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Ex-MotoGP rider Angel Nieto, along with a few famous friends, was on hand to open the new Catalunya Moto exhibition in Barcelona.
The exhibition, which runs from March 3 until October 25, celebrates the history of motorbikes over the last 75 years within Catalunya. It tells the story of how motorcycling has evolved there in terms of the industry, society & technology, plus it illustrates the region's successful history of competitive motorsport.
On display there are a number of spectacular bikes from the past 75 years, as well as other racing paraphernalia, designed to take you on a journey exploring the rich history of such manufacturers as Ossa, Bultaco, Derbi, Montesa and Sanglas. The exhibition also serves as a celebration of the success of Catalan riders, who between them have amassed an incredible 78 world titles across a number of different disciplines.
Some of the bikes on display include the near mythical Ossa 250 of Santiago Herrero from his 250cc title challenge in 1969, the Derbi 80 which Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar” one the last of his three world titles on, plus the Montesa Cota ridden by Toni Bou, and Jordi Tarres’ World Championship winning Gas Gas trials bike. If that wasn’t enough, there is also an impressive collection of MotoGP™ trophies that have been won by riders and teams that hail from the region.
MotoGP™ legend Angel Nieto, a rider whose successful World Championship career had a major effect on the motorcycle industry in Catalunya, was present to open the exhibition to the public. He was joined by other big names from the world of two-wheeled racing such as double 250cc World Champion Sito Pons, 2010 Moto2™ Champion Toni Elias, plus current MotoGP stars Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki).
After the event, motogp.com caught up with the latter two riders to find out what they thought about the exhibition, and to find out how their preparations for the 2015 MotoGP™ season are going:
Pol Espargaró: "I am feeling very happy and proud because this is my home. I have a long history competing with my brother here, on local circuits and within Catalan championships. It was the support that I received from the Generalitat and RACC which is responsible for me being where I am. The Sepang test was not the best for me, I suffered a couple of falls but was still happy with the data collected, the tire test went pretty well and in the end while it was not a perfect few days, we are constantly improving."
Maverick Viñales: “With such a respected history, I feel very proud to be part of the motorcycling heritage of Catalonia, especially with so many talented riders having come from the area. As for the preseason preparation for MotoGP, I feel very comfortable on the bike and am getting better every day. I am very happy and looking forward to the test of Qatar and the beginning of season.
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