MotoGP: The Catalan GP gets in gear with Marquez, Rossi, Lorenzo in the pre-event Press Conference

MotoGP: The Catalan GP gets in gear with Marquez, Rossi, Lorenzo in the pre-event Press Conference

Ahead of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, reigning World Champion and Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was joined by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Mugello winner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). Talk went from last time out at Mugello to the weekend ahead in Montmeló, and also centered a lot on the moves made recently in the rider market.

Before the Press Conference began proper, however, there was a minute of silence held to honour Andreas Perez, who sadly passed away during the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship round last weekend. Earlier in the day, riders also paid tribute to another fallen hero: Luis Salom, who passed away following an accident in 2016. The inauguration of the Luis Salom Corner graffiti installment at Turn 12 saw many riders turn out to honour the multiple Grand Prix winner.

As the time then came to talk, first to speak was the number 93 of Marc Marquez, who debriefed the Italian GP to begin with. “Mugello was a difficult weekend for us,” begins the reigning Champion, “but it normally is a bit. We were struggling a lot with the front tyre there, and I wasn’t able to manage it well or in the right way in the race.”

Looking ahead to this weekend, however, Marquez feels positive. “Here in the test, I felt good and confident. I know it’s not one of the best tracks for me, but still I’ve finished on the podium a few times from 125 to MotoGP.”

Next, talk moved to the biggest headline of the week: Jorge Lorenzo was confirmed at Repsol Honda from 2019. Marquez says it will be a big change – but that he’s happy he’s on the inside, not facing it down from the outside.

“It will be a big change inside Honda, a new teammate and new riding style. I’ve learned a lot from Dani when I arrived, he was riding the Honda so well. But Jorge is a strong teammate and we’ll try to learn from him because he’s a completely different riding style. But I’m happy I’m INSIDE the team, although he’ll be tough to beat!”

Marquez also went back to that point, and reiterated that he’s eager to learn from the five-time World Champion who’ll be arriving next year.

“When another rider arrives in the box you can compare styles. It will be interesting to see how it works with a different style. From the outside you can see a few things but when you have the data it’s easier! But he’ll be a strong teammate. Dani has been strong, Cal is strong, and the best thing for Honda is to have that.”

Next up to speak was Rossi, and the Italian GP podium finisher is already reset for the weekend ahead. “This is a track that I love,” says the ‘Doctor’, “but in the last years I’ve had very different results. 2016 it was a victory and then last year it was one of the most difficult races of the season and I struggled a lot, and we didn’t expect it after the year before. After Assen as well we started to have a lot of problem in the second half of the year. But it’s important, and the track has changed a lot with the new layout and new track surface without the bumps, and that could help us and our performance,. It will be important to understand our level.”

Then, of course, the rider from Tavullia was asked for his thoughts on former teammate Lorenzo’s move – echoing many voices in the paddock.

“I was a bit surprised because there weren’t any rumours around – they did well at keeping the secret! I didn’t know what was going to happen, this was one idea but I didn’t expect it.”

The secret to keeping the best kept secret in the paddock? “Just don’t tell anyone,” laughs Lorenzo, “it’s easy!” The Mugello winner then went back to give a little insight as to how it came about.

“My goal and my first priority was to stay at Ducati, until Le Mans, where I realised that maybe they wanted to swap me…then we started to plan another future. So, my manager and I started to think about projects. I approached Honda. Until then I wanted to win with Ducati. Races, the Championship if possible. Now, everybody is looking at me…I entered the Championship when I was 16, I know how fast I can be on different bikes. I won with Derbi, I rode for Honda, Aprilia, Yamaha…Ducati. I work a lot of hours, millions of hours and I have this capacity. I know what I want to do with the bike and for sure it will be a challenge, but that’s the future, I am a person of the now and I still have a lot to do with Ducati. Like I did with Yamaha – until the last race I tried to win and do the best for the team.”

So focusing on the present once again, Lorenzo is positive about the weekend ahead. “We are in a sweet moment with Ducati, it’s a good package and we try and improve it every month. It’s good for all riders, on our side we got some pieces that helped me keep a constant pace and we arrive at a good track after a good test a month ago here.”

Can the Borgo Panigale factory win two in a row as they did in 2017? Last year it was Lorenzo’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso – and this year the Italian could equally be another threat for the victory.

“For sure this is one of the best tracks in our Championship,” says ‘DesmoDovi’. “It’s nice to ride the bike here and we won last year, but this year is a different story with new asphalt and less bumps. I think we have to work very well during the weekend to understand the tyres – a bit more becaue of the new asphalt. I expect a lot of fast riders with different bikes but I’m confident, in the last two races I’ve fought for the podium and the victory but every weekend it’s a different story so we have to keep calm and work in the right way like we have been doing.”

Then asked about the future and his newly-confirmed teammate, the positivity remained as the number 04 spoke about Danilo Petrucci.

“I’m happy, because I have a good relationship with Danilo and he knows a lot about our bike. That’s positive because we can work together to try and improve the bike. There are some big changes next year and I think that’s good for our Championship.”

On to the man himself, Petrucci talked Mugello before then moving on to his career path that will now see him become a factory rider in 2019.

“Mugello was a very difficult race,” begins the Italian. “After Le Mans, where I was on the podium, and at Mugello, last year I was on the podium, so everyone expected it…we worked very hard, in qualifying made a small mistake but then in the race my start was good but then I had contact with Marc, went wide and tried to recover, but my rear tyre was tired with four or five laps to go. I pushed at my best and my target was to save the tyre but I was back in ninth…anyway, I did my best and I was happy about that. But for sure I dreamt of an all Ducati podium until five laps to go! I have no regrets and now we’re focused on this race.”

From STK1000 to factory MotoGP™ rider – it’s been a long road.

“It was always my target to be on a factory bike, even if I was last on the grid! I remember when I started here there were many races where I was last in practice, qualifying and the race! The road to glory is very long! But then my years with Ioda taught me to never give up, then when I joined Pramac I knew I could ride a bike. It’s a good starting point to now try and win my first race.”

Then Argentina GP winner Cal Crutchlow took the mic, saying Mugello was a good step forward after some tougher races.

“Mugello wasn’t too bad,” began the Brit. “I aimed for the podium at the start of the weekend and I didn’t get it but we have to be happy because it was a very difficult race and tough to manage. We tested there and felt fantastic but in the race weekend it seemed more difficult for us. It was tough in the battle at the time and I couldn’t pass because I didn’t want to risk not finishing. I settled for getting some good points. But Mugello was a step in the right direction for here.”

Crutchlow also talked about Lorenzo’s move to Repsol Honda, saying he thinks it’s a positive and will be interesting to see someone on the bike who, like him, has ridden different machinery. “I think Honda have played a good card there, they’ve taken on a great Champion with great speed but I’m as interested as anyone to see if he can adapt to the style of the Honda. And it will be great to see someone who has ridden other bikes on it.”

Any advice for Lorenzo? No. “He’s a Champion,” grins the rider from Coventry. “He’ll figure it out himself!”

Finally, Moto2™ rookie and reigning Moto3™ World Champion Joan Mir took to the spotlight, just a few days after an equally big announcement for him – a move to MotoGP™ next season with Team Suzuki Ecstar.

“I’m really happy to join MotoGP next year,” says Mir. “It’s like a dream for me. If you said to me three years ago that I would be racing in MotoGP next year I would have said you were crazy! But I’m really happy about the progress so far, we’re growing quickly and I just hope to keep going on this line and I hope to improve more in Moto2. That’s my priority, and then in MotoGP to keep learning. Now we’re scoring points and podiums, but we need the victory. But we’re working well!”

The Catalan GP begins with Free Practice on Friday, before the race starts on Sunday at 14:00 (GMT +2).

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1 hr ago


2019 Best clips 🎥

The #AustralianGP couldn't have got off to a more dramatic start! 💢

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I was sitting right in front of this when it happened!! I've never seen a rider get so high...

That was a vicious highside I'm glad they both came out ok

Lukas Griganavičius


Nana Yaw


Spat out off the track...

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14 hrs ago


Meet Yan Ting - an F1 volunteer in Singapore for ten years 😊

One of hundreds helping F1 run safely and smoothly every year 👊
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Heck I'd volunteer as well. So you don't get paid with money. You get paid with the excitement of being part of the greatest sport and just plain fun.

I would volunteer... What a privilege to be a part of this amazing sport and to have the chance to get so close to the action. Everyone appreciates all of the hard work they do in all weathers and if they didn't love it they wouldn't do it... Thanks to everyone who helps to keep the sport that I love going ❤️🏁🏁🏁

Considering the volume of comments complaining they don’t get paid you don’t hear volunteers complaining. They do it for the love of Motorsport and the chance in some small way to be involved. Not everything has to be about money!

I just don't get it. F1 is a multi million if not billion £ business. So why don't theses fantastic people get paid? Without them there would be no F1. Don't treat people's passion as an excuse to use and not pay them for their very important work. Am I wrong?

Singapore F1 has the greatest staff & so friendly

The very fact that F1 moves so many millions, and there are unpaid volunteers workers sickens me to be honest. Selling people the idea that by volunteering, they are doing good, they have a super opportunity, post their face on social media, making them feel special, and saving yourself the wagesnin the process sickens me.I love watching the races, the tech etc, but F1 shame on you. I'm pretty sure there is no one in the F1 scene short of a few quid, and I'm pretty sure that some of these volunteers would most definitely appreciate the money as well as the chance to work on the circuit. Everything isn't about the money unless your a capitalist company making money off the backs of others. Shame on you f1

This is my good friend and fellow SGP marshal Yeo Yan Ting...

For everyone complaining about the free labor. Its VOLUNTEER work not like it's against anyone's will. Secondly volunteer for a race sometime and you will understand the point. I volunteer for the pikes peak hill climb every year. I get to experience a badass event for a little work while others are paying $180+ for the same experience. A little free work is well worth it.

Why are people complaining about money? They are volunteers not slave. I volunteered at the Montreal tennis tournament for over 10 years. Doing office work. I got to watch all the matches for free and got to meet/talk to all kinds of players like Agassi, Graf, Hingis and Federer. It was fun. I’m guessing the people volunteering at the race gets to watch F1 for free and see/hear the cars up close. For any race fan that is just priceless.

It is impossible to not get paid, unless you do work for a non profit organization. I'm very sure the "volunteer" name is just that, a name, I refuse to believe F1 is exploiting human workforce to save some bucks.

I'd bang Yan Ting I'd have her panting #yeahman

I agree...why can’t F1 pay these people. We lost one volunteer due to an accident at the Montreal F1 a few years ago. Is it worth volunteering for nothing and risking your life?

Why does F1 even need volunteers when you are willing to spend endless piles of money on everything else? Props to the people who do it but when you charge 5k for Paddock Club tickets it seems to me you could do with paying all these wonderful people for their work...

Singapore GP is the best one I have been to. Vietnam is next on my list as I have fancied a holiday there for a while but will take me a few years to save enough money.

Why is everyone so outraged that the volunteers don’t get paid? People travel all over the world for some events and this is something they’re willing to do as a hobby/do it in their spare time. I’ve been doing it for a year now and did this years Singapore Grand Prix. I would always volunteer to do this as it is an absolute privilege to be officiating at such an awesome event. The organisers always look after us so well with meals and nice souvenirs. So for those that are outraged by it. Maybe you should come join us sometime.

She speaks pretty well. Of course her accent is really hearable, but her grammar is on a high level!

With the money the sport brings in they should be payed.

Those idiots that run F1 should pay these people, sky and channel 4 pay their team money.. loads I imagine.. probably don’t get even a Christmas box

Do they get paid for their work? because the tickets are very expensive

More on these behind the scenes people they're also very important 😎

Really enjoyed my days in timing and scoring.

That’s amazing! So jealous she gets to work on track !

I wonder why no one sponsors them.🤔. Plenty of space for logos on their overalls. Might earn themselves a few quid too.

Many people asked ...."Why do you still officiate/volunteer? .. Do they pay you? "......If you have to ask, you simply won’t understand

Seriously, no volunteers please, alwais professionals. It can risk lives in the accidents.

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14 hrs ago


Check out the new look of the Ducati Team for 2020! 👀 ... See Less

Check out the new look of the Ducati Team for 2020! 👀

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I cant wait to see what the new honda will look like....

Unfortunately in Brazil we will not be able to see this top bike this year, the closed TV channel that was broadcasting did not renew and we ended up staying at a loss !!! Too bad for Moto Gp lovers in Brazil, last year without a super bike and this year without a Moto Gp !!! What the hell!!!

You can't really see the motorcycles because of all the sponsors but I suppose they look great, it's Ducati.

Je ne trouve pas qu il y est de grand changement une écriture en noir a la place du blanc . Ducati fait du Honda . Les couleur de pramac était belle

Killer look! Love it! 😎 great job! It has been the most 'non traditional looking' bike and it's getting more and more different and high tech looking.

Should’ve been Miller with Dovi. Much better rider on the second rate bike, would smash it on the factory bike. Typical euro decision

Great looking bike, a pity you don't have a rider to exploit its full potential. Jack Miller would fill that requirement perfectly.

Amazing, Ducati fan here but hope we have a good season this year. Im more on, close competition and pushing the skill and other bikes to the limits. That's more exciting keeping my *ss on my couch.

Awesome lookin bikes, Hope their up the pointy end more often but with 43 on the front 🇦🇺

Looks more WSB than Moto gp. Sponsors looking crowded and messy. Also needs more white. Just my opinion but it's a shame as it used to be the best looking bike and the best colour.

A top innovative team with mediocre riders. Always poor rider choices who can win few races but not championship. Give this bike to Bagnaia/Miller and see the magic. The biggest mistake was getting rid of Lorenzo.

Hoping for consistency for top riders and teams this season to challenge the atomic ant!🐜

Look great but I don’t think the 2 of them together can catch. 93

Ducats is under VW motors so it's Germany machine & Italian passion design qual to super straight line speed, hopefully they worked on the cornering speed so well

Looking forward to the Honda v Ducati battle again.Amazing to watch,great TV.

So looking forward to the start of the new season 😁😁

Bikes look amazing...So do the performance....Pity that Ducati doesn't have a championship winning rider...🤕🤕..

It’s the same as last year, the year before, and every other year.

Essas Ducatti estão tops é só esperar o show✊

L avant de lla moto est bien plus affûté

la seule chose visible qui a changé c'est les couleurs du casque de Dovi 😉

Linda che, aunqe para mi nunca superara en el aspecto visual a la gp7 u 8

Bonsoir je voudrais savoir si le Moto GP est toujours diffusé sur Canal+ cette année

Go Dovi all MotoGP fans support you for win MotoGP titles and we so boring watch marq win the boring titles

I can't see the motorcycle name anywhere on the the bikes, what the heck.

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