Tag Archives: Catalunya MotoGP

Catalunya MotoGP Race Reports, Results, Points

Round Seven – Catalunya MotoGP

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took an impressive win in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya on an expensive day for his key Championship rivals, with a dramatic multiple-rider crash near the start of the race creating some serious chaos.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Marc Marquez Celebrate
Marc Marquez

Marquez escaped that and in the aftermath it was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who emerged as his closest challenger, with the polesitter and French rookie cutting down the gap in the latter laps as he seared away from those on the chase.

His second place makes him the second-youngest podium finisher in the MotoGP era, behind only Marquez, and he managed to pull two seconds clear of Mugello winner Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) to do it.

Marc Marquez – P1

“I chose the soft rear to try and push in the beginning and to try to not overheat the tyre but to try to be constant and fast. All of the Repsol Honda Team did a really good job this weekend; we worked hard and prepared well for the race. The team told me something had happened to Dovi, so I just kept pushing and focusing on my own race. We had the perfect strategy regardless and I want to thank all the fans who came out. Gracias! It’s always special when you can celebrate winning together with your brother, Alex rode well this weekend!”

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Marc Marquez Celebrate
Marc Marquez

Fabio Quartararo – P2

“I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved today especially as it was a very hard race. We made our best start this year, since I only dropped two positions. Then I made a mistake at Turn 4, losing another four positions, and I was a little further back! Nevertheless, I found myself in the fight for the podium and a few laps from the end I managed to get into second and push. Thanks to adrenalin of fighting for the podium – and the medicine – my arm didn’t trouble me so much in the race. In the final laps my arm started to hurt a lot, but the reward of being on the podium is much greater than that. Twelve days ago I was undergoing an operation, and now I’m on the podium. Since the European races have begun, we have been very fast; this weekend the worst result in a session was second. The pace we have is very good, but we have to continue working as we have done so far. I want to thank the team for the opportunity they have given me and all the work they do. I am very happy to have achieved the first podium for Petronas Yamaha SRT.”

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Trophy Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Danilo Petrucci – P3

“I’m very happy with this podium. For sure, without the incident during the second lap it would have been harder to seize this result and I’m very sorry for Andrea, who lost a great chance to shine today. I tried to stay with Márquez but it wasn’t possible, and Rins and Quartararo were also very fast. With Alex, we passed each other many times and once he even hit me on the right side but I was able to reclaim the position quite quickly. Then, when Fabio passed me, I just tried to stay with him and pull away from the pack. We scored the best possible result today. After three podiums in a row, we’re close to third position in the championship: we need to keep the momentum going at Assen.”

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Trophy Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Catalunya MotoGP Race Report

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Start Dovi Marquez
Catalunya MotoGP 2019

It was Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) who took the holeshot with another stunning start, this time from the second row, with Marquez pushed back into second and Quartararo then trying to send it around the outside of the reigning Champion.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Start
Catalunya MotoGP

But Quartararo couldn’t quite make that stick and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) capitalised to sweep through soon after.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Start Dovizioso Marquez
Catalunya MotoGP

The number 12 then attacked Marquez to take over in second, with Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) making some serious ground up into fourth to fight for the podium.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Start Dovizioso Marquez Vinales Lorenzo
Catalunya MotoGP

Marquez hit back against Viñales on Lap 2 and it was shaping up to be a serious fight at the front, but that’s when the drama hit. Lorenzo went to attack Viñales just as Marquez attacked Dovizioso, and Lorenzo then lost the front as the space ahead diminished.

That set off a huge incident as Lorenzo’s Repsol Honda took down Dovizioso, then Viñales, and then Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) got caught up the incident also. All four men were out of the race!

Jorge Lorenzo – DNF

“You don’t have any options if you brake a little bit too late here, like happened with me. It was my fault, my mistake and I apologise. It was really unfortunate to take out Dovi, Maverick and Valentino – it wasn’t their fault obviously, it was mine. The only thing that matters today is the crash, I took out three riders unfortunately but if we think aside from this it was a weekend where we were able to make a step forward and I was consistent throughout.”

Marquez was clear of it, with Petrucci the man left in second, escaping the drama after having been passed by Rossi at the best time for one of them and the worst for the other.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Lorenzo Petrucci Rossi
Catalunya MotoGP

Marquez was then able to pull the pin and extend the gap but the fight behind was on fire: Petrucci vs Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) vs Quartararo.

First it was a duel behind the Italian before Rins then started looking for a way past Petrucci, attacking into Turn 1 and the Ducati defending to perfection in Turn 2. A couple of laps later it was a Rins and repeat, but the Suzuki man couldn’t make it stick.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Rins Petrucci
Catalunya MotoGP

Rins kept trying, but the next attempt was more costly. Running on and left heading over the Long Lap Penalty after dropping anchor to avoid Petrucci in Turn 1, Rins lost out and rejoined in sixth, behind his rookie teammate Joan Mir. That left him fighting to try and get back through, and left Quartararo with only one man in between himself and Marquez’ trail.

It didn’t take long; the Frenchman sliding up the inside of the Ducati to take over in second soon after. And then, he was in the same position as his fateful race in Jerez and wishing for more luck. Barcelona brought just that, with the number 20 then able to unleash his pace and push on after Marquez, immediately starting to cut the gap.

In the end, there weren’t enough laps left for a charge at the win, but Quartararo made a little history regardless and a first rostrum finish is good payback for his incredible pace so far. Petrucci was around two seconds behind him but scored big for Ducati once again, with Rins taking fourth after managing to pass first Mir and then Jack Miller (Pramac Racing).

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Podium Marquez Quartararo Petrucci
2019 Catalunya MotoGP Results
1 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) 40’31.175
2 – Fabio Quartararo* (FRA – Yamaha) +2.660
3 – Danilo Petrucci (ITA – Ducati) +4.537

Miller was only two-tenths behind him over the line, however, and the Australian’s P5 puts him back in the lead of the Independent Team standings.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Petrucci Miller Mir Rins
Catalunya MotoGP

Behind them? Another small gap back to Joan Mir, who took sixth and his best rookie result yet, two better than his season opening P8 in Qatar.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) continues his consistency in seventh and took more solid points, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) took P9 and his best of 2019 so far, as Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) did the same and completed the top ten.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Nakagami Morbidelli Bagnaia
Bagnaia slides out of the race

Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the remaining finishers in a serious race of attrition, with fallers outside the huge incident near the start including Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Francesco Bagnaia) and Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team), who made contact with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on Lap 1 and both crashed out.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Marc Marquez Celebrate
Marc Marquez

It was a near-perfect day for Marquez’ Championship hopes in Montmelo, and the reigning Champion heads into the next race with a serious buffer of 37 points at the top of the table. Dovizioso remains second, Rins in third.

MotoGP Rnd Catalunya Marc Marquez Celebrate
Marc Marquez

Next up it’s the Dutch TT, and that’s the perfect place for Yamaha, especially, to strike back as they showed throughout the weekend at Catalunya that they are on the pace.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Fabio Quartararo fastest at Catalunya MotoGP Day 1

Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya

Friday FP1 & FP2

Fabio Quartararo has taken top honours on Friday at Catalunya, topping the timesheets and leading the way following arm pump surgery, proving fast in FP1 and fastest in FP2, with a three-tenths lead in Saturday. That competition made it an impressive four factories in the top four, however, with Andrea Dovizioso in P2, Takaaki Nakagami in third and Pol Espargaro in fourth – with all three within 0.033 on the chase.

Fabio Quartararo

“Today was a great day. We were first on the combined timesheets and I had a great feeling. I didn’t know how my arm would react after my operation, but things went very well. I had some pain to deal with, but I feel good. The first run was hard, but after a while everything went better. It was a matter of getting used to the pain, but I didn’t expect to go so well at this Grand Prix. We have to stay calm, which is the most important thing. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning and of course we will do our best to get onto the front row, but right now our goal is to be on the first three rows and go straight into Q2. We’ll see if we can have a good qualifying.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

The morning session was a fairly quiet one by MotoGP standards, with a bit of a hairy entrance into Turn 10 for Jack Miller and a little snap at the same place for Marquez two of the stand outs. But it would nevertheless prove a crucial session for the reigning Champion as he was the only rider in the top ten who didn’t improve his laptime in the afternoon. He didn’t fit a new soft tyre but was able to stay in ninth, so the ‘extra’ tyre on Saturday could prove a masterstroke.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Marquez also ran with the Ducatis in the afternoon – much to their mild chagrin – as Dovizioso and teammate Danilo Petrucci had headed out in tandem. They kept the advantage on the combined timesheets though, with ‘DesmoDovi’ in second and ‘Petrux’ taking P8, just ahead of the number 93.

Andrea Dovizioso

“I’m satisfied with our performance in this first day of practice, I had a good feeling with the bike and we’ve been fast. As it often happened here in the past, grip is very low and the track’s layout makes tyre management particularly difficult, especially considering the higher temperatures forecast for the rest of the weekend. However, I believe everyone is struggling under this aspect. We have work left to do ahead of the race: we’re still evaluating the different tyre compounds available and we need to improve the front-end feeling, but my sensations are good and so are the lap times, so I’m confident.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Catalunya MotoGP 2019
Danilo Petrucci

“My feeling on the bike is quite good, even though this morning we encountered an atypical issue with rear grip, which slowed our program down a little bit. In FP2 we made a big step forward, even though there is still room for improvement. We’re not far from the front in terms of pace, while we’re still not at our best on the flying lap because I struggle in corner entry as I feel little support from the rear. We have clear ideas about what changes to make on the bike and we defined our work program for tomorrow, so I’m optimistic.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Danilo Petrucc
Danilo Petrucci – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

So behind the four-factory fight at the top and those standout performances from the likes of Nakagami and Pol Espargaro, who impressed next? Second rookie Francesco Bagnaia put his Ducati in fifth and would doubtless have been the rookie talking point of the day if not for the Frenchman at the top, and Franco Morbidelli took P6 to again make it both the Independent Team Yamahas ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bikes.

Franco Morbidelli

“It’s been a good day for us. In the morning we found things a little harder, but we improved a lot in the afternoon. The grip level was not fantastic, so we suffered in that aspect, but our speed and pace were good, and I felt strong when going for a fast time. I finished sixth, which is not bad. We will have to see what the weather is like on Saturday, but so far I have a good feeling. Tomorrow morning will be different, because it will be colder. Speed is going to be the main aspect for us to improve, and then in the afternoon we’ll have to see what our pace is like.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

It wasn’t by much at Catalunya, however, with Valentino Rossi an infinitesimal 0.003 behind compatriot and VR46 Riders Academy member Morbidelli. After a tougher run of late, especially on Friday and Saturday, it was a big step forward for the ‘Doctor’ at a venue he’s reigned more than anyone.

Valentino Rossi

“The track is good, I like it a lot and, sincerely, today was a positive day for us, because I felt good with the bike and could ride quite well. My pace is not so bad, and I was able to stay inside the top-10 in the morning and in the afternoon. In FP2 it was already hot, but I didn’t feel so bad. It’s true that it wasn’t very, very hot, so we’ll have to see. The first thing is that we’ll try to improve tomorrow, we still have a lot of work to do. Today we worked well and in the afternoon we were able to improve the bike. The most important thing is to stay inside the top-10 tomorrow morning so we can get into Q2, and after that we’ll see what happens in the afternoon in qualifying.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Cal Crutchlow, meanwhile, completes the top ten to slot in behind Petrucci and Marquez. The Brit was only 0.010 behind Marquez, too, with those two Hondas trailing Nakagami’s best lap by a couple of tenths. But then the number 93, as aforementioned, didn’t pop in a fresh soft tyre.

Marc Marquez

“Not a bad day today. We had to change our strategy from the last GP a little bit because it’s important to understand the tyres. If you check the FP2 times, we look like we are far but we were able to do a lot of work and try many tyres and some setup changes. We’re not bad and the position isn’t our real one. I’m happy with all the information that we were able to get.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Marquez
Mark Marquez – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

And neither did Alex Rins, who finishes Friday in P11 and therefore outside the automatic graduation zone to Q2. The Suzuki rider also suffered a crash, but the weather forecast is fine for the weekend and Saturday is another day, so both he and Marquez will be gunning for a hot lap in FP3.

The likes of Jorge Lorenzo  in P14 and Maverick Viñales in P15 will be rushing to join them too, with Viñales one who, along with Jack Miller, dropped down the timesheets in the afternoon.

Jack Miller

“In general a positive day. The feeling with the bike is very good even if in the second part of the FP2 the soft tires used did not allow me to push. However, we have collected important data for the race. However, there is great confidence in tomorrow’s qualifications.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Jack Miller AX
Jack Miller – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

See how the cards play out in FP3 as it decides those heading straight through to Q2 at 9:55 (GMT +2) before qualifying begins at 14:10 and the grid for Round 7 is decided.

MotoGP Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 F.Quartararo YAMAHA 1’40.803 1’40.079 0.000
2 A.Dovizioso DUCATI 1’41.030 1’40.360 0.281
3 T.Nakagami HONDA 1’41.040 1’40.381 0.302
4 P.Espargaro KTM 1’41.410 1’40.393 0.314
5 F.Bagnaia DUCATI 1’41.530 1’40.471 0.392
6 F.Morbidelli YAMAHA 1’41.160 1’40.517 0.438
7 V.Rossi YAMAHA 1’41.190 1’40.520 0.441
8 D.Petrucci DUCATI 1’41.624 1’40.599 0.520
9 M.Marquez HONDA 1’40.692 1’40.963 0.613
10 C.Crutchlow HONDA 1’41.243 1’40.702 0.623
11 A.Rins SUZUKI 1’41.142 1’40.727 0.648
12 K.Abraham DUCATI 1’41.972 1’40.727 0.648
13 J.Zarco KTM 1’41.390 1’40.771 0.692
14 J.Lorenzo HONDA 1’41.621 1’40.816 0.737
15 M.Viñales YAMAHA 1’40.872 1’40.847 0.768
16 A.Espargaro APRILIA 1’41.213 1’40.878 0.799
17 J.Miller DUCATI 1’41.049 1’40.948 0.869
18 T.Rabat DUCATI 1’41.603 1’41.007 0.928
19 J.Mir SUZUKI 1’41.355 1’41.070 0.991
20 M.Oliveira KTM 1’41.920 1’41.331 1.252
21 A.Iannone APRILIA 1’41.825 1’41.524 1.445
22 H.Syahrin KTM 1’42.448 1’41.527 1.448
23 S.Guintoli SUZUKI 1’42.363 1’41.987 1.908
24 B.Smith APRILIA 1’42.168 1’42.156 2.077


FP1 pacesetter Tom Lüthi kept Moto2 Day 1 honours at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya after his 1:44.673 went unbeaten in the afternoon, with Alex Marquez and HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro completing the top three and just 0.067 between them. The afternoon’s quickest man was Augusto Fernandez and he took P4 overall as one of only three men in the top ten to go faster in FP2.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Tom Lüthi
Tom Luthi – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Enea Bastianini continued his impressive season in fifth, with the rookie just 0.068 off Fernandez on Friday and ahead of veteran Xavi Vierge. Second rookie honours went to Nicolo Bulega, with the Italian taking P7 as well as putting in a miracle save in the afternoon.

Remy Gardner took P8 despite a crash in the afternoon, with Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri down in ninth. He, along with tenth-placed Luca Marini, joined Fernandez in the afternoon improvers’ club. Brad Binder was P11, ahead of rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, Andrea Locatelli and Simone Corsi.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Gardner GP AN Cover
Remy Gardner

There were a few key incidents on Friday, one of which was a crash for Navarro as he lost the front at Turn 5, and an off for 15th quickest Marcel Schrötter, who’s left as the first of those needing to improve in FP3 to head straight through to Q2. Sam Lowes and Philipp Öttl also crashed.

The intermediate class will be back out on track for FP3 from 10:55 (GMT +2) on Saturday, with Q1 qualifying starting to decide the grid from 15:05.

Moto2 Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 T.Luthi KALEX 1’44.673 1’44.870 0.000
2 A.Marquez KALEX 1’44.733 1’44.910 0.060
3 J.Navarro SPEED UP 1’44.740 1’45.099 0.067
4 A.Fernandez KALEX 1’44.820 1’44.782 0.109
5 E.Bastianini KALEX 1’44.850 1’44.994 0.177
6 X.Vierge KALEX 1’44.905 1’45.301 0.232
7 N.Bulega KALEX 1’44.934 1’45.451 0.261
8 R.Gardner KALEX 1’44.950 1’45.579 0.277
9 L.Baldassarri KALEX 1’45.173 1’44.955 0.282
10 L.Marini KALEX 1’45.484 1’45.021 0.348
11 B.Binder KTM 1’45.101 1’45.245 0.428
12 F.Di Giannanto SPEED UP 1’45.472 1’45.151 0.478
13 A.Locatelli KALEX 1’45.292 1’45.227 0.554
14 S.Corsi KALEX 1’45.309 1’45.228 0.555
15 M.Schrotter KALEX 1’45.250 1’45.462 0.577
16 T.Nagashima KALEX 1’45.428 1’45.329 0.656
17 B.Bendsneyde NTS 1’45.793 1’45.349 0.676
18 I.Lecuona KTM 1’45.393 1’45.900 0.720
19 S.Lowes KALEX 1’46.034 1’45.419 0.746
20 J.Folger KALEX 1’45.701 1’45.588 0.915
21 D.Aegerter MV AGUSTA 1’45.668 1’45.954 0.995
22 S.Odendaal NTS 1’46.360 1’45.804 1.131
23 J.Martin KTM 1’45.832 1’46.310 1.159
24 S.Manzi MV AGUSTA 1’46.133 1’46.176 1.460
25 D.Ekky Pratam KALEX 1’46.473 1’47.029 1.800
26 S.Chantra KALEX 1’47.352 1’46.712 2.039
27 J.Dixon KTM 1’46.724 1’46.839 2.051
28 L.Tulovic KTM 1’47.509 1’46.725 2.052
29 M.Bezzecchi KTM 1’46.901 1’46.815 2.142
30 J.Roberts KTM 1’47.222 1’46.942 2.269
31 P.Oettl KTM 1’48.374 1’47.340 2.667
32 X.Cardelus KTM 1’47.830 1’47.632 2.959


Alonso Lopez led rookie teammate Sergio Garcia to an Estrella Galicia 0,0 1-2 on Day 1 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, with the two Spaniards having topped FP1 and no one able to overturn them in the afternoon. FP2’s quickest man was Lorenzo Dalla Porta, and he slots into third on the combined timesheets as he chases the Championship lead this weekend.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Moto Alonso Lopez
Alonso Lopez – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Brief spots of rain affected FP2 but the weather was largely fine on Friday, although conditions didn’t see everyone improve in the latter session. So it’s a mix of FP1 and FP2 best efforts that decides the Friday combined timesheets, with the top three followed by Gabriel Rodrigo from his FP1 time and Tatsuki Suzuki from his FP2 time.

Next up it was a solid opening day for Darryn Binder in sixth, ahead of rookie Can Öncü in a much improved performance for the Turk. Romano Fenati was P8, with Albert Arenas and Niccolo Antonelli completing the top ten.

Kaito Toba, Kazuki Masaki, Marcos Ramirez and Makar Yurchenko complete the fastest fourteen, denying Jaume Masia and John McPhee provisional graduation to Q2.

Lopez was one crasher, down in FP2, and Toba and Dennis Foggia suffered falls in the morning. The fastest 14 on the combined timesheets after FP3 go straight through to Qualifying 2. Tune in to see how it shuffles on Saturday morning from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying begins from 12:35.

Moto3 Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 A.Lopez HONDA 1’49.167 1’50.444 0.000
2 S.Garcia HONDA 1’49.184 1’49.606 0.017
3 L.Dalla Porta   Ita HONDA 1’50.626 1’49.213 0.046
4 G.Rodrigo HONDA 1’49.214 1’49.451 0.047
5 T.Suzuki HONDA 1’50.309 1’49.375 0.208
6 D.Binder KTM 1’49.377 1’50.123 0.210
7 C.Oncu KTM 1’49.465 1’50.179 0.298
8 R.Fenati HONDA 1’49.692 1’49.630 0.463
9 A.Arenas KTM 1’49.642 1’49.791 0.475
10 N.Antonelli HONDA 1’50.774 1’49.693 0.526
11 K.Toba HONDA 1’51.527 1’49.714 0.547
12 K.Masaki KTM 1’49.748 1’49.811 0.581
13 M.Ramirez HONDA 1’50.207 1’49.750 0.583
14 M.Yurchenko KTM 1’49.809 1’50.802 0.642
15 J.Masia KTM 1’50.159 1’49.827 0.660
16 J.Mcphee HONDA 1’49.836 1’50.228 0.669
17 C.Tatay KTM 1’49.852 1’50.056 0.685
18 A.Canet KTM 1’49.938 1’49.893 0.726
19 R.Fernandez KTM 1’50.028 1’50.035 0.861
20 R.Rossi HONDA 1’51.050 1’50.088 0.921
21 R.Yamanaka HONDA 1’50.768 1’50.089 0.922
22 A.Migno KTM 1’51.155 1’50.105 0.938
23 J.Kornfeil KTM 1’50.465 1’50.245 1.078
24 T.Arbolino HONDA 1’50.544 1’50.314 1.147
25 C.Vietti KTM 1’51.935 1’50.323 1.156
26 F.Salac KTM 1’50.434 1’50.880 1.267
27 A.Sasaki HONDA 1’51.522 1’50.447 1.280
28 V.Perez KTM 1’51.677 1’50.518 1.351
29 T.Booth-Amos KTM 1’50.899 1’52.158 1.732
30 D.Foggia KTM 1’51.728 1’50.907 1.740
31 A.Ogura HONDA 1’51.548 1’51.536 2.369

Source: MCNews.com.au

Catalunya beckons for men of MotoGP | AEST Schedule

2019 MotoGP
Round Seven – Catalunya

A four-way fight on the final lap, a freight train battle of the ages before that… Mugello showcased the best of MotoGP. And when all was said and done, Danilo Petrucci may have been the man making the history, but Marc Marquez was the man making the gains.

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Start Marquez Crutchlow Miller
Mugello MotoGP 2019

A P2 for the points leader, ahead of closest rival Andrea Dovizioso despite the defeat, means he’s 12 points clear heading into the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya and however much a win in enemy territory means, a win on home turf is something different. The number 93 will be gunning for glory and revenge all at the same time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and on a very special occasion: the 70th anniversary of the Championship.

Marc Marquez

“We arrive in good form after Mugello. The bike and I are in a very good position now, I was able to rest a little between races and I’m back to full strength. There’s always a bit more excitement heading into a home GP and it’s always a great pleasure to ride in front of all the fans. I’m hopeful of another strong result here in Catalunya to continue the work we’ve been doing.”

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Petrucci Marquez Dovizioso
Marc Marquez, Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Dovizioso

This modern facility is regarded as one of the best designed tracks of recent times and has become a favourite for all, due to its elevation changes, fast and sweeping corners and a straight over a kilometre long, all linked together over the 4,627m length. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was resurfaced and reconfigured in 2018, as well as having the race distance altered. These significant changes meant that all track records were reset, leaving Michelin in the position of chasing its own targets this weekend, all of which were set last year.

Despite its favourable climate at this time of the year, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya can still suffer with some inclement weather.

Catalunya MotoGP 2018
Catalunya MotoGP 2018

Situated just outside the lively city of Barcelona, the track in the town of Montmeló is one which regularly provides excitement, close racing and thrilling overtaking manoeuvres to keep the crowds – which are in excess of 100,000 – that pack the hillsides and huge grandstands around the circuit, enthralled throughout raceday.

The good news for the competition is Ducati were back on the top step in Mugello and last year a win in Tuscany preceded one next time out. In addition, Catalunya isn’t a track where the number 93 has been imperious to the point of competitors needing to start the Jaws music.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Miller Rossi
Jack Miller & Valentino Rossi

Even more good news is that some serious smart racing in the front group at Mugello – with Alex Rins and Jack Miller in the mix – made it hard work for Marquez at the front and gave him no chance to escape. Can the likes of Miller, Rins, Dovizioso, Petrucci take on the reigning Champion once again this weekend? Rins and Dovizioso in particular will be focused on better grid positions to try and do just that.

The man who made the most famous move in the history of the circuit in Montmelo, meanwhile, has a top record at the track and he’ll need to add to it. For Valentino Rossi it was a nightmare home weekend, but the ‘Doctor’ has been a master of the comeback on many given Sundays and he’s now the one with that extra incentive of winning in ‘enemy’ territory.

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Rossi Grid
Valentino Rossi

Team-mate Maverick Viñales has that home venue extra motivation, however, and so the battle between the two should be a highlight. And, as always, there will likely be Iwata marque Independent Team runners Fabio Quartararo and teammate Franco Morbidelli to contend with. Quartararo may have had surgery for arm pump before Barcelona, but he’s also a record-breaker despite being a rookie and has form at the track.

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Vinales Mir Rossi
Maverick Vinales
Franco Morbidelli

“The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit is a track that I like. Last year I felt good there in my rookie season in MotoGP and I managed to be fast, finishing inside the points. It was a good weekend for me. Now we come to Barcelona with mixed feelings: We are positive about the work we did throughout the weekend in Italy but sad about the final results. I am really keen to have a good race and keep taking important points for the overall standings.”

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli
Fabio Quartararo

“We come into this race off the back of me having undergone surgery in Barcelona last week. Everything looks good with the arm so far and I feel good. Now I just need to pass the medical examination at the circuit on Thursday and then get back on my bike. Barcelona is one of my favourite circuits. I’m looking forward to riding there with a MotoGP bike. It’s a fast and long track, which is something that I like. It brings back some very good memories, because last season I earned my first World Championship victory there. I can’t wait to return and have a good race.”

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Speaking of form, Pol Espargaro is another man of the moment. Impressive in Italy – as ever – and taking the fight forward for the Austrian factory, Pol Espargaro – along with brother Aleix Espargaro – is a true home hero. The two are from just up the road and that adds something extra special to the Catalan Grand Prix. Add to that the battle between KTM and Aprilia in the standings and it’s a fight with a lot on the line.

MotoGP Rnd Mugello QP Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

For Jorge Lorenzo that’s also true as the number 99 continues to struggle on the Honda, but with injuries now playing much less of a role in his races and his record in Barcelona a shining one, a turning point could be just around the corner.

Jorge Lorenzo

“After a mixed weekend in Mugello, I am hoping that we can do good work this weekend in Barcelona. We will keep working at our maximum to close the gap to the front. We also have a test after the race, which I am looking forward to as well. I had a very interesting trip to Japan and we were able to work on many things, some which will help this weekend and some for the future.”

Cal Crutchlow also wants a turnaround of sorts after a tougher run, and he’ll want to hit back against sophomore teammate Takaaki Nakagami after the Japanese rider was top Independent Team rider at Mugello and took his best premier class finish yet in fifth.

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Start Crutchlow Morbidelli Petrucci
Cal Crutchlow

So many questions remain ahead of Barcelona. Can Marquez strike back? Did Petrucci begin to turn the tide? Can Dovi capitalise in the title fight? Will Rins be an even bigger threat if he gets a better Saturday under his belt? Can Quartararo last the distance? And can Rossi and Viñales, two of the fastest men in the world, come out swinging in Catalunya?

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Rins Petrucci
Alex Rins

Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin are eager to arrive in Montmeló for the Catalan Grand Prix this weekend following a tough event at the ultra-demanding Mugello circuit some days ago. MotoGP rookie Oliveira missed the points scoring positions narrowly last time out and aims to be back inside the top 15 for the seventh round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Syahrin, who lives close to the Catalan capital during the European period of the season, can’t wait to ride his KTM RC16 at one of his favorite track in just a few days, after he showed some great progress last week in Italy but was unfortunately unable to finish the race.

Miguel Oliveira

“Barcelona is a great Grand Prix, I like the track a lot, so I aim to continue on the line from Mugello. I hope to be more competitive since Friday, which is the target and be much closer to the top 15, from what I have been the past few races. Therefore, I definitely look forward to turn around the result a little bit this weekend and I can’t wait to be rejoined with the team again and to work hard.”

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira
Hafizh Syahrin

“I’m really looking forward to Barcelona and at the same time, I still feel sorry for the last race, which I couldn’t finish. I had a really good pace and believed that we could score points in Mugello and finally I was truly disappointed. Yet, Barcelona is like my second home GP, because I have my European base there and also this track is my second favorite. Last year, we had a great feeling in Montmeló, but obviously, I know, that it’s going to be tough this weekend. I try to do my best, try to score points and give everything I have. Let’s work hard together with the team!”

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Mugello showed it’s far from a done deal in 2019, no matter what script was written the race before. This weekend everything could change again – so be ready when the lights go out at 14:00 local time (GMT +2) on Sunday.

MotoGP Catalunya michelin motogp rnd cat
Catalunya MotoGP 2019 – Michelin Infographic

2019 MotoGP Championship standings

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 115
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 103
3 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 88
4 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 82
5 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 72
6 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 42
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 42
8 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 40
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 40
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 34
12 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 31
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 27
14 Jorge LORENZO Honda SPA 19
15 Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 12
16 Johann ZARCO KTM FRA 10
17 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 9
18 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 9
20 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia ITA 7
21 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 6
22 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 2
24 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 2
25 Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 0


Le Mans was an impressive victory for Alex Marquez, but a few weeks and a follow up demolition job at Mugello later it’s time to ask whether it was a little more than simply a first win of the season. Was Le Mans the point at which Marquez’ full hand was played, and Mugello proof he’s the new man to beat?

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Moto Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez

If we rewind to Jerez and play a little game of what if with what seemed like bad luck at the time, the Championship could look pretty different. Marquez has form in Spain and destroyed the opposition in 2017, and what we’ve seen since Jerez this season has been more than mere ‘form’.

That’s enough to merit some questions about the standings: Marquez is two points off the top as it stands, and a win or podium at Jerez would have put him 14 to 23 points clear. And, if one Marquez looking imperious wasn’t enough, the last time Alex Marquez took back to back wins was in 2014 and they came at Catalunya and Assen – the next two tracks on the calendar. Barcelona and home turf will be a test for the EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider, but expect him to come out swinging.

MotoGP Rnd Qatar Friday Moto Lorenzo Baldassarri
Lorenzo Baldassarri

Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri will be the first of those aiming to stand in his way. After a ‘win or bin’ beginning to the season, he’s hanging on to the top and Mugello was a big positive despite the number 7 not taking a podium at home – he didn’t crash out and rode back from P15 on the grid to an impressive P4. Those points were valuable, as a single position lower would see him equal on points with Marquez.

And then there’s Tom Lüthi, who is only four points off the top and the third of the three men to have shared the wins so far this year. The Swiss veteran didn’t have the pace at Mugello for the win but he kept it on the podium and consistency is key. After a tricky Le Mans, that’s a good sign and he will surely be a threat again at Catalunya.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Luthi GP AN
Tom Luthi

Jorge Navarro, meanwhile, remains a threat as well. Mugello saw his podium run come to an end, but let’s not forget that next up is the venue Speed Up dominated last year with Fabio Quartararo. And then Marcel Schrötter is another who, like Navarro, has hit the ground running this season – and he took pole in Italy.

Unfortunately the German is also recovering from having injured his foot in training, but every day that passes means that progresses. And Luca Marini took his first podium last time out, citing a much better feeling – the same he had when he went on a podium spree and took his first win last season…

MotoGP Rnd COTA Gardner GP AN Cover
Remy Gardner

The trio of riders at the top of the Championship are the only three men to have won so far this year, and they’ll all three be aiming to make sure that remains true in Barcelona. Can the likes of Navarro, Schrötter or Marini get in the mix?

Will another new name take to the top? And what can Jonas Folger do, replacing injured Khairul Idham Pawi and with experience of the new machines? Tune in from the 14th to 16th June for the Gran Premi Monster Energy Catalunya to find out.

Moto2 Championship standings

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Lorenzo Baldassarri Kalex ITA 88
2 Alex Marquez Kalex SPA 86
3 Thomas Luthi Kalex SWI 84
4 Jorge Navarro Speed Up SPA 73
5 Marcel Schrotter Kalex GER 64
6 Luca Marini Kalex ITA 58
7 Augusto Fernandez Kalex SPA 54
8 Enea Bastianini Kalex ITA 45
9 Remy Gardner Kalex AUS 41
10 Brad Binder KTM RSA 39
11 Xavi Vierge Kalex SPA 31
12 Iker Lecuona KTM SPA 26
13 Sam Lowes Kalex GBR 26
14 Tetsuta Nagashima Kalex JPN 24
15 Fabio Di Giannantonio Speed Up ITA 19
16 Mattia Pasini Kalex ITA 18
17 Andrea Locatelli Kalex ITA 16
18 Nicolo Bulega Kalex ITA 13
19 Simone Corsi Kalex ITA 8
20 Somkiat Chantra Kalex THA 6
21 Bo Bendsneyder NTS NED 5
22 Dominique Aegerter MV Agusta SWI 5
23 Khairul Idham Pawi Kalex MAL 3
24 Jesko Raffin NTS SWI 3
25 Joe Roberts KTM USA 2
26 Jorge Martin KTM SPA 2
27 Stefano Manzi MV Agusta ITA 1


Championship leader Aron Canet isn’t on the roll of form that saw key rival Lorenzo Dalla Porta move within three points of the top at Mugello, but he’s been a consistent points-scorer this season and already has one win to his name. Now it’s his home turf, he’ll be gunning to make that two and put Dalla Porta back on the back foot. Can Canet pull the pin now it’s his home turf?

MotoGP Rnd COTA Moto Aron Canet
Aron Canet

So far Moto3 has been anything but predictable though, and that’s borne out in 11 different winners in a row stretching back into the latter half of last season. So will it even be Canet and Dalla Porta warring over the win?

Or Tony Arbolino, John McPhee, Niccolo Antonelli, Jaume Masia or Kaito Toba? Or will it be another name entirely on the top step once again this season?

MotoGP Rnd LeMans Moto McPhee DallaPorta
John McPhee wins ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta in France

If it is, two big candidates are Gabriel Rodrigo, a man with both podium form at Catalunya and pace in 2019, and Tatsuki Suzuki, who so far has remained the bridesmaid.

But there are plenty of fast riders in the lightweight class, and plenty of riders who could mix it up in that classic Moto3 freight train at the front. But Catalunya has also been a track where a rider has managed to escape the melee and take a commanding 25 points – so there’s always a chance at that if someone can pull the pin.

Moto3 Championship Standings

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Aron Canet KTM SPA 83
2 Lorenzo Dalla Porta Honda ITA 80
3 Niccolò Antonelli Honda ITA 70
4 Jaume Masia KTM SPA 65
5 Celestino Vietti KTM ITA 52
6 Tony Arbolino Honda ITA 51
7 Kaito Toba Honda JPN 51
8 John Mcphee Honda GBR 44
9 Andrea Migno KTM ITA 40
10 Gabriel Rodrigo Honda ARG 37
11 Darryn Binder KTM RSA 32
12 Tatsuki Suzuki Honda JPN 31
13 Albert Arenas KTM SPA 30
14 Raul Fernandez KTM SPA 30
15 Dennis Foggia KTM ITA 25
16 Marcos Ramirez Honda SPA 24
17 Jakub Kornfeil KTM CZE 24
18 Ai Ogura Honda JPN 17
19 Ayumu Sasaki Honda JPN 14
20 Alonso Lopez Honda SPA 14
21 Kazuki Masaki KTM JPN 11
22 Romano Fenati Honda ITA 7
23 Makar Yurchenko KTM KAZ 4
24 Sergio Garcia Honda SPA 3
25 Filip Salac KTM CZE 1

Source: MCNews.com.au