Having come out unscathed following one of the most difficult weekends, on paper at least, Marc Marquez can now enjoy his home round. The Spaniard comes to Barcelona with a 12-point lead over Andrea Dovizioso, but he realises he cannot afford to lower his guard.
“I'm pleased to come to my home race in this situation. In recent years, Ducati has been quick around Barcelona and I'm sure it will be the same this year too. I want to give it my all and work to reach the podium on Sunday. If I have chance to win, I will try, but it will be great to race in front of family and friends anyway”.
#93's leadership remains under threat, with a possible Ducati alliance forming between Dovizioso and Petrucci.
“I don't believe in alliances, also because both guys are fighting for the title in my opinion. They are both fast and tough rivals, I also think that someone who is capable of winning, like Petrucci, will struggle not to try. In any case, I have to continue to be fast like in previous races, I am very confident and that's important”.
Someone who is not in the mix for the title but striving to improve is Jorge Lorenzo, fresh from his trip to Honda HQ.
“I'm not worried about Jorge's trip, I'm focusing on my side of the garage. It's normal for every rider to want a better bike and we give engineers our advice in order to improve it. Lorenzo's has one of the biggest egos of anyone I know, he believes in himself and doesn't give up hope. He's having a hard time but what counts for me is that Honda is out front. A dream team? We'd need to score the triple crown (the riders, manufacturers and team trophies) for that to be true. That's looking difficult right now, but we still have many races to go”.
Barcelona is still Marc's home round though, and he'll be wearing a special helmet for the occasion.
“I decided to use a new helmet because in recent years I've always used the same one. I really like the result and hope it brings me luck. It all depends on the race result in the end: if the race goes well then the helmet passes, if it goes like Austin then it fails (he laughs)”.
Montmelò remains one of the most beautiful tracks on the calendar, one that Marc knows well and where, given the chance, he'd like to take on one particular former champion.
“The most technical point is probably the last sector, where you can also gain a lot in terms of time, and so you have to have the right set-up. This year I have more power which might help, more than at Mugello as we have two long straights here. Great power sometimes means less traction, useful through this track's wide corners, so we'll see. If I had to choose one to battle here, I'd say Mick Doohan, a fast and aggressive rider, very strong in a head to head".