Gran Premio IVECO de Aragón: pre-weekend press conference

 In MotoGP, News


The Gran Premio IVECO de Aragon got underway today as Repsol Honda Team’s championship leader Marc Marquez was joined at the Thursday pre-race press conference by Yamaha Factory Racing rival Jorge Lorenzo, his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, as well as Power Electronics Aspar’s leading CRT contender Aleix Espargaro.

Before the press conference kicked off however, the riders posed with Team Calvo Moto3™ rider Ana Carrasco, who is this weekend joined by Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Maria Herrera as a wildcard, making it the first time two females compete in the lightweight class since the Spanish GP in 1994.

Marquez commented on the weekend ahead: “Aragon is one of my favourite tracks and I enjoyed it a lot in the test after the Montmelo race. I feel quite good and it’s always important to enjoy it. Not so good in the first corner in 125s but quite nice in Moto2™, so we will see this weekend. Last race pace was not so bad so we will try to continue like that. At Misano I made a few mistakes, we’ll try to improve that, be the same, try to push and then see how the weather is on Sunday. And then see in which position we can fight.”

Lorenzo, who has not won at this track, is hoping to change that this weekend: “We are in a good shape. We won the last two races, so that is a good signal. Now we arrive at a track that is normally difficult for us. Fourth in 2010, third in 2011 and second last year, so hopefully we can keep the same pattern and win here this year for the first time, but our rivals are really strong. I believe with a better bike we can go well…we went really fast with a good pace in the test, so hopefully we can now go even faster. That is the theory, so hopefully it can become the reality.”

Last year’s winner Pedrosa is also looking to haul back some points as he chases his teammate: “At the last race we couldn’t match the pace for the win, but at the last test at Misano I was looking for some improvement and think we made some small steps – nothing very big, but even small is always very important. Tomorrow we’ll go out and try and see if it’s also working at different tracks. Obviously I did a good race here last year and the previous years also, so I am looking forward to this weekend and trying to enjoy it with the crowd that will come and also all of my friends who will show up on Thursday. I hope to do a good weekend and I enjoy riding here.”

Rossi, who seems to be stuck with fourth place these days, is hoping to break that trend: “In 2010 here I had a lot of problems with the shoulder. I like the track though. Especially when we came here for the test after Barcelona, I had a feel good feeling with the M1; good fast, good pace and not so far from the top three. Now for sure in two or three months the settings have change a lot but we hope to do faster and stay top the whole practice, also on Sunday in order to be happy in the race. We still have to work with some areas in which I am personally struggling, especially with the braking. We will try to continue like it was on the Monday after Misano, which was not so bad.”

For Bradl, this weekend will be about getting back some of the confidence he showed back in Laguna Seca where he took his first podium: “The last three or four races we have suffered with several problems; sometimes the front, sometimes the rear but we haven’t been too fast. We couldn’t be as quick as we wanted to. Of course, as you can see the top four in the factory teams have a lot of confidence and are just going faster from the beginning of the weekend, but it is a new challenge and we have been here for a test after the Barcelona GP, trying to go fast from the beginning and to be as close to the top as possible.”

Espargaro, who has been the centre of much speculation about a move away from his team, tried to steer clear of the subject: “For sure a really good season for me, couple of good qualifyings in particular. On a small track like Germany or Misano we have an advantage as our bike is really good with direction change, but for sure we suffer a lot with the long tracks. I enjoy riding this track a lot; I think the first and second parts can be really good, but the long straight could be really difficult, but for sure it’s not like Misano.

“I would like to change bike. I think we are a bit closer [to switching teams] and I think in a couple of days we would know more. I don’t want to change team because this is like a family, but sometimes you need to find your motivation – I really want to change the bike.”


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