After the hostile atmosphere of Mugello, MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez will be looking to recover from a second non-score of the season at this weekend's home Catalunya round.

The mistake in Italy saw Marquez's title advantage trimmed to a still healthy 23 points over nearest rival Valentino Rossi prior to Barcelona, where riders will face a new surface and revised penultimate turn relative to last season.

Both modifications were given the thumbs-up by riders during a recent private test, when Marquez was ranked sixth on the unofficial timesheets, headed by Maverick Vinales (Yamaha).

“I’m very happy anytime we race at home, in front of our fans, and I hope to give them an exciting race on Sunday, as that special atmosphere always gives you extra energy," Marquez said.



"We had a good test in Catalunya a few weeks ago, when we also had the chance to check out the layout, in particular the final section, which has been revised.

"I think they also did a really good job with the resurfacing: the tarmac now has very good grip and is very nice to ride on, even if the F1 cars are already starting to affect it by creating bumps at some of the braking points.

"The kerbs are still one of the track’s most challenging aspects; the inside kerbs are very high, and it’s a bit difficult to adapt your riding style to that. That said, it’s a nice track and we’ll try to make the best of it and fight for the podium again.”

Catalunya will be team-mate Dani Pedrosa's first event since the announcement that he will be replaced at Repsol Honda by Jorge Lorenzo in 2019.

Pedrosa is yet to announce his own plans - the choice effectively being to retire or switch to a satellite team - but more should be known of his intentions this weekend.

“The Catalan GP is always a special race because all our family, fans, and friends are there," Pedrosa said. "It always has a great atmosphere and a great feeling.

"The track itself is very nice, though demanding, especially for the tyres. You need to work a lot on the suspension and chassis setup to make sure you have good grip because you’re leaned over most of the time.

"Having partly returned to the original layout, we've also got back the final two downhill corners, which are really beautiful.”


Loading Comments...