Team Suzuki Ecstar heads back to Spain this weekend for the third time this year and the last European race before the overseas leg of the MotoGP™ Championship. The spectacular Motorland Aragon circuit will be the scene of the 14th round, with its variety of characteristics that makes it very challenging for technicians and demanding but fun for the riders.
Maverick Viñales arrives in Alcañiz after the historic victory at Silverstone and a solid race in Misano. The previous round in Sam Marino had been a positive performance on a circuit where the characteristics of the track weren’t the most suitable for the GSX-RR; fifth place gave him positive points for the championship, but also signalled the capabilities of the team to finalise a well-performing machine.
The Spanish round in Aragon will also be a good change for improvements for Aleix Espargaró. His struggle to finalise an effective strategy influenced his race in Misano, in particular the feeling with the front tyre, but the characteristics of the Motorland circuit will give him another chance to continue with the good steps forward he has made in the latest races.
The Motorland Circuit of Aragon is a modern facility that was remodelled in 2010 to fulfil the security and standards requested by the MotoGP™ organisation. 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 was modernised by 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 correspond to a total length of 116.8 km or 72.7 miles.
Maverick Viñales: We can fast in high temperatures
“The Motorland circuit is a very interesting one, it has a variety of areas that make it a demanding but fun layout. We arrive here with a positive feeling, the victory at Silverstone gave us an extra injection of confidence and in Misano we did the best we could considering the conditions. Also, Aragon is tricky regarding the weather; it could be cold or extremely hot. Some races ago we were more worried about hot temperatures, but after Misano we can approach this with more confidence, as we finally proved we can be competitive in high temperatures; and that was one of the things we were worried about previously.”
Aleix Espargaró: I feel really comfortable now
“Unfortunately in Misano I made the wrong choice of the tyre and this resulted in a bad race, but we had many positives from the work we’ve done. The machine has improved a lot and in many situations I feel really comfortable now. We are doing a good job and if we manage to make a further step we can be really competitive. Aragon will be important because it’s the last one before the three back-to-back races, and the circuit is a nice one. It is a mix of the most famous parts of many other circuits and this makes it very enjoyable to ride. Also, our machine is improving in performance and effectiveness so I hope we can enjoy more positive results.”
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko