Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team MotoGP, Gran Premio Bwin de Espana – April 29th 2015
MotoGP kicks off European road trip at the ‘Cathedral’ of Spanish motorcycling
Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty confident they can add to happy Jerez memories this weekend
After an exotic tour of Qatar, Texas and Argentina to visit three circuits (Losail, COTA and Termas de Río Hondo) with completely different characteristics, the MotoGP World Championship returns to more familiar territory this weekend as the series embarks on a European road trip that takes in the next six rounds. The Gran Premio de España is the first of four races that will take place in Spain during the 2015 season, as Jerez plays host to the fourth round of a campaign that has started with Valentino Rossi back on top, thanks to his two wins so far. Reigning champion Marc Márquez arrives at his home race looking to close the gap to the Italian but after suffering an injury to his little finger that required surgery just last week, he will have to wait until Friday’s first free practice to fully assess his fitness. With Andrea Dovizioso making a strong start to the season and a host of other Spanish riders looking to impress in their home race, this Sunday promises to be a fiesta to remember.
The track already holds good memories for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty, who are looking to build their pace and performance after three races on their new Hondas. Hayden scored a positive result at his home round in the USA and also performed well in Argentina, even though he didn’t finish as strongly as he would have liked. The Kentucky Kid is aiming to build on that performance at a circuit where he has two MotoGP podiums. Having never previously visited COTA or Termas de Río Hondo, Laverty is looking forward to heading to a circuit he knows, and where he has twice taken victory in World Superbikes.
“The Spanish GP is the first European race of the season and it is always nice to race at Jerez, a circuit I love. It is a fantastic track and it has an atmosphere like nowhere else, plus I had some good results there in the past so I have good memories. It has quite a lot of fast corners, which should suit our bike, but we need to work to improve grip and make ourselves even more competitive. Everybody has three races behind them now so the competition is getting tougher. The more data everybody has, the more the pace will increase. We have ridden this bike now at three completely different tracks and we have learnt a lot about it. We are improving our form as we go and I hope that continues this weekend.”
“We did a great job all weekend in Argentina, probably the best we have done since I started in MotoGP, but we didn’t manage to back it up with a performance in the race. I know we can be strong at Jerez in practice and we have to work very hard to make sure that Sunday doesn’t go the same way as Argentina. In any case we have come a long way since the start of the year and I am sure all the hard work will start to pay off soon. I like Jerez and I had two wins there in Superbikes so it is a place that holds happy memories for me.”