24 April 2019 12:02
Motorsport Live looks back over the Aragon MotoGP. The third of four visits to Spain for MotoGP, Aragon is a popular hunting ground for Marc Marquez.
MotoGP makes four visits to Spain throughout the course of each World Championship year and one of those is to MotorLand Aragon, perched in the sweeping hills of the majestic Aragon region. Motorsport Live takes a look at the form guide for the Aragon Grand Prix.
The proliferation of top-level motorcycle racers in Spain through the 2000s led championship organisers to search for another venue in the country and in 2010 the category visited the newly-constructed MotorLand Aragon, located in the rural heartlands of the historic Aragon commune.
But for the first two years the locals had to wait for a home victor - Casey Stoner's pair of wins, for Ducati and Honda respectively showed his malleability at the venue as the Australian flag was hoisted aloft the podium during the closing years of the double World Champion's distinguished career.
Since 2012, though, the event has been dominated by Spaniards. Dani Pedrosa triumphed that year while one season later rookie sensation and local hero Marc Marquez triumphed at the event en-route to taking the title in his first year in the category. Compatriot Jorge Lorenzo took the honours in 2014 and 2015 as his silky-smooth style aboard the Yamaha hooked up perfectly to the flowing circuit, featuring its Corkscrew tribute and iconic walled section, but since then it has been Marquez territory.
Marquez won in 2016, 2017 and 2018, much to the delight of his fan club, who pack the venue with #93 flags, owing to the World Champion having grown up in nearby Lleida. The circuit has even named one of the corners after him! But even then, he hasn't had it all his own way. Arch rival Andrea Dovizioso led all bar five laps of last year's event and finished just six-tenths adrift, while Andrea Lannone joined the duelling rivals on the podium, ensuring Honda, Ducati and Suzuki took away a trophy, proving the venue can be mastered by all type of motorcycle.
The circuit layout is conducive to some great racing; take your pick from several vantage points as the riders often switch back through the flowing first sector, battle into the heavy braking point at Turn 12, and duel along the lengthy back straight, with the bravest on the brakes ready to gain positions through the long curve that leads across the finish line. The ability to run different lines through that last corner has led to drama in the past - especially on the final lap.
The autumnal date also provides an added intrigue and tension, with the World Championship reaching a crucial stage. Cold mornings can give way to hot afternoons, causing teams and riders a set-up headache throughout the course of the weekend as the practice sessions develop.
For any self-respecting fan of motorcycle racing it is a go-to event on the calendar, with the MotoGP races - and their Moto2 and Moto3 junior categories - featuring swathes of overtakes thanks to the open circuit layout and lengthy straights that allow for slipstreaming battles.