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· Group photo of the riders at the Camp Nou. PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB.

The Camp Nou opened the doors of its stadium this Thursday to the stars of a different sport. Instead of Messi in attack, it was Marc Márquez and the place of Dani Alves was taken by Maverick Viñales. For the riders involved in the forthcoming Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya this was the chance to play some football on the famous Barça turf.
 
Some of the biggest stars on the circuit, even though none of Rossi, Lorenzo or Pedrosa were present, came onto the pitch with the FCB anthem playing in the background. The game was played twenty minutes each way, and involved plenty of high spirits, but fierce competitiveness too. Under the watchful eye of Manel Arroyo, a member of the Barça board and also executive director of Media de Dorna, the teams were divided into MotoGP against Moto2 & Moto3.  
 
Márquez: “As a Barça fan, this was a real thrill”
 
The higher cylinder riders came out tops, 4-3 with goals from Dovizioso, De Puniet, Márquez and Bradl with Pol Espargaró, Cortese and Simeón finding the net for the losing side. Speaking to Barça TV, Marc Márquez spoke about the experience. “Not everyone gets the chance to play at the Camp Nou” he commented. “I was delighted to accept, and being a Barça fan, it was a real thrill”.
 
All of the goals were scored in the first half. In the second, the stifling heat clearly started taking its toll, but the high spirits of the day were never dampened, and afterwards both teams gathered for a group photo.


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