Spanish Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez is currently leading the MotoGP championship ahead of the fourth round of the 2016 in Jerez, Spain. He was at the pre-race press conference along with Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Vinales and Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati rider Scott Redding, who was the fastest independent rider at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Marquez not as confident ahead of Jerez
Marquez did not appear as confident as he did ahead of the third round at COTA. He is hoping to ‘continue the same way’ as he has had the most successful start to the 2016 out of the MotoGP class but says the European style tracks are “a little different compared to American, Argentina and Qatar”. Marquez claimed the tracks are ‘more narrow’ and is looking to focus on ‘how the team can manage this’ and ‘how the setup is on these kinds of track’.
Marquez mentioned that even though the team tested here in November, that many changes have been made to the bike since. Despite this he said, “I’m happy because it looks like we’re better each time and the feeling with the bike is better”. He spoke about the use of the Michelin tyres this year in the MotoGP class saying, “We’ll see how the tyres work on this track and with this kind of asphalt”.
When asked about his opinions on Jorge Lorenzo’s move to Ducati, Marquez said it was ‘important’ and ‘good for the championship’ claiming it was a ‘big opportunity’ that he thinks will be interesting although it is a long way away.
Vinales has a lot to be positive about
Golden boy Vinales is feeling very positive after claiming his best result so far in COTA where he finished fourth on the Suzuki. After the recent announcement that Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo will be moving to Ducati after signing a two-year contract with the Italian team commencing in 2017, Vinales has been deemed the media favourite to replace the 2015 MotoGP Champion in the Yamaha camp.
Vinales is feeling ‘really good’ after mentioning: “When two big factories like Yamaha and Suzuki want you it means you work really hard and you have enough riding style and can be fast enough to ride those bikes.”
This comment comes after Movistar Yamaha Managing Director Lin Jarvis said, “We are looking at some people and Maverick has proven that he’s one of the new future talents of the MotoGP." He added, "I think he has a very good chance to be World Champion in the future and he’s an attractive rider.”
Vinales remains focus despite attention
However, this change is not yet confirmed and Vinales declared, “Right now I’m focused on this Grand Prix”. Over the next few European rounds he feels, “It’s very important for us to achieve our best results”, he feel the Suzuki team have “a lot of potential” and that they need to "work harder on the Friday” during practice at the Circuito de Jerez.
Vinales feels that a ‘better start’ in Austin would have meant “a better start was maybe possible to fight for the podium again”. The Spaniard speaks very positively about Suzuki and has been pleasantly surprised about the progress they have made since they re-joined the MotoGP class in 2015, he said, “they work so hard and every weekend we improve”. Looking ahead to the rest of the season he said, “We’ve shown we can be on the level, maybe not now but in the next races.”
Redding is having fun on the bike again
British rider Redding spoke of his difficulties at the beginning of the season aboard his Ducati; he felt the package was not complete for the opening round in Qatar and then tyre issues prohibited him in Argentina. He felt that by the third round in COTA the team had “got the small things together”. He ran with the soft compound option on the front of his Ducati and had to “try our best to save the tyre” during the race. In the future he is hoping to “improve step by step and get closer to the front guys over race distance”.
Overall Redding feels “more relaxed” and said he is “having fun on the bike again” which has shown in his performance so far. Redding is working on rebuilding his “confidence and enthusiasm” and said: “I want to go out and ride and that’s the main thing, I start to enjoy it and I can be myself like I was in the past and that’s what makes a good rider.”