Bengaluru, September 18: After the San Marino Grand Prix and a one-day test, the MotoGP riders are expecting everyone to be more competitive at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to be held on Sunday (September 20).
The stakes are high in Misano this weekend and the mood was palpable in the pre-event press conference in which new FIM MotoGP World Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was joined by Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), San Marino race winner Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).
The pre-event press conference really got the grid in gear for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to be held at same Marco Simoncelli World Circuit.
The race starts on Sunday at 2pm local time (5.30pm IST) with fans in the stands once again as another spectacle is expected just around the corner as evident from riders' talk.
Dovizioso, may have taken the FIM MotoGP World Championship lead but so far, but the Italian knows that it has not been an easy ride and is understandably guarded.
"Yes the Championship is crazy. A lot of up and down for everybody, which is why we're very close. I'm happy to be in this position at this moment of the championship, but for sure we have to make a step to be able to fight."
Rossi wants to improve
Rossi fell victim to a classy Mir manoeuvre on the last lap of Misano race, with The Doctor expecting the competition to be even closer when they attack the the same circuit again.
"I think it'll be difficult for everybody because I expect the other riders and bikes to be more competitive, and closer to us. So if we want to try and fight for the podium we've to try and improve and be stronger."
Morbidelli, the most-recent MotoGP winner, sat out of Misano test due to an upset stomach, with the Italian admitting he does not think missing the test is going to affect him much.
"Sincerely I don't think skipping the test is going to affect me too much. Anyways I hope to make a good and nice weekend like I had last weekend. It'll be important to reconfirm the level that we had in the last race".
Mir, who finished third in Misano last week was in a buoyant mood, admitting that his confidence has improved.
"It's a good improvement and I'm happy with the test, so let's see if this can give us more in the early laps of the race and maybe the qualifying."
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)