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A scoresheet of 32-8 in favour of Joan Mir at the pair of Aragon rounds has put the Suzuki rider into a 14-point MotoGP title lead over Fabio Quartararo heading into this weekend’s opening Valencia race.

But while the Frenchman was forced to endure a difficult double-header at Aragon, he now hopes to benefit from back-to-back appearances on what should be much more favourable ground at Valencia.

After qualifying on pole as a rookie at Valencia last season, Quartararo rode his Petronas Yamaha to second place (+1.026s) behind Marc Marquez in the race. Mir, also making his Valencia MotoGP debut, finished seventh (+10.622s).

Quartararo continued the momentum with second on the Valencia post-race test timesheets, a fraction behind factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales and just ahead of team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

“Although we had two difficult races last time out in Aragón, I want to take advantage of the good feeling I have always had on a MotoGP bike at Valencia in these two races coming up,” said Quartararo, whose three race wins are more than any other rider so far this season.

“It’s a small track, but is one that I like. I had a great feeling there last year, when I took a podium and the pole position, and also in the post-season test. Of course I hope to be able to repeat that this weekend.

“There are three races left this year and a 14-point gap with the leader. We know how fast we can be, so I think we have some good opportunities coming into these final events in Valencia and Portimão, and I’m looking forward to the first of them this weekend.”

While Quartararo is currently Mir’s closest opponent, Vinales (-19 points) and Morbidelli (-25 points) could also mathematically take the title lead on Sunday.



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