Jorge Lorenzo, Grand Prix of Italy, Qualifying
News Report 1 June 2016

2016 MotoGP Spain - Circuit de Catalunya

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4727 m
06 / 05 / 2016
14:00 Local time

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Impatient to Start Montmeló Match


After the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team scored their third consecutive win in Mugello a fortnight ago, they head to the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship. Teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi both love the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and are eager to show their strong pace again this weekend.

After securing his second Grand Prix win in a row in Mugello, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo is shaping up for his home race at this Sunday's Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Valentino Rossi shares the love his teammate feels for the circuit in Montmeló and can't wait to bounce back from a premature end to his home GP in Mugello with a strong race this weekend.

Feeling good with his YZR-M1, Lorenzo is currently leading the championship by ten points and is eager to continue his winning streak at his home Grand Prix this weekend and take a third consecutive race win in front of his home fans. The Montmeló circuit is a track he likes very much, so the Mallorcan hopes to seize the opportunity to add a fifth Catalan premier class victory to his earlier wins in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

After the abrupt ending to an otherwise strong Mugello weekend, Rossi is determined to return to the podium in Montmeló. He holds a record of six premier class victories in Catalunya with wins in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. At the moment, the Doctor holds third place in the 2016 championship standings and, as he is clearly in great shape, he fancies his chances to reduce the 37-point gap to his teammate this weekend.

The Catalunya track opened its doors in 1991 for the Spanish F1 Grand Prix and went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix four years later. The circuit then became home to the Gran Premio de Catalunya and has been a crowd favourite 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, with the most famous battle in Montmeló being the unforgettable duel between Rossi and Lorenzo in 2009.

Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“After a short break of a week, we are feeling motivated for the next round in Catalunya. We are moving from Vale's and the team's home race to another special event, as it will be Jorge‘s home Grand Prix this weekend. He is approaching Montmeló with a lot of confidence, having won two consecutive races at the last rounds. He really likes this track and so does Valentino. Vale is also in a good condition and feeling good with the bike, so he will be strong too. This track has been the host to some incredible races and we have achieved good results for our team here in the past, so we are looking forward to getting started.”

Jorge Lorenzo

Championship: 1st, 115 points

“Here we are, at my home race. Barcelona is so special for me. It‘s a track I love and most of my people are coming to this Grand Prix. I lived here for a long time and here I feel at home. I‘m still savouring my last win in Mugello, that one was so special because of the many ingredients that were mixed in. It was an important race for the championship. Now in Montmeló we need to add more points obviously but we will try to show our potential and try to fight again for the victory”

Valentino Rossi

Championship: 3rd, 78 points

“The Catalunya Grand Prix is held at one of my favourite tracks. I like the circuit a lot as well as the atmosphere. I think that I can have a good potential to do a good race. I‘m coming to Spain with the knowledge that I‘m able to be fast, but also with regret for what would have been a great race at Mugello. The most important thing is that we were very fast on Sunday thanks to the work we did during the weekend. In Barcelona we have to work in the same way and get ready to race.”

Espargaro ready for home GP battle, Smith eyes up strong finish

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith keenly await the highly anticipated round seven fight at the Circuito de Cataluña this weekend, with both intending to seal top tier results. The Monster Energy sponsored event will take place at the state of the art track with a full house expected to watch the 25-lap sprint on Sunday.

Pol Espargaro will seek to ride to glory in front of his fans and finish at the front in the battle for the top independent position. The 24-year-old who was born in Granollers, just a stone's throw from the circuit, looks to build on his current standing at the head of the satellite tussle in the championship, by completing the race as close as possible to the factory MotoGP riders.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith intends to build on his promising result of 7th at the previous round in Mugello, with another strong performance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 this weekend. The return to form leaves the young Briton confident of following up last year's result of 5th, with a determined display this weekend.

Pol Espargaro

Championship: 7th, 48 points

"I am very excited for this weekend because not only is it my home race, but I am looking forward to putting on a good show for my fans who mean a lot to me. The atmosphere there is always electric and their support really spurs me on, so I will do my absolute best to give them something to cheer about. I have spent a lot of time on this track, but it will never get boring because it really is a spectacular circuit and one that challenges every aspect of our riding. The straight is long so the Ducati's will have a slight advantage, yet, the Yamaha enjoys the corners and is always strong there, so it will be close plus I think we can be at the front of the independent battle on Sunday afternoon. Last weekend's race ended in a disappointing way for me, however, I am ready to turn everything around and have a positive race in Montmelo."

Bradley Smith

Championship: 12th, 29 points

"As always, I am confident of hitting the ground running in Barcelona and I am certain that I can carry on the positive momentum from the last GP. The Cataluña circuit is one of the best that we visit and it has a good mix of corners and straights, which make it physical and demanding but great fun to ride. Last year I finished as the leading satellite rider in 5th, the result may be a bit more difficult to achieve this year because the level of competition has risen, but I will still give it everything I've got to score a solid position. It may have taken me a bit longer than some other rides to adapt to the Michelin tyres, but we have made the step and I can now get the results that I want and need to. This weekend I will be gunning for the top independent team position and I know Pol will be strong there, so I'll do my best to beat him at his home GP."