10 MotoGP Quotes: Catalunya Pre-Race Press Conference

Mugello winner Andrea Dovizioso was joined by fellow podium finishers Maverick Vinales and Danilo Petrucci, as well as Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, and Alvaro Bautista.

2017 Catalan GP press conference
From left to right: Alvaro Bautista, Marc Márquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Maverick Viñales, Valentino Rossi, and Danilo PetrucciPhoto: MotoGP

MotoGP riders and teams were kept busy this week prior to opening practice on Friday for Sunday's Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Round 7 of the 18-race series is a back-to-back event with this past weekend's Italian GP at Mugello, which saw Italians take the top spot on the podium in all three classes—MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3.

Pre-event activities are always a part of the lead up to any Grand Prix, but MotoGP took it up a notch this week in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, with the Espargaro brothers, Aleix and Pol, joining four other riders at FC Barcelona Camp Nou for a tour of the magnificent stadium, which holds some 115,000 fans, and a kick around with several high-profile players.

Luis Salon tribute at Catalunya
Carmelo Ezpeleta, Joan Fontseré, Pedro Mas, Ángel Viladoms, and MotoGP riders in the tribute to Luis Salom.Photo: MotoGP

On a somber note, a photo exhibit at the circuit is dedicated to former Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who died last year at the Catalan GP. Images of the “Mexicano” have been viewed by series officials, local dignitaries, riders, and team members. Former MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach was one of several Americans who were friends with Salom.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team: "The race in Mugello was unreal for us. We dominated from the beginning to the end. Really, I didn't expect that during the race because I had a question mark about my physical condition. I did 13 laps behind Maverick and was able to do the last 10 laps in front. I was a little bit surprised but really happy. The feeling with the bike was great."

Andrea Dovizioso during a Free Practice lap at the 2017 Catalan GP.Photo: MotoGP

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: "My condition is coming better. I don't have any particular pain. For sure, to be at 100 percent, I need another week—the normal 'stop.' Unfortunately, these two races are in a row. It's a shame for the championship because I think they are the two best races during the season. To have in a row in one week is very busy."

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: "At Mugello, I didn't feel so bad during the GP weekend. On Sunday, we realized that I couldn't finish the race with the tire that I liked—the hard one. The medium had zero feeling, but it was the tire that I chose to finish the race. Here, we hope that we have a different feeling, especially with the front."

Marc Marquez, Repsol HondaPhoto: MotoGP

Danilo Petrucci, Octo Pramac Racing: "Everybody asked me, 'How was the party?' I don't know why. No, I did not have a party. After the race I did 300 or 400 interviews asking always the same thing. Then, I got dinner and at midnight I was at home watching the race. I did not expect to fight for the podium. For sure, I'm very happy."

Maverick Vinales, Movistar Yamaha: "After Mugello, I become stronger. Every time I go on the track, I become better. In this part of the season, it's very important to have good communication with my team. I feel great, and the bike is there, so we just have to make many laps and get a good feeling in the new layout."

Danilo Petrucci, Octo Pramac RacingPhoto: MotoGP
Maverick Vinales, Movistar YamahaPhoto: MotoGP

Alvaro Bautista, Pull & Bear Aspar: "In the other races, we were quite fast and consistent. Unfortunately, I crashed in Jerez and France. In Mugello, we improved a little bit our qualifying performance so I can start more in the front on the grid. For me, it was important to finish the race. At the end, I can finish in the top five. I was really happy."

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team: "Here we are in Barcelona. It is a completely different track. The test wasn't so good, so I have a big question mark about this weekend. It will be very important to see our speed. This track is very difficult for everybody. The grip is not so good; the tire drops after two laps and the drop is very big. Not so easy to manage."

Maverick Vinales, Movistar Yamaha: "I've always been really fast here in Montmelo. I love the track. I love all of the fans. We have to be ready for all the situations. For sure, the new layout will make a difference. Let's see the setup, but I think, for my riding style, it's going to be a good part of the track."

The Doctor, Vale46
Valentino Rossi, Movistar YamahaPhoto: MotoGP
Ride Green tree
Marc Márquez, the FIM Ride Green Ambassador, plants a tree at the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya with young representatives of the "Climate Justice Ambassadors Network."Photo: MotoGP

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: "We have to work very hard from tomorrow. We didn't make the test [here] two or three weeks ago—also a new corner at the end to understand. We try to be fast to understand the right lines and understand the potential of the bike. For me, the mistake in Le Mans is heavy for the championship, but the other guys also make mistakes."

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: "Every race is important, but a home race is a special feeling—a special atmosphere. We will do our 100 percent like always but try to have something more, no? Fighting for the victory on Sunday will be a good target. Like the other riders say, it will be very warm, so choosing the best tire will be crucial."