Spanish Grand Prix Pre-Event Press Conference PR

The pre-event presser was attended by Spanish game show host Chubby McFatankles. Oh, wait, that’s Lorenzo.

The pre-event presser was attended by Spanish game show host Chubby McFatankles. Oh, wait, that’s Lorenzo. Jim Foyle

MotoGP Press:


We are BACK! Jerez hosts as we gear up for the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España, and three press conferences kicked us off on Thursday. The first comprised Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol), the second Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), and the third Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) and the returning Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team). Here are some key quotes!

How important were the two top 6s in COTA?

MARCO BEZZECCHI: “Yeah, as you said Texas for me was not easy. I had some issues on Friday and then I was outside of qualifying two, so I had to pass through qualifying one. But anyway, I was able to recover in a normal way and bring home a decent race. Of course, it wasn’t the best, but it also wasn’t the worst, I hope. In the end I got some points, even if I was struggling, so it was important to make it better than last year in Texas, which is what I needed, so it was OK.”

Do you expect do be as strong here as you were in Portimao and Termas?
“Well, honestly I don’t know what to expect. It’s a track that I really like and it’s a fantastic track. All the atmosphere and the weather are fantastic as well, so I’m really looking forward to riding the Ducati here and also with this new bike. I’ve never tried it at this track so now I can do it. I’ve studied a lot, I’ve studied Pecco’s lap from last year, but also every Ducati rider as well, so I can’t wait.”

These are special times for the team…
“Yeah, the team is really working well. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. We also eat very well because our hospitality guys are fantastic as well. So yeah, everything’s nice at the moment. My crew personally is really putting a lot of effort into what they’re doing, but also Vale from home and also all the other VR46 Academy guys. So yeah, we are now in a positive trend and we hope to continue like this and continue to fight for some more races!”
Do you have a clear understanding of what caused the crash?

FRANCESCO BAGNAIA: “Sincerely I think not just the Saturday but all weekend in terms of performance it was one of my best in MotoGP. We were so competitive, we were going very very fast in the Sprint and in the race on the Sunday. I think after seeing the data and checking everything, I think I maybe underestimated the conditions at Turn 2 because it was a corner where all weekend I was faster than all the Ducatis, and I followed doing the fastest there in the race and maybe it wasn’t the conditions. But I want to remain with the positives, I think we were so competitive so I think for the race we were there fighting again like Saturday, but that’s it. We have to take the positives and remain at the same level this weekend, it’s one of my favourite races, favourite weekends, favourite tracks, so I’m confident and happy to start a new weekend.”

Where do you think the new bike will be strong in Jerez?
“In terms of handling this track is one of the more technical, you have to be very precise and the new bike is a bit better on handling. We have three strong brake points where you have to be very competitive and it’s a point where I think we can be strong, but let’s see. Every year the conditions are changing and it looks like it will be very very hot like 2020. So let’s see.”

What are Ducati bringing to the test?
“Sincerely we don’t have many things to try because the season started one month, two months ago. It’s something where we can improve the feeling on the bike but nothing too big.”

How do you assess your start to 2023?

ALEX RINS: “Well for sure, as you mention, more than the race, we had a very good weekend. Starting on Friday, going direct to Q2 then in QP, for some moments I had pole and then Pecco arrived. Starting second, we finished second in the Sprint, and then in the race it was unbelievable, when I was trying to follow Pecco, and when he crashed, I was never in that position with the Honda. That lap I did some small mistakes but then I was trying to focus on myself and my way. The pace was super nice, and super-fast and I was able to get the victory. For this GP, we haven’t made any bet yet with the team members, but you know, here we start from zero. It’s my first time with Honda here. It’s a track, as Marco mentioned, that many riders like. It’s quite different to the previous tracks. This is quite small, less wide than COTA for example. We will try to be at the maximum as always starting from Friday and we will try to go to Q2 and then let’s see what we can do!”

What are the expectations in Jerez?
“We got the victory in Texas but the target is the same. We need to improve the bike. We need to find a good base and try to be close to the top guys. There two with the Ducati are going super-fast. So, the target, whether winning in COTA or finishing ninth in Argentina, is the same.”

Is there a change of status after a win?
“Maybe yes, maybe no. Every time I jump on the bike I give my best. Every time I go back to the box I try to be clear, to give them my experience to improve the bike. If they want me to test something, I’ll test it. I want to improve the bike. This morning my crew chief told me they’ll give me the chassis to try that Joan is using for this race, but with the schedule, we don’t have too much time to test. I prefer to stay focused this GP with the two bikes at the same level, same chassis and everything, and on Monday we will test.”

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