Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Continue Championship Quest in Catalunya
After scoring strong results at Valentino Rossi's home race in Mugello, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP heads to Jorge Lorenzo's home race in Montmeló for this weekend's Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
After a sensational race in Italy where Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo scored the team's third consecutive double podium, they head to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the seventh round of the championship.
After being serenaded by home fans for his third place podium finish in Mugello, Rossi is excited to head to the next round in Montmeló. He has been leading the championship standing since the start of the season and is clearly in great shape. The Doctor holds a record of six premier victories with wins in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 and is also one of only two riders who have won the race in Catalunya from pole position, the other being his teammate.
Lorenzo has every reason to be happy; having found a good set up for his YZR-M1 he has won the last three races and currently holds second place in the championship. He hopes to continue his winning streak this weekend and bridge the six-points gap to his teammate in the overall standing. As Montmeló is a circuit he knows and loves, the Majorcan fancies his chances to add a fourth Catalan premier class victory to his earlier wins in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
The track hosted its first MotoGP race in 1992 and has been a crowd's favorite ever since. It has won the IRTA 'Best Grand Prix' trophy in 2001 and is known as one of the most atmospheric and exciting races on the calendar. The most famous battle in Montmeló happened between Rossi and Lorenzo in 2009.
Championship: 1st, 118 points
"I think Catalunya GP will be another good race, it seems that all races are great this year. The three main manufacturers are more or less at the same level and at every race you can expect everything. I love Barcelona, this is one of my favorite tracks. It's always difficult to go fast in that track but last year I rode one of my best races and this year I'm in good shape. We have to improve a few little things. We have to be better at finding the right set up for the bike and we have to be faster so we can start the race from a better position. The YZR-M1 is going really well, we are first and second in the championship and the last few races of Jorge proved the bikes' competitiveness. We are close and we will work strongly to make it a nice weekend in Barcelona."
Championship: 2nd, 112 points
"Three in a row is a good number of victories. I'd never thought this would be possible after a strange beginning of the championship with some external problems that affected my riding and also the results. After the win in Mugello I'm happy with my performance and also with the team's work. Everything is going well right now, I'm only six points behind Vale and the bike is feeling the way I like. The next stop is Barcelona and this is like my home race. I know Montmeló really well, I've been riding there for many years and I feel at home there. The track is really nice and is also good for Yamaha. I will give the maximum there and try to be prepared for the race so I can fight for the podium again."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We had a great weekend in Mugello and we are feeling motivated for the next round in Catalunya. Last week it was Vale's and the team's home race, this week it's Jorge who gets to put on a show for his home fans. He is feeling good with the bike after his third victory in a row. Valentino is also in a good condition and will be strong here as always. Both of them really like this circuit and have had good results here in the past, so we are looking forward to getting started. It will be important to hit the ground running on Friday, so we are prepared for both qualifying and the race."
Espargaro and Smith primed for Catalunya battle
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are geared up and ready for round 7 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Both riders will intend to clinch two strong results after concluding the Italian Grand Prix in positive style aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1's. The twisting 4.7 kilometre circuit has held many memorable MotoGP battles in recent years and Smith as well as Espargaro will aim to ride to glory in the satellite riders battle in front of the ever passionate Catalan crowd.
Bradley Smith produced his best performance so far this season by clinching a hard fought result of 5th at Mugello and will seek put himself in the mix for a top six placement in the 25 lap sprint around the Circuito de Catalunya. He currently sits in 6th in the championship and at the front of the satellite MotoGP riders and will look to continue his positive form by adding more points to his tally of 57. Furthermore, Pol Espargaro will be intending to speed to a top finish in front of his adoring home fans by battling with his teammate and challenging for the leading satellite bike position under the Catalan sun. The Spaniard determinedly bounced back from his recent arm surgery with an impressive showing in Mugello where he seized 6th and will look to go one step further at his home Grand Prix.
Championship: 6th, 57 points
"I will arrive at the Monster Energy sponsored Catalunya round confident of opening the weekend in positive style as we have been strong at almost every GP this season. It is a circuit that I enjoy with it's variety of different corners and the crowd is always amazing, especially in the last part of the track! In addition, the layout seems to suit the characteristics of the Yamaha YZR-M1 quite well, therefore, I'll be gunning for another top finish. In Mugello, the qualifying didn't go to plan so I aim to rectify this in Catalunya and grab a solid starting position to give me the best possible chance of success in the race. We also have a test on Monday where we will try out a few new ideas in order to help me in various areas as we look to bridge the gap to the leading riders. However, before that, there's the Catalan Grand Prix and my fists are clenched already for the battle on Sunday, which I can't wait to partake in."
Championship: 8th, 45 points
"Round 7 means it's time for my home Grand Prix and of course, this is one of the highlights of my season, especially as it's also sponsored by our title partner Monster Energy! To hear my fans cheering is an amazing feeling and I will do my very best to please them particularly as I grew up very close to this circuit, therefore it doesn't get any more of a home GP than this for me! Mugello was quite a positive race and most importantly a definite improvement after my recent arm surgery and so, I intend to do even better this weekend as I was able to start training again. I definitely have some good memories of racing at this track, like winning the Moto2 race from pole in 2013 which was the year I became champion and I aim to add another one to the collection this time. We also have a test after the race which will be very useful as we have a few things to adjust and amend, so I look forward to this week at home and I can't wait to get the show on the road!"
Athinà Forward Racing arrives in Catalunya for the seventh race of the season
After the home race in Mugello, Barcelona will host the seventh race of the 2015 season, the second on Spanish soil, which is scheduled this weekend at the track on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Loris Baz, Open class winner on the Italian track and second in the standings only behind Hector Barbera, comes to Spain motivated to reduce the gap to his rival and score points once again. It will be a welcome return to the Catalunya circuit where he raced for the last time in 2008.
Stefan Bradl is looking forward to jump on his Yamaha Forward bike again. The German, who was forced to retire prematurely at Mugello, proved to be consistent all weekend long and is aiming to lead the Open class in Montemelo.
Championship: 16th, 10 points
"I'll be back on the Barcelona track after so many years: the last time I rode here was in 2008. After the victory at Mugello, I'm motivated to do well again. We did a good job with the team and we are on the right track. Our target is to top the Open standings again and to score more points for the championship."
Championship: 23rd, 1 point
"We have been battling all weekend with the other Open bikes at Mugello. Unfortunately I was forced to retire after contact when I was fighting for the head of the class. We have made a good step forward after the test in Jerez and I'm arriving in Barcelona convinced that I can do well. The goal remains to win the Open class."