The World Championship arrives this weekend (14-16 June) at the Montemelo Circuit in Barcelona for the 2019 Catalan MotoGP. After beating Andrea Dovizioso for second place in Italy, Marc Marquez arrives at this, the seventh race of the calendar on the lead with a 12-point advantage in the standings.
The Ducaties, however, are getting increasingly tougher to beat. In fact, pilot number two from the Borgo Panigale team, Danilo Petrucci, had his first ever MotoGP win at Mugello in the last appointment.
The red missiles are the main rivals for the Honda star. With the veteran champion Valentino Rossi, also joining in the battle, Sunday’s race promises to be unforgettable.
Honda: Marquez and Lorenzo; pole-opposites
Marc Marquez reaches the 2019 Catalan MotoGP with the sweet taste of victory in his mouth, after having imposed himself over title rival Dovizioso in Italy.
The reigning champion came in second at Mugello, pushing local hero to third. The Spaniard, however, cannot get too confident as he only leads the Italian by 12 points in the standings.
Despite the obvious superiority of the Honda #93, Montmelo is not one of his favourite circuits, so there is bound to be plenty of excitement. As strange as it might seem, Marquez has only spread the champagne at home in 2014 and was second last year.
Last year’s winner at the Montmelo circuit was no other than Jorge Lorenzo, and his was his second triumph of the season. With that victory, it became apparent he had fully familiarised himself with the Ducati.
It is perhaps because of that success that he harbours great hopes for the 2019 Catalan MotoGP Barcelona is also one of his favourite circuits. There he is the second ever most successful MotoGP pilot with a total of five victories and only behind Valentino Rossi who has won there six times.
Ducati and ‘Dovi’: Marquez’ greatest rivals
Ducati has become Marquez’ strongest rival, with Dovizioso second in the standings with just 12 points less than the all-powerful Spaniard. The Italian team also counts with a powerful second contender for Marquez among its ranks, Danilo Petrucci.
Petrucci, together with head of ranks, Dovizioso, could shorten that distance with the Spaniard. They represent the strongest couple of the grid, without a doubt. They will fight at the 2019 Catalan MotoGP.
Yamaha: Rossi doesn’t give up and Viñales is still lost
Yamaha still hasn’t worked out why they are not able to win a race and the performances of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales seem antagonistic to say the least. Rossi would be eager to make up for last race’s fiasco in Italy, and what better place to do so than their rivals’ home circuit.
Il Dottore feels very at ease at the 2019 Catalan MotoGP where he is the premier class record holder with a total of six triumphs. The Pilot from Tauvilla will fight for a place on the box, just as he did in 2018 when he finished in third position.
Things are not going well at all for his teammate. In just six races, Viñales has accrued just 40 points in the standings, 32 less than his Rossi. His inconsistencies and bad starts mean he can never pick up the right pace to fight for the lead.
Suzuki and Rins after another podium
Suzuki’s Alex Rins is currently third in the standings and has demonstrated an outstanding competitive level through the season. After taking his first ever MotoGP victory in the USA his performance seemed to have gone down slightly but in Italy, he was back in top form.
Rins managed a colossal comeback from thirteenth to fourth place at the Tuscan circuit. He will definitely be counted amongst the favourites at the 2019 Catalan MotoGP at his native Barcelona.
Images of ‘2019 Catalan MotoGP Preview’: MotoGP.com.