Moto2
5 Johann Zarco (FRA) – Moto2
94 Jonas Folger (GER) – Moto2
23 Marcel Schrotter (GER) – Moto2
19 Xavier Simeon (BEL) – Moto2
7 Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) – Moto2
88 Ricard Cardús (ESP) – Moto2
9 Kenny Noyes (USA) – Moto2
81 Jordi Torres (ESP) – Moto2
33 Enea Bastianini (ITA) – Moto3
2 Remi Gardner (AUS) – Moto3
91 Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) – Moto3
11 Albert Arenas (ESP) – Moto3
15 Dani Ribalta (ESP) – Endurance
99 Christian Iddon (GBR) – WSBK
87 Luca Marconi (ITA) – Supersport

Open class
6 Brad Baker (USA) – Flat Track
1 Jared Mees (USA) – Flat Track
50 Shayna Texter (USA) – Flat Track
610 Joonas Kylmäkorpi (FIN) – Long Track
25 Iván Cervantes (ESP) – Enduro
111 Tadeusz 'Taddy' Blazusiak (POL) – Superenduro
4 Thomas Chareyre (FRA) – Supermoto
8 Guy Martin (GBR) – TT/Endurance
3 José Pedro Gómez (ESP) – Supermoto
14 Tim Neave (GBR) – Dirt Track
90 Aidan Collins (GBR) – Dirt Track
68 Tom Neave (GBR) – Dirt Track
30 Alan Birtwistle (GBR) – Dirt Track
28 Oliver Brindley (GBR) – Dirt Track
10 Francesco Cecchini (ITA) – Dirt Track
121 Fabrizio Vesprini (ITA) – Dirt Track
20 José Luis Martínez (ESP) – Motocross
66 Joel Lozano (ESP) – Motocross
13 Jaume Gaya (ESP) – Supermoto
16 Àngel Grau (ESP) – Supermoto
17 Gerard Bailo (ESP) – Supermoto
77 Ferran Cardús (ESP) – Road Racing
18 Franc Serra (ESP) – Motocross
91 Raúl Cardona (ESP) – Flat Track will be providing live coverage from this weekend's Superprestigio, both via and our Twitter account @Crash_MotoGP.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Brad Baker and Marc Marquez in action at the Superprestigio dirt track (pic: DTXBarcelona).
Rider line-up, pre-event press conference, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rider line-up, pre-event press conference, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
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Iannone, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
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Dovizioso, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
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Iannone, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Iannone, Crutchlow, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
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December 12, 2014 2:57 PM
Last Edited 97 days ago

WOAH! what a line up this event is..... Crikey I would love to be there in person to see this. I am really keen to see how Bayliss fairs against these young guys because he is seriously fast on flat track. Christian Iddon is also really quick on a motard so will be interesting to watch him aswell. What a pity no Rossi though, that would have made the event unbelievable (not that it wont already be a super star filled race). In the open class, keen to see how Taddy Blazusiak goes, he is such a rare talent on a motorcycle, not sure how he is on flat track though, really interesting event! Cant wait for the results! go Bayliss!

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