MotoGP: Marquez and Lorenzo gear up for opening round

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Reigning world champion Marc Marquez says he can’t wait to get going when the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP season starts on Friday. Still not fully fit after undergoing surgery to fix his shoulder over the winter, he’s nonetheless upbeat that he can be in the mix when the lights go out on Sunday.

“Finally, it’s time to go racing once again! This winter has been different due to the surgery, I worked hard with five hours of physio per day with only one goal: arrive in the best conditions in the first race of the year. At the Qatar test, I felt much better than at the Malaysia Test and now I can say that I arrive almost 100%.

“Honda have done a lot to improve the bike and in the test we were feeling strong, especially for a circuit which usually isn’t the best for us, but we have to keep improving. Qatar is always a special round, not just because it is the first of the year but also because of the conditions. We will have to pay special attention to the temperature and consider everything before the race.”

And despite not yet being at full fitness, Jorge Lorenzo shares his teammate’s enthusiasm. Working hard during the test to set impressively fast lap times despite still being on the road to recovery, he says he can’t wait to get going even though he won’t be fully fit for the opening round.

“Lining up on the grid in Qatar is something I have been picturing during the entire off-season. It's a new era for me and for the team, it is a special moment to be riding for the Repsol Honda Team. I am ready to give everything to achieve the best results I can on the Honda. Unfortunately, I am not yet at my maximum with the bike, but I still believe we can achieve a good result here in Qatar. As with every year, MotoGP is looking very competitive and we certainly have the package we need to fight with the best after some more time. I know we can achieve greatness.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer