By Our Reporter
Shillong, March 18: Track action at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia is just around the corner but first on the agenda for Qatar race winner Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), and reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the Pre-Event Press Conference.
Will Quartararo and Yamaha be
more competitive in Indonesia?
Quartararo’s title defense got off to a disappointing start with a P9 at the season opener, but the Frenchman sounds positive that his season can kickstart in Indonesia. He was second fastest behind Pol Espargaro at the pre-season test, but knows that doesn’t really mean anything ahead of the Grand Prix.
Quartararo: “I think what suits better is to have shorter straights, then testing. I made my time attack in the last minutes of the third day, Pol was already in the box and in the morning it was much more difficult I felt. Let’s see. We have all of Friday and Saturday to understand. Let’s see how the forecast is, but what is sure I will do my best to be there and fight where we feel we can fight.”
Marquez aiming to build on
a “solid weekend” in Qatar
A fifth place finish at the Lusail International Circuit was a good start to 2022 for Marquez. It was a solid foundation to build from at the start of the season and heading to Indonesia, the eight-time World Champion’s aim is to improve on the result picked up a couple of weekends ago.
Marquez: “In Qatar it was a solid weekend. Nothing really special but we were there, not too far from the top positions, that was my target. Of course, I tried, I tried to be on the podium and to follow Enea when he overtook me but it wasn’t the day, not the time. Let’s see, our target this weekend is to improve the result from Qatar, and then in Argentina, improve the result from here.
“Step by step, I’m feeling good. 22 laps in a row, it was the best feeling I had during the last two years. Let’s see how we can approach this weekend. As you say, Pol was one of the fastest ones in the test so he will be one of the guys this weekend. Enea, Fabio and Brad are also there. Many new faces, but they are riding fast.”
“I expect a tight race” – is the test
anything to go by this weekend?
Fastest at the Official Mandalika MotoGP Test in February was Qatar podium finisher Espargaro, but he and his fellow competitors aren’t taking too much from the test in predicting what might happen this weekend. Testing is completely different to a Grand Prix weekend, and with changes such as the resurfacing and a new Michelin tire compound, there’s plenty of unknowns to deal with ahead of the race on Sunday afternoon.
Espargaro: “It was good in pre-season here I enjoy this place. It wasn’t easy to handle three days of testing here but I wasn’t the only fast guy here: Enea was very fast, Marc was very fast, Fabio was very fast. Ducatis weren’t super fast, the factory guys, but sure they’re going to be there after solving the problems in Qatar. I expect a tight race, everyone is going to be there and hopefully we can be there as well, the same as Qatar, and fight for something great.”
Binder: “The test was pretty good for us a few weeks ago. From the first few laps we had a pretty good feeling and as the weekend went on we tried a few different things; some good, some not so good. In general, our pace wasn’t bad at all and when I went to do a time attack, I was able to do quite a good lap time. I feel strong and good coming into this weekend and want to take it one day at a time, one session at a time, and Sunday give my all and see where we end up.”
Indian fans can tune in to EUROSPORT and EUROSPORT HD to catch all the live action from the 2022 MotoGP championship, with the MotoGP 2022 – Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia Qualifying Race scheduled from 10:00 am IST onwards on Saturday.