Honda's Marc Marquez stretched his lead at the top of the 2016 MotoGP standings to 21 points with a victory last time out at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
He will hope to make further gains on home soil at the Grand Prix of Spain this weekend. The Circuito de Jerez is hosting the fourth race in the calendar.
Jorge Lorenzo is the man in second place and will be looking to claim back-to-back wins at the Spanish Grand Prix having prevailed last year.
Here are the key scheduling and viewing details for the weekend's action, as well as a closer examination of some of the riders set to be in the hunt on Sunday.
|MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix 2016: Schedule|
|Friday, April 22||8:55 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.||Free Practice 1|
|Friday, April 22||1:05 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.||Free Practice 2|
|Saturday, April 23||8:55 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.||Free Practice 3|
|Saturday, April 23||12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.||Free Practice 4|
|Saturday, April 23||1:10 p.m. - 1:25 p.m.||Qualifying 1|
|Saturday, April 23||1:35 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.||Qualifying 2|
|Sunday, April 24||1 p.m.||Race|
The 2015 MotoGP champion recovered well from crashing out at Argentina to claim second spot last time out in Texas.
Lorenzo will be eager to close the gap to his compatriot Marquez on Sunday and will be under the spotlight after the recent announcement that he will move from Yamaha to Ducati next season, per BT Sport MotoGP:
He will want to bow out of Yamaha on a high, so he cannot afford to let Marquez gain too big a lead over him this early in the campaign.
Lorenzo, 28, believes the conditions back on the European tracks should help him in his bid to reel in the standings leader, per Autosport's Mitchell Adam:
We just are 21 points behind after the crash, and we now arrive into tracks that normally suit us better, for me and the bike.
I think it's very important to stay in second place in this moment. Now that [Valentino] Rossi, [Andrea] Dovizioso and [Dani] Pedrosa crashed [at Austin], we have one target, that is Marc, leading.
We have the feeling that maybe in Europe we can make the difference with the Michelin and these electronics, so let's see if the theory matches with the reality.
With the three-time world champion having clawed back a 29-point deficit to Yamaha team-mate Rossi last season, he has experience of making a comeback.
Lorenzo will surely attack Marquez in Spain and hope to be much closer to the leading man in the standings come Sunday evening.
Marquez is expecting a response from his closest opponents in Spain, but the 2013 and 2014 world champion knows how to lead from the front and will likely feel little pressure having showed excellent form so far this season.
He insisted there is still room for improvement with the Honda bike, per GPOne.com:
I'm pleased to reach Jerez with a small advantage in the standings because I think our rivals will be very strong at this track.
I'm also happy with the work we've been doing with Honda and my team, we've been able to improve, step by step, at each race. In Qatar we found a good base set-up and in Argentina and Texas we were able to improve on it in some areas, like the engine brake and the electronics. Anyway, there's still work to do and room for improvement, especially in acceleration.
Marquez has yet to finish off the podium this season and improved on his third place in Qatar to seal back-to-back wins in Argentina and the USA.
Lorenzo took the title from him last season, and Marquez will want to give his compatriot little chance of keeping hold of it in 2016.
If Marquez can extend his lead further by winning in Jerez on Sunday he will be difficult to reel in over the rest of the season, despite 14 races remaining after the Spanish Grand Prix.
The race has seen some classic battles over the years, as previewed below by Crash.net:
Marquez's own record in MotoGP in Jerez is quite impressive, with one career victory in 2014 sandwiched between two second-place finishes in 2015 and 2013.
He will be desperate to add a second triumph to his tally on Sunday as he attempts to take a firm hold on the championship.