Johann Zarco chases Marquez's crown at the Superprestigio

In the absence of #93, the Frenchman sets out to dash the plans of the specialists 


The winter break is always a testing time for two-wheel fans, who won't be able to see the MotoGP and Superbike bikes in action until January. The riders aren't keen on sitting still either. We've seen Rossi, Pasini, Marini and Locatelli taking part in the Monza Rally Show, and Corsi, Giugliano and Antonelli busy on track at the Sic Supermoto Day.

Basically, no-one has any intention of relaxing, and next Saturday the spotlight will be on the Superprestigio. The traditional dirt track challenge, now in its fifth edition, will take place once again at the Palau Sant Jordi track in Barcelona. Specialists of the discipline, names like Frenchmen Thomas Chareyre and Sylvain Bidart, will go up against MotoGP riders.

As we know, the Superprestigio has always been an important event for Marc Marquez, the winner of last year's edition in fact. #93 will not attend the 2017 edition however, preferring to rest and recuperate after this year's tough championship. A real blow for the many spectators who hopes to see the six-time champ in action.

The race may have lost its star, but there is one man ready to take up the reins. Johann Zarco, having taken part in the first edition in 2014, will be back on track this year, riding a Yamaha. the MotoGP rookie suprised everyone in Tech3 colours this season and now he wants to do the same on the dirt track. Fans will be keen to see what the Frenchman can do, but he will have to deal with Toni Elias. The MotoAmerica Superbike champion will be putting up a fight, having finished second in 2016, ahead of Baker.

Other world championship riders set to take part include Xavi Vierge, Jesko Raffin, Albert Arenas and Fabio Quartararo, the latter making his debut appearance at the Palau Sant Jordi event.

Then there is the Italian contingent, starting with Fabio Di Giannantonio, who also took part last year. he will be riding the Zaeta, just like the son of his crew chief, or rather Francesco Cecchini. Lorenzo Gabellini, with the Yamaha, and Alessandro Del Bianco with the Honda will also participate. Practice gets underway on Friday before the racing takes place on Saturday.   


Translated by Heather Watson

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