The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya is more than simply Round 7. This season, the Thursday ahead of track action marks 70 years since the first race in the motorcycle racing World Championship back in 1949, so to celebrate the beginning, the evolution, and what it is today, MotoGP™ went on tour around Barcelona, displaying machinery past and present – with a starring role for Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP).
In one of the most visited cities in the world, there's no shortage of landmarks and so, at six emblematic locations, a bike representing each MotoGP™ manufacturer was on display – partnered up with one of the machines that took glory in the first ever World Championship. The 350cc Velocette, the 250cc Moto Guzzi and the 125cc Mondial took centre stage alongside 2019 machines from Honda, Ducati, Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM and Aprilia, showcasing the roots of MotoGP™ and its evolution.
That's not all. As well as the displays around the city, Maverick Viñales stole the show at Tibidabo. The highest of the Collserola mountains that border Barcelona to the north and home to one of the most spectacular views in Catalonia, Tibidabo is topped by the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor (Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and the famous Tibidabo amusement park – which Viñales reached on a 1975 Yamaha TZ 350.
With a stop off at the fabulous Mirador de Sarrià viewpoint on the way up to the top, Viñales got a taste of a very different machine as he arrived at Tibidabo in style. There, he was reunited with his bike ahead of the race weekend – ready to add another chapter to the incredible history of MotoGP™.
Stay tuned throughout the Grand Prix for more 70th anniversary celebrations!