Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya 2015

Posted on Jun 08, 2015 by Nick Harris


Crutchlow fights to be fit for Barcelona Battle
Cal Crutchlow is fighting to be fit to continue his battle with Bradley Smith in round seven of the MotoGP™ World Championship in the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Barcelona–Catalunya circuit in Spain on Sunday. The Isle of Man–based midlander dislocated his ankle when he fell from the CWM LCR Honda at the previous round in Mugello. He has been cycling to keep fit and is confident of riding in the 25 lap race round the 2.937 miles circuit as he attempts to close the ten points advantage Smith has opened up in their battle for top British rider in the Championship.

Andorra-based Oxfordshire rider Smith has been in the form of his life and after the Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider finished fifth in Mugello he moved into sixth place in the Championship. He has finished in the top six four times already this year and is just 12 points behind World Champion Marc Marquez in fifth place.

It has not been such an easy time for Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding on the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Honda. He has struggled with front end and grip problems which have kept him down to 14th in the championship and he and the team will be looking forward to the one day test at the circuit on Monday to sort out the problems.  Eugene Laverty secured his second points scoring finish of the season in Mugello and looks to continue on Sunday riding the Aspar MotoGP Open class Honda.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes took his second Moto2™ pole in Mugello, but during the race he was involved in an early incident with Italian Simone Corsi but fought back on the Speed Up machine to finish fourth for the second grand prix in succession to retain his fourth place in the Championship.

Twenty one year old Danny Kent from Wiltshire is running away with the Moto3™ World Championship as he attempts to become Britain’s first grand prix world champion since 1977. Riding the Leopard Racing Honda he finished second in Mugello and his three wins this year have given him a mighty 46 points lead in the championship at one third distance.

Scotsman John McPhee is at the other end of the emotional scale and is striving to end the nightmare of major set–up problems with the SAXONPRINT RTG Honda. The Racing Steps Foundation – supported rider dropped to 12th in the Championship after such a promising start.

Local hero seeks change of fortune
World Champion Marc Marquez returns home for round seven of the MotoGP™ World Championship on Sunday seeking a change of fortune. The Repsol Honda rider is 49 points behind Championship leader Valentino Rossi when he arrives at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya for the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya. Last year he won the race, with his brother Alex victorious in the Moto3 race, but this year it’s a very different story.

He has won just one grand prix while the Yamahas have dominated the proceedings. Rossi leads the title chase by a slender six points from his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who has dominated the last three grands prix. Both have an impressive record around the 2.937 miles circuit on the outskirts of the Mediterranean city. Rossi has won nine times including six MotoGP victories while Lorenzo has won four including three MotoGP wins. They will be difficult to beat on Sunday.

The Ducatis have also given Honda a tough time. Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone are separated by just two points in their battle for third. Iannone is a former Moto2™ winner in Catalunya and fresh from his second place in Mugello he is 12 points in front of fifth place Marquez, whose team-mate Dani Pedrosa will be hoping for a return to full fitness.

Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow are fighting a tremendous battle for the top Satellite factory machine with Smith leading the way by ten points after Crutchlow crashed out of the last two races. Right on their heels is Smith’s Monster Tech3 Yamaha team-mate Pol Espargaro who lives a couple of miles from the circuit and with his brother Aleix will relish the challenge in the 25  lap race. Hector Barbara returns after an arm pump operation and leads the Open Class after scoring points in every round.

Another Spanish World Champion seeking his second grand prix win of the season is Moto2 Champion Tito Rabat. Similar to Marquez he won the Moto2 race last season but trails Johann Zarco in the Championship by 31 points despite moving into second place after winning in Mugello. Frenchman Zarco was third last year and has finished on the podium in every race after finishing eighth in the opening round because of mechanical problems. Tom Luthi dropped to third in the championship after crashing in Mugello as did Jonas Folger who is the only Moto2 rider to have won twice this season.

Britain’s Danny Kent is running away with the Moto3™ World Championship and has built an incredible 46 points lead after winning three races. Italian teenager Enea Bastianini is second but the big threat on Sunday should come from the KTMs of Italian Romano Fenati and Portugal’s Miquel Oliveira who won his first grand prix in Mugello. With the long finishing straight in Barcelona it promises to be yet another 15 rider slipstreaming battle to the line.

Barcelona Bits
• Only three current venues have a longer ongoing sequence of hosting grand prix events: Jerez, Mugello and Assen.

• The last time that Spain did not have at least one GP winner across the three classes at the Catalan Grand Prix was 2002.

• Spanish riders won all three classes in Catalunya in both 2013 and 2014.  The last non-Spanish rider to win a grand prix in Catalunya is Andrea Iannone in the Moto2 class in 2012.

• During the four-stroke MotoGP era, Yamaha have taken seven victories, Honda have had four wins and Ducati two.

• The last win by Suzuki at the Catalunya Grand Prix was in 2000, when Kenny Roberts won the 500cc race.  Since the introduction of the MotoGP formula in 2002 the best results by Suzuki riders have been 4th place finishes by John Hopkins in both 2006 and 2007.

• The last podium finish by a Ducati rider at the Catalan GP was the 3rd place finish by Casey Stoner in 2010. • Honda riders have started from pole for the MotoGP race in Catalunya for the last four years, but none of those riders have gone on to win the race from pole.  The last Yamaha rider to start from pole was Jorge Lorenzo in 2010.  Ducati have had a single pole at the Catalunya GP – with Casey Stoner in 2008.

• Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all grand prix classes at the Catalunya circuit with nine victories (1 x 125cc, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP).  The next most successful, with four wins each in Catalunya, are Jorge Lorenzo (1 x 250cc, 3 x MotoGP) and Max Biaggi (4 x 250cc).

• There have been eight premier-class victories by Spanish riders at the Catalunya circuit; Alex Criville in 1995 & 1999, Carlos Checa in 1996, Dani Pedrosa in 2008, Jorge Lorenzo in 2010, 2012 & 2013 and Marc Marquez last year.

• There has been at least one Spanish rider on the podium in the MotoGP race at the Catalan GP for the last eight years.

• Only two riders have won the MotoGP race at Catalunya from pole position: Valentino Rossi in 2006 and Jorge Lorenzo in 2010.

• The win by Marc Marquez in Catalunya last year was the 100th victory for Honda in the four-stroke MotoGP class which was introduced in 2002, as a replacement for the 500cc category as the premier-class of grand prix racing.

• The three riders who won at Catalunya last year all went on to win their respective world titles.

• Marc Marquez won the MotoGP race at Catalunya last year and Alex Marquez won the Moto3 race - the first time in 66 years of World Championship competition that siblings both won Grand Prix races on the same day.


Television Times
BT Sport2
Friday 12 June  8.00am – 3.00pm (practise)
Saturday 13 June  8.00am – 3-30pm (practice and qualifying)
Sunday 14 June  7.30am – 3.00pm (warm –up and races)

ITV 4 Highlights
Monday June 15  8.00 - 9.00 pm

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