Simon Hopes For Great Birthday Result At Jerez
After a night race with an opening practice session on Thursday and the warm-up on Saturday things get back to normal this weekend for the MotoGP World Championship as it rolls into Europe for the first of four races on Spanish soil. The unmistakable smell of burning rubber welcomes the teams and riders to one of the most passionate and iconic races of the season, which takes place a month earlier than normal, with a host of home riders desperate to add victory at Jerez to their career stats.
It is an extra special weekend for MAPFRE Aspar rider Julián Simón, not just because it is one of the most exciting events a Spanish sportsman can take part in but because it is tenth appearance at this track since making his Grand Prix debut as a wildcard back in 2002. A lot of things have changed since then but his determination to be first to the chequered flag is stronger than ever. Luck was not on his side in the opening round in Qatar two weeks ago but he would love nothing more than to step onto the top of the podium on Sunday, which is also his 24th birthday. His MAPFRE Aspar team-mate Xavi Forés was disappointed with his own Grand Prix debut in Qatar but he is hopeful of making up for it on familiar territory.
“This will be my tenth Spanish Grand Prix so I am really determined to make it a good one. In Qatar things didn’t work out how we hoped so I want to set the record straight this weekend by finishing on the podium, hopefully with a win if possible. Sunday is my birthday so that would be the ideal way to celebrate. We need to start out well and do all we can to be consistently on the pace over the course of the weekend. We have a lot of data from winter testing, which went well for us, and I am sure this weekend will too.”
“I am feeling very optimistic about the weekend because it is our first home race and at a circuit I know perfectly well. We had the opportunity to test at Jerez over the winter and it went quite well. Things started out okay in Qatar but didn’t go our way in the end so I want to make up for that on Sunday. We are pretty well sorted in terms of set-up so I suppose it is a case of putting some laps together and getting into a rhythm. We didn’t have any race pace in Qatar so maybe we need to do some longer runs at Jerez to prepare ourselves. I also need to qualify well because I saw at Qatar that if you are a long way back it is really difficult to recover ground.”
Source: Aspar Media