Jerez in Spain will host The first European racing of 2014 this weekend and Thursday saw MotoGP™ riders Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow joined by Moto2™ standings leader Tito Rabat in the preliminary Jerez press conference.
He stated, “It will be a special weekend to race in my 100th Grand Prix in front of the home fans at a circuit where I’ve never won. I know that Dani, Jorge and Valentino all ride well here and I think they will all be strong.”
“It will be very warm here and the atmosphere is always great on race day,” noted Pedrosa. “I have a good record here and I hope to keep that going. I’ve made a good start to the season and I want to maintain the form in front of the home crowd.”
Meanwhile, as the most successful rider of them all at Jerez, Rossi is keen to return to the podium in Spain.
‘The Doctor’ boasts six premier class wins in Andalusia and cannot wait to get started on Friday, saying, “I had a good potential in Austin and Argentina and should have been on the podium but because of bad luck and some other factors we did not do it, so we have to put it right this weekend. We have been flying a lot already this year so now we have a run of European races to enjoy.”
For his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP colleague Lorenzo there is also a landmark weekend ahead at the circuit which has a corner named in his honour. Lorenzo turns 27 this Sunday and he is set to make his 200th Grand Prix appearance at round four.
Victory would be the ideal birthday present and Lorenzo enthused, “The 200 Grands Prix have come fast, with good moments and bad. Now we are here fighting in MotoGP at the top level. I felt happier and more positive in Argentina, but we still want to do better and we hope to do that here.”
Representing the Ducati Team once again this weekend, having missed Argentina due to a finger injury from Austin, Briton Crutchlow stated, “It’s great to be back. It was strange to sit back and watch it on television. I was sure I could have won it when I was watching! The injury was one of the most painful of my career and we have to see how my fitness is after FP2. I think I have enough strength to brake properly but I don’t want to be a danger to myself or the other riders.”
Last up on the microphone was Moto2™ title candidate Rabat who has 70 points from a maximum possible 75 so far this year. He commented, “It’s still so early in the championship and there is a lot of racing still to come this year. There are some strong rivals in Moto2 so we can’t relax. We know there will be a great atmosphere this weekend as there is always a big crowd so we want to enjoy it.”