The Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix pre-event Press Conference is done and dusted as Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) looked ahead to the weekend and upcoming triple-header, alongside Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir.
The riders touched on plenty of topics, but one that was rather apparent was opportunity. The weekend in Brno and another two straight after in Austria provides the likes of Quartararo and Viñales to maintain their Jerez advantage on the chasing pack, with Dovizioso aiming to seize his opportunity on two tracks he and Ducati should thrive on.
Viñales may be heading into the third race of the season 10 points adrift of Yamaha rival Quartararo, but he comes into two tracks he “really likes” in a very confident mood.
“It’s fantastic. Our objective was to be on the podium, so we achieved our maximum in Jerez,” began the Spaniard. “Now we’re going to tracks I really like; I love the layout of both Brno and Austria. We have a great opportunity, so we need to keep pushing and hopefully we’ll find something more for this race and get to the maximum again.”
The riders know how crucial the next three races are in terms of the Championship. Dovizioso was asked about the opportunity of he and Ducati getting to race on two tracks they’ve gone so well at in the past, and how Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) injury has added to those prospects. But, as the Italian explains himself, each season has a different storyline and he’s wary of how strong the Yamahas looked in Jerez.
“To be back on the podium after a long time and a difficult period was a great feeling” ????️ - @ValeYellow46— MotoGP™???? (@MotoGP) August 6, 2020
Premier class podium number 200 stares The Doctor in the face this weekend and you wouldn't bet against him to achieve it! ????#CzechGP! ???????? pic.twitter.com/LE1i32gYDa
“For sure, there is an opportunity for everybody. I mean, Marc won a lot of titles and now he is out for these races. But, you know, every year has a different story and the first two races say that the two Yamaha riders are stronger than everybody else. But, whether it’s just in Jerez in the really hot temperatures. The season is still really long with a lot tracks and different temperatures. Let’s see.”
The Czech GP is set up to be an incredibly intriguing weekend. Will the Yamahas struggle on a horsepower-heavy track, will Dovizioso and the other Ducati riders use their superior grunt to good effect, or will someone else spring a surprise?
As we’ve already seen in 2020, anything in MotoGP™ can happen. Opportunity is knocking for the entire grid and the next three races are going to be critical. The action gets underway in Brno at 09:50 local time (GMT+2) for the premier class on Friday morning, don’t miss any of the action!