Marquez, Lorenzo, Rossi, Iannone, Redding, and Bautista had a lot to say on Thursday at Brno.
Six MotoGP riders headed by current championship frontrunners Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi attended Thursday’s pre-event press conference at the Automotodrom Brno in advance of Sunday’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix České republiky.
Austrian Grand Prix winner Andrea Iannone, OCTO Pramac Yakhnich’s Scott Redding, and Alvaro Bautista joined the leading trio, the latter announcing earlier this week he will remain in the premier class next season with the Aspar team, with whom he won the 2006 125cc world title.
A fresh-faced Rossi won his first GP at this track exactly 20 years ago. In the press conference, French journalist Thomas Baujard asked the 37-year-old Italian what he hopes to be doing 20 years from now. Rossi replied, “To race with something.”
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team: “For sure, last weekend for us was incredible—an incredible victory. For Ducati, six years, to come back on the victory was fantastic. But now it is very important to have a strong focus for the second part of the championship.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: “[Austria] was an important fifth place, especially because Lorenzo—the rival that is closer to us—only took five points more than us and Valentino only two. So I am happy for this because it was a circuit that we were struggling and we could lose many, many points.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha: “[Austria] was very important because three races without any good results are a lot. I needed this good result to feel again strong. I never doubted that I would come sooner or later, but if you have this result, it’s better.”
Scott Redding, OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati: “I like this circuit, but it’s also quite difficult—quite physical. In past years, with the 125 and Moto2, my size here was quite a disadvantage. Now with a bike that I like that also has a bit more horsepower, I think I can make a nice weekend.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha: “Now we arrive at a track that, theoretically and historically, is good for Yamaha and, especially, for my riding. It has a lot of changes of direction, and this is one of my strong points. Also, you need to be very precise and smooth, and I also have this.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: “Looks like this year is a bit the opposite compared to last year: more competitive in the qualifying—a lot of front rows—but some problems in the races. The race in Austria was not so bad, but I wasn’t able to arrive on the podium because Lorenzo was faster than me.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: “The shoulder we can say is not 100 percent, but it’s fixed and will be not a problem for this weekend. You don’t know in the future. I hope to continue like this, stable.”
Alvaro Bautista, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: “In the last races, we were a bit more competitive, but we still have a lot of work to do. From now until the end of the season, we will see if we can stay closer to the front. I like this track a lot. It’s not easy because you have a lot of change of direction.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha: “On paper, it is a good track for the Yamaha, but nobody knows because we never came here with Michelin. So, it is like we start from zero. We need to understand the speed and the level of the two Ducatis. I think they can be competitive here.”
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team: “This is a very beautiful track. This track likes me a lot, and I think it is very good for Ducati. It has very strong acceleration, but the speed in the corner is also very important.”