At Mugello Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso pulled off a truly historic feat, obtaining the first-ever 1-2 win for the Italian manufacturer at the splendid Tuscany circuit. The Spanish rider, after an excellent start, remained at the front for the entire duration of the race, scoring his first win on a Ducati in front of the Italian fans, while Dovizioso capitalized on an uncharacteristic setback for points leader Marquez to reduce the gap between them in the overall standings. Three weeks ago both Ducati Team riders took part in a one-day test at the Catalan circuit, obtaining a series of interesting indications for the GP in conditions that should not be that much different to the ones expected this weekend.
Last year it was Andrea Dovizioso who triumphed in the Catalan Grand Prix, the Italian taking the second of his six wins in 2017, while Jorge Lorenzo finished in fourth place after a good recovery. Four wins in the last eight years are an excellent form guide for the Spanish rider at the Catalan circuit.
The Catalan Grand Prix weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55am, while the 24-lap race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (66 points)
“In the last three races we have been fighting for the win on three totally different tracks so I know that we are working well and that we are quick. We must continue to stay calm because lots of things can happen in every race and you have to have a clear head to bring home the best possible result. In the Barcelona test, but also in the one at Mugello, we were slightly slower than our rivals, but in MotoGP it is clear that the time over a single lap is not so important, and so we go to Barcelona very excited and full of confidence.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 10th (41 points)
“Victory at Mugello confirmed everything that we have believed in since the start of the season and that I have been saying over and over again: we weren’t that far away from being competitive and victorious. Now we have a clear direction to follow and every time I get on the bike I feel better, so Montmeló will be another good opportunity to confirm that we can always fight for important results. Now that everyone knows what my future for next season is, I can safely say that I’m totally focussed on the Catalan GP, and that I’ll be giving my utmost for the Ducati Team, aware that the win in Italy has done wonders for my morale. Montmeló is a circuit that I love, it’s my home track and this always provides that little bit of extra motivation.”
The Barcelona-Catalunya circuit
In 1989, through the joint collaboration of the Catalan Autonomous Government, the Montmeló Town Council and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC), work began on building a state-of-the-art race track for one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Located twenty or so kilometres north of Barcelona, the circuit opened for business in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event that same month with the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the Catalan GP. Considered to be one of the best modern-day tracks, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya can accommodate over 100,000 spectators. This year the track has been modified once again, reverting to its usual layout with 13 curves after the elimination of the chicane before the final turn.