Repsol riders ready to fight at Jerez, Alex Marquez makes his world championship debut

 In Moto3, News

The MotoGP travelling circus pitches up at the Circuito de Jerez this week for the first European round of the season – at which the Repsol riders will be enjoying the unconditional support of the packed grandstands. The event follows a great start to the year in Qatar, where Repsol competitors won both the Moto2 and Moto3 races and MotoGP representatives Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner were on the podium.

A Repsol rider leads the way in the Moto3 category – namely Maverick Viñales. Last year’s 125cc Rookie of the Year put on a masterclass at the Losail International Circuit and is looking for a fifth consecutive win this weekend. Miguel Oliveira joined Viñales in being unable to finish last season’s Spanish GP, but comes into this round on a high after claiming a career best fifth place in Qatar. Teammate Álex Rins will continue his adaptation to the World Championship at a familiar track, joined by a familiar face in former CEV teammate and rival, Álex Márquez. The latter won last weekend’s CEV race in Navarra and has been given a wild card spot in the two upcoming races.

Máverick Viñales “The Spanish Grand Prix is always special. You are riding at home, you feel the support of the crowd and your motivation goes up a notch. This year is going to be even more special, because for the first time in my life I head to a Grand Prix as the World Championship leader. To be doing that at Jerez, you couldn’t ask for more. The track is technical and combines slow and fast turns, but is well suited to my riding style. In testing just before Qatar we were fast here and established a fairly good setup, which gives us optimism ahead of this race. The season has only just begun, there are many races to go and it will be difficult to keep our form up all season. I can’t wait to soak up the great atmosphere of this race and to try and gain the good result that allows us to maintain a strong position in the standings.”

Miguel Oliveira “This will be a tougher GP than Qatar, because in preseason testing we were a little bit off the best times. I believe in the team and I am sure that we will find a setting that allows us to be competitive. I liked the circuit more with the 125cc; on a Moto3 I’m finding things a little more difficult, but that is maybe to do with the chassis problem from preseason. I’m sure that we will improve.”

Álex Rins “This is going to be a completely different race to Qatar. The timetable returns to normal and I know this track. We were at Jerez in preseason and we had a good test, so we will see if we can find a good pace and do as well as possible. I hope to ride fast right from the opening practice sessions and improve the bike enough to occupy one of the top positions. This is one of my favourite circuits; it’s fast with a couple of slow corners. I think I can get a good result.”

Álex Márquez “This Friday will mark my debut and I can’t wait, because this is a very special circuit for me. I’ll be up against some great riders who are quicker than us in the CEV. I am going to try and enjoy myself, learn as mugh as posible and gain experience. I haven’t prepared any differently to how I would for a CEV race. I am calm now, although I’m sure that on the grid I will be more nervous. I think we will do a great job at Jerez and have the chance to take a good result.”

Source: Repsol Media

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