2018 Barcelona MotoGP Press Release Previews

Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Michelin:

Marquez and Pedrosa looking forward to home GP in Catalunya

The Repsol Honda Team is heading to the newly resurfaced Circuit de Catalunya for Round 7 of the season. Championship leader Marc Marquez and teammate Dani Pedrosa had the chance to test the new asphalt and the track’s updated layout before the Italian GP.

The run-off area for turn 13 has been worked on, track officials enlarging the run-off area by more than 20 meters while also removing the surrounding grandstands. The bank angle of turn 10 and 11 has also been altered.

As it is the case with other six rounds of the season, the Catalan Grand Prix will be shortened in length compared to previous years. This time the race will change from 25 laps to 24.

At the Gran Premi de Catalunya:

Marc Marquez has 2 wins, 1×125 (2010) and 1xMotoGP (2014), plus an additional 5 podiums and 3 pole positions.

Dani Pedrosa has 3 wins, 1×125 (2003), 1×250 (2005) and 1xMotoGP (2008), plus an additional 10 podiums and 4 pole positions.

Marc and Dani have stood together on the podium on four occasions: in 2013 (Dani 2nd and Marc 3rd), 2014 (Marc 1st and Dani 3rd) in 2016 (Marc 2nd and Dani 3rd), and in 2017 (Marc 2nd and Dani 3rd).

Marc Marquez

“I’m very happy anytime we race at home, in front of our fans, and I hope to give them an exciting race on Sunday, as that special atmosphere always gives you extra energy. We had a good test in Catalunya a few weeks ago, when we also had the chance to check out the layout, in particular the final section, which has been revised. I think they also did a really good job with the resurfacing: the tarmac now has very good grip and is very nice to ride on, even if the F1 cars are already starting to affect it by creating bumps at some of the braking points. The kerbs are still one of the track’s most challenging aspects; the inside kerbs are very high, and it’s a bit difficult to adapt your riding style to that. That said, it’s a nice track and we’ll try to make the best of it and fight for the podium again.”

Dani Pedrosa

“The Catalan GP is always a special race because all our family, fans, and friends are there. It always has a great atmosphere and a great feeling. The track itself is very nice, though demanding, especially for the tyres. You need to work a lot on the suspension and chassis setup to make sure you have good grip because you’re leaned over most of the time. Having partly returned to the original layout, we got back the final two downhill corners, which are really beautiful.”

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Continue Contest for Championship in Catalunya


Following a test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya three weeks ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team return to Barcelona for round seven of the MotoGP World Championship.

After securing a third place at the Mugello circuit, being serenaded by the Italian crowds, and simultaneously taking over second place in the championship rankings, Valentino Rossi is ready to commence the championship battle in Barcelona.

The Doctor has a 23-point margin to the leader in the standings and hopes to strengthen his position as a title contender this weekend at a circuit that he knows like the back of his hand. He holds an impressive 13-year podium streak there, that lasted from 1997 to 2009 and was spread out over various classes (MotoGP, 500cc, 250cc and 125cc). He has secured the victory at the Montmeló track ten times in total, seven of which whilst competing in the premier class (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2016).

The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya is also a round Maverick Viñales looks forward to. He previously achieved four consecutive podium finishes there in the lower classes, with a second place in 125cc (2011), a first and third place in the Moto3 championship (2012 and 2013), and a second position in Moto2 (2014). He is yet to climb onto the MotoGP rostrum in Barcelona and has made that his goal for this weekend.

Though the previous rounds demanded considerable effort from the Spaniard, the youngster still holds third place in the championship rankings, just five points behind his teammate.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has featured on the MotoGP calendar for more than 25 years now. It soon became a crowd favourite after hosting its first MotoGP race in 1992. The Catalan round is known as one of the most atmospheric and thrilling races on the calendar. This was further highlighted when the venue won the IRTA 'Best Grand Prix' trophy in 2001. However, the recent tragic passing of Andreas Pérez after round four of the Moto3 Junior World Championship, held in Montmeló last weekend, will cast a shadow over the upcoming GP. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team's and Yamaha's thoughts remain with the family, friends and team of Perez this weekend.

Valentino Rossi

Championship: 2nd – Points: 72

"I hope I can be stronger at the Catalunya circuit, I think our potential there is better than it was at Mugello. At the test in Montmeló we found something. The new track surface is better for us, the new asphalt helps the Yamaha. We were still suffering in some places, but we have to stay focused, not give up and try to gain points."

Maverick Viñales

Champtionship: 3rd – Points: 67

"Montmeló is a very special track for me because it's my home Grand Prix. There is always a beautiful atmosphere there, with so many enthusiastic fans. Despite the result in Mugello we are in a good mood and very motivated. We will try to obtain as many points as we can to continue going upwards in the way we're approaching this championship. I would love to be on the podium in Montmeló, that would be great for me and for the team. They are working hard to find the best set-up for our bike in every GP, so let's keep focused and we´ll show the best side of us for our fans."

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

"After an important and useful test in Catalunya a few weeks ago, we now return to the circuit of Montmeló for round 7. We've already been able to try the new asphalt, so we have a basis set-up in place for Friday. The team is looking forward to getting this weekend started, because the track's lay-out generally suits our bike and also Valentino and Maverick have had their fair share of success there. Valentino has scored two consecutive podium places at the previous two rounds and is determined to keep the momentum going. Maverick is also fired up to get a good result at his home GP and is 100% committed to produce a good show for the Catalan crowds, who always strongly support us."

The Ducati Team arrives at the Montmeló circuit for the Gran Premi de Catalunya

Following their superb 1-2 victory at Mugello last Sunday, the Ducati Team riders are now gearing up for the seventh round of the season, which is scheduled to take place this weekend at the Spanish circuit of Montmeló, on the outskirts of Barcelona. A long main straight and numerous overtaking areas make the Catalan circuit one of the most spectacular in the entire calendar and the Catalan GP always attracts a massive number of spectators.

At Mugello Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso pulled off a truly historic feat, obtaining the first-ever 1-2 win for the Italian manufacturer at the splendid Tuscany circuit. The Spanish rider, after an excellent start, remained at the front for the entire duration of the race, scoring his first win on a Ducati in front of the Italian fans, while Dovizioso capitalized on an uncharacteristic setback for points leader Marquez to reduce the gap between them in the overall standings. Three weeks ago both Ducati Team riders took part in a one-day test at the Catalan circuit, obtaining a series of interesting indications for the GP in conditions that should not be that much different to the ones expected this weekend.

Last year it was Andrea Dovizioso who triumphed in the Catalan Grand Prix, the Italian taking the second of his six wins in 2017, while Jorge Lorenzo finished in fourth place after a good recovery. Four wins in the last eight years are an excellent form guide for the Spanish rider at the Catalan circuit.

The Catalan Grand Prix weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55am, while the 24-lap race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 14.00 CET.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (66 points)

“In the last three races we have been fighting for the win on three totally different tracks so I know that we are working well and that we are quick. We must continue to stay calm because lots of things can happen in every race and you have to have a clear head to bring home the best possible result. In the Barcelona test, but also in the one at Mugello, we were slightly slower than our rivals, but in MotoGP it is clear that the time over a single lap is not so important, and so we go to Barcelona very excited and full of confidence.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (41 points)

“Victory at Mugello confirmed everything that we have believed in since the start of the season and that I have been saying over and over again: we weren’t that far away from being competitive and victorious. Now we have a clear direction to follow and every time I get on the bike I feel better, so Montmeló will be another good opportunity to confirm that we can always fight for important results. Now that everyone knows what my future for next season is, I can safely say that I’m totally focussed on the Catalan GP, and that I’ll be giving my utmost for the Ducati Team, aware that the win in Italy has done wonders for my morale. Montmeló is a circuit that I love, it’s my home track and this always provides that little bit of extra motivation.”

The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit

In 1989, through the joint collaboration of the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmeló Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on building a state-of-the-art race track for one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Located twenty or so kilometres north of Barcelona, the circuit opened for business in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event that same month with the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the Catalan GP. Considered to be one of the best modern-day tracks, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya can accommodate over 100,000 spectators. This year the track has been modified once again, reverting to its usual layout with 13 curves after the elimination of the chicane before the final turn.


Team Suzuki Press Office – June 13.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR head back to Spain for the GP of Catalunya, and the majestic surrounds of the Montmelò circuit. This will be a particularly special race for Alex Rins, who counts this track as his ‘home circuit’ as he was born in nearby Barcelona. This will also be his first time here with a MotoGP bike, after last year’s injury problems.

The 2018 season is in full swing and in one of its busiest and most important phases, and the consistent improvements done to the GSX-RR have allowed both Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins to increase their confidence and harvest positive results. Their 4th and 5th place finishes in Mugello two weeks ago proved a level of consistency and competitiveness which the two factory riders will try to confirm again this weekend in Catalunya.

This Catalan GP will also see the return of Sylvain Guintoli as a Wild Card. The Frenchman is now a full time development rider for Suzuki, and this GP will be a good chance for him to give a further push to the development.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“The GP of Catalunya is an important point in the season, because together with Mugello it is where you start to really understand the level of the competition and where you stand. Last year we did not have a very positive race here, so we need to get rid of that bad memory and replace it with the positive results we had in Mugello two weeks ago - that race provides good motivation for us. Both Andrea and Alex finished in the Top 5, meaning that our level has improved sensibly, and we want to continue this way. We also had a test last month in Montmelò that helped us a lot in understanding the bike and how to improve our performance. We had the support of our test rider, Sylvain Guintoli, there - and he will also race as a Wild Card for this Catalan GP, which will give us a lot more information to work with.”

Andrea Iannone

“I’ve always liked the circuit of Montmelò and I think it could really suit the characteristics of our GSX-RR. We had positive feedback in the test we did here after the race in Le Mans, which I hope will be useful when it comes to preparing a positive race this weekend. Lately our results have been improving race by race and things are going in a good way, so we will try to seize this moment.”

Alex Rins

"I’m excited to race in Montmelò for the GP of Catalunya because it’s my home GP! The atmosphere here is always very special, it’s not only the circuit which is very exciting but also the whole weekend, with a lot of people supporting us all - and me in particular. We arrive in good shape; the race in Mugello was a positive one and also the test we did here some weeks ago gave us important direction, hope, and positivity.”

Sylvain Guintoli

“Working with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is amazing. I remember the 1st time I rode the Suzuki GSX-RR, there was incredible speed and a fantastic feeling - I still get this feeling every time, and it has been getting better and better! Together we have done a great job during this past year, and the bike has made good progress. It is an honour and a pleasure to be racing the Suzuki GSX-RR in Barcelona this weekend as a Wild Card.”

Circuit Info:

The Circuito de Cataluña in Montmelo, Spain, is one of the most historic circuits in the Championship. After opening in 1991, it began hosting the Catalan GP in 1995. It has high speed corners that test the stability and precision capabilities of the chassis and set-up. Correspondingly, it is demanding on the tyres. With five left-hand corners and eight right-hand corners, it measures 4.7km (2.94 miles) and its longest straight is 1047mt (3435.04 ft.)


The seventh race of the 2018 MotoGP Championship season will have the teams and riders busy on the Catalunya Circuit, just a few kilometres from Barcelona. A modern and spectacular track, it has been resurfaced and modified in its final section.

The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders have already had a chance to try out the changes with a test session that was useful in preparation for the Spanish round.

Aleix Espargarò has plenty of motivation. Having just become a father to Max and Mia, Aleix will take on his home race even more determined to do well with his RS-GP. For Scott Redding, the Barcelona race could be the perfect opportunity to find the right confidence with the Italian bike and to take a further step forward.


"I really worked hard preparing for my home race in Barcelona. I am keen to do well. Unfortunately, the first part of the season did not go as we had hoped, but there are clear signs of our competitiveness. This will be my first weekend as a father. It is very emotional and extra motivation."


"Montmelò is a nice track. The new asphalt is excellent, as we were able to test a couple of weeks ago. My goals for the rest of the season have not changed. We need to work hard, just as we have been until now, and achieve the best possible results."

Zarco and Syahrin focused on Catalunya battle

With excellent memories of a very positive day of testing at the newly asphalted Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair heads to Montmeló for this weekends’ Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya highly motivated.

Following a difficult round in Mugello where Johann Zarco took home as many points as possible, the fast Frenchman is eager to return to his accustomed top positions, while Hafizh Syahrin is on the mission to defend his rookie top spot, after he reclaimed it during the Italian Grand Prix. The challenge is set to commence with the first Free Practice session on Friday at 9.55 local time.

Johann Zarco

Championship: 5th – Points: 64

“The Catalunya circuit is a great track and I’m happy to come back there. We had the test with the team and it was going pretty well. I hope to find this good feeling straight again and be strong all the weekend to fight for the podium or even the victory, if the dream would come true. After two difficult races, especially in Mugello, where I was struggling, I would truly enjoy to be back in a great place with the top guys.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Championship: 16th – Points: 17

“I’m looking forward to the Catalan GP, which is like my second home race, because I’m based in Spain for quite a long time already. The track is my favorite, too. We’ve already done the test here and after this and the race in Mugello, I have a really good feeling with the bike and understand the setup. I can’t wait for this round! I want to do a decent race again and fight for the top rookie spot. Physically I’m quite strong now, so I’m well prepared to arrive in Montmeló.”


Team Manager

“I believe everybody at Monster Yamaha Tech3 is eager to arrive in Montmeló to start the first practice of the Catalan Grand Prix. Mugello has been a tough weekend, although we knew before, that it’s going to be difficult, unfortunately we were not surprised and like it was the case last year, the track was tough for Johann and the M1. The good thing is, that we’ve been testing in Montmeló straight after Le Mans and this test has been really positive. Both, Johann and Hafizh got good feedback and not only for one fast lap, but also regarding their race pace. Right now, Johann is inside a very tight group of the provisional ranking, which means he misses only eight points to P2. Cleary, we are in a very important moment of the championship, we need to score in every race. We saw how tough the DNF in France was and the struggling in Italy has been, so we need to keep our heads down and hope to be back in the front group in Barcelona, which is the main target. Hafizh has another fight to master, battling against his fellow rookies for the top spot. Overall, we are just eager to come back to the level we had before arriving in Mugello. Barcelona is a place we all like a lot, which is good for the MotoGP circus and last year we had some strong results there. Obviously, we hope to repeat this great performance, especially as now this will be the first race in 2018 where we are 100 percent sure of our 2019 line-up, so it’s one worry less in my head and certainly also one less for Hafizh. I believe, when you saw his performance in Mugello, it’s very easy to see that he deserves this contract and factory support from next year.”


PRESS RELEASE: 14 June 2018 | Catalunya GP Preview

With his LCR Honda CASTROL Team in full Castrol livery this weekend at the Grand Prix of Catalunya, Cal Crutchlow is hopeful of getting back to fighting for the podium positions once more. The British MotoGP star was involved in the battle for the rostrum two weeks ago in Italy, and after a positive test at the Barcelona-Catalunya track in the week before that race, he will again be amongst the favourites for success in north-eastern Spain.

Castrol have supported the LCR Honda project since 2015, and once again their famous green and red logo will be adorning Crutchlow’s factory RC213V machine. With a Michelin tyre selection more suited to the Honda this weekend, the unique demands of the thrilling Catalan venue will hopefully work in favour of the 32-year-old and his motorcycle.

Cal Crutchlow

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya. It’s a big race for the LCR Honda Team as we go out in full Castrol colours, and I look forward to showing that paint scheme off to everybody out on track and racing in it on Sunday.”

“Of course, it’s also a huge race in the championship too, and we are excited about putting into practice the work we have done over the last races. The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit should go well for us, and we can build on the strong result in Mugello and aim towards those podium spots once more.”

Donald Smith (Sponsorship Manager, Castrol Marketing): “Our long-term partnership with LCR Honda CASTROL and the use of the highest level of motorcycle racing as a testing ground is a very important part of our never-ending development of high quality products such as Castrol POWER1, both for competition racers and enthusiast bikers around the world.

We are excited to be the Event Title Sponsor of LCR Honda CASTROL for the Grand Prix de Catalunya and very much looking forward to seeing Cal compete in Barcelona with a full Castrol liveried bike. We wish him and all the team all the very best of luck in what promises to be another closely-contested race”.

Lucio Cecchinello (LCR Team Principal): “It's a true honor for us to work with one of the most historic brand in motorsport, which Castrol is. Their technical support is truly amazing and having Castrol Power1 as the Title Sponsor of this important MotoGP round is simply fantastic. We will do our best to deliver the best sportive result possible and I am looking forward to seeing our bike battling against the fastest in the world again”.


PRESS RELEASE: 14 June 2018 | Catalunya GP Preview

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami is looking forward to the prospect of returning to the track at the Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona this weekend. Having endured a disappointing result last time out in Mugello, the Japanese talent is determined to get back in the points at Montmelo.

Having suffered an early crash at Mugello, Nakagami showed his dedication and spirit as he insisted on rejoining the race despite being well behind the field, maintaining his record of completing every race so far in his rookie season. The 26-year-old recently enjoyed a productive one-day test at Barcelona and revealed he and the LCR team will be channelling all their efforts into securing the best possible race result as soon as qualifying gets underway.

Takaaki Nakagami

“We did a one-day test here and the test was quite good. This weekend the weather forecast is quite warm and we’ll have to find a good set-up on the bike. But we’re already thinking about the race, because here it’s quite difficult to manage the tyre for race distance. So from Friday, we’ll keep working to focus on the race. We need to get a good feel in qualifying of course, but from tomorrow we are working towards the race.”

Morbidelli and Lüthi face new challenge in Barcelona

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders will continue looking for their place amongst the top rookies in the premier class at the Catalan Grand Prix.

Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Lüthi continue to take on the challenge of their first year in the MotoGP World Championship with determination, and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be the next venue at which the reigning Moto2 World Champion and runner-up will pit their skills against the best in the world.

After some encouraging practice sessions for Franco Morbidelli in Mugello and a difficult start in the race, the Italian-Brazilian rider was forced to make a big comeback that led to him finishing in the points. That good performance will help him to continue improving at Montmeló, near Barcelona, where Morbidelli finished fifth in Moto2 last year and where he hopes to continue to cement his position as the top rookie in MotoGP. He is currently seventeenth in the overall standings with 17 points, alongside rival Hafizh Syahrin in the Rookie of the Year ranking.

For Thomas Lüthi, his maiden MotoGP season is putting all of his experience to the test. His race at Mugello came to a premature end when he crashed just two laps into the contest. The 2005 125cc World Champion comes to Catalonia –and a track where he has raced and tested extensively in the past- fully motivated and looking to take his first points of a season in which luck has been elusive thus far.

The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders will be on track from Friday at 9:40am, for the first MotoGP free practice session. The race is scheduled for Sunday at 2pm local time.

Franco Morbidelli: 17th in the overall standings with 17 points

"I like the circuit a lot and I was very fast there in Moto2"

"We arrive in Barcelona race at a circuit that I like very much, and where I have been very fast in the past in Moto2. I want to get the weekend underway and see how things go. At the last race at Mugello we were quite quick in practice, but in the race we had many difficulties. We want to find a way to not have those problems in the race and we will continue working to achieve that."

Thomas Lüthi: 24th in the overall standings

"It's time to continue improving"

"I can’t wait to ride in Barcelona; ​​it's time to continue improving. After the crash I suffered at Mugello, I missed the post-race test, which is not very positive, but in any case I hope we have good weather throughout the weekend and that we can ride as much as possible to get closer to the fastest riders in each practice session, which is what matters at the moment. In the race we will go out there with the determination to finish in the points."


Spanish MotoGP team head to Barcelona with high hopes after Bautista’s ninth place in Italy

A crash for Marc Márquez in the recent Italian Grand Prix has opened a chink of light in the battle for the MotoGP title. The Spaniard’s advantage was 36 points going into the Mugello race but it has now been cut to 23 by a new man in second place, Valentino Rossi. The next challenge for the riders is the Grand Prix of Catalunya, which will feature a familiar layout at the Circuit, with turn 13 reverting to its previous design before the variations that were applied over the past two seasons. The majority of MotoGP teams have already tested in Barcelona and preparations for the seventh round of the season are well underway.

The Ángel Nieto Team arrive in Barcelona with Comapa as main sponsor and Álvaro Bautista in good form after his ninth-place finish at Mugello. The Spanish MotoGP team have not ridden at the Barcelona circuit since its most recent remodelling, having been forced to miss out on a planned day of tests between the French and Italian rounds. However, Bautista heads to Barcelona in high spirits after returning to the top ten, following a positive trend in his results since Jerez. His team-mate Karel Abraham continues to set the points positions as his main target, especially after missing out in Italy where he crashed out on the first lap of the race.

Álvaro Bautista: “We’re back racing at home and I am very happy to racing in Barcelona this weekend because it is a circuit I like a lot. The riders who have tried the new surface say that it is less bumpy and the corner that was changed to match the Formula 1 layout has gone back to its original design. It was always a nice corner and this year it is back. We arrive at the seventh round of the season on the back of a job well done in Italy, because even though we had issues practice we focused on our race pace and we were able to come through strongly, setting similar lap times to the guys at the front. We finished closer to the front two than we have all season so we are feeling motivated and ready to continue this upward trend and close the gap even further to the lead riders.”

Karel Abraham: “I am happy to be racing again in Barcelona and especially with the original layout at turn 13, rather than what we had last year. It is a shame we couldn’t test there a couple of weeks ago, when we had a day planned on track but couldn’t ride because of the weather. Hopefully this weekend is not too hot and the conditions are good for all three days.”


Spanish market leader in sale and distribution of cuts of ham supports Ángel Nieto Team from youth teams to MotoGP

Comapa will join the Ángel Nieto Team as main sponsor of their MotoGP team at the Grand Prix of Catalunya. The only Spanish MotoGP team on the grid and nation’s market leader in the sale and distribution of cuts of ham have already joined forces this season at all levels of racing that the team are involved in, from the Spanish Championship to the elite level of the MotoGP World Championship.

The Spanish brand is present in 24 countries and has been supplying cured and cooked meats for 100 years. The Comapa name was already visible on the Ducatis ridden by Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham at circuits all over the world, as well as the KTMs of Albert Arenas and Andrea Migno. Their support also extends to the development of young riders through the Ángel Nieto Junior Team in the FIM CEV and Spanish Championship, which has this season wielded five wins and thirteen podiums so far.

Gelete Nieto, Team Principal: “We are happy to be able to announce that a company like Comapa have joined a project, in the Ángel Nieto Team, that shares the same values of effort, sacrifice and hard work, and that they are raising this level of support to be the team’s main sponsor in Barcelona. We hope that Comapa can join us in achieving many successes this season. In fact, we already started the year together with several victories and podiums in the Spanish Championship and Junior World Championship and we want to continue like that, growing and taking our riders to the top.”

David Álvarez, Comapa: “We are proud to join forces with a successful team on a national and international level, strengthening the values that join us and growing together. We have a commitment to our consumers and our mission is to give everybody access to traditional Spanish cured meats, at fair prices, always looking for the highest quality in every cut and coming up with new, more sustainable production methods. This is something else that unites us to the Ángel Nieto Team and their electric bike that will contest the World Cup in 2019.

Also, at Comapa we want to promote youth sport and that is why we are so keen to support the Ángel Nieto Team at grass roots level, backing up the talent of these youngsters and their values of improvement, effort, determination and dedication.”

Reale Avintia Racing ready for an emotional Catalan GP

MotoGP GP of Catalunya – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The Reale Avintia Racing team has arrived at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, making preparations for the second home Grand Prix of the season. It will be a very emotional weekend for all team members, just a few days after the tragic loss of Andreas Perez who had a fatal accident during the Moto3 Junior World Championship on Sunday.

Tito Rabat heads to Barcelona highly motivated and with his left arm fully recovered. He is looking forward to a strong result in front of the Spanish fans. The results in the last races have been far from the real level of the Catalan rider and this weekend, he is determined to leave his bad luck behind.

It will be also an important weekend for Xavier Simeon. The Reale Avintia Racing Belgian rider has been training hard and he did a promising one-day-test last month in Barcelona, so he is confident to get on the pace from Friday and to be fighting for a better result on Sunday’s 24-lap-race.

Tito Rabat

“I’m looking forward to start my home Grand Prix. I arrive with my arm at a 100% and I want to do a good race in Montmelo and give my best in front of my home crowd. It will be a sad weekend for all of us as we lost one of the youngest members of our team. Rest in peace Andreas. All my thoughts are with your family and friends.”

Xavier Simeon

“I arrive at Barcelona very motivated. I trained hard during the last week to be ready and to start the weekend in a positive way. We did a test here a few weeks ago and it was quite positive, so I expect to start with a good base set-up and hopefully climb up to more decent positions. I really want to be with the group and I’ll give my best to achieve this. I want to send all my support to the family of Andreas. His loss has been really hard for the team.”


Michelin’s next assignment on the MotoGP™ calendar will be a short journey over the French-Spanish border as it heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for round seven of the championship and the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.

The 4,627m circuit has undergone a complete resurfacing process since last season and a recent test at the track confirmed the tyre selection that Michelin will take to the event. The pre-season information that the track was to be re-laid meant Michelin initially allocated a choice of four front and four rear MICHELIN Power Slicks for the race weekend, but the data gathered during the test last month meant that this was narrowed down to three of each, in-keeping with the usual allocation at other MotoGP events. The three front slick tyres in a soft, medium and hard compound will all be symmetric in design, whilst the three rear slicks – also in soft, medium and hard – will feature a harder right-hand-side, giving them an asymmetric performance to cope with the eight right turns that the track possesses, in contrast to just five lefts.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya opened its doors to motorsport in 1991 and is heralded as one of the best designed arenas of the modern era. With elevation changes, hard-braking zones, fast-flowing corners, a straight over one-kilometre long, and all this located just 25km from the vibrant city of Barcelona, it is as track that provides plenty of excitement both on and off-track, all of which will lead to a capacity crowd in excess of 100,000 fervent and colourful fans packing the grandstands on race-day.

Michelin will not only be confronted by a resurfaced track in Catalunya, but there is also a new configuration for this season. In the past two-years the layout has had to be changed during the race weekend for different reasons, but 2018 will see a revised layout, with increased safety areas, used for the first time in MotoGP. This will mean that new two-wheel records will be set for the best race lap, fastest overall lap, top-speed and race duration. The race will also have a new distance, as it is one the seven events to have a reduction in laps this year, which will see it reduced to 24 circulations this season, from 25 in previous years.

Michelin’s range will be completed with a selection of MICHELIN Power Rain tyres which will be available at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya should wet weather prevail, these will be soft and medium compounds for both the front and rear, with the rears having and asymmetric design similar to the slicks.

Michelin and the MotoGP field takes to the track on Friday 15th June for the first two Free Practice sessions. Saturday will see qualifying take place as the 24 riders battle it out for the best grid positions. The main event will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 14.00hrs CEST, 12.00hrs UTC) on Sunday 17th June, for what promises to be another great MotoGP battle.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“Catalunya was another track that we had little knowledge of what to expect when we made the plan for tyre allocation before the season had started. The recent test we had there – which featured almost the whole MotoGP field – has changed that and given us a clear plan, this has allowed us to make the decision of what tyres we need to bring to cope with the new surface and layout. It was a very positive test and the riders gave some good feedback, which has enabled us to choose the specific compounds which are ideally matched to the new asphalt. The times were very fast, even though we were comparing them to the older layout, so we expect some very quick laps this weekend. This is always one of the best events of the season and the track gives some thrilling racing, so we hope we can play a big part in that excitement by supplying the riders with the optimum tyres to give them the best performance possible.”

Catalan GP (Montmelò): the race of champions

Ducati at Montmelo

- Dovizioso won the Catalan GP last year after a comeback from the seventh place he started the race from. Andrea clinched his second consecutive victory after his win in Mugello.

- 29 points separate Andrea from the championship leader, only three more points than the gap he had from the leader one year ago.

- Lorenzo is the sixth Ducati rider to win a GP, putting him in the exclusive club that includes Capirossi (2003), Bayliss (2006), Stoner (2007), Iannone (2016) and Dovizioso (2016).

- Lorenzo has 66 victories in the World Championship. He is fifth-ranked rider with the most victories in history, behind Agostini, Rossi, Nieto and Hailwood.

- The first MotoGP victory for Ducati was at the Catalan GP in 2003 at the hands of Capirossi, which was only the sixth race ever for the Italian bike.

- Casey Stoner won the 2007 GP with the Ducati finishing ahead of Rossi and Pedrosa. The three riders crossed the finish line separated by only 390 thousandths of a second, making it the eighth podium with the smallest margin in the history of the category.

- Lorenzo has five victories in Montmeló (2007 in 250cc, and 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 in MotoGP). All of them were done with the Spanish rider leading from start to finish.

- Since 2010, Lorenzo has been the only rider able to repeat a victory at the Catalunya circuit, for a total of four.

- Jorge Lorenzo suffered a violent crash during 2008 practice, in which he repeatedly hit his head and temporarily lost his memory, preventing him from taking part in the race.

- Dovizioso won one of the most spectacular victories of his career in the 2006 GP, overtaking de Angelis and Locatelli on the last lap in one fell swoop. In that race, Lorenzo finished second.

- Montmeló is one of the tracks where Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso have directly challenged each other. Nine times they have faced off here. Out of all of the races, the 2010 GP where they fought shoulder to shoulder for the MotoGP victory is the most significant.


- The Montmeló layout has a new configuration. The penultimate corner, which had been eliminated after Luis Salom’s fatal accident, is again part of the track after the expansion of the runoff, while the La Caixa corner (turn 10) will continue with the configuration made for Formula 1.

- This will be the 27th GP held at the Circuit de Catalunya. Since it was inaugurated in 1992 for the championship, it has uninterruptedly hosted a World Championship event every year, putting it alongside the circuits of Jerez, Assen and Mugello, which are the only other tracks that have hosted continuously since that year.

- Despite many years the GP has been held, only once has a race been in the rain. That was the year 2000 and the victory went to Kenny Roberts Jr. on the Suzuki.

- The difference between the first and the second finishers has been less than one tenth of a second 31 times. 13 times in 125cc/Moto3, 10 in 250cc/Moto2 and 8 in 500cc/MotoGP.

- The final corner onto the straight is so fast that despite not having one of the longest straights of the championship, it produces speeds up to 340 km/h.

- The Ducati of Bautista reached 345.10 km/h last year at the Circuit de Catalunya, making it the fastest speed reached during this GP by a MotoGP bike.

- The strongest braking is done at the end of the finish line, where riders go from 340 km/h down to 101 km/h in 5.1 seconds and over a distance of 285 m.

- On each lap, riders brake 10 times over a total of 30 seconds per lap, while for example in Formula 1, cars only use the brake for 14 seconds.

- At the Catalunya GP braking is done over 20% ​​of the race. On each lap the riders use 41 kg of force on the brake lever, so over an entire race the total value is greater than 1 ton.

- The point where the most overtaking occurs is at the braking point at the end of the finish line. The second point is the braking for corner 10, which will use the Formula 1 layout for the second consecutive year, and the third point is at turn 5.

- Last year there were 13 crashes at turn 10 out of a total of 42 crashes over the weekend. The next most difficult point was turn 5 which produced a total of 8 crashes. Interestingly, they are two of the slowest corners on the track.

- Montmeló is 25 km from Barcelona, ​​a city that has a population of around 1,600,000 inhabitants, and is the most populated city in Catalonia and the second most populated in Spain.

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