16 April 2019 11:00
The circuit that you need to experience at least 12+1 times!
The city of Jerez has always been very closely connected to Motorsports. Although the circuit was originally built to host the Spanish Formula 1, it quickly became part of the MotoGP Championship, providing us with many unforgettable races. Motorsport Live takes a look at why the Spanish MotoGP at Circuit de Jerez has become one of the best races on the calendar.
Last year, the Andalusian track was re-named the “Circuit de Jerez-Angel Nieto” in honour of the late Spanish rider Angel Nieto, who won a total of 13 world championships (or rather, 12+1). The circuit has gifted us many unforgettable battles, like those between Àlex Crivillé and Mick Doohan in the nineties and the more recent ones between Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau. One shining example of the latter rivalry was on the final lap of the 2005 Spanish MotoGP when Rossi tried to overtake Gibernau on the inside without leaving any room, a move which ended with Gibernau on the floor.
The Circuit de Jerez opened in 1985, thanks in part to the passion that the people of Jerez had for motorsport, and also to the then mayor, Pedro Pacheco, who was the real driving force behind the project. A few months later the circuit hosted its first Formula 1 race, where Aryton Senna took the first victory on this track. A short while later, on 26th April 1997 to be exact, the Circuit de Jerez welcomes its first MotoGP event. Ever since, the Andalusian circuit has hosted the Spanish MotoGP, making it the second longest running circuit on the calendar, behind Assen.
Jerez is one of the most loved tracks, by both fans and riders alike. It is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar and boasts the “Sito Pons” and “Alex Crivillé” turns, where riders are knee to tarmac at speeds of more than 150km/h. Valentino Rossi, who hailed the track as the “real Spanish MotoGP”, has won the most races on this track, with a total of 7 wins under his belt. Jorge Lorenzo has won the next most with a total of 3, followed by the current World Champion Marc Márquez with 2 wins, including the last year. Could Márquez equal his teammates number of wins this year?
When it comes to the best viewing options, X1 and A10 grandstands are the most popular with fans, right in front of the final bends with plenty of overtaking action to see. For those that want to see the pit box action, VIP Grandstand is right opposite the garages and lets you follow the action right the way through the race.
Moving away from the roar of the engines, the city of Jerez has many other things to offer. The MotoGP event takes place in early May, when temperatures often reach around 23 degrees centigrade, so it is the perfect time to plan a visit to the beautiful beaches just 15 minutes by car from the city centre. And this is before we’ve even mentioned the incredible gastronomy of Jerez, with dishes to suit all palates. Typical dishes include “ajo caliente” a tomato based delicacy, “berza” a seasonal leafy green cooked with local ham and “chicharrones”, a variation of fried pork belly. And given that you’ll be so close to the sea, you can’t miss out on a “pescaito frito”, or deep fried fish. And to top it all off, a super sweet treat in the form of a local sweet wine (Jerez is the home town of Sherry) like Moscatel or Pedro Ximenez!
If this wasn’t enough, the MotoGP weekend also coincides with the start of one of the most traditional Andalusian festivals; the April Festival (Fería de Abril) in Seville, just one hour from the circuit by car. Can you think of a better way to end your holiday? The origins of the Fería de Abril go back to 1846, when the event started as a means to buy and sell cattle. Now-a-days, you can find more than 1000 tents where locals of Seville greet their families and friends to enjoy good Spanish ham accompanied by a traditional glass of sherry. Although most of these gatherings are private, there are around 10-15 public areas where people can enjoy the local delicacies. So, don’t think twice about joining the locals to enjoy good food and wine and watch the flamenco dancers, you may even find yourself dancing like a local!
If you want to experience the excitement of a track that has a rich history, enjoy some delicious local food and wine and immerse yourself in the Andalusian culture, then what are you waiting for? Book your tickets to the Spanish MotoGP with Motorsport Live before it’s too late. Click here