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Aleix Espargaró looks to strike at home

Aleix Espargaró, during the presentation of the Catalan motorcycle GP. / Enric Fontcuberta / efe

Catalan GP

The Motorcycle World Championship faces its ninth date with the first two in the general standings, Fabio Quartararo and the Catalan from Aprilia, separated by eight points

While the MotoGP riders finished their typical tasks on Thursday, especially related to the media, Marc Márquez was in an operating room in Rochester (Minnesota, United States), an intervention planned to find the definitive situation for his problems in the right arm. So without the great reference of the category, although this time it is not because of the results, the Grand Prix of Catalonia began, the second Spanish event on the calendar, which right now has four protagonists in terms of the fight for the title (Fabio Quartararo, Aleix Espargaró, Enea Bastianini and Pecco Bagnaia).

There are many more if the focus is set on the prospective 2023 contract market, a market that was blown up when Suzuki announced its departure at the end of the season, which left two of MotoGP’s strong men, Álex Rins, out of place. brilliant at the start of the course, and Joan Mir, the 2020 champion and who started on the list of favorite theoreticians (along with Márquez himself, disabled due to his physique and the technical problems of his motorcycle, Quartararo and Bagnaia). Rins and Mir finished the last two races held at Le Mans and Mugello with crashes, as if it were an environmental reflection of what is being experienced in their garage.

«My contractual situation does not generate any problem, but if I could choose, obviously I would prefer it to be another. There is no one who wants this to be resolved more than me, ”Mir acknowledged about a feeling that surely is shared by all those who still do not know what is going to happen. Jorge Martín, who hoped to join the official Ducati team but now sees that this place could be for the new sensation of the displacement, Enea Bastianini; Pol Espargaró, whose place rings true for Mir himself; Miguel Oliveira, who has been told by KTM that he does not have a place in the official team; or Álex Márquez, also waiting to understand what Honda wants to do and how the rest of the pieces on the board are going to move.

resolved future

The future seems resolved at the moment for only seven riders: Marc Márquez (Honda), Brad Binder (KTM), Bagnaia (Ducati), Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia), Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha, although only for 2023) and, officially, since yesterday, Quartararo, who will continue to be the spearhead of Yamaha. “Not only have we talked with Yamaha, and the decision has taken longer because at a certain point my head was going from one place to another, I wanted to be in one place and the following week in another. It has been difficult. Of course Yamaha’s decision to move engineers into the engine room and seeing myself doing great results has helped me make up my mind. I feel good on the bike and I know that they are just going to push in that area”, explained the current champion and leader of the category about the reinforcement that his brand wants to do in the weak point of a bike that, on the other hand, only it is working in your hands. At the moment enough to reach Montmeló with an eight-point advantage over the second, Aleix Espargaró, on a track where the Frenchman made his debut on a MotoGP podium, where he had also won his first World Cup victory (2018 in Moto2) and achieved win in 2020.

«Like everything this year, it is difficult to digest, to understand, and even to give an explanation to myself, that I am the protagonist. I have to try to enjoy it. It is a special grand prize, the historical star Marc is not here, this year that I am fighting for the title it is an enormous responsibility and pride”, recognized Espargaró, who has added four consecutive podiums and to whom the temperature and grip could help this weekend, although they are factors that also work well for the other three who are in contention for the title. «The bike has grown, I have grown, it has compensated for the consistency of so many years in Aprilia… A thousand and one factors have come together, but what is happening is so historical and so strange that I do not have an exact explanation» , continued the one from Granollers, who was studying three kilometers from this circuit and wants to keep alive this weekend the dream of something as big as fighting for the World Championship in the premier category.

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