Jerez MotoGP sees Marc Marquez declared fit to race

The Gran Premio bwin de España began with a number of special events to celebrate the arrival of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in Europe.

On Wednesday, the Mayor of Jerez, Maria José Garcia Pelayo, presented Jorge Lorenzo with a star on the Jerez Walk of Fame. The star is to recognise the achievements of Lorenzo, who became the first Spaniard to win the MotoGP World Championship (2010 & 2012) since the class was introduced in 2002. The double MotoGP World Champion also left his handprints in clay for a monument that will be erected in the near future, that will feature all of the riders who appear on the Walk of Fame.

Lorenzo was clearly moved by the tribute: “Jerez has always been very special to me as it was the first real track that I raced on when I was 10. It was also where I made my debut in the World Championship when I was 15. This is where it all started for me.”

Today a number of MotoGP stars, along with some famous faces from the world of Spanish racing, attended the opening of a new exhibition in Jerez. Entitled “Motorsports Legends 1969-2015” it celebrates the history of Repsol’s involvement in Spanish motorsport from 1969 to the present day.

Jerez
Jerez

The event was attended by current World Championship stars Marc Marquez, Nicky Hayden, Johann Zarco, Julian Simon, Fabio Quartararo, Enea Bastianini, Jorge Navarro and Maria Herrera, as well legends from the world of Spanish motorcycling including Angel Nieto, Jorge Martinez Aspar, and Emilio Alzamora. The riders arrived in style at the event in a selection of classic racing cars and the exhibition itself is free to visit until the 17th of May and consists of 50 specially selected photographs along with some iconic motorbikes on display, such as Nieto’s 50cc Derbi and Marquez’s Honda RC213V.

Marc Marquez then had to attend the Circuito de Jerez Medical Centre for a fitness test to decide whether he could race this weekend after fracturing the little finger in his left hand on Saturday. The good news for Marquez fans was that the Medical Director Dr. Michele Macchiagodena and the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Salvador Leiva deemed the Spaniard to be fit, and therefore he will be allowed to take part in the on track action in Jerez.

Later in the afternoon the world’s media gathered at the Circuito de Jerez at the official press conference for the Gran Premio bwin de España, where most of the emphasis was placed on whether or not Rossi and Marquez still enjoyed a good relationship after their clash in Argentina.

Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith were all on hand to give their thoughts on the weekend’s action, but the main talking point was actually the last lap incident in Argentina.

Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference
Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference

It was “The Doctor” who responded first when asked how his relationship with the reigning World Champion had been affected, jokingly saying: “I will have to give Marc less kisses from now on!”

Rossi and Marquez confirmed they still get on well and that the incident in Argentina had not affected this one bit. The Movistar Yamaha rider also mentioned how much he enjoyed coming back to Europe: “Jerez is always a special weekend, I think it is one of the best and I like it a lot. We return to Europe and I am very happy as it takes less flying time, and the atmosphere in Jerez is very special”

Repsol Honda’s Marquez was also asked if something similar were to happen during the race in Spain, would he prefer to be first or second heading into the infamous turn 13 (Lorenzo’s corner), to which he replied: “If I am behind Rossi on the last lap, I will be lucky, as I am not 100%.”

Marquez, referring to his fractured finger, admitted that he had no idea how his injury would effect him during the race: “Tomorrow I will try and we will see, it will be painful as the operation was only on Saturday evening, but okay we will see, maybe we will suffer more than in other races, but here in Jerez in front of the fans I have extra motivation and that can help me.”

Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference
Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference

Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso surprised a few people by announcing that Ducati do not have any major new upgrades to try out in Jerez. The Italian, who is second in the Championship standings and just six points behind Rossi, admitted that he was looking forward to some dry track time: “We didn’t have a lot of time to really work on the bike at the last 3 races as the conditions were tricky. This race with the weather looking good, we have more time to work on the setup to see if we can improve a little bit of traction and braking stability.”

Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo addressed the helmet and tyre issues that have affected him in each race this season, admitting that while they may have been minor, they have played their part in his poor start to the season: “When you are at a very high level even small problems don’t stop you fighting for the race, but when you have problems and are slower you cannot fight for the race win. When I don’t have problems, I will be able to fight for the race win.”

CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who secured his first podium of the season in Argentina, said that his focus was to try and improve in the middle part of the race, and that he enjoyed being in Europe, and not just for the shorter flight time: “We can improve our package and our speed again as we need to improve and I need to ride a bit better especially in certain stages of the race.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Bradley Smith admitted his issue so far this season has been his poor qualifying, but he is hoping that practice makes perfect around a track he enjoys: “I was speaking to someone on the flight, and trying to work out how many laps I have done around here as it has been quite a few. I’ve had a good run of results here ever since my first GP win.”

The biggest laugh during the press conference came when a journalist asked the riders for their take on the Rossi-Marquez clash from Argentina, with Lorenzo stating, “I don’t know what happened, I was too far back,” while Cal Crutchlow’s response was “I don’t care…it gave me a podium!”

The on-track action kicks off in Jerez on Friday at 9:00am local time with Moto3 Free Practice 1.

Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference
Jerez MotoGP 2015 Press Conference
Bridgestone MotoGP Preview – Round 4: Spain, Jerez

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)

Comprising eight right-hand and five left-hand corners, overall Jerez is one of the less severe circuits on tyres, however a special approach to tyre development is still required at this track. For this circuit, Bridgestone provides asymmetric rear slicks with slightly softer rubber on the left shoulder to offer better grip and warm-up performance e in the slower corners, while the harder right shoulders provide greater stability in the faster right-hand corners. Rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard asymmetric rear slicks, while the open class and factory concessions riders can use the soft and medium asymmetric rear slicks. With a wide range of track conditions possible at the Jerez, the front tyre allocation for the Spanish Grand Prix is the soft, medium & hard compound front slicks.

The Jerez circuit is extremely abrasive when wet, so the hard compound option is the main wet tyre this weekend, with the soft compound being the alternative wet option for the front tyre and the extra-hard compound for the rear.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “We have had three exciting races to start the MotoGP season and with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, we start the European leg of the championship. Jerez is one of the greatest venues on the calendar due to the flowing circuit layout and the hordes of passionate fans that make the pilgrimage to the circuit each year. It is a circuit where Honda have won the last three years, but this year with so many manufacturers exhibiting strong performance it is hard to pick a winner this weekend. As we are racing in Spain, I hope that both Marc and Dani are fit to ride for the Repsol Honda Team at Jerez in front of their adoring fans.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “Jerez is a track with a varied layout that includes both fast and slow corners, so for this circuit we need to provide tyres with a balanced character to provide good handling in every situation. At this circuit we provide asymmetric rear slicks with softer rubber on the left side to provide better grip and warm-up performance in the left-hand corners, while the harder rubber on the right shoulder offers more stability in the sequence of right-handers from turn nine to twelve. The track surface is smooth yet can be abrasive so as well as good grip and stability, our tyre allocation for this circuit must have high levels of durability. Another challenge is that ambient conditions during the race weekend are historically hot, so our tyre allocation for Jerez needs to be able to perform in excessive track temperatures.”

Bridgestone MotoGP
Bridgestone MotoGP
Jack Miller hoping to continue form in Jerez

The MotoGP World Championship begins the European leg of its season this weekend, with the traditional Spanish Grand Prix taking place at the southern Jerez de la Frontera circuit as it has for the past 28 years.

For CWM LCR Honda rider Jack Miller the race represents another chance to showcase his huge talent, having succeeded in topping the Open class at the last event in Argentina, in just his third GP in the premier class. The rookie Australian took pole position at the Andalusian track in Moto3 last year, so will hope that can spur him on to yet more Spanish success.

Jack Miller – “Where do I start?! After a really good race in Argentina, I’m so looking forward to riding this weekend in Spain. I mean, Jerez is a really different style of circuit to the last three tracks we have been to, because they are all wide-open and flat tracks. Here it’s really tight and technical, and I think that’s so much better for me.”

“More than anything, we need to continue our work from where we left off in the last event in Termas. Our aim is simply to keep improving and closing the gap to the riders in front at every opportunity.”

Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Cal Crutchlow ready for Spain

Following an impressive third place in the last race in Argentina, the CWM LCR Honda Team and Cal Crutchlow have their eyes on the prize once more this weekend. The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez de la Frontera is the 2015 season’s first event in Europe, and sees a yearly pilgrimage to the Andalusian track for well over 100,000 fans from across the continent.

The British rider is in high spirits after an excellent start to his campaign, and with good weather forecast for the entire race weekend will hope to make further in-roads to the top spots and challenge for the champagne once more.

Cal Crutchlow – “It’s been three strange races for the CWM LCR Honda Team. We had a not too bad start in Qatar, a bad race in Texas and a great one in Argentina. It’s nice to get back to Europe though, because we can get into a good routine of races with one weekend on, and one weekend off. I look forward to this part of the season because I think it suits me a bit better to be in Europe rather than travelling far away.”

“I hope we can do another good job this weekend, and can continue to improve our package and improve our speed. We definitely need to do that, and learn to ride the bike a bit better at various stages of the race. I hope we can make that progress here this weekend in Jerez.”

“I was quite happy with Argentina having not raced there before. We went with an open mind and look at the result we came away with. We maybe got lucky with Marc (Marquez) crashing out and me inheriting the podium, but you have to be there in the first place. We had a better race than expected and were able to fight better, so hopefully we can continue in that vein.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Gears Up for First European Round of the MotoGP Season

After a stunning victory from Valentino Rossi in Argentina a fortnight ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team flies back across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe for the Gran Premio de España at the Circuito de Jerez this weekend.

The Doctor arrives in Spain excited to add another top finish to his list of successes achieved in Argentina, Texas and Doha. Over the first three races he scored two sensational wins and a third place. He currently leads the championship by six points and is confident he can continue his momentum in Jerez. Rossi has claimed six premier class wins at this circuit in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, two second places in 2008 and 2014, and a third place in 2010.

Jorge Lorenzo is also looking forward to putting on a show in front of the Spanish fans. The four-time World Champion holds fourth place in the championship standings and has an impressive record at Jerez, with two premier class victories in 2010 and 2011, a second place in 2012, and two further third places in 2008 and 2013. Last year saw him finish just off the podium in fourth place.

Circuito de Jerez is one of the most popular MotoGP venues, not only amongst riders but also fans, who travel from all over the world to see the action. The track was built in 1986 and hosted its first Grand Prix one year later. Blessed with consistently good weather and beautiful scenery, this track is usually filled to its full capacity, giving the event a great atmosphere. The 4.423km circuit sits within a slight valley that serves as a natural amphitheater, allowing race fanatics not to miss any of the overtakes that are bound to happen in the multiple fast corners and hard braking points.

Valentino Rossi – “I’m very happy to come back to Europe! These first three races have been very positive, although some of these circuits are not my favourites nor of the Yamaha! Yet my YZR-M1 has behaved very well and we rode nice races! To go to Jerez, after the victory in Argentina and holding first place in the championship, is certainly very positive. However the most important thing is that we’re doing a great job with the guys of the team. We must continue to work well together. The championship is still very long! I feel good and returning to Europe is nice. I really like the Jerez GP. The track is beautiful and also the atmosphere is fantastic. It also has very fast turns and I like that a lot. I did good races at this circuit in the past and I’ll try to have a good race also this year!”

Jorge Lorenzo – “After the three first races of the championship I have to say that, though the results weren’t as I expected, this season is still long, so we are very focused on working hard and trying to get better results from now on. During last week I was able to train a lot. In front of us is the GP in Jerez, one of the most challenging races of the year and it’s also one of the most exciting, because of the atmosphere. We come back to Europe and Spain and I like that. I look forward to racing there in front of all the Spanish fans and I will do my best to try to get my first podium of the season. The track is really nice and I hope to do a good job with my YZR-M1.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “Coming back to Europe after the first three overseas races is always nice, especially now that we are leading the championship. Racing in Jerez always gives a special taste thanks to the really nice atmosphere. The riders are on top form and the competitiveness of our YZR-M1 is really good so we are really looking forward to starting the weekend in the best way possible. We are very optimistic that we can continue our form from Argentina.”

Valentino Rossi celebrates victory in Argentina MotoGP 2015
Valentino Rossi celebrates victory in Argentina MotoGP 2015
Tech3 ready to hit Spanish asphalt at full speed

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro return to Europe this weekend for round 4 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship fully confident of seizing success in the battle at Jerez. After the opening three rounds in Qatar, Texas and Argentina, the MotoGP paddock will embark on the European run, starting in Andalusia at the 4.4 kilometre circuit which is a firm favourite for riders and fans alike. The circuit can accommodate up to 250,00 fans who typically attend the event full of enthusiasm and passion.

Britain’s Bradley Smith who has started his third year aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 brightly, will determinedly seek to follow up his strong double of two top six finishes in the last two races. Once again, he will aim to fight to finish as the leading satellite rider with another noticeable display at the fast flowing Circuito de Jerez. Young Spanish rider Pol Espargaro will look to storm to a top tier result in front of his home fans and join his teammate in fighting for the honours of the fastest satellite MotoGP rider in Sunday’s 27 lap race. Espargaro has won twice at the circuit in the lower leagues and intends to add another strong finish to his successful tally here.

Bradley Smith – “I’m really excited about racing at Jerez this weekend and I aim to continue the positive momentum that I have so far this season. As it’s my third year with the team aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1, I know the bike and the guys all well by now and I know we can be strong here in front of the superb crowd. The start of the year has been great and we’ve been in the hunt for the leading satellite position at every race so far. Now it’s time to take to the European soil and fight for this again. This track has a special place in my heart as I won my first race in the 125cc class in 2009 and I’ve had some other strong results here as well, so this weekend I will be aiming to extend my positive record. The track is fast flowing and as always, Friday and Saturday will be crucial for setting up the bike for Sunday, but we are full of optimism and I can’t wait to start the fight again.”

Pol Espargaro – “After the first three races, we’re heading back to Europe and for the first GP in my home country, which is always brilliant. The fans really help and motivate me and in Jerez the support is incredible. So I want to repay them with a great show in the race. We have been a bit unlucky in the three opening rounds and couldn’t perform at our best, therefore I wasn’t able to challenge my teammate. Yet, the team is doing a great job and I feel confident on the bike so overall, I am ready to go and challenge for the positions that I want and need to be in. The track is fast and it’s such good fun to ride on the Yamaha, which really likes the rapid corners. We have a few things to work on, but we will hit the ground running, aim to qualify well and then see what happens. It was nice that we had a few days back at home to relax before we go to Andalusia for round 4 and the first European race, where I feel more confident about competing on these familiar tracks.”

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
First European stop in Jerez for the team Athinà Forward Racing

After an overseas start of the season, it’s time to go back to Europe for the team Athinà Forward Racing and its riders this weekend. The crew will be busy at Jerez de la Frontera where the bwin Spanish Grand Prix will take place.

After the first points in Argentina, Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz are looking forward to get back on track to fight for the lead of the Open class and gather more points riding their Yamaha Forward bike. Both rider will be working hard this weekend and will develop the bike further on Monday after the race with a test scheduled right after on the Spanish track.

Loris Baz – “In Argentina we worked really well and we made a good step forward. In the race I suffered in the early laps with a full tank, but then I found a very consistent pace and I finished the race in crescendo approaching my rivals. Jerez is a track I know, on which I have already raced and I have a good base to start with.”

Stefan Bradl – Championship: 20th “The race in Argentina was not an easy one for me. I collected the first points of the season, but in the race lost the feeling and I could not push hard. We did analyzed the data and we arrive at Jerez ready to do well and fight for the lead in the Open class: during the last test on this track I was very fast on the Yamaha Forward.”

Suzuki MotoGP Preview Jerez

Suzuki riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales are looking forward to getting back on their GSX-RRs at this weekend’s fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of Jerez in Spain for the first of six European races.

Fresh from positive top-10 race results at Circuit of The Americas, USA and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, the two Spaniards are keen to continue to move forward with the team’s improvements and developments made to their GSX-RRs; plus having a boost from the additional support from the enthusiastic Spanish fans. The objective in Spain will be to take advantage of new information and data collected so far in the opening three races, with a more-effective GSX-RR that is consistent at race-pace, yet also fast in qualifying.

Built in 1986, the 4.4km Circuit of Jerez, set in a valley in the south of the country, features five left and eight right-hand turns that the team hopes will suit the exceptional handling of the GSX-RR. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR takes to the track on Friday for the opening FP1 at 09:55hrs local time (08:55 GMT) with FP2 at 14:05hrs (13:05 GMT). Saturday’s all-important Qualifying starts at 14:10hrs (13:10 GMT) to determine grid positions for Sunday’s race, which gets underway at 14:00hrs (13:00 GMT).

Aleix Espargaro: “I’m happy to get back to Europe and to go to Jerez; it’s a track I like and although it is not my home race we are in Spain and I will have extra support from the home fans. The circuit could be good for us because the straight is not so long, allowing us to better exploit the advantages that come from our effective chassis. At the last races we experienced some issues, but they may also be related to the circuits we were at, so I’m looking forward to test the GSX-RR in Jerez to see how it goes. The team, both on track and at home in Japan, is working hard to support me in finding the best confidence with the bike. I believe we can pursue our objective to get well into the points again and hopefully be into the top eight.”

Maverick Viñales: “I have good memories from Jerez. I’ve had some very good races there and I like the track, which should also be better for our machines than Austin and Termas de Rio Hondo. For sure racing in Spain is something emotional; there will be a lot of supporters and this will give me more ‘push’ to perform well. We know our strengths and our weaknesses so we will immediately start to test some improvements in the set-up and see how my GSX-RR will be at this particular circuit. On my side I know that as usual I will need to reset my reference points on the track and to make new ones according to the improving performance of the MotoGP machine, but my Suzuki has shown to be very adaptable; therefore the one that will have the most to do is me.”

Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro
Aspar Preview Jerez MotoGP

After an exotic tour of Qatar, Texas and Argentina to visit three circuits (Losail, COTA and Termas de Río Hondo) with completely different characteristics, the MotoGP World Championship returns to more familiar territory this weekend as the series embarks on a European road trip that takes in the next six rounds. The Gran Premio de España is the first of four races that will take place in Spain during the 2015 season, as Jerez plays host to the fourth round of a campaign that has started with Valentino Rossi back on top, thanks to his two wins so far. Reigning champion Marc Márquez arrives at his home race looking to close the gap to the Italian but after suffering an injury to his little finger that required surgery just last week, he will have to wait until Friday’s first free practice to fully assess his fitness. With Andrea Dovizioso making a strong start to the season and a host of other Spanish riders looking to impress in their home race, this Sunday promises to be a fiesta to remember.

The track already holds good memories for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty, who are looking to build their pace and performance after three races on their new Hondas. Hayden scored a positive result at his home round in the USA and also performed well in Argentina, even though he didn’t finish as strongly as he would have liked. The Kentucky Kid is aiming to build on that performance at a circuit where he has two MotoGP podiums. Having never previously visited COTA or Termas de Río Honda, Laverty is looking forward to heading to a circuit he knows, and where he has twice taken victory in World Superbikes.

Nicky Hayden: “The Spanish GP is the first European race of the season and it is always nice to race at Jerez, a circuit I love. It is a fantastic track and it has an atmosphere like nowhere else, plus I had some good results there in the past so I have good memories. It has quite a lot of fast corners, which should suit our bike, but we need to work to improve grip and make ourselves even more competitive. Everybody has three races behind them now so the competition is getting tougher. The more data everybody has, the more the pace will increase. We have ridden this bike now at three completely different tracks and we have learnt a lot about it. We are improving our form as we go and I hope that continues this weekend.”

Eugene Laverty: “We did a great job all weekend in Argentina, probably the best we have done since I started in MotoGP, but we didn’t manage to back it up with a performance in the race. I know we can be strong at Jerez in practice and we have to work very hard to make sure that Sunday doesn’t go the same way as Argentina. In any case we have come a long way since the start of the year and I am sure all the hard work will start to pay off soon. I like Jerez and I had two wins there in Superbikes so it is a place that holds happy memories for me.”

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty
Ducati Team arrives at Jerez de la Frontera for the first European round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship

After the first three overseas races of the season at Losail, Austin and Termas de Rio Hondo, which produced excellent results, the Ducati Team has now arrived in Spain, where on Sunday the fourth round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship will be held at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Andalusia.

The Desmosedici GP15’s raceday performance continues to underscore the progress made by the new bike, and the Italian team’s two riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, have already notched up four podiums in these early stages: three second places for the 29-year-old from Forlì, who finds himself second in the overall standings, six points away from leader Rossi, and a third place for the 25-year-old from Vasto, third overall and twenty points down on his team-mate.

Last year Dovizioso, starting sixth on the grid at Jerez, powered into the lead of the GP with a terrific start and then remained in fifth for almost the entire race. Iannone on the other hand was not so fortunate with the Pramac team’s GP14, the Italian starting from fifteenth on the grid and then retiring from the race.

For both Ducati Team men, the aim of this race is to confirm the GP15’s competitive level, which has already been amply demonstrated at three circuits with totally different characteristics in this early stage of the season.

The Jerez de la Frontera weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 09.55 CET, while the race is scheduled for 14.00 CET.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (60 points) – “Jerez is one of the toughest tracks for Ducati and for me, especially because of the heavy tyre wear, but the results of the first three races make me feel optimistic because it seems that the GP15 goes really well at every circuit, which confirms the fact that we are working well. I’m going to Jerez convinced that we can also obtain a good result in this race.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 3rd (40 points) – “Jerez is a circuit where I have already won a race in 2011 in Moto2, and it’s a track I really like. There are going to be a lot of fast competitive riders and so for sure we are going to have to work to our best to exploit all the potential of the team and the bike. It’s not going to be an easy weekend, but we have the potential to do well and I’m going to try my hardest as always.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso
After a difficult start to the 2015 season for Repsol Honda, this week MotoGP commences its European leg at the GP of Spain in Jerez

The team were hoping to be boosted by the return of Dani Pedrosa, who underwent surgery after the Qatar GP and missed Austin and Argentina GPs. In the operation, performed on the 3rd April, doctors completely removed the layer of fascia – the casing around the muscle that gives it form and shape – which was causing problems for Dani. After three weeks of recovery Dani is feeling an improvement but together with doctors has decided to rest until Le Mans – on 17th May – to give his arm more time to heal. Hiroshi Aoyama will replace Dani for the third race in a row.

In a further complication for the team, on Saturday reigning World Champion Marc Marquez broke a finger in a training accident. The Repsol Honda rider was operated on Saturday afternoon to treat fracture to little finger of left hand, suffered while training dirt track, and had a further checkup this afternoon with doctors reporting positively.

A tight and twisty circuit, Jerez has hosted a motorcycle grand prix since 1987, and celebrates being named the World Capital of Motorcycling in 2015. With a track length of 4,428km, Jerez features eight right turns and five lefts and circulates in a clockwise direction with a trademark final turn that has seen some legendary clashes.

Marc, who will be looking to make amends for his penultimate lap crash in Argentina, has taken second place on three occasions at the Andalusian track – in 2009, 2012 and 2013 – with his first victory here in 2014. Hiroshi has had a solo win in 250cc in 2009 and two fourth place finishes in 250cc (2008) and MotoGP (2011).

Marc Marquez – “Today I underwent another examination by Dr. Mir, and he confirmed that the wound is healing well and looking good. He took off the cast that they had put on and now I have begun to do some physiotherapy work with some active and passive movements. My finger will be checked at Jerez after every session and the bandages will be changed. I am very motivated for this Grand Prix, because it is the first of the year in Spain, there are my home fans there and I have some good memories from previous years! It’s a pity about the injury, but I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much and that I can get a great result in front of the fans.”

Hiroshi Aoyama – “I’m sorry for Dani that he is not able to return to racing this weekend at his home grand prix. Honda have asked me to substitute for him again and it’s an honour to do so. I have made some progression with the team during the Austin and Argentina race weekends and they have helped me a lot, so I hope we can make another step in Jerez! It’s a tight track on these big bikes but I’m looking forward to racing there with Repsol Honda.”

Dani Pedrosa – “I really hoped to return in Jerez but after riding a supermotard bike yesterday, we decided it’s not the best option. By competing in an entire race weekend we risk damaging the arm further and slowing down the healing process and the last thing I want to do is create a bigger problem. I’m missing my team and can’t wait to come back in Le Mans. Thank you all for all your kind messages, they give me strength in these tough times.”

Marc Marquez crash with Valentino Rossi in Argentina
Marc Marquez crash with Valentino Rossi in Argentina
Scott Redding hopeful for Jerez MotoGP Success

Scott Redding returns to Europe determined to build on the improvements made during the three overseas races. The 22-year-old Briton currently lies 13th in the championship standings, but his race results in Qatar, Texas and Argentina don’t truly reflect the progress he has made with the factory Honda RC213V since the start of the season.

Redding will receive updated chassis parts in Jerez, which should allow the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider to make the next step and add consistency to the outright speed that was so evident during the Austin race weekend.

The Spanish Grand Prix, the first of four races on Spanish soil this season, is a firm favourite with the fans. The Jerez circuit sits within a natural amphitheatre, providing excellent viewing for the capacity crowd that the race often attracts.

A permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar since 1987, Jerez features eight right turns and five lefts, with a number of fast changes of direction but relatively few hard braking points. In recent years the track has seen some legendary clashes, most of them at the all-important final corner.

Scott Redding: “Argentina was a bit like Texas, as we had the speed but we still need to find a few things with the bike that work for me and work consistently. We will receive updated chassis parts in Jerez, so this should help us make the next step, but we also return to Europe with more experience of the bike and a clear direction in which to go in with regards to set up. The priority is to improve my feeling from the front, to give me more confidence. We’ve made a lot of progress in this area since the start of the season and we just need to continue in the same way. The goal for Jerez is simply to carry on improving and to try and close the gap to the guys at the front.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal “The overseas races didn’t exactly go according to plan, but we saw before the crash in Austin that Scott had made a step forward with the bike and it was unfortunate that circumstances meant he wasn’t able to show this again in Argentina. Now we’re back in Europe, on more familiar territory and with an updated chassis that we’re confident will allow Scott to make further improvements. We have six races in just 11 weeks now and we need to start this run with a good result this weekend in Jerez.”

Scott Redding
Scott Redding
Bautista and Melandri are keen to confirm Aprilia progress demonstrated during the last race in Argentina

Jerez (Spain), 28 April 2015 – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini comes to the first European round to confirm the initial progress demonstrated by the RS-GP bikes in the American rounds. At Austin the first point was earned thanks to Bautista’s placement and in Argentina the gap behind the leaders and the central pack of bikes and riders was reduced significantly with Melandri almost catching his team mate up.

The classic round on the Jerez track is just around the corner to confirm and consolidate this growth process which is the primary goal of the 2015 season for the Italian team. The first set of European races should also allow the team to work more on the bikes and accelerate development.

Romano Albesiano – (Aprilia Racing Manager) – “The first three races showed us just how big a challenge we accepted by entering MotoGP a year ahead of schedule. It’s no surprise but rather it confirms that the level of bikes and riders, grown compared to recent seasons, is very high. For this reason we are looking at our initial progress as a positive and important sign. In particular in Argentina both riders crossed the wire, reduced the gap behind the leaders and finished just a few seconds (just over four) behind that central pack which is our goal at the moment. Marco has also come much closer to Alvaro in confirmation of his improved feeling with the bike. These are all important indications that we need to confirm. The next few weeks will also let us to speed up development on the RS-GP, an operation which is quite complex during non-European rounds, following the indications that can out of this first part of the season.”

Fausto Gresini (Team Manager) – “At Jerez the long European season of the Championship begins on a track where we have already tested. It would be nice to be able to take a few more steps forward. After all, in Argentina we already showed that we can fight for positions from twelfth on, which is in line with our expectations. We’ll keep working to grow step by step, determined and strongly motivated.”

Alvaro Bautista – “Like every year the Jerez round is a special occasion for me. There will be a lot of fans there to support me. We’ll keep working hard on developing the bike like we did both in Austin and in Argentina, hoping to be able to identify new valid solutions. The track is very difficult with all kinds of turns so it will be important to work well on the setup and on power distribution as well because there are a lot of sections where the bikes restart at low speeds where good grip is needed.”

Marco Melandri – “The Jerez track is really nice but it is also quite difficult and complete from a technical point of view with both slow turns and fast turns. Restarting after the slow curves is a particularly demanding situation where we need to improve but I’m counting a lot on the technical changes that Aprilia has prepared for this round. I hope that they will let us take another step forward. We’ll be putting forth our best effort as always.”

Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista