MotoGP: Pre-Event Press conference kicks off stateside as riders saddle up for Austin

MotoGP: Pre-Event Press conference kicks off stateside as riders saddle up for Austin

A race weekend doesn’t really get in gear before the traditional pre-event Press Conference, and ahead of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, reigning Champion and undisputed King of the Circuit of the Americas Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was joined by Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and American Moto2™ rider Joe Roberts (American Racing KTM) to talk about the weekend ahead.

First to speak was Marquez, who took his first win at the track in 2013 and has won every year since, although it’s far from a swagger for the seven-time World Champion on the way into the event – key words being “won’t be crazy”. The numbers don’t lie but Marquez refuses to get carried away.

“Yeah of course Austin has been a really good circuit for me since 2013 so let’s see. It is true that this year we arrive in very good shape, in Argentina we won and almost in Qatar, we have a solid base. It’s important and I feel comfortable but let’s see here. We will start from FP1 like always and won’t be crazy, try to ride like I know and then let’s see. Let’s see the opponents and also the weather, it looks like Saturday will be so so but apart from that try to enjoy this amazing circuit.”

Asked about his secrets to the venue, Marquez didn’t give anything away but did talk a little about the spectacular circuit: “It’s true that it’s a circuit where to have a perfect lap is impossible. Impossible because it’s a really long lap, many corners, many hard-braking points and easy to make a mistake. The most difficult thing is to be consistent over all the laps because it’s a two-minute lap, many hard braking points and it’s so difficult, really bumpy. It’s a track you sometimes have to change the lines each lap.”

Another topic Marquez – and Rossi – were asked about was the handshake seen between the two men after the Argentina GP.

“It was the moment. Like when you kiss a girl in the right moment, it’s the same! We were there in the right moment and we were alone, so we shook hands on the podium after a nice race.  I never had a problem so it’s no problem to have a respectful relationship.”

Laughing at the chosen analogy, Rossi agreed if in slightly different words. “It was right, I congratulated him because he put together a very fast race, a very fast weekend so I think it’s normal.”

So, back on the main agenda, Dovizioso was second to speak. The Italian has been on the podium before at COTA but also seen some bad luck come his way. Pace in Argentina was encouraging, however, which could bode well.

“I´m really happy about the weekend in Argentina. Our speed was really good, we didn’t expect that so I’m happy because it confirms our good pace. It would be nice if it’s like this. For sure, Marc has shown in the past he is the king of this track so it will be very difficult for everybody to fight with him. But anyway, we have to bring the maximum points so we are focused on that and during the weekend anything can happen. We have to see the tyres, the weather, the conditions so I’m relaxed. We have to work like everybody. Our base is quite good, so I expect to be more competitive than last year.

“I think we are a bit more balanced than last year so I think we can be a little bit better everywhere. So that’s why in Argentina our speed in every practice was quite good and I think this is the reason why we can be competitive from the beginning here. I don’t think we have the perfect balance to be really competitive and fight for the victory here but you never know.”

On that topic, Dovizioso, Rins and Rossi were all asked about whether Marquez was unbeatable – but that’s not the way a racer approaches a weekend despite the stats.

“It would be very difficult but nothing is impossible,” was Dovi’s response – something echoed verbatim by Rins just after. Rossi adds, “the numbers say Marquez is unbeatable but you don’t set off from home saying someone is impossible to beat. You try to always improve.”

Rossi was the man who spoke about the weekend ahead next, too. Back on the podium last time out for the first time since Germany last season, that’s where he started.

“One of the best parts of getting a good podium result is the next week because you can be happy and more relaxed. I stayed at home and tried to prepare the maximum for this race. It’s one of the most particular, difficult, technical tracks of the season; up and down, 20 corners, so it’s a long way until the end of the lap.

“The first year I was very slow. I needed a bit more time to understand the track. From 2014 I had a problem with the tyre in the race but I was quite fast. I took some podiums. In 2017 I finished second. It’s a very tricky track, there are a lot of points where you can lose a lot but our bike isn’t too bad, so we’ll try to be strong.”

Next to debrief Argentina a little and gear up for Round 3 was the aforementioned Rins. The Suzuki rider took a top five from well back on the grid last time out and a Hamamatsu factory machine was on the podium in Austin in 2018.

“For sure in races we are very strong. We saw in Qatar, also in Argentina we recover a lot of positions. Btu I think we are going in a good way, we have good speed in practices, good speed in the races, I think we need to improve the speed in qualifying to be in the front positions in the first laps of the race. Overtaking riders destroys the tyres, so we need to think why we start at the back and we need to improve.

“Last year I remember we had some problems on the front of the bike. Race by race we improved the feeling. In Argentina and Qatar the front feeling was very nice, and as Marc says, I think this track is difficult to do all the laps on the same line. It’s very hard, a lot of lines but Andrea did a great race last season. If we qualify better we can be more at the front, but we will see.”

Miller – top Independent Team rider in Argentina – spoke after Rins, and echoed the sentiments of Rossi earlier after equally taking a positive result.

“It was great to be there in the top five. As Vale said, it’s nice to go away from a weekend with a decent result. You know in Qatar I went away almost depressed after the seat flew off so it was definitely good to get that one out of the way. It got difficult at the end of last year I think to do with being on the GP17 as the other bikes developed through the year we stayed where we were. It’s nice to know this year we should be able to fight throughout the whole season with them. We’ve shown in Qatar and Argentina we’ve got good pace. Austin’s normally a track I like. I struggled a little bit here last year, I had a small injury, so I’m looking forward to being 100% fit this year and see how many whoops are on the back straight.”

The Australian was also asked about the difference now he’s riding a GP19 Ducati as opposed to the GP17 last year.

“I know when I come onto the straight I’m not losing metres, I don’t have to brake like an idiot and cook the front tyre, so that helps. I think we’ve got really good pace. And I feel I’ve matured as a rider and in practices we’re doing a lot of work for the race simulation. We need to keep that mentality and keep on working.”

Finally, it was time for home hero Joe Roberts to take to the mic. Despite a difficult start to the season the American is optimistic ahead of his home round, and loves the track.

“It’s fantastic to be here, I always love coming to Austin. Before I was even racing at a world level, it was always a favourite city to visit. Just to be here with all the fans and everything, it’s always a nice feeling. In terms of how the year’s gone, to be honest, it’s been a bit of a difficult start; it’s not where I hoped to be in Qatar. We made a lot of progress in the last round, during the race I was on for my best gap to the front before I crashed. With the new team, everything’s new, sometimes it takes time and you’ve got to look at the positives and take that forward. I think this weekend, this track is quite a hard-braking track and something that I took from last weekend is that we’re really good on the brakes, so I’m hoping that’s going to work here. I’ve always love this track, so I’m excited.”

Roberts was also asked about joining the Press Conference line-up for the first time – and was pretty happy about it.

“Every single one of these guys here has given me some sort of inspiration during my career and being here with them is definitely something special and it’s great.”

That’s it from Thursday Press Conference talk for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, next up comes the rodeo itself. FP1 begins on Friday morning at 9:55 (GMT -5), with the race on Sunday 14:00.

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9 hrs ago

MotoGP

Two motorsport icons 💪
One epic ride swap! 🔁

Valentino Rossi VR46 Official and Lewis Hamilton, coming soon! 🔥

#lh44vr46
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Two motorsport icons 💪
One epic ride swap! 🔁

Valentino Rossi VR46 Official and Lewis Hamilton, coming soon! 🔥 

#LH44VR46

Comment on Facebook

boyzzz, do me the favour and switch seats (at least just for one day) - I´m sure it would be "fantastico" for all of us ! ❤️❤️😍😍

One , Lewis Hamilton is a lucky champion and not so a Nice Guy. Very bad that he is in one picture with one of the best drivers ever in moto GP

This photo is gold, I’d love it in a frame on my wall, my two favorites people in racing, Vale and Lewis 💙💚

Why is everyone hating on these two they have bigger balls than you going that kind of speed round each corner the only difference between them is the number of wheels both of them are amazing racers both can drive a car and ride a bike plus don’t forget Rossi’s only protection is leathers helmet gloves and boots plus an air bag Lewis Hamilton’s protection is helmet neck brace a fire suit and a halo stop your hating and enjoy a picture of a g.o.a.t and legend

The press release afterwards remember to say you had no rear grip with the Yamaha and I'll say the Mercedes needs to give you more power 😭😂😂😂😂

Rossi is better athlete . It's much more difficult to drive on 2 wheels . He is number 1 motosport icon at the moment

Rossi can be compared only with M. Schumacher! 2 great champions 💕

Wandering what he’s whispering ha Lewis you May be an ace driver and a mega star with all the money in the world but you still have no fucking style 😂

I'd love to see Lewis try and get within 2 seconds of Rossi on a bike, he wouldn't even get close.

Not Vale’s first run in a F1 car, drove the Ferrari about 13yrs ago under Michael Schumacher’s guidance.

Lewis Hamilton, never heard of her 🤔🤔

It is great to see MotoGP and F1 icons together 💪🏻🙏🏻

The one on the left has more than earned his fame the one on the right has his mommy and daddy pay for it 🏁🏍👍😎

I see one icon and a 'whinging when something doesnt go his way P**ck' to his left!!!!

Vale is the most down to Earth person you will ever meet and does so much for the sport and also Charity. When we talk F1 lets let’s not forget Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.

Always loved Val but respect Lewis , l think the respect for each other is mutual but for me Val will always be number one.

Never mind im a rossi fan but my guess is he will do better in an F1 car than lewis could do on a moto go bike! Btw im also a lewis fan!....just saying my opinion!

Who's the guy close to Lewis Hamilton?

Why they did not do it with "Merguez"? :)))) bet Marquez will try to beat this record as well. :)))

Big boy's just want to have fun they not hurting anyone enjoy your life while you can you never no what's round the corner 💕

I can only see one motorsport icon the other cries down his radio when he can’t over take or he has tyre wobble guess which one 😀😀

I'm not seeing Rossi next to the Mercedes Benz logo??

Turn on the stopwatch, and look at the difference between lap times... 😜😎

Cosí porterà le scuse, e la tifoseria nella fórmula uno, speriamo lo faccia prima che inizi la.nuova stagione della motogp... Sono 10 anni che piange

Can't wait to see Lewis struggle to make 3 minute laps around Silverstone while Rossi pulls qualifying times in an F1. Tim Braunstein

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9 hrs ago

F1

The airwaves have been filled with smooth operator, *LOUD NOISES* and of course... Lando Norris 🤣

Here's our top 20 team radio moments from 2019 📻
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Lando's "Like, forever?" was also great.

I really enjoyed the 2019 Formula 1 season! The drivers, and teams, have been very entertaining all year! I love them!!! I can't wait for the 2020 season! I'll have to be satisfied with watching the new Netflix series on F1 when it comes on, and rewatching last years.❤️🧡💛💚💙

Missed the 'James, it's Valterri' bit! It was one of the bests 🤣

This was an unforgettable season. And a big pleasure that McLaren is back in game with this two great guys. Can't wait for march. I hope next season the Teams are closer together

Literally got goosebumps watching Pierre after that P2 finish! I won’t get into the “Smooth Operator” renditions we sing when Carlos does well, but they’re probably about as good as his. 😂

Charles "Yes" or Gasly's "WOOOO"? Either way, RIP ear drums.

Mclaren is killing it. With Sainz's and Lando's performance and the car it self. The best of the middle teams. I don't care about the front anymore, its always the same. I just wanna watch and listen to these guys. They are hilarious.

Lando and carlos 😂 they've provided some well needed entertainment this season ! 🧡

McLaren radio are awesome ! I love this guys ! Crazy !

the mclaren boys bringing home that good quality radio entertainment that we all love. 😂 😂 😂

How can you not love the McLaren drivers and team? Seriously that’s brilliant. Pretty sure the positive atmosphere is linked to the amazing results of this year. Keep pushing guys!

Last season: I feel for McLaren, must be rough. This season: God McLaren are my favourite team!

I absolutely love the McLaren ones, but my No.1 is Bottas. 😂 I guess I got an idea who he addressed it to...

Looking forward for next year. Hope the Americans fix that bumpy track 🤟

Hearing Pierre’s P2 scream still makes me happy like it did when I first heard it.

Top 20 isn't enough but still a very high quality content you got here F1! I'm proud to say that I saw it all live or live-ish *Carlos bits are recaps only*!

F1 has been brilliant this year with some amazing races, it's only fault? F1 constantly saying it's not been good 😂🤣

I love Stroll getting mad about unsafe entry and then doing the same thing 🙃

wtf it is with these ads?! OMG every 10 seconds, totally unwatchable stuff. I must be a super hardcore audience or this video went just flat out american on me 😀 🇺🇸

Norris and Sainz are absolute legends on the coms...they could’ve skipped the parts Leclerc talking to himself though 🤷🏼‍♂️

Thanks F1 that was brill !! I pay Sky a lot money to watch F1 shame they couldnt provide something as entertaining as that.............. gues all their money goes on feeding crofty!!

After a collision I really want to hear Kimi say "back in my day"....

The ones with the rain funny, oh so funny. I agree with the number one they picked. Some good team radio this year.

We all know for a fact that Kimi is the king when it comes to this but for Carlos and Lando (and they're teammates aswell) lol. Pretty hilarious

I get goosebumps everytime I hear Gasly's radio when he won P2 😀

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14 hrs ago

MotoGP

#RumbleStrip 2019 Rich Lee Draws!3">#MotoGP season recap! 🏁

🎨 Rich Lee Draws!
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Que lindo meus super heróis das pistas caracterizados. Tudo de mais bonito para todos. Deus abençoe e proteja sempre sempre todas e todos envolvidos com um esporte que é pura superação e EMOÇÃO 💜. Amo vocês ✌🌹✌.

Story of the year, Rins, Miller, Quartoraro and Vinales all coming good throughout the season. Getting stronger for 2020. Bring it on, stick it to the #93!

Time to get back in to the action #RumbleStrip

Motogp race good rider Marc, very nice👌🌹...

Story of year was Marc totally dominating. A excellent rookie year from FQ . Some good races from Mav, Dovi, Rins etc but all lacking consistency. Some brilliant races along the way but ultimately MM93 was far too good.

Best MotoGP race rider #MM93 ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Spirit for Rider MotoGp go to #MotoGp2020😘

Rossi is de best rider even still he 40+ age no one can take his place rossi luv u bro ....

💗💗💗💗💗

Why did they make Cal look like a mini wolverine! 😆

Good job marc Brilliant race along the way but ultimately marc was far too good😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

Ont peut la trouver la BD en français s'il vous plaît

Great art. Good job

The best comic ever....!!! Keep it up

Boring rider and boring titles and only marquez fans happy for the boring show from marquez

Excelente.... sin duda MM93 ha sido su mejor año.. y ninguno mas mantubo consistencia... se ve una buena pelea para el 2020 con buenas carreras..

👍👍👍 the best season...👏👏

Oh, This is very nice

Good job Marc King of race

Marc ❤️ my heart ....

Až budou dobří jako Valentino tak ať se ozvou teploušové. 😎

Champions forever

Can’t wait for MotoGp 2020 🍿Rins and the Marques brothers 🥇

Very, very cool!

Marc marquez 93...nice one

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