Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon 2014
Posted on Sep 22, 2014 by Nick Harris
ROUND FOURTEEN 2014 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY 28 SEPTEMBER
It’s an important final five races for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith, as he looks to fight for at least fifth place against the Duactis after showing so much pace in qualifying practice and testing.
“I really like Aragon and I believe there are specific corners that will emphasise our problems and so provide a real test to sort out those issues. We are only a few refinements from where we need to be. Having the data from the first and second finishers in Misano really should enable us to sort it out. If we can’t learn from the best bikes and riders in the world there is an issue. It was a solid points scoring seventh in Misano and we can build from that with the information we have available.”
His former team-mate Cal Crutchlow must be happy his one and only season at Ducati is coming to an end. He joins LCR Honda next season after a year of injuries and mechanical problems have kept him down in 13th place. On the Yamaha he finished fourth and sixth at Aragon but on Sunday a top ten finish must be his goal.
Scott Redding hopes to celebrate the news he will ride a factory supported Honda next year with a good result in round 14 in Spain on Sunday. The 21 year old Gloucestershire rider has been rewarded with a factory ride after an impressive MotoGP debut season. He is the leading the Open Class Honda rider and is 12th in the championship with five rounds remaining although it will not be easy on Sunday with the long back straight on the 3.155 mile track.
Former World Champion Nicky Hayden looks likely to return on the Drive M7 Aspar Honda after a recent wrist operation which means Leon Camier will not be riding. The former British Superbike Champion has done a brilliant job in his first ever four MotoGP appearances and must in line for a return next year. Ulsterman Michael Laverty is also looking for a ride next year with the Paul Bird Motorsport team concentrating their efforts in the British Championship. He will be striving for some hard earned points and a ride for next year.
World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes is having a tough Moto2™ debut season. The Lincolnshire based rider finished out of the points in Misano after his seventh place at Silverstone and is 14th in the championship. He will be chasing points on Sunday and a sort out with his Speed Up team about plans for next season. Londoner Gino Rea will also be pushing for a top 15 finish on the AGT REA Racing Suter after finishing 22nd in Misano.
Danny Kent will also be celebrating news about next year in the Moto3™ race on Sunday. The Wiltshire based rider will switch to Honda power with Keifer Racing. He finished fourth at Aragon a couple of years ago and will be chasing a podium finish on the Red Bull Ajo Husqvarna to improve on his joint 11th place in the championship. Two places behind him is 20 year old Scotsman, John McPhee, riding the Saxo Print RTG Honda. After a run of bad luck the Oban-based rider has scored points in the last two rounds.
Pedrosa dark horse at Aragon
While all the focus will be on the continuing battle between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez the real dark horse for victory at the Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain on Sunday could be Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider won the race two years ago around the 3.155 miles Motorland Aragon circuit and last year was leading when involved in a controversial collision with team-mate Marquez. Pedrosa holds a slender one point advantage over Misano winner Rossi in their battle for second place in the championship while his team-mate Marquez, despite his Misano crash, is running away with the championship. Marquez, who is also a Moto2 Aragon winner, has a 74 point advantage which means he can’t win the title on Sunday.
Yamaha has never won at Aragon but the Movistar Yamaha duo arrive brimming with confidence. Rossi won his first grand prix of the season last time out in Misano while Jorge Lorenzo has finished second in the last four grands prix. Andrea Dovizioso continues to spearhead the Ducati revival with another Moto2 winner Andrea Iannone. Pol Espargaro won the first 125 cc Aragon race four years ago and is having a superb MotoGP debut season. He lies sixth in the championship six points in front of his brother Aleix who is tied with Iannone in eighth place. Also tied on points in ninth place are Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith.
Former World Champion Nicky Hayden hopes to return on the Drive M7 Aspar Honda after missing the last four grands prix following an operation on an old wrist injury. Both Alex De Angelis and Mike Di Meglio hope to be fit after Misano crashes.
The Motorland Circuit at Aragon staged its first grand prix in 2010. It came into the grand prix schedule as a late replacement for the Hungarian Grand Prix when the new Hungarian circuit at the Balatonring ring was never constructed.
The first grand prix was held on the 3.155 miles circuit and the 23 lap 72.5 miles MotoGP race was won by Australian Casey Stoner riding the factory Ducati.
Italian Andrea Iannone won the 21 lap Moto2 race from Julian Simon by an impressive 6.203 s with Pol Espargaro victorious in the 19 lap 125cc race after a superb battle with Nico Terol. The two Spaniards were separated by just 0.050 s.
Three Spanish riders have won twice at Aragon. Pol Espargaro, who rides in the MotoGP race on Sunday, won the 125cc race in 2010 and followed up with a Moto2 victory two years later. Nico Terol won the Moto2 race last year and the 125cc race in 2011. Marc Marquez was victorious in the MotoGP race last year two years after his victory in the Moto2 race. The only other double Aragon winner is Casey Stoner who followed that first MotoGP victory in 2010 with a win the year later riding the Honda when he beat team-mate Dani Pedrosa by over eighth seconds.
Only two non-Spanish riders have won the 12 World Championship races staged at Aragon. Australian Casey Stoner won those opening two MotoGP races while Italian Andrea Iannone won that first Moto 2 race. The remainder has been won by Spanish riders.
Motorland Aragon has staged one of the four grands Prix in Spain over the last four years. The others are Jerez, the Circuit De Barcelona - Catalunya and the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. Six Spanish circuits have staged grand prix racing since the World Championship started in 1949. Montjuich Park in Barcelona and Jarama in Madrid are the other two.
Aragon Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 5.078 kms/3.115 miles
Pole Position: Right
Longest Straight: 968m/0.601 miles
Left Corners: Ten
Right Corners: Seven
Pole Position Record: Marc Marquez/Honda 1.47.804 (2013)
Lap Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda 1'48.565 (2013)
BT Sport Schedule (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
FRIDAY 26th SEPTEMBER
8.00am – Grand Prix of Aragon - FP - LIVE
12.00am – Grand Prix of Aragon - FP2 - LIVE
SATURDAY 27th SEPTEMBER
8.00am – Grand Prix of Aragon – Free Practice/ Qualifying - LIVE
SUNDAY 28th SEPTEMBER
9.30am – Grand Prix of Aragon - Moto3/Moto2/MotoGP Races - LIVE
TUESDAY 30th SEPTEMBER
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: (BT Sport 1)
MONDAY 29th SEPTEMBER
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme