Fasten your leathers because the longest MotoGP world championship on record is about to begin with the first of 21 races roaring into the Qatari night this weekend. The GASGAS Aspar Team will field potential winners in both the Moto3 and Moto2 classes and the push for the titles begins at the Losail International Circuit.
They say the real fun starts when the sun goes down. The lights of Losail have bathed the first dash of the MotoGP season for all but once since 2007 and the teams and riders of all three Grand Prix classes will again find their way around the 5.5km, 16-corner rapid layout this coming weekend.
Unlike 2021, the GASGAS Aspar team have swelled their ranks for the new championship. The squad enter their 30th year of existence in 2022 and have double their GASGAS liveries with a potent twosome in Moto2. In total they have three Grand Prix winners and one former world champion in their quartet and with all the racers holding a lasting and important connection with the GASGAS Aspar set-up.
Expectations will be high for Sergio Garcia and Izan Guevara, who both smashed the lap-times and put their bikes into the front-running melee for rostrums for long stretches of ’21. The tally of trophies reached four wins and seven podiums with both placed in the top eight in the series. In Moto2 Albert Arenas enters his second campaign in the class while Jake Dixon now boasts experience from MotoGP wildcard appearances and has been on the fringe of podium champagne in the ultra-competitive intermediate division.
Private and official tests in Spain and Portugal saw GASGAS Aspar team quickly up to speed. By the end of the sessions in Portimao both Moto3 riders were inside the top nine – seven tenths of a second behind the fastest – and the Moto2 duo were nicely settled inside the first six. The gang are now prepped to shred the slicks and lay down some rubber for real.
#11 - Sergio Garcia: “I’m really looking forward to starting the new season and tackling this first race of the year as one of the front runners. I had a break for a few days after the Portimao test and continued to focus on my own preparation and everything I need to do in order to arrive to Qatar in the best shape possible.”
#28 - Izan Guevara: “I believe that we are really prepared for this race in Qatar and especially after the good feelings we found in the test at Portimao. I think I’m ready to be very strong right from the start of this season and I want our goal to be contention for the world title. At the same time we don’t want to forget to work race-by-race and look for a consistency that means we’ll arrive at the end of the championship with plenty of options.”
#75 - Albert Arenas: “The plan in Qatar is to return to the point where we are enjoying the races; to return to the ‘real’ Albert Arenas. In Portimao I said to the team that I felt I was coming back to this point. So, we’ll keep this as our objective to start the season.”
#96 - Jake Dixon: “I really like Losail and it’s been good to me in the past. I’ve been looking forward to racing there ever since we completed our Portimao test, which we finished with a really good feeling on the bike. I think if we can fight for the top-five in Qatar then this would be a very positive objective to start the season.”
Pit Beirer, GASGAS Motorsport Director: “Making our plan for GASGAS in 2022, after such an impressive 2021 Moto3 season with the Aspar Team, we knew that reaching into Moto2 with the same strong partner was an easy move for us. As we’ve seen from the first tests and the set-up of the team going into this year, we know we have made the right decision. The GASGAS Aspar Team is a mix of raw speed, character and proven experience: it’s something that has worked for the brand in other disciplines and we know it will be exciting for Moto3 and Moto2. We’re looking forward to watching those red bikes go.”