After completing their final pre-season test just days ago, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s riders Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon are ready to start their 2020 season at Losail International Circuit, in Qatar, this weekend. With the announcement that the MotoGP category will not be racing at the event, the Moto2 field now becomes the premier class on track for one weekend only.
Fresh from pre-season testing, Vierge is keen to get the 2020 season underway and transfer his strong test form to successful race results. Although it will be his first year with the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing squad, the Spaniard is no stranger to the Kalex chassis that frames his Triumph power unit. This knowledge base, combined with the positive pre-season tests in Jerez and Qatar, has ensured that Xavi starts the season in the best possible way.
Team-mate Dixon was unfortunate to sustain a minor injury to one finger during the official test at Jerez, however it hasn’t stopped him from racking up the miles in the Qatar test. Although it prevented him from running his optimal testing programme, the Brit has made good progress in adapting to the Kalex chassis, which is new to him this year. Aware that there is still room for improvement, Jake is confident in coming away from the first round of the year with positive results.
The first round of the season will get underway for the Moto2 class with Free Practice on Friday at 2.20pm local time (12.20pm CET and 11.20pm GMT), while Sunday’s race will see lights out at 6pm local time (4pm CET and 3pm GMT).
I’m really happy with the 2020 pre-season, from November until last weekend here in Qatar. I felt excellent with my new crew and team. Every day I was on the bike I felt better, so everything has been positive. We’ve completed all the pre-season plans with positive feelings. We did a great job with good results in the race simulations and time-attacks. I’m really looking forward to the first race this Sunday because this is a special and unique round that I like a lot. We need to go racing but we need to also keep our emotions and our minds clear. The Championship is really long so the first priority is to finish the race. Of course, we want the best result possible.
Maybe it’s true that the Qatar test wasn’t as good as expected for me, because I still need to adapt to the bike, but this was the only thing. Luckily, I’m not worried because I know where I need to improve, and how to do it, and then I just need more laps on the bike. I really like this round and the circuit, so what we have to do is to keep working hard on the Free Practices to arrive as prepared as possible on race day. Due to the MotoGP race cancellation we will race later in the evening, so we will have to adapt to the cooler conditions. Hopefully we will have a good weekend.