For the Honda team, the Catalunya Grand Prix is its real home race, considering that both Marquez and Pedrosa live just a few kilometres from the Montmelò track. The two Spaniards haven't won there for a long time though; both have scored just one MotoGP victory, Marc in 2014 and Dani in 2008.
The work that has been carried out on the track might change things, though the recent tests saw Yamaha and Ducati running out front. This doesn't alter the fact that Marquez wants to make up for the points lost at Mugello, and quickly.
Perhaps the atmosphere at his home track can do the rest.
“I’m very happy anytime we race at home, in front of our fans, and I hope to give them an exciting race on Sunday, as that special atmosphere always gives you extra energy. We had a good test in Catalunya a few weeks ago, when we also had the chance to check out the layout, in particular the final section, which has been revised.
Marquez is particularly pleased with the result.
“I think they also did a really good job with the resurfacing: the tarmac now has very good grip and is very nice to ride on, even if the F1 cars are already starting to affect it by creating bumps at some of the braking points. The kerbs are still one of the track’s most challenging aspects; the inside kerbs are very high, and it’s a bit difficult to adapt your riding style to that. That said, it’s a nice track and we’ll try to make the best of it and fight for the podium again.”
A result that Pedrosa also seeks, having not yet managed it this season. This will also be Dani's last home race on the factory Honda and he has promised to reveal his future plans over the weekend.
“The Catalan GP is always a special race because all our family, fans, and friends are there. It always has a great atmosphere and a great feeling. The track itself is very nice, though demanding, especially for the tyres. You need to work a lot on the suspension and chassis setup to make sure you have good grip because you’re leaned over most of the time. Having partly returned to the original layout, we got back the final two downhill corners, which are really beautiful.”