Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
ASPAR Team MotoGP, GP of Catalunya Preview
Aspar Team ready for second Spanish test
Laverty targets more points to maintain top ten position as Yonny hopes for end to recent run
With a third of the MotoGP World Championship already gone the Circuit de Catalunya is preparing to play host to the seventh round of the season this weekend. This will be the second visit to Spain for the series after Jerez, coming two weeks after a thrilling battle at Mugello between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez that was decided by just a few thousandths of a second. Now the Spaniards have the home support that Valentino Rossi enjoyed at Mugello, even though the Italian was unable to take advantage due to a mechanical problem. From just twelve points covering the top three going into the last round, Lorenzo now holds a ten-point lead over Marquez, with Rossi some 37 back.
The Aspar Team head to Barcelona with big ambitions, determined to put a difficult weekend at Mugello behind them. Eugene Laverty scored his best result of last season in Barcelona but his twelfth place then has become his minimum aim this year. The Irishman had either equalled or improved on that position in every race up until Mugello, when he was thirteenth. His team-mate Yonny Hernández arrives in Barcelona with mixed feelings after some strong pace at Mugello saw him qualify directly for Q2 although he wasn’t able to complete his weekend with a good result. The Colombian is determined to put a bad run behind him and pick up solid points this weekend.
Eugene Laverty: “In Barcelona I think we can be really strong because this bike is so good under braking. Also the rear grip is now good so in Barcelona I think we can take another step and my goal will be to finish inside the top ten again. We have come off the back of one of our most difficult weekends having salvaged some points, thanks partly to some crashes for other riders, which keeps our run of points-scoring finishes going, but I expect this weekend to be more like Jerez where we scored a genuine top ten. This bike, my feeling with this bike and my riding style will be a good combination for this track.”
Yonny Hernández: “I am feeling very motivated for this race in Barcelona. The circuit has been very good to me in past seasons and I hope to give my best there this weekend. We go into this race on the back of a run that I would like to put behind us as soon as possible and Barcelona is a nice opportunity to do that. The objective will be to enter into Q2 again, like we did at Mugello, qualify well and finish the job off on Sunday. We will work hard all weekend to find a good set-up for the bike and do the best job we can in this Grand Prix.”