MotoGP 2023
Round 11

Hunting for a home boost – Marquez and Mir prepare for Catalan GP

es-ct Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The second half of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship is set to come in thick and fast, the Catalan GP starting a run of ten races in 13 weeks.

Hunting for a home boost – Marquez and Mir prepare for Catalan GP

Round 11 arrives at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a special round for the Repsol Honda Team and both its riders. The 4.66-kilometre-long track has been a mainstay of the MotoGP calendar since the early 90s and has seen Honda take a total of 23 wins across all classes, including ten in the premier class with the most recent coming in 2019.

Marc Marquez was author to this 2019 victory on his way to the World Championship that year, one of two wins he has achieved at the track just a few hours from his hometown. The weekend for the eight-time World Champion will follow a similar structure to the previous two, Marquez working with the Repsol Honda Team and HRC engineers in a calm and defined manner to make further progress. This approach was rewarded with a return to the points last time out in Austria.

The Barcelona weekend is also the home round for Joan Mir, hailing from Palma just off the coast. It’s a circuit which has seen the #36 achieve some of his most consistent results in the premier class with two fourths, a second place and a worst finish of sixth. Mir’s final results in Austria did not reflect the work and progress he achieved during the weekend, able to consistently fight for top Honda honours but running foul of bad luck in the race. Continuing along this path will be crucial for the 2020 MotoGP World Champion as he aims to put on a strong showing for his home fans.

After the weekend, the Repsol Honda Team will head directly to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix – the penultimate European race and a final in-season test.

Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya

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 giving one of Europe’s most beautiful cities a state of the art race track to match. The Circuit de Catalunya opened on the doorstep of Barcelona in September 1991 and welcomed its first international event that same month, hosting the Spanish F1 Grand Prix. It went on to host the European Motorcycle Grand Prix and in 1995 became home to the Gran Premio de Catalunya. Before the start of the 2018 MotoGP season, the circuit underwent a full track resurfacing  while key changes were made to increase safety standards. The new developments have seen an extended run-off area at turn 13 of the MotoGP layout which required demolition of two sections of a grandstand with another relocated. The run-off area was filled with gravel and from the braking point it now provide an extra 20 metres of run-off space. The track changes have altered the circuit layout by 28 metres (from 4.655 to 4.627 km) with turn 10 using the smaller F1 corner at La Caixa which was already used in 2016 and 2017.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
The weekend in Barcelona is always a special one, seeing all of the stands full of people and as my home race I love to see all the fans there. No matter what, the objective is to put on a great show for everyone there and give them an enjoyable and memorable weekend. From our side, there’s work to do and we need to keep the calm approach we have had in the past few weekends. In Austria we saw that this way of working let us get through the weekend and gather good data for the project. We go again and begin a busy end to the year.

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
I am looking forward to the weekend in Montmelo, my home GP. Of course I want to produce a good result in front of the local fans but we need to keep on working. In Austria we had an overall good weekend that unfortunately ended in not the best way. I am confident that we can have another weekend where we are fighting to be the top Honda.

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