News 23 Sep 2016

MotoGP contenders preview MotorLand Aragon

Grand prix front-runners discuss this weekend's event.

Source: Supplied.

MotoGP regulars have spoken out ahead of this weekend’s Motorland Aragon grand prix at the pre-event press conference in Spain.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) spoke first, addressing his recent struggles having been off the podium, and then focused on his tactics for the title as the final five rounds get underway.

“We haven’t lost too many points and we arrive in Aragon leading. We’ll try to push from the beginning because it’s one of my favourite tracks, although we know both Yamaha riders are strong. You always want to push and win, but sometimes it’s not possible – like in Misano. Here we want to be on the podium as a minimum,” he said.

Closest title rival Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was also focusing on points rather than the victory, in the title as well as the Aragon GP. “I’ve taken good points and tried to recover from some early mistakes, but the distance to Marc remains very big,” he explained.

“But we need to continue like this. We’re working well and we’ve always been competitive. This track isn’t one of the best for me and last year we struggled a lot in practice but in the end the race was quite good.”

The question of the ninth winner also affects the title, says Rossi, because the pack keeps shuffling. “Eight winners is something that nobody expected, because recently in the last few years it’s been more or less the same names at the top – in all conditions.”

“It’s interesting for the championship and it’s more difficult this year because the balance is bigger between the riders and bikes, and if the conditions change we have different names who are always very strong. So we need to always be there and arrive on the podium.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was focused on repeating his successes of the last two years at Aragon – having won the race both times, once in the wet and once dry. “I expected to fight a bit more for the win in Misano, although I knew I didn’t have my best pace ever there.

“I needed one or two tenths more. Here let’s see what happens here because in the last two years I won – and last year in the dry. Normally it wasn’t a Yamaha track but recently – someway, somehow – we’ve been very competitive. It’s a very flowing track and that will suit our chassis a lot.”

The man who did win in Misano, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), arrives to MotorLand motivated and more confident ahead of another home round. “To get back on the bike and get a good feeling gives you confidence. This is a track I like and I’ve gone well in the past. I’m looking forward to it but we need to keep focused on the parts we’re not best at and focus on improving.”

When asked if the ninth winner could be Honda World Superbike Team rider and MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden, standing in for injured Jack Miller at Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 3-time world champion Pedrosa was positive: “If he can do a Bayliss, then he he will be the ninth winner! It will be hard for him in the beginning with the different tyres and he’s been in WorldSBK some time now – but we’ll see.”