Voices from the press conference on the Catalonia GP
Even if the drivers often don’t reveal a lot of new information, one or the other remark is usually remembered. As usual, the three world championship leaders sat at the front at the press conference for the Catalan GP. Usually three more MotoGP riders are invited by Dorna, some of them from the smaller categories. This time, according to the strange season again, Pecco Bagnaia was up at the side of the two French despite his crash in Mugello. The following are the drivers’ comments from the Montmeló press conference.
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) the World Championship leader from France: “I like the track here very much, of course, since I was in Moto3. It suits my driving style very well and last year, of course, things went particularly well with the win. The most important improvement is a better feeling of what I now have with the bike. The team is doing an excellent job, and we definitely have good cards here too. My driving style is very aggressive to a certain extent, but also very gentle at times and I try to adapt it to the conditions on the track.”
Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) and fellow countryman of Fabio, as second in the Championship: “Despite fourth place, it was a good race at Mugello and as second in the World Championship it was definitely a good position. I’m happy to be here and now that my contract with Pramac Ducati has just been extended, I can concentrate on my work I like the circuit very much, and I am confident that I will have a good race. I had already tested the Superbike here in January, and I am already familiar with the newly converted curve 10. The difference to the MotoGP bike is there, but it is still a very big one fast bike. The biggest difference for me is the brakes and of course the tires..“
Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) as fifth in the World Championship: “The track is closest to my home, so it is a special race for me. Last year it went very well with a podium. I will do my best to deliver a race that is as good as in 2020. The goal is, of course, from now on to be more consistently up front and as often as possible on the podium.“
Jorge Margin (Pramac Ducati) after his injury break: “My goal was already to come back in Mugello and so the decision was made to try the comeback in my home country. During the break, it was very motivating for me how well things went for Ducati and my brand colleagues during my break. The fall in Portugal was very severe and for the first 15 minutes after that I was completely gone. Now a new chapter is beginning in Montmeló, and I am very happy to be back after a longer forced break. The doctors are satisfied with my condition and from now on things should improve again.“
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) as Mugello second: “This podium gives us an extra boost, and we’ve made great strides. We’ll try everything to be at the forefront here, and I have a good feeling that we can do it again this time. Both Brad Binder and I have high goals, and we are confident that we will be able to improve significantly compared to the beginning of the season in the next Grand Prix.“
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): “Of course, it’s great to be able to drive in front of some spectators again. In any case, we are here now, and I am trying to continue my process. The result is less important than the feeling. So I don’t care if I finish eighth or ninth on Sunday. After the long break to Portugal, I almost forgot how extremely high the demands on the MotoGP bike are. There were several improvements to the Honda during my absence, but for setup, I went back to my setup from earlier on early on. Right now I have to live with it and accept that various drivers are faster than I. Of course, I hope to return to my old strength soon.” (The editor: the multiple world champion claimed several times that it would be the first time in front of spectators in Barcelona, which of course is not true. This only proves that he apparently did not enjoy the first race in Losail on TV).
Remy Gardner (Red Bull Ajo Kalex Moto2) as Moto2 Championship Leader: “I’m already looking forward to racing for Tech 3 in next season’s MotoGP, but right now I’m concentrating on my job to finish the Moto2 season as well as possible. That’s my only focus at the moment and the prerequisites to be far ahead have never been so good. I’ve had some tough years and now all the work seems to be paying off.” (the editors: On April 5, 2021, we were the first to report on the MotoGP promotion from Remy to Tech 3. It was not officially announced until almost two months later, shortly before the press conference on the track near Barcelona).
Alex Rins is missing from racing bike training after a broken arm!
Shortly before the press conference, it was announced that the Catalan would not be able to take part in his home race. After 4 crashes in a row, the MotoGP “Inspector Gadget”, as some often called it, is not part of the seventh race of the season. If the news received is correct, paradoxically, he was even on the racetrack on Thursday morning when he broke a spoke on his right arm during racing bike training. Rins will of course be out of action, and it is to be expected that the Suzuki test driver Sylvain Guintoli, who happens to be on site as a TV commentator, will step in for the long-suffering regular driver. As an exception, this time, with Quartararo and Zarco, three French riders would be on the track together in MotoGP. In this case, of course, the former WorldSBK champion is not expected to be on the podium, but hopes would be championship points.
Circuito de Cataluña
World Championship stand in all classes after the 6th round at Mugello
Catalonia Grand Prix schedule
>GP Barcelona preview: see separate report on this page.
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