Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon 2015
Posted on Sep 21, 2015 by Nick Harris
ROUND FOURTEEN 2015 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY 27th SEPTEMBER
Smith and Reading 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.
July date for 2016 British Grand Prix
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone next year will be staged on Sunday July 17. That is a month earlier than this year in the 2016 provisional calendar announced last week.
Friday September 25 8.00am – 3.00pm (practise)
Saturday September 26 8.00am – 3-15pm (practice and qualifying)
Sunday September 27 7.30am – 3.00pm (warm –up and races)
ITV 4 Highlights
Monday September 28 8.00 - 9.00 pm