Marc Marquez says he’s excited for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, as the 2017 MotoGP championship returns to Europe for the first time since last year’s season finale at Valencia. And with the championship heading to Jerez with it’s bumper crowds, the Repsol Honda rider says it’s even more special.
"I’m happy the next round is back in Spain after three flyaway GPs, because racing at home and in front of my fan club is always special. Of course our win in Austin gave the whole team more confidence and motivation to keep up the hard work and to try to understand how to further improve our bike’s setup, although Jerez is one of the most difficult and tricky circuits from that point of view.
“It’s kind of an ‘old school’ track: very short, very narrow, with heavy acceleration points and strong braking areas. You have to make the bike turn well but you also need good stability under braking, because that’s where you can get good lap times. It’s a circuit where our opponents are always very fast, but anyway, I think we’ll be able to do well if we work well starting on Friday morning.”
However, he goes into the weekend with pressure on his shoulders, knowing that despite taking the win last time out in Austin, he needs to take the fight to his countryman Maverick Viñales this weekend to get his championship fight back on track.
That’s not just the goal of Marquez, though, as on the other side of the garage teammate Dani Pedrosa says that his steady start to the season leaves him in a good place to up the ante at a track he enjoys.
"Jerez is a track that I like a lot. It has a bit of everything: tight corners, fast corners, changes of direction, some ‘wheelie areas.’ One of my best memories there is when I made my debut in MotoGP (2006) and I finished on the podium. I hope to keep the momentum from Austin and to continue the progress, improving our bike setup more, especially in maintaining a fast rhythm and faster lap time. Now we know more about the bike, what we need to improve, and what changes we have to make on the setup, so we definitely look forward to taking another step in Jerez. My fan club will be there and we want to have another good weekend in front of them and all our fans!”
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