The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya plays hosts to riders getting back on the groove.
The Qatar test is fast approaching and the MotoGP riders are as ready as ever. A few familiar faces managed to spend time at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday. 2021 sees a great number of changes after a whirlwind during the start of 2020.
Reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), his teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) from the premier class marked their presence in Catalonia this week.
Here’s what they have to say.
Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar)
“I feel great on the bike, I’m happy because I was able to do a lot of laps today and try the new corner, it was important to understand how to do it and find the correct line to have an idea when we come back in future with the MotoGP bike. A productive day, I’m happy about that and I’m ready for Qatar.
“I’m preparing in the same way as before, training hard and trying to be healthy, working every day on what I want. To be a better rider, to be more complete. I’m happy about the preseason we’re doing!”
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)
“Since Portimao, I haven’t been on a racetrack, so I was feeling good, everything was standard so it’s quite easy to ride. I’m happy, just to get back the muscle on a road bike.
“The turn layout is quite different, but it feels good. It’s between the old one and the F1 layout. I like it, and I’m happy to be back, one step closer to Qatar.
“For the first two races it will be fine after fewer days of testing, the problem will be when we arrive in Portimao which is a totally different track and was quite difficult last year with the M1. For Qatar, I’m not stressed, but it’s more about Portimao to see how the bike is working and everything. Let’s see but first of all, we need to enjoy these moments, I’m happy to ride today and can’t wait to be in Qatar for the first test!”
Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team)
“It’s like an official test here! It is really nice to get out here, the Montmelo circuit is fantastic and to have similar like the old layout is fantastic at Turn 10, you can carry the speed a lot, the asphalt has a lot of grips so 10/10 job for them. It’s great to be on track with all of these great riders again and super excited to do it all again in a couple of weeks in Qatar.
“I feel excited, Qatar has normally been a track I enjoy a lot although I haven’t had the best of luck there. But I feel confident leading into the Grand Prix, lots of work to do in a short amount of time but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team)
“It was cool, coming back from a long time… seeing rivals, Moto2 and Moto3 riders fighting each other! It’s nice to start feeling that racing spirit already before Qatar. All winters are long but this one has been especially long, waiting for that moment. I’m really looking forward to jumping on the bike to see what I can achieve where a lot of riders have struggled. I have the opportunity to wear these colours and for me, it’s a big responsibility but a moment in my career I’ve dreamed a lot about. I feel like now is my time and I’m going to try and make it happen.
This winter I’ve been pushing a lot on dirt bikes, motocross, I was flat out. For months, maybe a month and a half just riding the bike, and I really enjoy it. I’ve never ridden so much motocross. Every year I try and put in something different to be a better Pol and a better rider, and I think this year was the time to push with motocross more than other years and I’ve been training a lot.”