Marquez gears up for 4th 2019 MotoGP victory in Barcelona
Spanish MotoGP rider Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda Team leads during the GP race of the French Motorcycling Grand Prix at Le Mans race track, in Le Mans, France, May 19, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/EDDY LEMAISTRE
By Juan Antonio Lladós
Barcelona, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Marc Marquez of the Repsol Honda Team is the rider most likely to stop the rival Ducati team from making the most of the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona as he hunts for glory at his home track, where the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix is set to take place Sunday.
The 26-year-old Spaniard, the winner of three out of six races this season, is leading the MotoGP standings on his Repsol Honda with 12 points ahead of Italy's Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), despite finishing second in the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.
"There’s always a bit more excitement heading into a home GP and it's always a great pleasure to ride in front of all the fans. I’m hopeful of another strong result here in Cataluña to continue the work we’ve been doing,” said Marquez.
He finished runner-up in Barcelona to Italy's Valentino Rossi (Yamaha YZRM1) in 2016, Dovizioso in 2017 and compatriot and now-teammate Jorge Lorenzo in 2018.
Danilo Petrucci, also riding for Ducati, claimed his first MotoGP win at the Mugello Circuit with a time of 41 minutes and 33.8 seconds, only 0.043s ahead of Marquez.
Marquez has only won his home event in Catalonia in 2014, the year when he secured 10 consecutive race wins and ended the championship with 13 victories.
No one doubts that the Repsol Honda Team rider will try to reverse his losing trend in Barcelona with a fresh victory that would extend his lead in the standings.
Marquez's teammate Lorenzo will be a fierce competitor at the race as he has five Montmelo victories, one win less than Rossi, who has climbed to the top spot on the podium there six times.
After the Italian Grand Prix, Lorenzo headed immediately to Japan to perform ergonomics and wind-tunnel testing to improve his performance with the Repsol Honda RC213V.
It would be interesting to see Lorenzo performing at the level expected of him that allowed the racer last year to achieve his second win in a row with Ducati at the Catalan Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Dovizioso and Petrucci are fully aware that the layout of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit suits the characteristics of their Ducatis, a perk which they surely will try to take advantage of.
Barcelona may be the circuit that will enable Rossi - who has not won a MotoGP race since the 2017 Dutch Grand Prix - to break his victory drought.
The Italian rider can dream of a victory in Barcelona as long as the Yamaha engineers can give Rossi a motorcycle like what the speedster has desired for so long. EFE