Playing the possum in the testing has come to an end with all learnings of the bike. While looking forward for the first session of the season, the 2019 has kicked off with pre-event Press Conference. It has joined by regnant World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and amateur Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SIC).
The reigning champion, Marquez, has started off the gathering and explains his scenario, “Since 2017 I’m looking at everybody. I’m looking at all my opponents in the same way because for example in 2017, we were here and not a lot of people spoke about Dovizioso and he was the man to beat.”
“This preseason it was interesting to see how Yamaha improved, Ducati improved, Suzuki improved with Rins and yeah, let’s see how we start this season. But of course, we will be very fast because we tested here, but the season is 19 races and we must be focused on our work, focused on ourselves and try and do what we know. Then we will see at the end of the season,” explained the number 93.
Besides the surgery he had in the last January, he’s willing to fall again 23 times if he can snatch this year title. "Of course it's a number that I want to reduce, but if I need to crash 23 times again and be world champion it's not a problem for me. It's not a number I like, but in the end it's my way and I know when I need to push. But with experience year-by-year I try to manage in a different way."
Companion multiple World Champion Rossi agreed with his counterparts’ comments. ‘The Doctor’ suggesting seven or eight riders are likely to be on the same leveling playing field, so Qatar podium on Sunday evening will be much interesting.
“It’s difficult to say because like you said, in the last years here I did good results. Apart from one victory I was on the podium a lot of times, so we have to try,” said Rossi, when queried about Yamaha are going to arrive in better shape than they did in 2018.
“But if I have to think now, maybe we have seven or eight riders ready for the podium. I don’t know if we are stronger here than last year because anyway it was a good race. But we’ll see, we have to try. Also try to understand the conditions, with the grip, with the wind, we’ll see.”
Teammate Viñales mirrored the Italian’s comments by saying “for sure our competitors are strong right now but we are closing the gap little by little,” suggesting Yamaha can be in the fight for the win on race day based on the preseason times.
2019zioso has also added that “everyone will be strong here” because of the test.
Rins praising Suzuki’s work over the winter, “This preseason I was trying to be strong. I was trying to improve our Suzuki bike a little bit because the setup from last year was very nice. But we improve a little bit on the braking area, a little bit on the top speed area so this means Suzuki have worked very hard during the winter.”
The iconic formation of supposed “Dream time” in the grid with multiple world champions Marquez and Lorenzo, and with Repsol Honda Team. As a newcomer for the Honda team, Lorenzo has explained, “I'm quite well to ride a bike, better than the [Qatar] test. Also Honda has some new modifications to make my life a little bit more easy, so I expect to be a little bit stronger than I was here ten days ago."
Lorenzo thinks he’s recovering from a January fracture to the scaphoid bone in his left wrist, which followed by last year's foot and arm injuries in Aragon and Thailand.
He adds, "It was a big pity not to test in Sepang and also to be injured for the Qatar test. For sure I would be much better here. Things are like that.
"Honda will bring something here for Marc and for me, and also specifically some little details for me also. Unfortunately not everything, but some of them, so for sure we will improve in some areas."
To summate, we can expect a huge tussle at the top, and every manufacturer improving during the tests over the past winter, so we could grab an incredible opening race weekend of 2019. Make sure you don’t miss out of action throughout the weekend starts from Friday as MotoGP™ ignites at the Losail International Circuit by tomorrow on 3.40 PM (GMT +3).
The class of 2019,