The MotoGP World Championship heads from the hills of Tuscany to the outskirts of Barcelona this weekend as the Circuit de Cataluya prepares to host round seven of the season. Like Mugello, this is a circuit made up of fast corners, some hard braking and slow sections and one of the longest straights on the calendar. The second round of the season on Spanish soil takes place in mid-June, which means temperatures are sure to soar – along with the heat from the vociferous local crowd. The series arrives in Barcelona with Valentino Rossi maintaining a championship lead he has held since round one but with the ever-increasing threat of his in-form team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. The man from Mallorca has three straight wins to his name and another one on Sunday could well see him take over at the top.
For POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty the Catalunya GP is another opportunity to score a good result for the team in a home race. Hayden showed strong pace at the start of the Italian GP before unfortunately crashing out, whilst his team-mate Eugene Laverty managed to score points despite never quite finding an ideal set-up for Mugello. His objective is to continue his points-scoring form this weekend but almost more importantly to improve his feeling and pace with his package.
Eugene Laverty: “These past two rounds have been really difficult and so I really want to rediscover the pace we’d shown earlier in the season. Catalunya is essentially a ‘new’ circuit for me as I haven’t ridden there since 2008. I don’t see that as a big hurdle as I’ll do my homework and prepare well beforehand. The team are working hard to improve the balance of the bike to help me in the flowing corners and I’m confident that we’re moving in the right direction. My aim is to regain ground in the Open class battle and fight my way up into the top three by the summer break.”
Nicky Hayden: “We found a pretty good pace at Mugello so it was a shame that we didn’t manage to finish the race off with a good result. Luckily I wasn’t injured in the crash and we can look forward to the Catalunya round, another great GP at a great track. The team is doing a fantastic job and each time I ride the bike I feel more confident. Catalunya is a really difficult track, where tyre wear is always an issue because of the number of long corners spent on the edge of the tyre. The good thing about Catalunya is that is has a bit of everything – some tight corners, some fast ones and some sections with hard braking. It is always a challenge to ride and I am looking forward to taking it on this weekend and scoring the best possible result.”