With exactly one third of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship behind them, the Ducati Team are about to tackle the next event this weekend in Spain, at the Montmelò circuit near Barcelona. The long straight and many overtaking points of the Catalan circuit make it one of the most spectacular races on the calendar and the GP de Catalunya always attracts massive crowds to the grandstands.
In 2013 Andrea Dovizoso was unable to obtain the desired results in both qualifying and the races, but in any case the Montmelò track, where he won in 250 GP in 2006, remains one of the Italian rider’s favourites. After an unfortunate part of the season, his team-mate Cal Crutchlow is still searching for his best form. Last year he qualified second on the grid but DNF’ed in the race after a crash while in fourth place.
For the second successive race, the two Ducati Team men will be joined by Test Team rider Michele Pirro, who will be competing in the Catalan round as a wild-card.
Immediately after the weekend Dovizioso and Crutchlow, as well as Pirro, will take part in Monday’s IRTA test, during which they will continue development work on the Desmosedici GP14. Pirro will remain at Montmelò for a further two days’ testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“I hope to do well at Montmelò with my Desmosedici GP14: it’s a very strange track, with lots of fast corners and one long straight. Last year was quite bad, with ninth on the grid and seventh in the race, but it is one of my favourite tracks. The bike is a little bit better than last year, and we have to try and get the maximum as always.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“After my unfortunate crash at Mugello, now we have to go to Barcelona and improve. I think it’s going to be a tough circuit for us, because the long corners come back on themselves quite a lot, which could make things a bit more difficult. As always we will try and be competitive: we are definitely very strong in the braking area and also in the straight line and we go to Barcelona with a new attitude again.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51)
“It’s good to do this second race on the run at Barcelona, which is a track that I like and I hope to find the conditions that will enable us to carry out our work. I will also be staying behind for three more days next week, so we’ll use the race weekend to establish a good basis and then continue the work over the next three days.”
Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya
In 1998, through joint collaboration between the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmelò Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on giving one of Europe’s most beautiful cities a state-of-the-art circuit to match. Located 20 km north of Barcelona, it was inaugurated in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event the same month, the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the GP de Catalunya. The Catalan circuit is one of the best designed modern-day circuits and can accommodate up to 104,000 spectators.