The majority of the Moto2 grid experienced Aragon for the first time in early July, during a two-day test session that was topped by Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) and Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter).
Moto2 World Championship leader Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) was also among the fastest riders during the outing.
This weekend MotoGP will still be in mourning following the tragic events of Misano, where Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, Suter) died after an accident during the Moto2 race.
Tomizawa’s friends and fellow Moto2 riders have all spoken of the young Japanese rider’s infectious enthusiasm and his love for the sport. He will be deeply missed by everyone.
At Misano, World Championship leader Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) was as lost for words as anyone, saying only that Tomizawa “has left an indelible mark on my life”.
With Tomizawa very much in his memory, Elias will be working towards a fifth successive Moto2 win at Aragon to further stretch his series lead over his biggest rivals, Simon and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2, Moriwaki). If he is able to win again, Elias wants to dedicate his victory to his late friend and rival.
Although Simon and Luthi are both on great form – the pair joined Elias on the Misano podium with their second and third place finishes – they know that Elias’ recent form has given them a mountain to climb with only six races remaining.
While Simon was a promising second quickest at Aragon in July, Elias was less than three-tenths slower, so the points leader will be hard to beat, especially since this is another race on home tarmac. Elias won the first Spanish Moto2 round at Jerez in May, but he’s not unbeatable at home; in July he could only manage fifth place at Catalunya.
MotorLand Aragon – situated 200km south west of Barcelona – is an exciting new venue designed to be much more than just another racetrack. Built with local government backing, Aragon is a multifunctional complex devoted to technology, sport, leisure and culture.
The Aragon circuit was created with the help of some big hitters in their respective disciplines – the track layout was designed by German architect Herman Tilke (creator also of the Sepang, Istanbul, Shanghai and Bahrain racetracks), while the infrastructure is the work of globally renowned British architect Sir Norman Foster. Foster’s work includes the pit complex, a hotel and residence, a technology park, a business area and a sports complex.
The anti-clockwise circuit meanders across the undulating landscape with an interesting combination of 17 corners within the 5.077km layout. There’s a great variety of fast and slow corners, with elevation changes and several blind corner entries adding to the challenge.
Aragon is the 13th event of this year’s 18-race MotoGP season. It also the final European round before MotoGP embarks upon its Asian odyssey which takes the paddock from Motegi in Japan to Sepang in Malaysia to Phillip Island in Australia on consecutive weekends in early October. The action then returns to Europe for the final two races of the year in Portugal and Valencia.
Moto2 Rider Quotes
Toni Elias (Gresinin Racing) says: “We did a great job at Misano even though my physical condition was not perfect. In the end we reaped the fruit of all our hard work even though it was very tough. Taking pole position on Saturday and the win on Sunday was a nice gift to the team, who are based just a few kilometres from Misano. The win has also given us a boost in terms of the championship.”
“It would have been a day for us to celebrate but our achievements lost all significance with the passing of Shoya Tomizawa. It was a tough blow for our sport and today more than ever I want to send my thoughts to his family and do my part to keep alive the memory of a rider and a young man that was so full of life. It is an extra motivation to pay homage to him at Aragon, with the number 48 in my heart alongside the Spanish fans, and try to win the race so that I can dedicate it to him.”
Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team Suter) says: “I am very motivated going to Aragon after my second straight podium at Misano. Moving up to second in the championship also makes me want to keep this positive trend going. I got a good feeling for MotorLand in July at the test and my lap times were good. I can’t wait to get back there and ride again at a place I enjoyed so much. We found a good setting in the test so we should be able to adapt quickly on Friday. The fact it is another home race is another incentive to have a great weekend.”
Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Team) says: “We all have tested in Aragon, so it is equal for all the riders. We already have data from there, which is also an advantage. We will try to continue where we finished at Misano and want to try not to touch the base settings too much from there. The upcoming Grand Prix should not be too much stress for us as we don’t want to change around as we did in Misano. I think to stick with the front group is defiantly the target here and I will try my best to be up with the leaders again.”