“It would be nice to start together and fight together”: In the Algarve, gloves are taken off
Thursday, November 4th, 2021
The dust settled a bit after a dramatic title decision last time around, but now it’s time to get going again for another madness. The Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve started on Thursday with the pre-event press conference, at which the newly crowned MotoGP ™ World Champion 2021, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), together with second overall ranking list Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), the Repsol Honda Team podium finishes Pol Espargaro, home hero Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and the leader in the battle for Rookie of the Year Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama), also fresh from the podium.
Here are some of the most important quotes!
Fabio Quartararo: “My voice is still pretty bad, but it was super nice to celebrate with the team after Misano on Sunday and I spent a few days with my family and yes, it was super nice! It was also hard to get back into training after a few parties, but it was necessary and natural to feel ready for the race. But of course it was a very special week after winning the title at Misano.
Fabio Quartararo. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
“To be honest, I have the feeling – I wouldn’t say pressure because I’ve achieved my goal. I’ll do my best, of course I come here to fight for the win and the podium, but I can’t really control that. I’ll do my best but we’ll see the end result. It would be nice to reach the triple crown and see if we can reach it! “
Francesco Bagnaia: “I think it’s more because I lost the race than the championship because I was sure that Fabio deserved it more. I was many points behind and won the Misano race. If I had won, I’d be 36 points behind and with 36 points we have a lot of chances for the title. In any case, I’ve tried everything. It wasn’t our goal to win the championship this season as I came from two very difficult seasons. In my first two years in MotoGP, I struggled a lot. I’ve learned a lot this year, I’ve grown with the team and fought for the championship for the last part of the season, but I was too far behind. We tried anyway. I knew I was more competitive on the hard front, but I crashed. I tried everything and that was the only way to stay in the championship fight and win the race. And I tried.
Francesco Bagnaia. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
“These two races are sure to be nice to do. Now Fabio has no more pressure. So, I’d really like to fight him, not like at Misano, but starting together and fighting together would be nice to have. There are two different tracks. I was quick here in April / May, I’ve never been quick in Valencia in my life, so I have to understand how it’s done. “
Pol Espargaro: “This is a place where I have a lot of fun and last year with KTM I put in a performance and it sure wasn’t that good, but it was a decent race and I almost got on the podium. But at the beginning of the year we came here with many, many problems, it was very difficult for us, I had a bad crash on the last corner and I don’t have the best memories of the Honda here. Anyway, I came here to train on the summer break so maybe I have the layout fresher than the others which is nice, the bike has also changed quite a bit since that point at the beginning of the year. In all honesty, we have more opportunities to have a great weekend than we did at the beginning of the year, so we’re really looking forward to jumping back on our bikes after the nice vibes we had in Misano last weekend.
Pol Espargaro. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
“You know, I’ve worked in this direction from the past races and thought that this year was over for me. It was many races ago, I started thinking about the future with Honda, we tried to get the most out of the current package, thought about the next year and tried to generate or copy what we did within the Rules have annual bike. We had some advantages and some contrasts, we had a lot of problems in Texas and then we came to Misano and we had all the contrasts, we had the advantages with the current package that was being considered next year. There are these advantages and disadvantages, when I think about next year I just want to do a reset. With all the experience and knowledge I have with Honda, I feel pretty comfortable at times and can get great results, start from scratch with a good base and try to enjoy the bike from there. I didn’t enjoy much because I fought quite a bit. I think the future is bright, but we have to work harder than the others because we are starting at a disadvantage. “
Miguel Oliveira: “We certainly come to a family doctor with a different mentality. At the beginning of the season we had too many problems and the package wasn’t really complete. The conditions were very different from November of the preseason, so there was definitely nothing going on and now towards the end of the championship, even if the result at Misano wasn’t finished, at least I had a good connection back with the bike. I found a bit more of this connection back in Texas and while the feeling is there when the result isn’t there, I think that’s the most important thing to build a good weekend. The key is definitely to start tomorrow with this feeling, to give the team good feedback and to finish these last two races of the season on a good note.
Miguel Oliveira. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
“We have every reason to believe that we can achieve a good result. Of course, it always depends on many things, but we know the intention is there and we have every reason to believe in that direction. The opponents will of course be tough, everyone likes this track, everyone who drives fast on it, so the point will be to better adapt to every situation on the track and, especially during the race, to understand what a good line and what is normal is racing routine at the weekend. “
Enea Bastianini: “I took another podium in the last race and I am very happy about it. Now I have an advantage over Jorge Martin, but he can be quick like me, especially here in Portimão, but I’m not very quick in Valencia and I have to improve in this area. At Misano we did a good job in the race, but not on Saturday because I had three crashes in eight laps, I think, but we can be Rookie (of the Year) this year and we can fight for it.
Enea Bastianini. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
“I like Portimão a lot, it’s a very strange track, but I like it, it’s one of my favorites. It’s not easy to be quick here and I have an advantage over Jorge because he crashed in the last few races, but we have to stay focused and understand what we can do to be competitive on the weekend and also on Saturday . “
Stoner returns! The two-time champion and MotoGP ™ legend stops in Portimão
Jack Miller (left), Casey Stoner (center) and Francesco Bagnaia (right) in Portugal. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
It’s been a while but the Portimão paddock has the pleasure of welcoming MotoGP ™ legend and two-time premier class champion Casey Stoner back for the weekend! And of course, on his first day, the check-in at Ducati was the top priority. Both Jack Miller (R) of the Ducati Lenovo Team and Pecco Bagnaia were in the pits for a photo opportunity (and an adder) on Thursday. Stay tuuuuuned!