After two rounds outside of the continent, the European stage of the 2013 World Championship begins this weekend. The Repsol riders arrive at the Grand Prix of Spain on a high, following double wins at the last round in Austin, Texas. Marc Marquez and Alex Rins were victorious in MotoGP and Moto3, respectively, at the most recent GP, whilst Dani Pedrosa took second place in the premier class. The trio, along with Alex Marquez, will be racing this weekend in the first of four events to be held in Spain this year.
For Dani Pedrosa, Jerez has been a happy hunting ground throughout his career. The Spaniard is on a run of eight consecutive podiums at the Andalusian track —one in 250cc and the rest in MotoGP— and has never finished off the rostrum at one of his favourite tracks. His record at Jerez in the premier class is one win, five second places and one third place.
Marc Marquez has a much shorter World Championship CV at the circuit, but comes into this event with the confidence provided by a maiden MotoGP win in Austin. He will be approaching the race with prudence, aware that Jerez is a very different track to the Circuit of The Americas.
Alex Rins also opened his win account stateside in round two, in the Moto3 class. Jerez has been a good track for the young Spaniard, who qualified on pole for last year’s race and placed fourth. Now with a year of World Championship experience under his belt and a first victory to his name, Rins starts out as one of the favorites to fight for the win on Sunday. His teammate, Alex Marquez, suffered a small crash in Austin and is looking to bounce back at Jerez, where last year he scored his first Grand Prix points with a twelfth place finish.
“Even though I missed out on the victory in Austin, we take many positives from the weekend. I am happy as we have reduced the gap to the leaders and I have recovered the good feelings that we had in preseason. Now we head to Jerez, which is one of my favourite circuits to race at. The atmosphere there is amazing and the fans are very passionate. The weather wasn’t good for us in testing there a month ago, but it’s a track we know well. We will look to continue with the momentum we left Austin and work hard from the first practice session to give ourselves the best chances for the race”.
“The Austin race is a weekend I will never forget and I would like to thank you all for all your support and kind messages! Now we arrive back to Europe and it’s important to keep our feet on the ground and remain focused. All the other riders have much more experience than me in these circuits and we will need to work hard. I’m looking forward to racing in front of the Spanish fans for the first time on a MotoGP machine in Jerez and we will try our hardest to get the best result, if we can achieve a podium then it would be great! Our goal is to keep learning and finish each race”.
“It’s time to focus on Jerez and we will see how it goes. In the IRTA tests, ViÃ±ales and Salom were really fast, but I think that there will be a few other riders latching onto the lead group. The Circuito de Jerez has a layout that I like a lot and that also suits me, so we’ll see what happens.”
“Jerez is a circuit with which I am familiar. We rode two IRTA tests there and everyone is more prepared for this race. It’s a track that I like a lot —one of my favourites. In addition, after two races with a lot of travelling involved, riding close to home allows us to make shorter journeys and prepare better for the race.”