Marc Márquez, operated on for the fourth time, leaves his brother Álex and the rest of the hosts alone in Montmeló
Vietti and Ogura can unbalance the balance in Moto2 and García Dols, Guevara and Masià continue to monopolize Moto3
BARCELONA, June 2 (Royals Blue) –
The Grand Prix of Catalonia, the ninth round of the Motorcycle World Championship, arrives this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as a possible turning point in the championship, between the race and the subsequent test in MotoGP, with an Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) willing to take the lead, at home, from the renewed Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), without the operator Marc Márquez (Honda) and with the Moto2 and Moto3 categories ready to complete the party.
In MotoGP there will be a new battle for the lead, but this time it comes down to a face-to-face between Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaró. The ‘Devil’, current world champion, has an 8-point margin over an Aleix who runs at home, literally. The one from Aprilia is confident of flying and snatching that first place from the recently renewed, until 2024, with Yamaha.
A fight in which they want to get involved, again, Enea Bastianini or, for the first time, Francesco Bagnaia. The first, with a satellite Ducati and, the second, with the official one. ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia won the previous event, the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, while ‘the Beast’ crashed and couldn’t finish, which is why the immediate lead is now out of his reach.
Without a doubt, the one who recovered the most in Mugello was Bagnaia, again on top of the podium and now fourth in the championship, ready to take advantage of the power of his Ducati on the two long straights of the Catalan track. It will be necessary to see if this, or the sweetness of Quartararo’s Yamaha, will be able to with the versatility and power of an Aprilia that will have the ‘extra’ that Aleix Espargaró will contribute by being the host.
There are many Catalan riders who will race at home. Without going any further, Aleix’s brother, Pol, with his Repsol Honda. But the youngest of the Espargarós will be somewhat alone, like the rest of the ‘local’ riders, as they do not have Marc Márquez among them. The eight-time world champion underwent surgery for the fourth time on his right shoulder this Thursday in the United States. And his place will be taken by tester Stefan Bradl.
It is a media focus, an asset that will not be in contention in Montmeló. But Márquez chose to return to the operating room so that, when he came back, he could be him again. The current version of the champion from Cervera, together with a Honda that he leaves much to be desired, was ninth in the World Championship and without opting for anything that he is used to by his followers.
Many of the riders who will be at the Circuit know that on Monday, after the race, they will have a test from which, historically, the bike is learned and evolves. But before looking to the future, Sunday’s race could be key in a World Cup that is approaching its halfway point.
Last year Miguel Oliveira won with his KTM. A positive surprise that this time, except for water or inclement weather, it seems that it will not happen. Many others will try to ensure that there are no negative surprises, in the form of falling or leaving. And there the two Suzuki stand out, those of Joan Mir and Alex Rins, who did not finish in Mugello and who lose steam in the year of the brand’s umpteenth goodbye to MotoGP.
BALANCED PULSE IN MOTO2 AND SPANISH DOMINANCE IN MOTO3
Undoubtedly, except for a shared crash or catastrophe, the balance at the head of the Moto2 championship will end at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Right now, the Italian Celestino Vietti and the Japanese Ai Ogura arrive tied at 108 points at the top of the championship, with the Spanish Arón Canet only 18 points behind.
A balance to put an end to, and a two-way battle from which a Canet who races at home hopes to take advantage and who is the only host capable of giving joy this year in Moto2, although Augusto Fernández, sixth in the World Championship, trusts to rejoin the fight.
In Moto3, on the other hand, the language is Spanish. In a small category that is not so tight, the leader is Sergio García Dols (GasGas) with 137 points, compared to 109 for his teammate Izan Guevara and 95 for Jaume Masià (KTM). That yes, the Valencian has matched, although behind, the Italian Dennis Foggia (Honda).
Foggia was in that leading fight but he crashed at Mugello, in front of his fans, and lost steam after a race at the Italian Grand Prix won by García Dols, with Guevara second and Tatsuki Suzuki third.