Yamaha Anticipates Action at MotorLand Aragón
After an eventful weekend at Misano two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo arrive in Spain for a third time this season to commence the final part of the 2015 MotoGP championship at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team arrives in Aragón for one last European round before the overseas races. At the previous race in Misano Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were involved in a fight for first, but were surprised by changeable conditions. They are both keen on another chance to show their fighting spirit at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón this weekend, which is special in more ways than one. Not only is it Lorenzo's third home race of the season, but it's also the home GP for the team's title sponsor, Movistar, who took title sponsorship of the Aragon round for a second year in succession.
Rossi's fifth place at the San Marino GP helped him increase his advantage in the championship standings over closest rival and teammate, Lorenzo, to 23 points. He aims to continue this momentum and extend his lead even further this weekend at the challenging MotorLand Aragón circuit. After winning Silverstone two rounds ago, Aragón is one of just two rounds included in the 2015 season that the nine-time World Champion has never won at, the other one being Circuit of the Americas (COTA). His best score in Aragón so far has been third place in 2013, but he looks forward to bringing change to those statistics this weekend and is excited about another chance to battle with the frontrunners.
Teammate Lorenzo is also looking forward to arriving in Aragón, which will be his penultimate home race this season. He turned the previous two Spanish rounds in Jerez and Catalunya into Lorenzo's land and is eager to duplicate these turns of events at MotorLand Aragón circuit this weekend. He has set as a goal for himself to close down the 23-point gap to his teammate and hopes to delight the Spanish supporters with some thrilling racing action. Over the last four years his passionate fans have cheered him on to secure numerous successes in Aragón. He scored a brilliant victory last year, two second places in 2013 and 2012 and a third place podium finish in 2011.
The MotorLand Aragón circuit is situated a few hours drive away from Barcelona. Originally the town of Alcañiz hosted street racing between 1963 and 2003, but safety advice led to the construction of MotorLand Aragón. The fast and challenging 5.077 km long track was first added to the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and has one of the most spectacular elevation changes and multiple flowing corners, allowing for some exciting racing to happen that motorsport fans don't want to miss.
The circuit's layout was praised by riders after its first Grand Prix and was rewarded with the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award that same year. It was the first time a circuit had received the prize in its debut year.
Championship: 1st, 247 points
"As I said many times, now every race has its own story. There are five races from here to the end of the season. If that's many or few, I don't know, it depends on your point of view, but I do know that it will be important to win races. Now we go to Aragón, a track where we have tested some weeks ago. The results were positive but also Jorge, my teammate, went very fast. Our competitors are usually strong here too, so it will be a very challenging weekend. We have to work well from the first day and hopefully the received data from the tests will help us. The atmosphere in the team is very good, I feel good and we're ready to get back on the podium!"
Championship: 2nd, 224 points
"In Misano, like in Silverstone, the final standings were not as we thought they would be. It was very disappointing, especially regarding the pace we showed throughout the entire weekend, but unfortunately twice in a row we encountered some tricky situations for the race. From now on the fight for title will be tight, but I believe in myself and in my team as well, so we need to keep trying until the end and fight every race to catch up on points compared to Vale. He is riding well and got important points in the last few races, but I'm quite confident we can improve in the last five races so we are ready to fight. This weekend we'll visit Aragón and, even if Alcañiz's track is not one of my favorites, I have good memories there since last year when we achieved a great victory, also in tricky conditions. I'll never give up and this weekend will be the very first opportunity of the final rounds to extend the fight for the championship."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"After some tricky conditions in Misano, we arrive in Aragón eager to get back onto the podium. We are positive that we can make this a great weekend; the team is motivated and working really hard and the riders are focused on the task ahead. We still have five races left and both our riders are in a good physical condition, so we are going to Aragón ready to fight. We've had a successful test in at MotorLand Aragón circuit a few weeks back and we collected some good data to work with. Most of the layout of the circuit suits the YZR-M1 well, so our expectations for this weekend are quite high."
Smith and Espargaro primed for MotorLand Aragon battle
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pairing of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are prepared and ready to fight to two strong results at the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP season at the impressive MotorLand Aragon circuit. With both riders experiencing contrasting fortunes at the San Marino GP, they will now be seeking to move forward and seal a set of positive finishes ahead of the triple fly away races. The circuit is a firm favourite for most of the riders due to its nature, which pushes them to their limits, whilst also ensuring a highly entertaining show for the lively Spanish crowd as well. Smith and Espargaro will navigate themselves around the high-speed 5.1 kilometre Aragon track, which consists of a straight of 968 metres as well as 10 left corners and 7 right.
Bradley Smith will be looking to follow up his brilliantly executed run to 2nd in the San Marino Grand Prix with another strong result at Aragon as he intends to continue his notable form in 2015 plus add valuable points to his standing of 5th in the World Championship. At Misano, the young Briton rocketed to the rostrum after slipping back to 21st due to the tricky conditions, but he bravely persevered and followed his ambitious strategy to score his best ever finish in the premier class. As a result, the 24 year old rider will be gunning for a top six this weekend. Meanwhile Pol Espargaro will intend to bounce back from a disappointing end to the Misano GP, by speeding to the leading satellite position at the event in his home country. The Spaniard has a positive record at the track, having won twice previously in the lower classes and he will seek to close the European run of races with a confident performance before heading to the flyaway Grand Prix's.
Championship: 5th, 135 points
"Firstly, it goes without saying that I can't wait to get back on the Yamaha after the great result that we had last weekend! It was a complicated race there but I clenched my teeth, took the gamble and it paid off. To score 2nd really is a highlight of this season and it is a testament to the hard work that the team and I have put in. Therefore, at this weekend we will try again and of course the podium finish really motivates me for further success. Fortunately, it looks as though the Aragon race should be dry, but never say never. Last year I finished the race in 5th which was positive, yet this season, I feel I am in a much better place and my confidence has increased. However, the Championship is a lot more competitive, so I'll be pushing to repeat last season's result this time. We will see what happens in the race on Sunday, but I am ready to fight and score another solid result, plus with Yamaha having tested there this summer, my confidence is even higher."
Championship: 9th, 81 points
"After the finish that we really didn't deserve in Misano, I am certain that we can turn everything around this weekend in Aragon. The whole event in San Marino was quite positive, but unfortunately it didn't come together on race day as the weather interfered again and close to the end I had to retire due to a technical issue. Nevertheless, Aragon is a track that I really enjoy racing on and it's even more special as it is in my home country! The circuit is fast, there's no doubt about that, but the whole layout is really great fun to ride and it compliments the Yamaha YZR-M1. Last year was eventful to say the least due to the rain on race day and I hope that won't occur again as I want a normal dry Sunday. What we'll aim to do is shake down on Friday and set the bike up, before fighting for a competitive grid position on Saturday in order to be as prepared as possible for the 23 lap sprint on Sunday. It will be hard work, but I'm more determined than ever and the team and I will really give it everything we've got to finish the race in a solid placement in front of my fans before we head east to Japan."
Last European race before the overseas trip
The MotorLand circuit at Aragon will welcome the riders of the Forward Racing team participating this weekend in the 14th race of the season, the last European event before the triple transfer overseas.
Loris Baz, after the incredible fourth place at Misano and taking the lead in the Open Championship, is eager to return on track to hunt for the Open class victory. At his side will be Toni Elias, his new teammate, who will remain with Forward until the end of the season and who is motivated to do well riding the Yamaha Forward. Good memories bind the Swiss team to the Spanish circuit: last year Aleix Espargaro conquered the second place on the podium after an incredible race at Aragon.
Championship: 15th, 28 points
"I got a really important result at Misano. After a daring race, I finished just off the podium and I scored important points for the Championship. The feeling with the Yamaha Forward is positive and I cannot wait to get back on track at Aragon."
"I'm happy to be back on track riding a MotoGP until the end of the season. I will have the chance to compete in the last five races and I'm motivated to do well. Thanks to all the team for this great opportunity."