The 2016 MotoGP World Championship is about to enter its final crucial phase, with a sprint finish that will see the last five races held in less than two months. Two events in Spain – the Aragón Grand Prix and the Valencia Grand Prix on November 13th – bookend the three overseas races (Japan, Australia and Malaysia) in the month of October. This weekend sees the circuit close to the town of Alcañiz gear up for the fourteenth round of the season.
This year MotorLand Aragón hosts its seventh edition of the grand prix, after joining the MotoGP calendar in 2010. It is a modern circuit with a challenging track that runs in a counter-clockwise direction and which includes two long straights and seventeen curves, as well as uphill and downhill sections.
The Ducati Team comes to Spain with a few worries about the physical condition of Andrea Iannone, who picked up a micro-fracture of the T3 vertebra during first free practice at Misano. After sitting out the San Marino GP, Iannone will now go for a check-up on Thursday afternoon with the circuit medical centre, who will decide if the Abruzzo rider can take to the track for the Spanish weekend.
Andrea Dovizioso has raced in every edition of the Aragón GP, his best result being a third place in 2012: the Romagna rider took the chequered flag in fifth twelve months ago, while Iannone scored a win in 2010 in Moto2 and last year finished the race in fourth place.
The Aragón weekend starts on Friday morning with the first session of free practice at 9.55 am, while the 23-lap race is scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (99 points)
“Aragón is a very strange track and is totally different from Misano. This year you don’t know what to expect at every race because of the new tyre supplier, but the situation is the same for everyone and we come to Spain with an open mind and the aim of obtaining the best possible result. Things didn’t go the way I expected at Misano and I didn’t even have a chance of fighting for the podium, but we know we can be fast on almost every track and so we’ll do our best to have a good weekend.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 7th (96 points)
“Over the last few days I’ve been trying my best to recover by resting after the crash at Misano, but I’ve still got a bit of pain in my back. We’ll see what the doctors say at Aragón, but for sure I’ll be trying to race and will try and do my best, as always. I hope to be in quite a good shape and to be able to keep the pain under control, because I think that this can be a positive circuit for us, seeing as we had a great race here last year.”
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.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’47.187 (170.5 km/h) - 2014
Circuit Record: Pedrosa (Honda), 1’48.565 (168.3 km/h) – 2013
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’47.187 (170.5 km/h) - 2014
Top Speed: Bradl (Honda), 341.6 km/h – 2013
Track Length: 5.1 km
Race Distance: 23 laps (116.8 km)
Corners: 17 (10 left, 7 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Lorenzo (Yamaha), 2nd Pedrosa (Honda), 3rd Rossi (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’46.635 (171.433 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’48.120 (169.078 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 30 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 253 (155 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 29
Age: 27 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 190 (63 x MotoGP, 51 x Moto2, 76 x 125cc)
First GP: 2005 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 13 (1 x MotoGP, 8 x Moto2, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2008 GP of China (125cc)
Pole Positions: 10 (2 x MotoGP, 5 x Moto2, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2008 GP of Malaysia (125cc)