Title contenders look forward to Jerez

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The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez looks set to be one of the key milestones of the year. Jerez is traditionally the start of the European season and the start of the development phase of the year and the main title protagonists are all looking to assert themselves on Spanish soil next weekend.

Valentino Rossi leads the title chase and the Italian is looking forward to returning to a track that he has won at eight times in the past. It’s been six years since his last Jerez success but that isn’t deterring him as he looks forward to round four of the championship.

“Now we will go back to Europe, and have a lot of tracks that I like,” said Rossi. “It’s good because I have a lot of points in the championship, but it’s a long season. Now we have to concentrate race by race, Jerez is the first, I like a lot the track and last year was a good race, this year the balance of competitiveness of the riders change, so every weekend is another story, but we have to try to fight for the podium in Jerez.”

Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, has finished fifth in all three races thus far in 2015 and finding a way to the rostrum has to be his target otherwise his title hopes will be in tatters after four rounds. “The season has not gone well so we will see if in Jerez this year is finally the occasion [for me to get back on the podium].”

Andrea Dovizioso has now finished second at all three races and trails Rossi by six points. The Ducati is an exceptionally well rounded machine and a first win is surely around the corner for the all-Italian partnership. For his part Dovizioso is doing little to dampen expectations of a win being on the horizon, even if he doesn’t believe that it will be in Spain.

“We’ll be very competitive but can we fight for victory? I’m not sure but after Jerez we’ll test at Mugello and we’re very close to winning.  When you look at the first three races anything can happen but in all three races we were very close to the winner and that makes a very big difference [compared to last year].”

Marc Marquez has now made two big mistakes in 2015 but the Spaniard is as fast as he is resilient and it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see him wait to get back to speed and challenge for wins.

“It is clear that Valentino has much experience but for the championship the important thing is that our level here has been good and we have returned to fight for the win even with a large Jerez Valentino and now I know that is very strong but he and Dovizioso try to start recovering points,” said Marquez.

Steve English

By Steve English