Viñales is particularly eager to get the show going in Jerez, so he can meet the Spanish fans at his first home Grand Prix of the season. After a strong second place in America a fortnight ago, he moved up to third place in the championship rankings, only five points from the top. With the support of the local fans he hopes to bridge the margin and fight for the lead in the standings.
Last year, the young gun equaled his sixth-place best MotoGP finish in Jerez, which he had previously scored in 2016. This year nothing but a podium place will please him, as he’s determined to revisit the Andalusian podium for the first time since his Moto3 win in 2013.
Rossi is also looking forward to the first European Grand Prix of the year. Having made a positive step with the YZR-M1 in the previous weeks, he is excited to confirm his findings in Jerez and challenge for a place on the rostrum.
The Doctor arrives in Spain holding seventh place in the championship standings and he’s determined to put up a fight. He hopes to add another top finish to his list of successes achieved in Jerez. He has claimed seven premier class wins at this circuit (in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2016), secured two second places (in 2008 and 2014), and achieved two third places (in 2010 and 2015) in the premier class alone.
Circuito de Jerez is vastly popular amongst riders and fans, thanks to its consistently good weather and beautiful scenery. The track was built in 1986 and hosted its first Grand Prix one year later. It’s usually filled to its full capacity, giving the event a great atmosphere. The recently resurfaced 4.4km circuit sits within a slight valley that serves as a natural amphitheater, allowing race fanatics not to miss any of the overtakes that are bound to happen thanks to the multiple fast corners and hard braking points.