The MotoGP calendar moves on to its seventh race of the season this weekend with current standings leader Marc Marquez returning home for the Grand Prix of Catalunya.
The indomitable 21-year-old has a clean sweep of victories so far in 2014, his 150 points a massive 53 clear of second-placed veteran Valentino Rossi.
However, he was run close by Jorge Lorenzo in Mugello last time out and maybe this weekend he can finally be beaten. Certainly, there will be a host of riders to watch out for come Sunday when the race action kicks off.
Read on for a look at the top riders as well as the full schedule for the race weekend.
|Free Practice 3||June 14||8:55 - 9:40 a.m. BST, 3:55 - 4:40 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Free Practice 4||June 14||12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. BST, 7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Qualifying 1||June 14||1:10 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. BST, 8:10 a.m. - 8:25 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Qualifying 2||June 14||1:35 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. BST, 8:35 a.m. - 8:50 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
|Race||June 15||1 p.m. BST, 8 a.m. ET||BT Sport app (subscription required)|
There's nobody to match this young man in the 2014 MotoGP season. Winner of every race so far, he has hardly been troubled on any circuit.
He will have the adulation of a home crowd this weekend as the action takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Will Marquez make it seven consecutive victories in Barcelona?
Whether this will spur him on or increase the pressure on the Repsol Honda rider remains to be seen, but he will certainly be looking to improve on the third-place finish he claimed last year.
He will be eager for victory, and if he achieves it, he will become the youngest rider ever to record seven consecutive victories in the top class, per Fox Sports.
Marquez's victory in Italy last time out will have given him even more confidence as he prevailed in a scintillating battle with Lorenzo which went all the way to the last lap.
The Spaniard showed real quality in Italy and will be looking to go one better this weekend on his Movistar Yamaha at a track which he absolutely loves.
A three-time winner in Barcelona—2010, 2012 and 2013—he will be looking to claim his sixth consecutive podium at the circuit on Sunday.
He currently lies quite a way back from third-placed Dani Pedrosa in the standings, but his performance in Mugello should give him some momentum with two-thirds of the season still remaining.
The 27-year-old was upbeat in the lead-up to the race and believes he is nearing a position where he can fight for a race win, per Sky Sports:
In Mugello I tried my best, I felt stronger and I think we did a really good job. We were really close to the victory and my physical condition improved a lot compared to the last races. The bike also worked well and I guess if we can do a step ahead either with the bike or my physical condition we will fight again for the victory. Now we are heading to Montmelo, one of my favourite tracks like Mugello and I would like at least to be on the podium.
Certainly, if he performs as he did in Italy, a podium place will in no way be out of reach and he could be up there fighting for the win once more.
As ever, Rossi is most certainly one to watch in Barcelona this weekend as he will be looking to bounce back from a slightly disappointing third-place finish on the occasion of his 300th Grand Prix.
An error in qualifying meant he was forced to start in Mugello from 10th on the grid, and although he moved quickly up into third, he was too far back from the front-runners to really challenge.
Rossi Says Qualifying Better Will Be The Key To Success At Catalunya http://t.co/eXoq7HoySC— David Swarts (@DavidSwarts) June 12, 2014
Perhaps the epic battle that was expected between Marquez and Rossi in Italy can materialise in Barcelona.
The 35-year-old is looking to kick on after a good team performance in Italy, per Sky Sports:
"I am very happy to go to Barcelona, especially after the good weekend at Mugello where we put two Yamahas on the podium. I really like the Grand Prix of Catalunya. It is a track that I enjoy a lot, it's fantastic. I know that to fight with Jorge and Marc (Marquez)."
Marquez is the one to beat, but the Yamaha riders certainly seem up to the challenge, and Lorenzo and Rossi both have fine records at the Barcelona circuit.
Marquez will either thrive or fade under the home pressure, but as the youngster has proved so far, it is more likely to be the former. He can make history this weekend, and after his performances this season, only a brave man would bet against him.