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MotoGP 2016: Round 7 Preview - Catalunya

Round seven takes us to the world's least interesting circuit for the world's most average race.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

An apology to start, as I had an essay due and an impending date with a return to work to contend with last week. Looks like I missed a corker too.

Never fear, as it's not too long a turn around, and it's Barcelona time.



The circuit

Look, I try and sugar coat the bad circuits throughout the year (Malaysia particularly) but there's just no escaping how dull the Catalunya circuit is. I mean, it has plenty of passing opportunities and it's still bikes going round, but it's just so uninspiring. Literally the nicest thing I can say about it is that in MotoGP, we don't have that terrible, terrible chicane at the end of the lap that the F1 cars have to contend with, because hey, who needs fast corners in racing?

In The News

Pol Espargaro will NOT be riding the Tech 3 Yamaha next season. He is widely expected to join Bradley Smith at KTM, which must be a lovely kick in the plums for the Brit, having just escaped being regarded as an afterthought at Tech 3.

A further blow seems to have been dealt for Tech 3 too, as team principal Herve Poncharal lamented the fact that fast, young riders want factory rides - seemingly meaning they won't be getting Alex Rins in.

Rins is now expected to be joining Suzuki for 2017, with Aleix Espargaro seemingly on his way out, garnering interest from Aprilia to be Sam Lowes' partner.

As for a definite, Marc Marquez is staying at Honda for another two years, signing an extension today.

All this leaves Cal Crutchlow as the highest-rank rider currently not signed for 2017.

On track, Yamaha are blaming their woes in Mugello on the standard electronic unit. Jorge Lorenzo had a power failure in warm-up, while Valentino Rossi's home race went up in smoke, but Yamaha have played the "not our problem" card so we'll see how loud they complain about the ECU and what happens with that.

Race times

It's your usual European starting times this weekend. Moto3 at 10am BST, Moto2 at 11:20am BST, and MotoGP getting underway at 1pm BST. Adopt and adapt for your own time zone as necessary.

There WILL be a Burnt Rubber this weekend, I absolutely promise. You can flame me on Twitter if there isn't.Round seven takes us to the world's least interesting circuit for the world's most average race.