The title fight heads to Catalunyan GP

It is all set in Circuit de Catalunya to receive the `Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya`, seventh round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) that reach a stage in which the show and the passion of the fans is garanteed for...

It is all set in Circuit de Catalunya to receive the `Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya`, seventh round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) that reach a stage in which the show and the passion of the fans is garanteed for the weekend.

In a season that will be surely remembered as one of the tightest of the last several years, the MotoGP guys head to Barcelona with Nicky Hayden and Loris Capirossi tie in the first place of the standings positions, both with 99 points.

In recent years the direction of the title has been strongly indicated at this stage of the season with three consecutive race weekends in Catalunya, Assen and later in Donington. And this year could not be more different. Four different winners of the six races so far compared to just two winners of the equivalent races in 2005 tells its own story

Repsol Honda`s racer Hayden, third at the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago, is still looking for his first victory of the year but keeping the lead thanks to his regularity. After the last ten consecutive races staged between 2005 and 2006, the American rider accounts for nine podium finishes, proving for his tremendous regularity.

"I quite like the Catalunya circuit. It's quite fast, it's got some quick corners and I've gone ok there in the past so I'm looking forward to it. This weekend starts off three back-to-back races so we're going to have to get it on because there's a lot at stake. We know how important it is to start these three weeks off strongly", stated Nicky about the coming challenge.

Ducati Marlboro`s credit for the title, Capirossi, commented on his expectative for the GP: "I haven`t got many good memories from last year, in fact I think it was one of the worst races for Ducati. But Bridgestone have improved our tyres over the winter, so I`m more confident", he said.

About the Circuit itself, Loris remarked: "The track isn`t easy. It`s technical with a lot of long left. My style doesn`t seem to suit the track though, so it`s not so bad for me. We just need consistency at this stage of the season, we`re getting better and better".

Capirossi ended-up in second place with the Desmosedici GP6 in past Grand Prix of Italy held in Mugello circuit.

Fortuna Honda`s rider Marco Melandri arrives third in the standings, ten points away de lead. The Italian has a good feeling with Circuit de Catalunya after a victory in 2002 on his road to the World Championship in 250cc and a third place in MotoGP last year and in 2004, on a Yamaha at that time.

"I'm feeling very confident about going to Barcelona - the track is similar to Mugello and with the good base setting we found there I should be able to do well also in Spain. I like the track and I've had a lot of satisfaction there in the past", Marco commented.

Three points from Melandri appears the bigguest local hope in the hands of Dani Pedrosa. The rookie young star of MotoGP in 2006 is set for another stunnning performance in one of his home Grand Prix of the season (Jerez and Valencia are the others).

"Catalunya GP is always special for me because I'm at home, all the crowd is looking forward to enjoying a good race and my family and friends will be there", Dani said.

The Spaniard could have a strong advantage in Catalunya as he has already made tests with Repsol Honda`s bike during the winter. An issue that added to Pedrosa`s natural talent could be crucial for his victory aim.

"Some previous races this season have been difficult for me because I didn't have information with the MotoGP bike. But we have good data from the IRTA test in Catalunya, so I hope it can help us to prepare for the race", analysed the Chinese GP winner this season. Reignning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, comes to Barcelona after a phenomenal victory in home GP of Mugello that ment the return of him and Yamaha to the highest step of the podium after some hard times in the season. The numbers will always put Rossi as the main candidate. His seven victories in Catalunya speak by themself. Also the Italian has never lost a race in this circuit racing with Yamaha as he won in 2004 and 2005.

"I am looking forward to this weekend because now I think we have finally arrived where we should be with the bike. It worked really well at the Mugello test and now I think we've really shown that we can fight at the front again and win. From a technical point of view, since the new chassis has been available we've been able to ride like in the past. Now we're very fast but it's still hard to win races!", secured the seven times World Champion.

No doubt Rossi is the bigguest rival for Repsol and Fortuna`s Honda and for Capirossi`s Ducati as well. They all now that if the World Champion has a weekend problems free like Mugello and Qatar, Valentino`s two victories this year, the chances for the rest gets hard.

The activity in the Spanish racetrack of 4737m starts on tomorrow with practice sessions for the MotoGP field.

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Marco Melandri , Dani Pedrosa