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Catalan GP (Montmelò): the race of champions

Ducati at Montmelo

– Dovizioso won the Catalan GP last year after a comeback from the seventh place he started the race from. Andrea clinched his second consecutive victory after his win in Mugello.
– 29 points separate Andrea from the championship leader, only three more points than the gap he had from the leader one year ago.

– Lorenzo is the sixth Ducati rider to win a GP, putting him in the exclusive club that includes Capirossi (2003), Bayliss (2006), Stoner (2007), Iannone (2016) and Dovizioso (2016).
– Lorenzo has 66 victories in the World Championship. He is fifth-ranked rider with the most victories in history, behind Agostini, Rossi, Nieto and Hailwood.
– The first MotoGP victory for Ducati was at the Catalan GP in 2003 at the hands of Capirossi, which was only the sixth race ever for the Italian bike.
– Casey Stoner won the 2007 GP with the Ducati finishing ahead of Rossi and Pedrosa. The three riders crossed the finish line separated by only 390 thousandths of a second, making it the eighth podium with the smallest margin in the history of the category.
– Lorenzo has five victories in Montmeló (2007 in 250cc, and 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 in MotoGP). All of them were done with the Spanish rider leading from start to finish.
– Since 2010, Lorenzo has been the only rider able to repeat a victory at the Catalunya circuit, for a total of four.
– Jorge Lorenzo suffered a violent crash during 2008 practice, in which he repeatedly hit his head and temporarily lost his memory, preventing him from taking part in the race.
– Dovizioso won one of the most spectacular victories of his career in the 2006 GP, overtaking de Angelis and Locatelli on the last lap in one fell swoop. In that race, Lorenzo finished second.
– Montmeló is one of the tracks where Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso have directly challenged each other. Nine times they have faced off here. Out of all of the races, the 2010 GP where they fought shoulder to shoulder for the MotoGP victory is the most significant.

Curiosities

– The Montmeló layout has a new configuration. The penultimate corner, which had been eliminated after Luis Salom’s fatal accident, is again part of the track after the expansion of the runoff, while the La Caixa corner (turn 10) will continue with the configuration made for Formula 1.
– This will be the 27th GP held at the Circuit de Catalunya. Since it was inaugurated in 1992 for the championship, it has uninterruptedly hosted a World Championship event every year, putting it alongside the circuits of Jerez, Assen and Mugello, which are the only other tracks that have hosted continuously since that year.
– Despite many years the GP has been held, only once has a race been in the rain. That was the year 2000 and the victory went to Kenny Roberts Jr. on the Suzuki.
– The difference between the first and the second finishers has been less than one tenth of a second 31 times. 13 times in 125cc/Moto3, 10 in 250cc/Moto2 and 8 in 500cc/MotoGP.
– The final corner onto the straight is so fast that despite not having one of the longest straights of the championship, it produces speeds up to 340 km/h.
– The Ducati of Bautista reached 345.10 km/h last year at the Circuit de Catalunya, making it the fastest speed reached during this GP by a MotoGP bike.
– The strongest braking is done at the end of the finish line, where riders go from 340 km/h down to 101 km/h in 5.1 seconds and over a distance of 285 m.
– On each lap, riders brake 10 times over a total of 30 seconds per lap, while for example in Formula 1, cars only use the brake for 14 seconds.
– At the Catalunya GP braking is done over 20% ​​of the race. On each lap the riders use 41 kg of force on the brake lever, so over an entire race the total value is greater than 1 ton.
– The point where the most overtaking occurs is at the braking point at the end of the finish line. The second point is the braking for corner 10, which will use the Formula 1 layout for the second consecutive year, and the third point is at turn 5.
– Last year there were 13 crashes at turn 10 out of a total of 42 crashes over the weekend. The next most difficult point was turn 5 which produced a total of 8 crashes. Interestingly, they are two of the slowest corners on the track.
– Montmeló is 25 km from Barcelona, ​​a city that has a population of around 1,600,000 inhabitants, and is the most populated city in Catalonia and the second most populated in Spain.