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Casey Stoner sets sights on reign in Spain

by Sean Goff | June 2, 2012
Casey Stoner

ROUND THE BEND: Casey Stoner has a podium place in his sights at Sunday’s Moto GP

By Lee Dover

Spanish motorsport fans have certainly been living the good life in recent weeks, especially those based close to the outstanding city of Barcelona.

Last month, crowds filled the grandstands of the Circuit de Catalunya and witnessed Pastor Maldonado pip Fernando Alonso to the post and claim Williams’ first victory in Formula One (F1) since 2004.

The dust has hardly settled on this historic occasion and yet the Circuit de Catalunya is once again being thrust into the global spotlight, this time with the roar of motorbikes.

Barcelona is welcoming the cream of the Moto GP crop to its illustrious racetrack this weekend, with plenty of competitors eager to show what they can do on two wheels.

Predicting the unpredictable in Moto3

Motorsport lovers who think that the F1 has been unpredictable so far this season should check out the Moto3 competition, which kicks off the action at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday (June 3) morning.

Take, for example, Spain’s Maverick Vinales. He proved to be a Top Gun when he raced to victory in the season-opening race in Qatar.

Following this, Vinales could only lead his FTR Honda bike to sixth position in the Spanish Moto3 in Jerez, before being agonisingly close to victory in Portugal and crashing out at the wet French race two weeks ago.

Vinales faces plenty of competition if he hopes to get back on top at Barcelona, with Romano Fenati, Sandro Cortese and Louis Rossi all clinging to momentum after recent Moto3 victories.

Will Marquez be the marquee event in Barcelona?

While Moto3 has been as unpredictable as a Liverpool boardroom meeting, there is little surprise that Marc Marquez is a short-prived favourite to win the Moto2 race at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Spaniard left his rivals for dust at the Qatar and Portuguese events, while being narrowly pipped to the post at his home circuit of Jerez.

There is plenty of value in the likes of French Moto2 victor Thomas Luthi and fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaro, especially since Marquez failed to finish at Le Mans.

A two-horse race heads the MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner are two names who are among the most recognisable on the motorsport scene right now.

The pair have recently been showcasing that they are among the best performers on two wheels, with each holding two victories this season so will it be the Aussie or the Spaniard on the top step of the podium come Sunday afternoon?

Of course, there could always be a spanner thrown into the betting. We’ll be looking at you, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi.

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