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MotoGP: Catalan GP Preview

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Credit: Eric Alonso

MotoGP returns to one of the most iconic race circuits of the season, the highly anticipated, Catalan Grand prix!

Catalunya is a circuit that is incredibly hard to get right, a very technical track, one where you must place your bike perfectly for each corner, because if you run wide, you can lose so much time. Not to mention the soaring heat of Spain, where tyres are burnt up, and spit rubber out like no tomorrow. Riding at this circuit can be difficult, and it is also fairly difficult to overtake around this track.

The Circuit

Credit: “Racing Circuits Info”

This track has 14 turns, with varying degrees of speed through each of them. You can go flat through some of the corners, whilst also having to really slow the bike right down and lean into some very tricky angles, like the hairpin at Turn 10’s “La Caixa” where the bikes go so low down to the ground, and can be very difficult to control. Who could forget the 2019 Grand Prix, when, a slightly different style of corner caused multiple high-end riders like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovisioso and Maverick Vinales to crash out of the race, after Lorenzo made a slightly too ambitious move down the inside of Dovizioso.

You’ll find most of the action this weekend at Turns one and ten, as these are the main heavy braking zones coming off a straight, and therefore they provide riders with the best overtaking opportunities.

The Favourites of the Weekend

Well, with a somewhat balanced circuit in Catalunya, it may be very hard to predict who will perform the best this weekend, as this track has a bit of everything, a long straight which will favour the Ducati powered bikes, but then also a more twisty and difficult section in the later sectors of the track. Therefore, whilst the Ducati’s might be more dominant down the straights, and also the high-speed corners, we may well see the KTM’s make the most of the cornering in the later two sectors, and hold an advantage through there. The issue is that, whilst they may be able to pull away slightly through the technical twisty sections, those Ducati’s will catch them right back up down the front straight.

Credit: Lluis Gene

Francesco Bagnaia will be looking to extend his advantage, and has been performing exceptionally well this season, especially after some of his earlier crashes in the season. Marco Bezzecchi will most likely be one of the main challengers, fresh off the back of re-signing for VR46 Racing, the young Italian will be looking to make a comeback for the championship in the second half of this tightly packed season. And watch out for the KTM of Brad Binder, who has been getting consistent results recently, and will be looking to finally take another victory.

Owen’s Predictions

I’m predicting that with potential rain being forecast for both Saturday and Sunday, we’re in store for a thoroughly entertaining Grand Prix and Sprint Race. whilst the Ducati’s are definitely the favourites, this track is extremely difficult to get right, and to navigate - it will be a tough challenge for the riders. However, if I had to give my Top three - I’d say: P1 - Bezzecchi, P2 - Binder, P3 - Bagnaia.

If it does make a downpour of rain, though, we could have a totally wild and unconventional finishing order!

And so, that’s our preview for the 2023 Catalan Grand Prix, please let us know your Top 3 in the comments, and be sure to check out our social media’s “@projectdivebomb” and our Website and YouTube Channel, “DIVEBOMB Motorsport”.


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