Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) As a three-time GP winner after an intermediate high from Jack Miller, he is obviously the man again to beat if you want to be on top of the podium.

Preview of the MotoGP Grand Prix of Catalonia

To anticipate, the guide times from earlier years are no longer worth anything after the conversion of the “supermarket car park curve” (the name for Turn 11 by Valentino Rossi). Proof of this was provided by the official WorldSBK test on the Circuito de Cataluña in spring. The route, which is very popular with many fans and drivers, became faster and hopefully a little safer for around half a second. Many still remember “Jorge’s bowling hour” from 2019. As so often, we were there when the Mallorcan not only took himself out of the race with his crash in this corner, but also Dovi, Rossi and Maverick at the same time. The culprit is no longer there this time, he only acts as a “social media playboy” and occasionally annoys current drivers, which means he is no longer dangerous.

In the centre of the back the point in question, taken by us shortly before the renovation – when WorldSBK was a guest here at the time, we unfortunately experienced a ghost race at its premiere due to the pandemic.

The statistics of the last Grand Prix years in Barcelona

The current riders had very different experiences in MotoGP here. Aleix Espargaró holds the absolute negative record of the last six MotoGP races on the Circuito de Cataluña with just one finish. This is just as bad as Jack Miller had before Mugello in 2021 and the Australian has already experienced some difficult races on the track in Montmeló, a suburb of Barcelona. In addition to Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Joan Mir, the dominator of the Italian GP can confidently be called a Barcelona specialist. Alex Rins was also very successful here, just like Petrux, but the best cut is the Monster Energy Yamaha pilot and world championship leader with a win and 20th place. Below are the statistics of the current drivers and including the entire history since 1992.

The names of the riders in the two-stroke categories are listed in italics. Until 1995 the race was held as the “GP de Europa Barcelona”. As in Mugello, Valentino Rossi is also the record holder here with 7 wins in the premier class, and he has even won three times in the smaller classes here.

Circuito de Cataluña

It is one of the routes that is definitely one of the most attractive for spectators. Well visible from many places and you can confidently buy the cheapest standing room tickets, called Pelouse in Spain. But this time, like in the first Corona year, everything is a little different and the few available tickets are already sold out. That is why we forego our usual prior tips for most routes for secret routes to the racetrack, which can often be used to spare your nerves and avoid traffic jams. With 1047 meters it has one of the longest start-finish straight and with 4.542 km it belongs to the front midfield in terms of route length and is 0.7 km shorter than Mugello, from where the MotoGP entourage is currently arriving. With 8 right and 6 left turns, the course is driven clockwise like most in the calendar.

Route sketch with the different grandstands – curve 10 on the right in the picture can now be driven much more smoothly, after it has finally been optimized and clearly greatly improved, which should also serve safety.
Our photograph of the visitor car park with a view of the huge main grandstand in the background. One of the many reasons why we have always been happy to be guests here for many years is the excellent range of overnight accommodations at quite moderate prices, in contrast to, for example, Jerez, Brno, Spielberg or Mugello.

What can we expect at the Grand Prix of Catalonia

Except for a long straight, there are not very much in common with Mugello, Losail or Portimão. Despite the long straights, one cannot speak of a Ducati circuit, which many had said of Losail and Mugello, although the statistics speak completely against it. Of course, Zarco, Mille and Bagnaia have advantages on the long straights, but as you saw at the Grand Prix of Qatar and Italy, today’s drivers mostly win their races in the corners. If the current weather forecasts are correct, it should mostly remain dry and relatively cool at between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius. The man to be beaten on the Circuito de Cataluña is almost certainly Fabio Quartararo. At least in the event that he should not fall unexpectedly, the only three-time winner is one of the hottest candidates for victory together with Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia and the two Suzukis.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) was cheated of his podium in Mugello by the FIM-Stewards on Sunday when Mir and Oliveira were not punished for the same offence as Joe Roberts in Moto2 for breaking track limits. Nevertheless, the fast Frenchman is now second behind his compatriot after P4.
Aerial view of the modern route in the industrial area of one of the suburbs of Barcelona, very close to the Costa Brava with many beautiful beaches and countless hotels of every price range. As in the previous year, only a few have privileged access when the second Grand Prix of the year is held here on Spanish soil.

Catalonia GP schedule

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).