Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Eager to Continue Action in Aragón
After securing a double podium at Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's second home Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli nearly two weeks ago, the team shapes up for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón. The fourteenth Grand Prix of the season at the MotorLand Aragón circuit holds a special significance as it's not just a home race for Lorenzo but the team's title sponsor, Movistar, has also taken title sponsorship of the Aragón round for a third year in succession.
After a strong race at his home Grand Prix where he secured second place, Rossi aims for another top result in Aragón, where he secured a podium finish in 2013 and 2015 with two third places. Over the last four races, he has been gradually reducing the margin to the championship leader to 43 points in the overall standings. This weekend the nine-time World Champion aims to hit the ground running on Friday, as he looks forward to another exciting battle with the frontrunners.
Teammate Lorenzo also arrives in Aragón with high hopes to continue the momentum of the last round at his penultimate home race of the season. His third place finish at the last round in Misano keeps the Mallorcan in third place in the championship, 18 points behind his teammate. He is eager to add another podium result to his tally at the MotorLand Aragón circuit, scoring two consecutive wins over the last two years, two second places in 2012 and 2013, and a third place podium finish in 2011.
The MotorLand Aragón circuit was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2010 and was given the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award that same year. Situated near the town of Alcañiz in Northern Spain, the track is only a few hours drive from Barcelona and draws thousands of fans. The fast and challenging 5.1 km long circuit, with ten left and seven right corners and a 968 m longest straight, has one of the most spectacular elevation changes of the season and multiple flowing corners, making finding the right set-up vital.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We arrive in Aragón feeling positive that we can make this a great weekend. We go from our team and Valentino's home Grand Prix to the home race of Jorge and our title sponsor Movistar, so it will be another very special event that we are looking forward to. Our riders both like the Aragón circuit and the team's work ethic is as high as ever, so we feel confident that we can be ready for another close battle."
Championship: 2nd, 180 points
"Even though I wanted to win in Misano, I can say that it was a good race anyway. In all the next races we will do our best to get always the best result, just like we did in Misano. The only thing that interests me now is to do good races. In Aragón we will have to work well from day one, as we have been doing this entire season. This circuit has fast corners and hard braking, so it will be important to have a good bike, with a perfect set-up. I really like the track and, even if it is not one of my favourites, we will try to do our best."
Championship: 3rd, 162 points
"Despite the high expectations in Misano, we finally could come back to the podium after some bad races. In Misano we worked really well throughout the weekend but ultimately Dani and Vale were faster than us. At least we got another podium and we found the line regarding the setting with the bike. Now it's time to go to Aragón. This track never suits our bike perfectly but over the last years we were able to win several times so you never know, especially this season with the new tyres everything is challenging and tricky. I'm eager to fight on home soil and I will try to taste victory again."
Espargaro and Lowes keen for Aragon contest
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders Pol Espargaro and Alex Lowes eye up the forthcoming race at the MotorLand Aragon GP confidently as they aim to battle to two notable results aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes. The 14th event on the 2016 calendar will take place at the ultra-modern circuit that is located approximately 250km north-west of Barcelona in the inland of Spain, where a passionate crowd is expected on Sunday.
Pol Espargaro fully intends to achieve the top independent rider honours in front of his fans in this weekend's Grand Prix ahead of the triple flyaway races. The Spaniard, who returned to the top ten at the last outing in San Marino after producing a solid effort, is currently six points behind the leading satellite rider in the championship standings, but will seek to edge ahead by securing a top eight finish in Aragon.
Meanwhile, Alex Lowes will ride in the Monster Yamaha Tech3 colours at Aragon where he will once again stand in for the recuperating Bradley Smith. The young Briton, who competed in Germany this weekend at the 10th round of the WSBK Championship, will switch from his Factory Yamaha R1 to the Yamaha YZR-M1 as he targets a point scoring result to highlight his learning progress in the world's highest category of motorcycle racing.
Championship: 9th, 88 points
"For sure, I am very excited to get back on Spanish soil and put on a good show for my home crowd at Aragon. The circuit is really impressive, super modern and great fun to ride, plus it is a track that is physically demanding where we have to constantly ride on the limit. With regards to my ambition, of course, the main aim is to win the top independent rider battle and move back into the lead in the satellite standings. I have some positive memories of Aragon as I finished three times on the podium, which also includes two victories, and it would be great if I could add another strong performance to that list. Every race this season has underlined how crucial the qualifying is and in terms of positions, I've had some competitive showings there on the M1, as I started from 4th on two occasions in the previous years. Therefore I hope we can hit the ground running on Friday, just like we did in Misano, and keep this form over the weekend so that I can give my fans something to cheer about!"
Championship: 23rd, 3 points
"I am delighted to be able to have another outing on the Yamaha YZR-M1 with Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and I truly aim to repay the team with a strong performance on Sunday. It's incredible how much I've learnt with this opportunity over the last two races and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I feel that step-by-step it makes me more of a complete rider, and the knowledge I have gained on the M1 will surely continue to help me in my day job in the World Superbike championship. Fortunately, Aragon is another circuit that I know, even if we only used the MotoGP track layout for the first time this season in World Superbikes, but I'm sure it will feel different to ride on the YZR-M1, especially the last corner. In any case, the goal of the weekend remains the same because, in the previous two GP's, I just wanted to gain as much information as possible. After racing the Yamaha R1 in Germany this weekend, it will certainly take me a few laps to re-adapt to the Yamaha YZR-M1, yet I can't wait to get FP1 underway and ride the fantastic bike on the Spanish circuit."