The Jerez Circuit provides the ideal scenario for the MotoGP World Championship’s return to Europe this weekend, the Spanish track celebrating its 30th anniversary of Grand Prix racing since the first edition back in 1987. With the exotic locations of Losail, Termas de Río Hondo and COTA already accounted for this season, the ‘Cathedral’ of Spanish motorcycle racing is a classic venue that the riders always enjoy. Marc Márquez currently holds an advantage at the top of the standings that almost amounts to a race win, with 21 points over his closest rival Valentino Rossi. The Andalusian circuit also plays host to the first post-race test of the season next week.
Aspar Team rider Eugene Laverty arrives in Europe lying ninth in the MotoGP World Championship after a fruitful trip to the Americas that saw him pick up his best ever Grand Prix result with fourth place in Argentina. The Irishman has set himself a target at Jerez of qualifying for Q2 on Saturday, which would guarantee at least a top twelve grid position for Sunday’s race. Yonny Hernández finished tenth here on the Ducati last season, a result he would at least like to equal this weekend. The Colombian is hoping for a change in fortunes after some bad recent luck that has prevented him from showing his true level.
Eugene Laverty: “We’ve enjoyed a good start to the season at the three flyaway races and now I’m excited to return to Europe to tracks that I know well from my time racing Superbikes. Jerez is a track that I really like and I’m confident that we can achieve a strong result. I feel that qualifying is where I can improve a lot and I will push hard to make it into Q2 on Saturday. If we can start from the first few rows then it will give us a big advantage during the early part of the race. We’re currently sat ninth in the championship and I will be sure to fight to maintain that top ten position all season long.”.
Yonny Hernández: “I am excited to return to Europe. Jerez is a circuit I know well from many years racing there and I like it a lot so I just hope we can have better luck than we have had so far and be fighting for the top ten. We will be working hard from the first run to find a base setting that allows the bike to be competitive. We have seen in the races so far we have the pace to be fighting mid-pack but a variety of setbacks have held us up in the end. I managed to finish tenth last year and I hope I can fight for a similar result on Sunday.”