Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Motivated for Montmelo
(Wednesday, 7 June 2017)
Brave performances at the race in Italy brought home solid points for both teammates. Now, only one week later, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi prepare to go head to head with the competition again at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Viñales arrived in Montmeló in a good mood, after a mature ride at the Mugello Circuit. He extended his lead in the championship to 26 points with a well-deserved second place finish, giving him a healthy margin as he commences the seventh round of the 2017 MotoGP season.
The young contender hopes to ride his YZR-M1 to the rostrum this weekend in front of the Catalan fans. He previously achieved four consecutive podium finishes here 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). In the MotoGP class he scored his best result last year, finishing just off the steps in fourth place and setting a circuit record lap of 1‘45.971s, so he fancies his chances to add another top result to his résumé this weekend.
Though the previous round last weekend demanded considerable effort from the still recovering Rossi, who gave 100% to secure fourth place in front of his home crowd, he is ready to challenge for the podium this weekend in Montmeló.
The Doctor holds third place in the championship rankings, 30 points behind his teammate, and is eager to decrease the gap this weekend at one of his most successful circuits, where no one should bet against him. He holds an impressive 13-year podium streak, that lasted from 1997 to 2009 and was spread out over various classes (MotoGP, 500cc, 250cc and 125cc). Moreover, he previously recorded seven premier victories with wins in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2016 in Catalunya, and he only finished off the rostrum four times in 20 races (not including the race in 2010, when he didn’t ride due to an injury).
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a crowd favourite ever since it hosted its first MotoGP race in 1992. Its great reputation was further underlined when the venue won the IRTA ’Best Grand Prix’ trophy in 2001. With an exciting 4.7km lay-out consisting of 13 corners (eight right, five left), the Catalan round is known as one of the most atmospheric and thrilling races on the calendar.
We had a challenging but rewarding weekend in Mugello and it has motivated us to tackle the next round in Catalunya with all we have, as always. Montmeló is typically a good circuit for us, and for the fans as well. This weekend we will aim for top results again. Maverick is feeling good with the bike and it shows in his consistent speed and in the championship standings. As this is a home race for him, I‘m sure he would love nothing better than secure his first MotoGP podium in Catalunya, so that will be the goal this weekend. The Mugello race asked a lot from Valentino, but he never gave in. The few days of rest between the last race and the upcoming round give him little time to recover, but his condition is improving and I‘m sure he will be on the pace again this weekend, as he is always a force to be reckoned with in Catalunya. It will be important that we start the Grand Prix weekend strongly on Friday, in order to be all set and ready to go during qualifying and the race.
Montmeló is a very special track for me as it is my home Grand Prix. It‘s a really good track for me and for my riding style and I hope also for the bike. We are in a good flow, having gained good momentum, so we are strong and confident and we have many set-ups in case one won’t work and for that reason I arrive to Montmeló really motivated. We will try to obtain as many points as we can and we will try to stand on the podium at the end of it, but to do so we have to be smart, also with the tyre selection.
I would have liked to have had a one-week stop after the Mugello race to recover in the best way. Anyway, I’m happy with the race I did, the bike rode well and in Barcelona I hope I can be better, I would like to go on the podium. Barcelona is a circuit that I really enjoy, even if it‘s a track with less grip, and we will have to try to find a good set-up to make the tyres work best. On Monday we will also have a day of testing and we will use it to try some other solutions. This is another Grand Prix where there is a beautiful atmosphere, with so many enthusiastic fans. We are ready to do our best!