Team Suzuki Press Office – June 2.
The MotoGP™ World Championship moves directly onto Catalunya this weekend following a highly emotional Italian Grand Prix on Sunday 30th May which was marked by the tragic loss of Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier.
Mugello saw a welcome return to the podium for Joan Mir, who managed his race very well to achieve third place. But it was a different story for Alex Rins when he crashed out of podium contention and had to accept another DNF. Team Suzuki Ecstar are ready to continue working to achieve a double podium, and where better than the riders’ home race? After all, last year Mir took a great second place at the Catalan circuit and Rins brought home third, making for an excellent GP for the Suzuki squad.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the most iconic on the calendar, having featured for the last 26 years. Like many European tracks it has a good mixture of tight hairpins, quick straights, and sweeping corners, making it one of the most physically demanding of the year. Set in Montmeló, not far from the beautiful city of Barcelona, it is also a home race for many of the championship’s Spanish riders.
Curiosity – GP of Catalunya: When sliding the bike at Turn 4 the telemetry indicates the speed difference between the front and rear tyre is about 80km/h for as much as 3 or 4 seconds.
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader & Team Director:
“Mugello was a hard weekend for everyone in the paddock, and although we’re glad that Joan was able to get a great third place, we are keen to get our focus onto this coming race weekend. Montmeló can be a very good circuit for us, especially as we achieved a very nice double podium here with our riders last year. It seems that our GSX-RR works well around this technical layout, but everything is very close in MotoGP lately and of course we will need to be well prepared and working hard from Friday onwards.”
“I’m looking forward to this race especially because it’s basically my home GP – I’m from Mallorca but Montmeló is the closest I can get to home turf! I really like the track and I enjoy riding here because you always get that special feeling with your home race. Usually I’m pretty quick around this circuit, so I’m ready to get going on Friday and see how the bike is working, I want to have good pace from FP1 onwards. The track is unusual in the sense that it has a bit of everything, it’s a “complete” track. And in that way you need to have everything working perfectly – set up for hard braking, for top speed, it’s another level. Aside from that, you’re always touching your shoulder on the ground! It’s exciting to ride.”
“After four zero-point scores in a row, the positive thing is that we’re able to get straight back on the bike and try again. First of all I need to fully understand what’s been happening with these front end crashes, then I need to see how my feeling and pace are. In Mugello I actually had good speed and I felt very strong, so I hope that it will be the same here in Montmeló. I want to work hard with the team and I really want to finish the race and put the bad results behind me. The track in general suits us pretty well, although we have a slightly different layout this year. It’s also nice to ride in Spain again, close to where I live, and it’s always a pleasure to ride this track in particular because I’ve been riding it since I was a very young kid so I am really familiar with it.”