The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya plays host as a few familiar faces blast away the winter cobwebs.
With the Qatar Test fast approaching, the time is now to start getting bike and race ready. On Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a few familiar faces were thinking the same as a host of MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™ riders took to the track on road bikes to start warming up for the 2021 season. On the agenda? Getting back in the groove – and checking out the new Turn 10.
2021 is a year that sees a huge amount of changes, not least the man beginning the year as the reigning World Champion: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). He was a headline presence, joined by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), his teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) from the premier class.
There were a good number of Moto2™ and Moto3™ riders present too. Remy Gardner and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez were in attendance, as were Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) and reigning Moto3™ World Champion Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2) as he gets ready for 2021 as a Moto2™ rookie. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) repped for Moto3™ as he gears up to settle into his new team, with the likes of FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup rider Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) also joining the ranks.
Joan Mir: “I feel great on the bike, I’m happy because I was able to do a lot of laps today and try the new corner, it was important to understand how to do it and find the correct line to have an idea when we come back in future with the MotoGP bike. A productive day, I’m happy about that and I’m ready for Qatar.
“I’m preparing in the same way as before, training hard and trying to be healthy, working every day on what I want. To be a better rider, to be more complete. I’m happy about the preseason we’re doing!”
Fabio Quartararo: “Since Portimao I haven’t been on a racetrack, so I was feeling good, everything was standard so it’s quite easy to ride. I’m happy, just to get back the muscle on a road bike.
“The turn layout is quite different, but it feels good. It’s between the old one and the F1 layout. I like it, and I’m happy to be back, one step closer to Qatar.
“For the first two races it will be fine after less days of testing, the problem will be when we arrive in Portimao which is a totally different track and was quite difficult last year with the M1. For Qatar I’m not stressed, but it’s more about Portimao to see how the bike is working and everything. Let’s see but first of all we need to enjoy these moments, I’m happy to ride today and can’t wait to be in Qatar for the first test!”
Jack Miller: “It’s like an official test here! It’s really nice to get out here, the Montmelo circuit is fantastic and to have similar like the old layout is fantastic at Turn 10, you can carry the speed a lot, the asphalt has a lot of grip so 10/10 job for them. It’s great to be on track with all of these great riders again and super excited to do it all again in a couple of weeks in Qatar.
“I feel excited, Qatar has normally been a track I enjoy a lot although I haven’t had the best of luck there. But I feel confident leading into the Grand Prix, lots of work to do in a short amount of time but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Pol Espargaro: “It was cool, coming back from a long time… seeing rivals, Moto2 and Moto3 riders fighting each other! It’s nice to start feeling that racing spirit already before Qatar. All winters are long but this one has been especially long, waiting for that moment. I’m really looking forward to jumping on the bike to see what I can achieve where a lot of riders have struggled. I have the opportunity to wear these colours and for me it’s a big responsibility but a moment in my career I’ve dreamed a lot about. I feel like now is my time and I’m going to try and make it happen.
“This winter I’ve been pushing a lot on dirt bikes, motocross, I was flat out. For months, maybe a month and a half just riding the bike, and I really enjoy it. I’ve never ridden so much motocross. Every year I try and put in something different to be a better Pol and a better rider, and I think this year was the time to push with motocross more than other years and I’ve been training a lot.”
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