Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya 2014
Posted on Jun 09, 2014 by Nick Harris
ROUND SEVEN 2014 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 15 JUNE
After a day to forget at the previous round in Italy, Bradley Smith can’t wait to get back in the saddle at the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain on Sunday.
Looking to push on from their points scoring finishes in Italy will be Scott Redding in the 25 lap MotoGP race round the superb 2.937 miles circuit and Sam Lowes who finished an impressive eighth in the Moto2™ race from his first front row start. Londoner Gino Rea gets closer and closer to his first Moto2 World Championship points of the season while Wiltshire based Danny Kent will be looking to improve on from his 12th place in the championship after finishing 15th in the Moto3 race.
It’s been a tough start to the season for former team-mates Smith and Crutchlow. Andorra based Oxfordshire Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Smith is struggling for grip and currently lies tenth in the championship equal on points with Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Iannone. Isle of Man based Midlander Crutchlow has had a tough time in his Ducati debut season finishing just two races and sustaining a broken finger when he crashed in Austin causing him to miss the next round in Argentina. He’s 16th in the championship and will be looking for a change of fortune in Barcelona where he finished fifth two years ago.
Gloucestershire based Redding has made a steady start scoring points in every race but one which has a produced a 15th place in the championship. The Moto2 World Championship runner-up from last year is lacking top speed on the Open class GO&FUN Gresini Honda but will continue his MotoGP education at the track where he finished fourth in the Moto2 race last year. Ulsterman Michael Laverty continues his quest for world championship points and must break through soon after his fifth one place from the points, 16th position finishes in Mugello riding the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia machine.
Twenty three year old Sam Lowes has made an impressive start to his grand prix career in the Moto2 class. The World Supersport Champion riding the Speed UP machine is ninth in the championship and secured his first front row start in Mugello. He will look to close that seven point gap on former 125cc World Champion Tom Luthi.
Scotsman John McPhee hopes to be celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday with a good Moto3 qualifying performance to set up for the 23 lap race on Sunday. He looked in great form on theSaxoPrint Racing Team Germany Honda at Mugello leading a grand prix for the first time before he crashed out.
Marquez and Lorenzo set to continue homeland duel
It’s a special homecoming for Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo when they carry on where they left off in Italy at the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain on Sunday. The two Spanish riders fought a titanic battle at the previous round in Mugello and will be looking for a repeat show in the 25 lap race around the 2.937 miles circuit on the northern outskirts of the Mediterranean City of Barcelona.
Twenty one year old Marquez arrives home to ride for the first time as the MotoGP World Champion. If the Repsol Honda rider wins at the track where he won the 125cc race four years ago he will become the youngest ever rider to win seven premier class races in succession . He has built up a 53 point lead in the championship after those six successive wins all from pole position but Lorenzo will take great heart from his performance in Italy where he failed by just one tenth of a second to inflict the first defeat of the season on the amazing Marquez.
Lorenzo lives in Barcelona although he comes from Mallorca and has a great record at home on the Movistar factory Yamaha. He has won for the past two years following his victory in 2010 plus a 250cc victory. His team-mate Valentino Rossi moved into second place in the championship after his third successive podium finish in Mugello and also has a great Barcelona record. The Italian has won nine times including six MotoGP victories and if he can qualify well could be a threat on Sunday.
Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa dropped to third place in the championship just one point behind Rossi. He is still recovery from an arm pump operation and hopeful that further rest will make the arm stronger at his home track where he has won in all three classes. The MotoGP race is packed with former Barcelona winners with Andrea Dovizioso, who’s done a sterling job this season for the factory Ducati team to put them fifth in the championship, just two points behind fourth placed Lorenzo, a former 250 cc winner. He’s joined on the grid by former 125cc winners Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Iannone, Hector Barbera and his team-mate Mike Di Meglio. Bautista and Iannone are also 250 and Moto2 winners respectively while Stefan Bradl and the inform Pol Espargaro have recently stood on the top step of the Moto2 podium.
Both Nicky Hayden and Danilo Petrucci who missed the Mugello race with wrist injuries are fighting to be fit for this seventh round of the championship.
The first motorcycle grand prix to be held at the Circuit De Barcelona/Catalunya was in 1992, the year of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. For the first four years the event was called the Grand Prix of Europe and switched to the Grand Prix of Catalunya in 1996 until the present day. American Wayne Rainey won the 500cc grand prix in 1992 by just 0.057 seconds from Mick Doohan in the 26 lap race.
Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider in Catalunya. The Italian rider has won on Aprilia, Honda and Yamaha machinery nine times, one 125cc, two 250cc and six premier class grands prix. His first win came in the 1997 125 cc race and his last the MotoGP race in 2009. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo has won three times in the last four years.
Spanish 125cc rider Julian Simon celebrated what he thought was a 125 cc victory in 2009. Unfortunately he celebrated a lap too early and there was still another lap to compete in the 22 lap race. By the time he realised his mistake he’d dropped to fourth place handing Italian Andrea Iannone his fourth grand prix victory. Simon had the last laugh going on to clinch the world title with Bradley Smith in second place.
Just 0.085 s separated the three podium finishers in the 22 lap 1993 125cc race in Barcelona. Japanese rider Noboru Ueda won from German Rolf Waldemann and another Japanese rider Akira Saito. Just one year later was almost as close with just 0.96 s separating Tomomi Manako, Mirko Giansanti and Masao Azuma.
Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 4.727 km/2.937 miles
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 1047m
Left Corners: Five
Right Corners: Eight
Pole Position Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda 1.47.893 (2013)
Lap Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda 1'42.358 (2008)
BT Sport Schedule (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
Friday 13th June
8.00am – Grand Prix of Catalunya – FP1 - LIVE
12.00pm - Grand Prix of Catalunya – FP2 LIVE
Saturday 14th June
8.00am - Grand Prix of Catalunya – Free Practice/ Qualifying LIVE
Sunday June 15th
9.30am - Grand Prix of Catalunya - Moto3/Moto2/MotoGP Races LIVE
Tuesday June 17th
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: Episode 5 (BT Sport 1)
Monday June 16th
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme