Ángel Nieto Team MotoGP - Qatar GP Preview2018-03-13 09:17
The Spanish MotoGP team are ready to start the new season with Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham prepared to give it their best shot
It took eighteen races to decide the 2017 MotoGP World Champion, as Marc Márquez took his fourth title in just five years at the final round in Valencia last November. Andrea Dovizioso carried the fight all the way to the end and the pair will be sure to battle it out for the title once again this year, alongside the likes of Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales and Jorge Lorenzo. Also gunning for glory will be Johann Zarco, the fastest man in the recent Qatar test, Danilo Petrucci and Cal Crutchlow, as the latest chapter in the history of this championship kicks off this weekend, with the outcome sure to be known by this year's final round on the 18th November.
The Ángel Nieto Team makes its racing debut under the floodlights of Losail, represented by Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham. The quickest of the pair in the Qatar test was Abraham by just 0.047 seconds, the Czech rider finishing happy with the race simulation he completed on his Ducati GP16 and now targeting an improvement on the solid start to the season he made here last year. Álvaro Bautista, meanwhile, is proud to represent the Ángel Nieto Team in what will be his sixteenth World Championship season. Bautista has the honour of defending the name of Spain's '12+1' World Champion throughout the campaign, starting off in Qatar, where he slipped out of sixth place in last year's curtain-raiser.
Karel Abraham: “I am really looking forward to start racing again in Qatar, after four months since the last race. Also, here in Losail we had a test that went pretty well. It is a circuit I like a lot and we started last season here in good form, picking up a couple of points. I want to get started already!”
Álvaro Bautista: “I am starting this new season feeling happy and proud to carry the name of Ángel Nieto and defend it in the World Championship. This season has arrived after a shorter preseason than last year, because we haven't tested at Valencia or Jerez. Maybe we are not quite 100% where we would like to be but we have worked hard and we are understanding the Ducati GP17 more and more. Now I need to feel that adrenaline and tension of racing, which makes you get that little but more out of yourself. Last year we didn't manage to finish the race despite the good feeling we found over the weekend, so hopefully this year we can get off on the right foot. The timetable is a little different and that could suit us, because there will be less humidity. Also last year it rained a little beforehand, and all in all we weren't able to make a good start to the season.”
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