Marquez out to mark new deal with Catalan GP win
Marc Marquez will look to celebrate his Repsol Honda contract extension by leapfrogging Jorge Lorenzo at the Catalan Grand Prix this weekend.
Marquez heads to his home grand prix 10 points adrift of Lorenzo in the MotoGP championship standings as he seeks a third world title.
After a magnificent start to his career in MotoGP, Repsol Honda moved to tie the Spaniard down to a longer deal, agreeing on a contract to keep him with the team until the end of the 2018 season.
Marquez said: "I'm very happy to announce this renewal, especially coinciding with Grand Prix of Catalunya, my home grand prix where I have some really good memories.
"I've always wanted to continue being a part of the Repsol Honda Team. In three-and a-half-years together, we've enjoyed some unbelievable moments, with great victories and two world titles, as well as a few challenging moments that I believe are making us stronger.
"We're working very hard this year to regain the title. It's a great honour to be a part of the Honda family, and I'm glad to remain with this special group of people for another two seasons."
But Marquez will have to get the better of Lorenzo in order to mark his extension with a victory, with Movistar Yamaha's defending world champion Lorenzo in form having won the last two races.
Lorenzo also calls Catalonia home and is determined to emulate his success in the same race last year.
"Barcelona is so special for me. It's a track I love and most of my people are coming to this Grand Prix," Lorenzo said.
"I lived here for a long time and I feel at home. I'm still savouring my last win in Mugello [at the Italian Grand Prix], that one was so special because of the many ingredients that were mixed in.
"It was an important race for the championship. Now in Montmelo we need to add more points obviously but we will try to show our potential and try to fight again for the victory."
Valentino Rossi goes into the weekend aiming to bounce back having failed to finish at his home grand prix last time out, with the Italian needing to cut into his 37-point gap to Lorenzo in order to boost his title hopes.
Pol Espargaro - seventh in the world championship - will be out to continue his impressive season for Monster Yamaha Tech3 after signing a deal to join new team KTM for the 2017 campaign.