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Sweltering Catalunya welcomes MotoGP

Sweltering Catalunya welcomes MotoGP

Ben Spies, Dani Pedrosa, Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Aleix Espargaró fielded the media enquiries ahead of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya in the pre-event press conference on Thursday.

Round seven of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship beckons this weekend at Montmeló as the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya marks the latest stage of the fight for the title. Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo holds the advantage at the top with a 47-point gap thanks to wins in the back-to-back weekends at Silverstone and Assen, and Catalunya now provides an immediate follow-up.

It is the second Spanish event of the year and Lorenzo feels relaxed having won his first premier class home soil race at Jerez in round two. “After the win in Jerez the pressure is off, and we need to continue trying to win, but most importantly finishing the race. The Championship is still very long and there are 12 tracks remaining to race on. It’s still not done,” he said as he prepares to defend his lead once more.

Last year Lorenzo was involved in the race of the season as he battled team-mate Valentino Rossi to the very end, just losing out on victory on the last turn. The Italian will not be present this time due to injury, and Lorenzo explained the benefits he took from the epic encounter a year ago.

“I remember it very well… Especially, and unfortunately, the last corner! I lost the race, but at least I took a very important lesson for the future,” he added.

Second in the standings behind Lorenzo is Dani Pedrosa, and the Repsol Honda rider is looking for consistency as he tries to replicate the victory he took at Mugello and his second spot last time out at Assen.

“I’ve had good and bad races and I hope to do well here. I lost a lot of points at Silverstone and I had a bad feeling then, but I was back to second last week. I’ll be going for the podium,” said Pedrosa, who has won at Catalunya in the 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP classes. “It’s a big gap to the top of the Championship. I’ve lost a lot of points through bad results, and now I’m looking for consistency.”

Casey Stoner took his first podium of the campaign at Assen when he secured third place, and the Australian is hoping the arm pump issue he has started to encounter of late does not hinder his chances of following up with another good result.

“I’ll have to wait to get on the bike to see how it is. We’ve been doing as much as possible this week, but it’s not something that’s easy to overcome,” said the Ducati Team rider. “The arms have been responding and tomorrow will give an indication of whether we have to change anything. We’ll also have a look at the handlebar positions.”

The 24 year-old also refused to be drawn on speculation about his future for next season, adding: “Everyone’s concentrated on their job. We’re still trying for the race victory which we should have had at least once already. The priority is this weekend and this race, and with the progress we have made we hope we can get a result here.”

Also going well after results of third and fourth in the last two rounds, Ben Spies of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team faces another new challenge at Catalunya in his debut season.

“After third at Silverstone and fourth at Assen the expectations are getting more and more! We’ll put in the maximum effort as usual and see what we can do,” said the American. “So far it’s been going good, I’ve been happy with my progress and we need to keep it going. Assen was good, and I was happier with how I was riding towards the end of the race. We’ll take it session by session here at Catalunya.”

Pramac Racing rider Aleix Espargaró is also a rider whose form has been noticeably improving, and the Catalan rider will be aiming to give a strong home following another promising result.

“I made two mistakes in the first two races but in the last four races I have improved,” he stated. “I’m enjoying the Ducati more and more and am trying to close the gap to the top riders.”

First practice for the MotoGP class starts at 1.55pm local time on Friday afternoon.


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