Hunting for a home boost – Marquez and Mir prepare for Catalan GP
The second half of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship is set to come in thick and fast, the Catalan GP starting a run of ten races in 13 weeks.
Round 11 arrives at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a special round for the Repsol Honda Team and both its riders. The 4.66-kilometre-long track has been a mainstay of the MotoGP calendar since the early 90s and has seen Honda take a total of 23 wins across all classes, including ten in the premier class with the most recent coming in 2019.
Marc Marquez was author to this 2019 victory on his way to the World Championship that year, one of two wins he has achieved at the track just a few hours from his hometown. The weekend for the eight-time World Champion will follow a similar structure to the previous two, Marquez working with the Repsol Honda Team and HRC engineers in a calm and defined manner to make further progress. This approach was rewarded with a return to the points last time out in Austria.
The Barcelona weekend is also the home round for Joan Mir, hailing from Palma just off the coast. It’s a circuit which has seen the #36 achieve some of his most consistent results in the premier class with two fourths, a second place and a worst finish of sixth. Mir’s final results in Austria did not reflect the work and progress he achieved during the weekend, able to consistently fight for top Honda honours but running foul of bad luck in the race. Continuing along this path will be crucial for the 2020 MotoGP World Champion as he aims to put on a strong showing for his home fans.
After the weekend, the Repsol Honda Team will head directly to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix – the penultimate European race and a final in-season test.
“The weekend in Barcelona is always a special one, seeing all of the stands full of people and as my home race I love to see all the fans there. No matter what, the objective is to put on a great show for everyone there and give them an enjoyable and memorable weekend. From our side, there’s work to do and we need to keep the calm approach we have had in the past few weekends. In Austria we saw that this way of working let us get through the weekend and gather good data for the project. We go again and begin a busy end to the year.”
“I am looking forward to the weekend in Montmelo, my home GP. Of course I want to produce a good result in front of the local fans but we need to keep on working. In Austria we had an overall good weekend that unfortunately ended in not the best way. I am confident that we can have another weekend where we are fighting to be the top Honda.”