Preview press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and the series organizers:
Yamaha Anticipates Action at MotorLand Aragón
After an eventful weekend at Misano two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo arrive in Spain for a third time this season to commence the final part of the 2015 MotoGP championship at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team arrives in Aragón for one last European round before the overseas races. At the previous race in Misano Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were involved in a fight for first, but were surprised by changeable conditions. They are both keen on another chance to show their fighting spirit at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón this weekend, which is special in more ways than one. Not only is it Lorenzo's third home race of the season, but it's also the home GP for the team's title sponsor, Movistar, who took title sponsorship of the Aragon round for a second year in succession.
Rossi's fifth place at the San Marino GP helped him increase his advantage in the championship standings over closest rival and teammate, Lorenzo, to 23 points. He aims to continue this momentum and extend his lead even further this weekend at the challenging MotorLand Aragón circuit. After winning Silverstone two rounds ago, Aragón is one of just two rounds included in the 2015 season that the nine-time World Champion has never won at, the other one being Circuit of the Americas (COTA). His best score in Aragón so far has been third place in 2013, but he looks forward to bringing change to those statistics this weekend and is excited about another chance to battle with the frontrunners.
Teammate Lorenzo is also looking forward to arriving in Aragón, which will be his penultimate home race this season. He turned the previous two Spanish rounds in Jerez and Catalunya into Lorenzo's land and is eager to duplicate these turns of events at MotorLand Aragón circuit this weekend. He has set as a goal for himself to close down the 23-point gap to his teammate and hopes to delight the Spanish supporters with some thrilling racing action. Over the last four years his passionate fans have cheered him on to secure numerous successes in Aragón. He scored a brilliant victory last year, two second places in 2013 and 2012 and a third place podium finish in 2011.
The MotorLand Aragón circuit is situated a few hours drive away from Barcelona. Originally the town of Alcañiz hosted street racing between 1963 and 2003, but safety advice led to the construction of MotorLand Aragón. The fast and challenging 5.077 km long track was first added to the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and has one of the most spectacular elevation changes and multiple flowing corners, allowing for some exciting racing to happen that motorsport fans don't want to miss.
The circuit's layout was praised by riders after its first Grand Prix and was rewarded with the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award that same year. It was the first time a circuit had received the prize in its debut year.
Championship: 1st, 247 points
"As I said many times, now every race has its own story. There are five races from here to the end of the season. If that's many or few, I don't know, it depends on your point of view, but I do know that it will be important to win races. Now we go to Aragón, a track where we have tested some weeks ago. The results were positive but also Jorge, my teammate, went very fast. Our competitors are usually strong here too, so it will be a very challenging weekend. We have to work well from the first day and hopefully the received data from the tests will help us. The atmosphere in the team is very good, I feel good and we're ready to get back on the podium!"
Championship: 2nd, 224 points
"In Misano, like in Silverstone, the final standings were not as we thought they would be. It was very disappointing, especially regarding the pace we showed throughout the entire weekend, but unfortunately twice in a row we encountered some tricky situations for the race. From now on the fight for title will be tight, but I believe in myself and in my team as well, so we need to keep trying until the end and fight every race to catch up on points compared to Vale. He is riding well and got important points in the last few races, but I'm quite confident we can improve in the last five races so we are ready to fight. This weekend we'll visit Aragón and, even if Alcañiz's track is not one of my favorites, I have good memories there since last year when we achieved a great victory, also in tricky conditions. I'll never give up and this weekend will be the very first opportunity of the final rounds to extend the fight for the championship."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"After some tricky conditions in Misano, we arrive in Aragón eager to get back onto the podium. We are positive that we can make this a great weekend; the team is motivated and working really hard and the riders are focused on the task ahead. We still have five races left and both our riders are in a good physical condition, so we are going to Aragón ready to fight. We've had a successful test in at MotorLand Aragón circuit a few weeks back and we collected some good data to work with. Most of the layout of the circuit suits the YZR-M1 well, so our expectations for this weekend are quite high."
After Misano madness, the Repsol Honda Team are en route to Aragon
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are on their way to Aragon, Spain after a frenzied Sunday in Misano where Marc won his fourth race of the season amidst tricky weather conditions, with Dani finishing 9th.
Motorland Aragón is round fourteen of the 2015 season. The ultra-modern 5.077km track is comprised of 17 turns – ten left and seven right, and a long straight of 968m. The first Grand Prix was hosted in 2010, and was rewarded with the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award, the first time a circuit had received the prize in its debut year.
Both Marc and Dani have celebrated highs and lows in Aragón, Marc was taken out on the first lap in 2010 in 125cc, but came back in 2011 on the Moto2 machine to win the race, took second place in 2012, won the MotoGP race in 2013 but last year rain came again and caused havoc in the final laps resulting in a 13th place. Dani finished 2nd here in his first two outings and then won in 2012, but an unfortunate clash with teammate Marc in 2013 resulted in a DNF and the adverse weather last year also wrecked his race.
Championship Standing: 3rd - 184 points
"After a strange race in Misano, I’m really looking forward to Aragon this weekend! This is my favourite track of the year and we’ve had good results in the past, despite last year’s unfortunate rain-affected race! The first and final sections of the track are quite technical and you must work hard on the setup to have good cornering. Let’s hope this weekend we can have a ‘normal’ race weekend with good weather so we can work hard from the Friday and be ready for the fight on Sunday."
Championship Standing: 3rd - 109 points
"It was a disappointing race in Misano and I’ve already put it behind me. The last two years have been tricky for me in Aragon so I look forward to an incident free race this year! I enjoy going to Aragon and having the opportunity to race in front of our home fans, of course this gives you more motivation and we will all try put on a good show for them. Let’s see how the weather is and I hope to be in the battle for the victory."
Ducati Team heads for third GP in Spain at MotorLand Aragón
The 2015 MotoGP World Championship is about to enter a crucial phase, with the final five rounds taking place over the next seven weeks. Two rounds in Spain – the Gran Premio de Aragón and the GP de la Comunitat Valenciana – bookend the three overseas events (Japan, Australia and Malaysia) in the month of October. This weekend therefore the Spanish track is gearing up for the fourteenth round of the season.
Located near Alcañiz, this year the circuit hosts its GP for the sixth time, after only joining the MotoGP calendar in 2010. MotorLand Aragón is a modern venue, with a demanding track that goes in a counter-clockwise direction and which contains two straights and seventeen corners, as well as a few up-and-down sections.
The Ducati Team arrive in Spain with some anxiety over the physical condition of Andrea Iannone, who again dislocated his left shoulder last Wednesday, when he was out running near his home at Vasto as part of his training routine. After undergoing an MRI scan the morning after, Iannone immediately began electro-medical tecar therapy in order to get ready for the Spanish race, but he will probably not be 100% fit this weekend.
Dovizioso has raced in every edition of the Aragón GP, his best result being a third place in 2012, while Iannone scored a win in 2010 in Moto2 and last year qualified on the front row but was then forced to retire while he was leading the race.
The Aragón weekend programme begins on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am CET, while the 23-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 2 pm.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th (159 points)
“Unfortunately last week I tripped over while I was out training: in the fall, I put my arms out to protect myself, but a sudden movement caused my shoulder to pop out again. I have been undergoing a couple of hours of tecar treatment a day, but it will be a tough weekend for me, because the track has many direction changes, ups and downs and a lot of hard braking. I clearly won’t be 100% on form, but at least I’ll be there.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (128 points)
“For sure we want to make up for the Misano race: Aragón is a track where last year I was going well before I crashed when it began to rain. It’s a very unusual circuit and is interesting for us with the GP15, because it will give us an idea of how competitive we are. I expect a lot from this weekend.”
The MotorLand Aragón Circuit
The modern MotorLand Aragón facility had its roots firmly established with a solid history of street racing in Alcañiz, which hosted events between 1963 and 2003. The need for greater safety led to the proposal and construction of a sporting complex dedicated to motorsport in the area. With support from local institutions, renowned German architect Hermann Tilke was commissioned to design the facility. The circuit, which is 5.077 km long and has 17 turns, was roundly praised by riders after its first Grand Prix in 2010.
SUZUKI ECSTAR ‘MOVE FORWARD’ TO ARAGON GP IN SPAIN
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 23.
After a crazy race in Misano, with a flag-to-flag race and bike-swapping due to changing weather conditions, MotoGP™ this weekend heads to Spain for the third time this year to race the Grand Prix of Aragon, at the Motorland circuit near Alcañiz.
Racing in Spain is always emotional for the team, as both Espargaro and Viñales are Spaniards and will have a huge number of fans crowding the circuit’s stands. The season so far has been a steady improvement for both and the final rush towards the Championship’s finale is expected to be tough and crucial as team and riders attempt to end their first year with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR with a place in the overall top-10.
The Motorland Circuit of Aragon is a modern facility that was remodelled in 2010 to fulfil the security and standards requested by the MotoGP™ organization. The origins of the Grand Prix have their roots in a solid history of street racing in Alcañiz and the circuit has hosted events between 1963 and 2003. Eventually it has been modernised thanks to the renowned German circuit architect Hermann Tilke.
The track is 5.077km (3.16 miles) long and has 17 turns: 10 left-handers and seven right-handers. The longest straight is 968 m (3175.85 ft.) and the Grand Prix will be raced over 23 laps, which corresponds to a total length of 116.8 km or 72.7 miles.
“After a very positive first part of the season we have now slowed down our improvement process, although the Suzuki project in its entirety still looks very strong. We are struggling with the bike initially over the weekend as we have some difficulties in finding good settings when we arrive at a new track; and this steals time from concentrating on the time attack in qualifying and race set-up. In Misano we did a great job with huge improvements from one session to another, finally the weather mixed-up the things in the race and I couldn’t make the progress I wanted. A positive thing to be noticed for me is the reaction time we had: we made many changes on the bike and finally found a good direction. Not finding a good and clear direction from the first session complicates things, but we must also remember that we are new and we completely lack in information and data as every circuit is new for us.
“Even though we had tested in Misano, the weather and temperature conditions were so different that the data was just not comparable. In Aragon I hope it will be a little easier, we have tested a few weeks ago in Motorland and I guess that there won’t be such a difference in the track conditions, therefore allowing us to exploit the information we have and start with a basic set-up that we know. For sure we need some more acceleration, at the moment it is the weakest point we have, but we must take the best out of what my GSX-RR has to offer.”
“Misano was a very tricky weekend. I had many expectations from testing and when you have expectations it is always tricky because you get easily upset when you get disappointed. In fact I struggled to find good confidence with my GSX-RR with the basic set-up we developed a few weeks before and this got me very nervous, which makes things worse. I spoke a lot with my team and I tried to calm down, in order to stay focused for the race. Unfortunately the variable weather conditions messed-up everything and we had to improvise. I know I can rely on very expert engineers and managers but we are a new team also when it comes to manage the various strategies ‘on-the-go’ so we had to strengthen our feeling with the bike very quickly.
“It’s been positive as we now have much more knowledge about the machine in variable conditions and more confidence with each other. This is a further step that I have completed in my apprenticeship this year: not only improving my riding style but also managing the varied situations in a race. In Aragon we will keep on with this approach, we already know the track since we tested here a few weeks ago and I hope the conditions will be pretty similar, so that we can exploit the work we’ve done in testing. Now it is important to us to find more quickly the effectiveness with my machine and to exploit its potential at its best. We know what we lack, the factory is working hard to deliver us new parts and improvements as soon as possible; and we must keep on working.”
ALVARO BAUTISTA, WHO WILL CELEBRATE 100 MOTOGP RACES, AND STEFAN BRADL, JUST SIGNED FOR NEXT SEASON, ON THE HUNT FOR POINTS AT ARAGON
Aragon (Spain), 23 September 2015 - The last European round will be raced at Aragon before the three transpacific rounds. Work was done on the Aprilia RS-GP machines in the tests after the Misano race as well and the changes tested in Romagna will now be available to the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders.
Both Bautista and Bradl are highly motivated to do their best on the Spanish track: In Spain Alvaro will celebrate 100 MotoGP races, whereas for Bradl the Aragon GP comes on the heels of his signing with the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini for the 2016 season. The goal for both, as always this season, is to gather as much experience and information as possible to grow the bike and project, but without neglecting competition, battling for points positions in the race.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“In the Misano tests we took another step forward, successfully testing a new swingarm with both riders. Both Alvaro and Stefan gave us positive feedback and we found that it significantly improves our race pace. Getting the rear tyre to work better opens up new possibilities for us in terms of power management, so we hope to continue in this direction during the coming weekend. Historically our riders have often done well at Aragon, so I am expecting a positive race.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“In the last two Grand Prix races we managed to streamline development of the bike a bit, working very well throughout the weekend with both of our riders at Silverstone and at Misano. What's more, despite both racing being made unpredictable by the weather conditions, we were still able to bring home points. So we are coming to Aragon confident that we'll be able to take another step forward in terms of the RS-GP's overall performance, with an eye to the future and determined to ride another great race.”
“Aragon is a very special round for me, not only because we are back in Spain to race, but also because in this Grand Prix I'll be reaching an important milestone: my 100th MotoGP race. During the Misano tests we were able to work on the bike, finding some good solutions, so we are coming to Aragon confident that this can help us take another step forward. On a track that is new for the Aprilia our goal remains the same: collecting some good reference points starting Friday and being ready on Sunday to ride a good race. Aragon is not a simple track. It has a lot of fast turns combined with tight hairpin bends and even a long straight stretch. We'll do our best to make it a good weekend, working on bike development and trying to battle for points like we have in recent races.”
“The Aragon track is certainly not an easy one, but it is very interesting from a technical point of view and a lot of fun to tackle, with a good mix of slow turns and some faster ones too. I'm anxious to get back on the track because in the tests after the Misano race we identified a few set up solutions that seem to work well, so it will be interesting to see if they help us at Aragon too. In recent Grand Prix races we have improved our performance and I hope that we'll be able to continue this positive trend.”
Smith and Espargaro primed for MotorLand Aragon battle
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pairing of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are prepared and ready to fight to two strong results at the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP season at the impressive MotorLand Aragon circuit. With both riders experiencing contrasting fortunes at the San Marino GP, they will now be seeking to move forward and seal a set of positive finishes ahead of the triple fly away races. The circuit is a firm favourite for most of the riders due to its nature, which pushes them to their limits, whilst also ensuring a highly entertaining show for the lively Spanish crowd as well. Smith and Espargaro will navigate themselves around the high-speed 5.1 kilometre Aragon track, which consists of a straight of 968 metres as well as 10 left corners and 7 right.
Bradley Smith will be looking to follow up his brilliantly executed run to 2nd in the San Marino Grand Prix with another strong result at Aragon as he intends to continue his notable form in 2015 plus add valuable points to his standing of 5th in the World Championship. At Misano, the young Briton rocketed to the rostrum after slipping back to 21st due to the tricky conditions, but he bravely persevered and followed his ambitious strategy to score his best ever finish in the premier class. As a result, the 24 year old rider will be gunning for a top six this weekend. Meanwhile Pol Espargaro will intend to bounce back from a disappointing end to the Misano GP, by speeding to the leading satellite position at the event in his home country. The Spaniard has a positive record at the track, having won twice previously in the lower classes and he will seek to close the European run of races with a confident performance before heading to the flyaway Grand Prix's.
Championship : 5th Points : 135
“Firstly, it goes without saying that I can't wait to get back on the Yamaha after the great result that we had last weekend! It was a complicated race there but I clenched my teeth, took the gamble and it paid off. To score 2nd really is a highlight of this season and it is a testament to the hard work that the team and I have put in. Therefore, at this weekend we will try again and of course the podium finish really motivates me for further success. Fortunately, it looks as though the Aragon race should be dry, but never say never. Last year I finished the race in 5th which was positive, yet this season, I feel I am in a much better place and my confidence has increased. However, the Championship is a lot more competitive, so I'll be pushing to repeat last season's result this time. We will see what happens in the race on Sunday, but I am ready to fight and score another solid result, plus with Yamaha having tested there this summer, my confidence is even higher. ”
Championship : 9th Points : 81
"After the finish that we really didn't deserve in Misano, I am certain that we can turn everything around this weekend in Aragon. The whole event in San Marino was quite positive, but unfortunately it didn't come together on race day as the weather interfered again and close to the end I had to retire due to a technical issue. Nevertheless, Aragon is a track that I really enjoy racing on and it's even more special as it is in my home country! The circuit is fast, there's no doubt about that, but the whole layout is really great fun to ride and it compliments the Yamaha YZR-M1. Last year was eventful to say the least due to the rain on race day and I hope that won't occur again as I want a normal dry Sunday. What we'll aim to do is shake down on Friday and set the bike up, before fighting for a competitive grid position on Saturday in order to be as prepared as possible for the 23 lap sprint on Sunday. It will be hard work, but I'm more determined than ever and the team and I will really give it everything we've got to finish the race in a solid placement in front of my fans before we head east to Japan. ”
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It's that time of the year where we head to Spain for the final Grand Prix before the triple fly away races and it's vital for the riders to get a good result in Aragon in order to get some momentum. In addition, we'll be hoping for a dry race, unlike last year, so that it's a bit easier on my heart! Brad had a superb run to 2nd in Misano after staying out on track on slick tyres when the rain started to fall. We thought this was a bit risky, but evidently his calculations were perfect and he stormed from 21st to 2nd! He really deserved this result and for sure, it will motivate him even more for the rest of the year. On the other hand, we were all sorry for Pol who had a strong pace until race day. However, he will come back more determined than ever in his home country where he has had previous successes and we all know he will hit the ground running and give his all to finish in the top six."
Third home race for Avintia Racing at Aragon
22/09/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Grand Prix of Aragon - PREVIEW
The Avintia Racing team heads MotorLand Aragón circuit this weekend for the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, the last European race before three overseas races in Japan, Australia and Malasia. Hector Barbera heads Aragon determined to recover points to Loris Baz in the Open Class standings. Barbera who leaded the class from the first race at Qatar, lost his eight points advantage at Misano washout, so the last five races of the year will be crucial for the Spanish rider to archive his goal of being the best Open Class rider at the end of the season.
Mike Di Meglio arrives to Aragon off the back of career best MotoGP result last time out in Misano, his motivation is high and his target will be scoring some points and be fighting again to be with the top Open riders. The Avintia Racing French rider believes the 3.1 miles track can be favourable for his Ducati Desmosedici GP14.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / @HectorBarbera
The Grand Prix of Aragon will be like my first final, because after what happened in Misano Loris Baz is leading the Open class by five points. There are five races to go and everything is possible, but we have to give our 300% in every single race until the end. My motivation is high and I’m looking forward to race in Aragón, is a width track, with long straights so should be good for our bike. I’m in a great shape and very excited, and I’ll have and advantage: the support of my home crowd for my first final.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / @Mikejpp63
Now we head Aragon, the last race before the triple overseas races in Asia. I like a lot MotorLand and I’m looking forward to arrive and see what we can do with the Ducati. Last year Hector was quite fast with this bike, and although this season the level is higher, if we work hard during practice I think that fighting for the points and with the best Open will be possible. I’m very excited, I’ve been training hard at home and I’m looking forward to jump on my bike on Friday.
Redding targets the top ten in Aragon
Gosselies, Belgium – 22 September 2015: Scott Redding heads into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Aragon off the back of career best MotoGP results in the last two races, including third place and a first podium finish last time out in Misano.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 MotoGP rider is under no illusions about the Misano podium, which came in extremely tricky conditions and in a race where many of the front-runners, including Redding himself, were forced to change bikes twice due to the changing weather.
This weekend in Aragon the 22-year-old Briton has two clear goals. The first is to secure an automatic place in QP2 by finishing inside the top ten in FP3 on Saturday morning and the second is to back that up with a top ten finish in Sunday’s 23-lap MotoGP race.
The Motorland Aragon circuit, which was designed by Hermann Tilke, hosted its first Grand Prix in 2010 and was immediately a favourite with riders in all three classes. The complex is located close to the town of Alcañiz, which has a long association with motorsport, having hosted street races for more than four decades.
“It was a great feeling to stand on the MotoGP podium for the first time in Misano, but we need to be realistic about what we achieved there. The conditions were probably the most difficult any of us have ever raced in and I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage with the two bike changes. We will approach this weekend in Aragon with the same goals as always; to be inside the top ten in free practice, go straight into QP2 on Saturday afternoon and then push for a top ten finish in the race on Sunday.”
“We pushed hard to keep Scott for next year, but after Brno he decided that the best thing for his career would be to move to another team for 2016. Since making that decision he’s had his two best results, including a first ever podium in MotoGP, so maybe he’s having second thoughts now! I think the fact that he’s now made the decision to move on has reduced the pressure on him a little and allowed him to start enjoying riding the bike again. That’s what it looked like at Silverstone and there’s no denying he was confident in the difficult conditions of Misano. If I’m right then I expect Scott to have another good weekend in Aragon, where a top 10 finish is certainly within his capabilities.”
Motorland warming up for the third Spanish round of the season
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 13:43
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders hope for positive result in team's home race before long-haul rounds
The most exciting and most demanding period of the MotoGP season is on the horizon with three back-to-back races in different corners of the globe to come next month but before that there is one more date on the European mainland to take care of. The Motorland circuit in Aragón plays host to the fourteenth round of the season, with its 5.078km Hermann Tilke designed layout boasting some of the most technical pieces of asphalt in the championship. After a wet and wild weekend at Misano, Valentino Rossi was able to extend his advantage over Jorge Lorenzo to 23 points, with the Spaniard now in need of a response in front of his home crowd. Marc Márquez, cut adrift in the title chase, will also be determined to take a home win, adding extra spice to an interesting weekend at Motorland.
After doing a great job in practice at Misano the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar team fell victim to the strange conditions in the race and now Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty are doubly determined to return to the points at Aragón. The American suffered an injury setback during his weekend off, suffering a slight fracture to his right thumb, although after visiting the doctors he is confident of competing at Motorland. Laverty is a huge fan of the Aragón circuit from his days in World Superbikes and he is hopeful of maintaing his strong form since the summer break.
Nicky Hayden: “Aragon is next, it's quite a unique track with a lot of elevation and it's quite technical, with some blind entries and downhill braking. It's certainly not an easy track and I haven't made it any easier this year because I had a little accident training on minimotos in Italy and broke my thumb. I have seen the doctors and had the scans and I am optimistic I'll still be able to race but we will have to see on Friday how I feel. Unfortunately it's the right thumb, which is always a little bit worse, but I have been doing a lot of therapy in the last days and I definitely feel a bit better. We weren't having an easy season as it is and this won't make it easier but injuries are as much a part of this game as finding a set-up for your bike! Hopefully we can go there and still have a positive weekend.”
Eugene Laverty: “I'm excited to ride Aragon on a MotoGP bike. Even though many of the corners are slow and in second gear the circuit still has a flowing nature and that suits our Open Honda. The long back straight exiting a first gear corner is the only area of the track that causes me concern. Our bike is working fantastically and in Misano we were able to continue our ultra-strong pace for the second successive race weekend. The changeable weather on race day hasn't gone our way lately but that's racing. There's no point in focusing on things that are out of our control. I'm really happy with my Aspar Team crew and we've really begun to gel since the summer break. With five rounds remaining I'm optimistic of a strong finish to our season."
CRUTCHLOW AIMING TO CONTINUE FINE RECORD IN ARAGON
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow admits he is desperate for a change of fortune at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Aragon after a disappointing series of results. With only five rounds remaining, the World Championship has headed back to Spain before the flyaway races and the Briton is looking to continue his fine record at the Motorland Aragon circuit.
Cructhlow has finished inside the top 10 on all four of his visits to Aragon in the MotoGP class and claimed a podium finish 12 months ago when he came home in third place. Having failed to finish in two of his last three outings and managed only 11th spot in the chaotic San Marino GP two weeks ago, he is now hoping his good run in Aragon continues.
Cal Crutchlow #35
“Hopefully we can go better than the last few Grand Prix. It’s traditionally been a good track for Honda, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be good for our package this year. We struggled at quite a few races this year, but the team are working very hard and I’m looking forward to this weekend.
“It’s a good circuit here, I enjoy it. It’s nice and wide and there are some great corners, so hopefully we can get the bike to its full potential and I can improve and do a good job as well.
“The weather forecast has changed now so hopefully we get a dry race. We all want a dry race and a dry weekend really so we can work properly on the settings of the bike and do a bit of testing at the circuit which is crucial and something we need. We’ve got a few things we can try this weekend over the sessions and we’re hoping to see some improvements.”
MILLER EXCITED AHEAD OF ARAGON CHALLENGE
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller says he is relishing the prospect of competing at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Aragon on a MotoGP bike. With only five rounds remaining, the World Championship has headed back to Spain before the flyaway races and the Australian is hopeful of building on an encouraging finish last time out at the San Marino GP.
After a chaotic rain-affected race in Misano, Miller came home in 12th place to secure his fifth point-scoring finish of the season. It could have been even better were it not for an electrical problem late on, but the upbeat Australian is confident of performing well once again this weekend at a circuit that has traditionally been a stronghold for Honda bikes.
Jack Miller #43
“I’m looking forward to this weekend at Aragon. It’s a nice track, I’m excited about riding it on a GP bike as it’s very big and modern and should work well with our package.
“We won’t know that until tomorrow as the track can get quite dirty and the first day will definitely be about feeling things out, getting our bearings and then going from there. But I’m happy to be back here and looking forward to working with the team and doing a good job for the weekend.”
Last European race before the overseas trip
The MotorLand circuit at Aragon will welcome the riders of the Forward Racing team participating this week end to the 14th race of the season, the last European event before the triple transfer overseas.
Loris Baz, after the incredible fourth place at Misano and the lead in the Open Championship, is eager to return on track to hunt for Open victory. At his side will be Toni Elias, his new teammate, who will remain with Forward until the end of the season and who is motivated to do well riding the Yamaha Forward. Good memories bind the Swiss team to the Spanish circuit: last year, in fact, Aleix Espargaro conquered the second place on the podium after an incredible race at Aragon.
Fully prepared to go also the two Moto2 riders. Simone Corsi, after the fourth place at his home race, will aim to stay close to the top riders all weekend and approach the podium. Lorenzo Baldassarri has fully recovered from his injury that he suffered in Misano and he is motivated to do well and hunt for the Top10.
Loris Baz - 76
" I got a really important result at Misano. After a daring race, I finished just off the podium and I scored important points for the Championship. The feeling with the Yamaha Forward is positive and I cannot wait to get back on track at Aragon".
Toni Elias - 24
"I'm happy to be back on track riding a MotoGP until the end of the season. I will have the chance to compete in the last five races and I’m motivated to do well. Thanks to all the team for this great opportunity".
Simone Corsi - 3
"At Misano we showed we can be competitive throughout all the weekend. We did a great job in practice and in the race I finished just inches away from the podium. I’m going to Aragon convinced that I can score heavy points".
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 7
"I cannot wait to get back on track. At Misano the feeling was really good, too bad for the fall on Saturday and the shoulder injury, nevertheless I had a good race pace and I finished in seventh position. We must start from what was done to get close to the quickest riders".
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 14: Aragon
Tuesday, September 22 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft (Symmetric), Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Spain’s Motorland Aragon hosts round fourteen of the season and the circuit’s combination of variable weather, sweeping corners and hard braking zone requires a tyre allocation that can adapt to every situation.
Measuring just over five kilometres in length, Aragon is a technical circuit with a back straight almost one kilometre long and a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves. The varied nature of the circuit and its susceptibility to cool weather demands a tyre allocation which offers exceptional warm-up performance and cornering and braking stability.
The presence of a number of long-radius left-hand corners at Aragon means that overall, the left shoulder of the tyres are put under greater stress than the right. As a result, two of the rear slick options for this circuit are asymmetric with slightly harder rubber on the left shoulder. The rear slick options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha are the medium and hard compound asymmetric rear slick, while the remaining entrants have a symmetric soft and asymmetric medium rear slick available. The three front slick options at Aragon are the soft, medium and hard compounds to ensure rider safety in a variety of temperatures.
Owing to the smooth tarmac and possibility of cold weather, the main wet tyre for Aragon is the soft compound option, although every rider will also have the alternative, hard compound wet tyre as an option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The Aragon Grand Prix is quite an important race in terms of the championship as every rider wants a good result to motivate them ahead of the three back-to-back races in the Far East. We could see from last year’s race that the location of Motorland Aragon makes it susceptible to variable weather which makes tyre performance even more of a focus during the weekend. Our tyre allocation for this weekend is developed to ensure the riders have suitable options for every possible weather condition so we are well prepared for whatever the weather brings. With the championship battle between Valentino and Jorge so finely poised, I would expect that we will see yet another circuit attendance record broken this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Motorland Aragon is a circuit with relatively smooth and slippery tarmac so there is a need for good mechanical grip which suggests softer compounds. However, there are also some long corners and some downhill braking points which require greater stability from the tyre, which generally requires harder compounds, so tyre selection here is a balancing act. Generally, ambient temperatures at this time of year at Aragon are warm, but the elevation of the circuit means cooler temperatures are also possible, last year’s race for example saw track temperatures of only twenty degrees Celsius. This means that warm-up performance is also an important consideration when developing tyres for the Aragon Grand Prix.”
SMITH AND REDDING DREAM OF ARAGON REPEAT
After their historic podium finishes at the previous round in Misano, Bradley Smith and Scott Redding return to reality at round 14 of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain on Sunday. The British pair rode brilliantly in the Misano rain and it was a flag to flag wet race in Aragon last year but a repeat in the 23 lap race around the spectacular undulating 3.155 miles circuit on Sunday would be amazing.
Andorra – based Oxford rider Smith moved back into fifth place in the Championship after his second place in Misano to confirm just what a brilliant season he is having. In his third MotoGP season riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha, he is both the leading Satellite Factory and British rider having scored top ten finishes in the opening 13 races. Gloucestershire’s Redding has not found life so easy on the Marc VDS EG 00 Honda. Ironically since announcing he is joining the Octo Pramac Ducati team next season he has finished sixth and third in the last two wet races.
Last year Cal Crutchlow finished a superb third at Aragon on the factory Ducati. The Isle of Man –based midlander returns on the LCR Honda after a tough season which sees him tenth in the championship and a good result on Sunday would set him up for morale – boosting last five races. Irishman Eugene Laverty has just finished out of the points in the last two races on the Open Class Aspar Honda and like Crutchlow seeks a morale boosting end of the season before a likely return to the World Superbike Championship.
Twenty five year old Sam Lowes had cruel luck at Misano when a broken rear mudguard wrecked his rear tyre. The Speed Up rider dropped to fifth in the Moto2™ Championship just three points behind Tom Luthi in what promises to be a battle until the end of the season.
Wiltshire’s Danny Kent was another rider not to have the best of luck at Misano. The 21 year old Moto3™ Championship leader was forced by Race Direction to drop a place after riding off the track on a number of occasions. He eventually dropped to sixth, in a race he could have won, but still holds a comfortable 55 point lead in the championship over Misano winner Enea Bastianini. The Leopard Racing Honda rider has seen that championship lead reduced before and will remain calm and confident he can become Britain’s first grand prix World Champion since 1977.
Twenty one year Scotsman John McPhee has soldered on bravely with the future of his Racing Team Germany in doubt. The Racing Steps Foundation supported rider will be keen to improve on his 11th place in the Championship as he seeks a ride for next season.
LORENZO PRAYS FOR NO RAIN IN SPAIN
After the last two rain hit grands prix Jorge Lorenzo is praying for a dry race at round 14 of the MotoGP World Championship, the Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain on Sunday. Ironically Lorenzo won the flag to flag wet race in Aragon last year but after disastrous wet races at Silverstone and Misano he trails his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi by 23 points with five rounds of the Championship remaining.
Thirty six year old Rossi is closing in on his tenth World title but arrives at the spectacular 3.155 miles undulating Aragon circuit without a victory at the track situated some 60 miles from Zaragoza. He crashed last year and was not alone, with the Repsol Honda pair of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa crashing out of the lead when the rain began to fall. Both of the Honda riders are MotoGP winners in Aragon and following his victory at the extraordinary Misano race World Champion Marquez consolidated his third place in the Championship 40 points behind Lorenzo who is getting closer and closer to a must win situation.
Fourth placed Andrea Iannone is struggling to be 100 per cent fit after re- dislocating his left shoulder when he fell on a training run and his Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will be looking for a good result after slipping to sixth in the Championship behind Bradley Smith in the title chase. Smith had an amazing ride into second place at Misano on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha where he was joined on the podium by fellow Brit Scott Redding. He is the highest placed Satellite factory rider and has a seven points advantage over Dovizioso who in turn leads Pedrosa by 19 points. The impressive Danilo Petrucci continued points scoring in every round on the Octo Pramac Ducati to consolidate his eighth place. Maverick Viñales returns to Aragon on the Ecstar Suzuki where he won the Moto2 race last year while French Rookie Loris Baz leads the Open class after a superb fourth in Misano. Former Moto2 World Champion Tony Elias is his new team-mate at Forward Racing Yamaha replacing Claudio Corti.
JOHANN ZARCO FIRST CHANCE TO TAKE MOTO2 CROWN
Following Johann Zarco’s win at Misano, he now has a 93 point lead over his closest challenger Tito Rabat and could potentially win the title in Aragon. Frenchman Zarco needs to increase his lead over Rabat by at least seven points to clinch the world title, as well as not losing more than ten points to Alex Rins who still has a mathematical chance of taking the title. The following scenarios would make Zarco world champion:
• If Zarco wins the race and Rabat does not finish second
• If Zarco is 2nd and Rabat finishes no higher than 4th
• If Zarco is 3rd and Rabat finishes no higher than 7th
• If Zarco is 4th and Rabat finishes no higher than 10th and Rins does not win the race
• If Zarco is 5th and Rabat finishes no higher than 12th and Rins does not win the race
• If Zarco is 6th and Rabat finishes no higher than 13th and Rins does not win the race
• If Zarco is 7th and Rabat finishes no higher than 14th and Rins does not finish first or second
• If Zarco is 8th and Rabat finishes no higher than 15th and Rins does not finish first or second
• If Zarco is 9th and Rabat does not score any points and Rins does not finish first or second
Britain’s Danny Kent is not in a position to take the Moto 3 title on Sunday. The Leopard Racing Honda rider has a 55 point lead over 17 year old Italian Enea Bastianini after he secured his first grand prix victory in front of his home crowd at Misano. The real battle is for third place with Romano Fenati just five points in front of Miquel Oliveira who in turn leads Niccolo Antonelli by eight points. All three riders have won a grand prix this season.
This is the sixth time that the Aragon circuit has hosted a grand prix event, and below is a selection of facts and statistics related to this grand prix:
• Aragon first hosted a grand prix in 2010, when it became the sixth different circuit that has been used for grand prix racing in Spain. The other circuits that have been used in Spain are: Jerez, Catalunya, Jarama, Montjuich and Valencia.
• Casey Stoner won the first MotoGP race at Aragon in 2010 on a Ducati. In each of the following three years the race was won by Honda riders. Last year Yamaha won at Aragon for the first time.
• Spanish riders have had great success across all three GP classes at the Aragon circuit, winning eleven of the fifteen GP races that have taken place. The only non-Spanish riders to have won a grand prix at the circuit are: Casey Stoner (MotoGP in 2010 & 2011), Andrea Iannone (Moto2 race in 2010) and Romano Fenati (Moto3 in 2014).
• The MotoGP race at Aragon last year was the 800th race in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing
• Spanish riders have won the last thirteen MotoGP races on Spanish soil. The last non-Spanish rider to win a MotoGP race in Spain was Casey Stoner at Jerez in 2012.
• Maverick Viñales won the Moto2 race at Aragon last year after qualifying on pole for the only occasion during his one season in the intermediate-class of grand prix racing.
• Aragon is one of just two circuits on the current grand prix schedule, along with Austin, where Valentino Rossi has not had a MotoGP victory.