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Yamaha MotoGP head to Montmel˛
After an incredible showdown in Mugello in front of Valentino Rossis home crowd, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP now return to Spain for this Sundays Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya to battle in front of Jorge Lorenzos local fans.
Both Rossi and Lorenzo will aim to continue their stunning form from Mugello at the Catalunya circuit, a track both riders are fond of.
Rossi brings his current front running pace to a circuit that has seen him record no less than six Grand Prix victories in the premier class.
Teammate Lorenzo has been focusing further on improving his physical condition and maximising the Yamaha YZR-M1s potential with the aim to make this race in Montmelˇ his third consecutive Catalunya Grand Prix victory in a row, something only Rossi has achieved.
The Cataluyna circuit is known as one of the most atmospheric races on the calendar, drawing record crowds. The track opened in 1991 and has hosted the Catalunya Moto Grand Prix since 1995. One of the most memorable races witnessed at the track remains the famous battle between Lorenzo and Rossi in 2009.
Monster Yamaha Tech3s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith have both confidently set their sights on further top field finishes for this weeks round 7 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Rookie Pol Espargaro intends to continue his recent, hugely impressive run of form at his home circuit where he will work towards inching closer to the top 3 and pulling off a superb result in front of his fans. Whilst Britain's Bradley Smith will intrepidly proceed in his quest to become the leading satellite bike by battling tirelessly to cruise to a confidence boosting result in Catalunya.
For Aleix Espargaro, who used to live just 3 km far from the racetrack, this is really his home GP and the Spaniard looks forward to make a good race in front of his home crowd. To celebrate this special occasion, Aleix will have on Sunday a special bike livery, helmet and leather suit.
After a complete test of the new chassis during the Italian GP, Colin Edwards will be back on track at Montemelo on board of his Forward Yamaha, continuing the development of the new chassis, that gave him very good feeling in Mugello.
I am very happy to go to Barcelona, especially after the good weekend at Mugello where we put two Yamaha's on the podium. I really like the Grand Prix of Catalunya. It is a track that I like a lot, it's fantastic! I know that to fight with Jorge and Marc I have to give my best from the first free practice to be very strong on Sunday. I will try to do everything to be in front with them, once again. I am very happy with how we are working on the bike. I know that we can do even better, the team is very motivated and for that I really want to start the weekend in Barcelona!
In Mugello I tried my best, I felt stronger and I think we did a really good job. We were really close to the victory and my physical condition improved a lot compared to the last races. The bike also worked well and I guess if we can do a step ahead either with the bike or my physical condition we will fight again for the victory. Now we are heading to Montmelˇ, one of my favourite tracks like Mugello and I would like at least to be on the podium. Last year we could find a good pace for the race and I remember we won in front of the two main rivals, achieving a great win. Hopefully this season we can fight once again; that would be so special considering Montmelˇ is like my home race. Im looking forward to racing in Barcelona in front of all the crowd!
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
We are all feeling good after Mugello; weve got a bit more confidence again. Like Mugello, Catalunya is another track where both riders have a really good history and its now Jorges home race. He arrives feeling good after such a close finish in Mugello; he has his confidence back. We will start this weekend with both Vale and Jorge as key protagonists. We are looking forward to first practice on Friday morning to begin set up and prepare as much as possible for both qualifying and the race.
"It goes without saying that I am so excited for my home GP and I will try my absolute best to get a top result in front of my Catalan fans. My confidence is high as I feel that I am steadily improving my adaption to the MotoGP bike. In fact both my qualifying performances as well as my race pace have become much more competitive since the beginning of the season, especially in the last two races where I have consistently been in the top five. Therefore I truly hope I can continue this trend for the weekend. In addition, I have had some great results here previously, for example last year in Moto2 where I started on pole before winning the race. So this weekend will for sure be one to remember for me in my first appearance on a MotoGP bike. I can't wait!"
"The last Grand Prix at Mugello did not go exactly how I had planned and it was not a true representation of my race ability. We were just a bit unlucky which can sometimes happen to any rider, however I am confident as always and I know I can get a strong result this weekend. The Yamaha works well here and last season I got my joint best result of 6th in my rookie season. So this year I plan to up the stakes and finish higher. It's demanding and technical but good fun to ride so I am charged and ready to do my best at the Monster Energy sponsored Grand Prix."
Barcelona has always been one of my favourite round on the GP schedule. After our first run with the new chassis at Mugello, Im excited to get back to work. Our main focus will be more on the electronics side but we will be trying different chassis settings as well. If all goes well, it should be a good weekend.
Catalunya is really my home GP as I used to live just 3 km far from the racetrack. I remember that from my class at school we could hear the bikes testing on the track, so its a very familiar and special place for me. No need to say that I look forward to get a good result here. I like the track very much, I know every single meter. Catalunya has one of the longest main straight in the world and we know that we will struggle a bit in terms of top speed, but I like the long turns and Im very motivated to do well.