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Classics: Relive 3 of the best Catalan GPs

Ahead of the 2016 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya relive three of the best races held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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Catalan GP 2004: MotoGP Race

In 2004 local hero Sete Gibernau arrived in Barcelona leading the reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi by 10 points in the standings. Rossi had made the switch to the factory Yamaha team having won the title the previous three years for Honda, while Gibernau was determined to become only the second premier class Spanish World Champion after Alex Criville in 1999. Both riders had won two races apiece already that year in what would turn into a two horse race for the title, with Rossi emerging victorious at the previous race in Mugello. They had been friends, but during that season their rivalry would start to take its toll on their relationship and the Catalan GP was seen as the perfect showdown between the two best riders on the planet at the time. The passionate local fans wouldn’t be disappointed, with the race turning into a classic duel between the two that went right to the wire.

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2009 Catalan GP

The 2009 season saw the MotoGP™ paddock head to Barcelona with Casey Stoner (90pts) leading the way from Jorge Lorenzo (86pts) and Valentino Rossi (81pts). The relationship between the two Yamaha teammates was at an all time low heading into the GP, a wall separating them in the garage and a ban on sharing any data. Tension and animosity poisoned the air on a regular basis with Rossi and Lorenzo hardly even speaking to each other by this point, with the Spanish youngster emerging as a real title threat to Rossi and the old master knew he had to put him in his place. What followed next was described as “The Battle for Barcelona” as it was more than just a showdown for 25 points, but a fight for pride and honour and it has gone down in history as one of the greatest MotoGP™ races ever.

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Catalunya 2014 - MotoGP - RACE - Full

In 2014 Marc Marquez was a force of nature. The reigning MotoGP™ champion had been simply untouchable all season, winning the first six races from pole position to take an almost unassailable lead in the championship. The other riders knew they had to find a way of beating Marquez on the Honda, but at Catalunya the Spaniard made a mistake. A crash in Q2 saw him qualify in third, the first time he had not started from pole that season. A chink had appeared in his armour and the rest of the field knew they had to try and take advantage before Marquez ran away with the title. It was now or never. The rest, as they say, is history…