For the third-straight year, the 2012 MotoGP Championship heads to Motorland Aragon, the newest circuit on the 18-race schedule.
Leading the points race ahead of this weekend is Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. In the 13 rounds so far this season, the 2010 MotoGP Champion has finished on the podium 12 times, including six wins.
Lorenzo holds a 38-point lead ahead of his main rival this season, fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda RC213V. Both riders will surely be the focus of the weekend considering the man who won at Aragon the past two years, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner, is out injured.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “Aragon has not been the strongest track for us in the last two years, but I think we have found something in recent testing which will help us to be more competitive here. We will try to make a good show for all the Spanish fans who come to see us and we will try to win.”
Dani Pedrosa (Respol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Aragon is a very good race and the circuit is impressive. We went there with the team for a two day test at the beginning of this month and we did a good job. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the Spanish crowd again, it would be great to see the circuit full of people like we had in the previous years. The bike is working well and I’m feeling good; we go there with the same determination as always and motivated to continue riding well and have another good race.”
Riding the reigning champ Casey Stoner’s RC213V will once again be World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, who finished eighth at his MotoGP premier two weeks ago at Misano. Stoner is hoping to return at his home race in Phillip Island.
Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Ben Spies will aim to continue his positive upturn in results, having completed the last race without any of the faults that have plagued his season so far. Yet much of the attention will be focused the Ducati Team, in particular Valentino Rossi, who looked to have found one of the missing ingredients for success with his Desmosedici.
After finishing on the podium in Misano with an updated bike, and reporting a positive test afterwards, Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden will hope to verify their findings with another positive result in Spain.
With his future in 2013 still uncertain, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who recorded his first GP podium last time out, will once again be looking to stake his claim to keep his current ride. He will be buoyed tremendously by his third place in last race, while other Honda satellite rider, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, will hope to overcome the front tyre issue that hampered his charge in Misano. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso may however be the most determined rider on the grid in Aragón, having lost out on the podium by a mere 0.003s in Misano, whilst his teammate Cal Crutchlow will look to bounce back from his crash.
Both satellite Ducati outfits will be aiming for a much-improved race in Spain, after Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham suffered first technical issues and then a crash last time out in Italy, and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá crashed and took out Pedrosa in the first few bends. As usual, Aragón will see a full line-up of CRT machines, including NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci. Both are now running the Suter chassis with a BMW engine in a bid to speed up development of the machine. Whilst Edwards scored his best result yet in Misano, Petrucci will be looking to avoid the technical issues, which hampered his home race.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet continues to dominate the CRT table standings ahead of his teammate Aleix Espargaró, yet will face the challenge of San Carlo’s Michelle Pirro, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, Avintia Blusens pair Yonny Hernandez and David Salom, and Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison.
Aragon MotoGP on TV:
SPEED TV will broadcast Aragon MotoGP at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 30, and again at 4 p.m.
2012 MotoGP Point Standings (after 13 of 18 rounds):
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