The MotoGP World Championship is about to enter its final phase, with the last six rounds taking place in less than two months. Two events in Spain – the Aragon GP and the Valencia GP on 18 November – bookend the four overseas races in Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia. This weekend therefore the track on the outskirts of Alcañiz gets ready to host the fourteenth round of the season.
The Ducati Team arrives in Spain with Andrea Dovizioso second in the standings after a triumphant win at Misano, his third victory of the season. The Romagna-born racer now lies 67 points behind the championship leader Marc Marquez with six rounds remaining. Dovizioso has taken part in all eight editions of the Aragon GP and his best result is a third place in 2012. In last year’s edition, Andrea fought amongst the leading group for half the race, but in the last few laps he was unable to defend his position and had to settle for seventh place at the flag.
Coming off the back of a crash in the San Marino GP, which deprived him of a likely second place, Jorge Lorenzo will be aiming to bring home a prestigious result on a circuit that is extremely favourable for him. The rider from Mallorca has in fact been on the podium in seven of the eight editions of the Aragon GP, with two wins to his name in 2014 and 2015, while last year Jorge finished the race in third place.
Situated close to the town of Alcañiz, the Spanish circuit joined the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and this year hosts the ninth edition of the GP. MotorLand Aragón is a modern circuit, with a challenging layout that sees the riders lap in a counter-clockwise direction and it contains two long straights and 17 corners, as well as a number of up-and-down sections.
The Aragon weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 23-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (154 points)
“MotorLand Aragón is a really nice track, rather unusual and totally different from Misano where I won for the first time in MotoGP two weeks ago, but it’s also a track where we have traditionally always struggled a bit. In the test at the end of August however we lapped really well and I think that this time we can fight for the win. I expect to be quick, but Jorge and Marc also go particularly well on this track so it’s not going to be easy.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 4th (130 points)
“After the Misano race I managed to turn the page relatively easily: I realized where we went wrong and drew some interesting conclusions. Now we’re off to MotorLand, a circuit where I think we can capitalize on the strong points of our bike and where last year I was able to get onto the podium. The test we did three weeks ago was very positive and now we are back here well-prepared and with very clear ideas. After a crash you go back onto the track in the next race even more determined to do well and we will demonstrate that we can continue to fight until the end.”
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, has always been a riders’ favourite since its first Grand Prix in 2010.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda) 1’46.635 (171.4 km/h) - 2015
Circuit Record: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’48.120 (169.0 km/h) - 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda) 1’46.635 (171.4 km/h) - 2015
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati) 345.8 km/h - 2015
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 Marquez (Honda); 2nd Pedrosa (Honda); 3rd Lorenzo (Ducati)
Pole Position: Viñales (Yamaha) 1’47.635 (169.807 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Pedrosa (Honda) 1’49.140 (167.465 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 32 (born on 23rd March in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 288 (190 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 20 (11 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 19 (6 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 31 (born on 4th May 1987 in Palma di Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 280 (186 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 68 (47 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Poles: 68 (42 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)