Ball in Lorenzo's court as title fight moves onto #AragonGP2015-09-21 07:15
Rossi holds a 23-point advantage over Lorenzo as the epic 2015 MotoGP™ title battle moves onto to the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon.
The San Marino GP saw Marc Marquez break his duck at Misano by taking victory in one of the most exciting races in the history of the World Championships. We also saw Jorge Lorenzo dramatically crash out and Valentino Rossi cross the line in fifth to increase his lead over his teammate to 23 points after a pit stop free-for-all in the changing conditions. The incredibly tense title saga now returns to Spain for round 14 of the MotoGP™ World Championship, with what will happen next anyone’s guess.
MotorLand Aragon became the sixth different Spanish circuit to hold a World Championship race when it was added to the calendar in 2010. Located in the historic motor racing town of Alcañiz, this will be the sixth grand prix that the track has hosted. The circuit has proved a happy hunting ground for Spaniards with them winning 11 of the 15 GP’s held at the track across all classes.
It is one of only two circuits on the calendar, along with Austin, that Movistar Yamaha’s championship leader Valentino Rossi has not won at before. Unbelievably, the “Doctor” only has one podium to his name at the circuit, a third place from 2013. Last year he found himself fighting through the pack from sixth on the grid before he crashed out, briefly knocking himself unconscious. It was the last time that Rossi failed to finish a race and the last time he finished off the podium, until his fifth placed finish at Misano last time out.
Last year his teammate and closest championship rival Jorge Lorenzo took the win in a flag-to-flag race. If the two Movistar Yamaha teammate's results were to repeat themselves, the Spaniard would take a two-point advantage into the flyaways. Lorenzo has finished on the podium four out of the five times he has raced at Aragon, with his worst finish a fourth back in 2010.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez will be aiming for his 50th GP victory across all classes as he trails Rossi by 53 points in the standings. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion won the 2013 race from pole, after having achieved the same feat in Moto2™ in 2011. In last year’s race Marquez once again started from pole, but crashed while leading the race on slicks in wet conditions, and remounted to cross the line in 13th.
His teammate Dani Pedrosa suffered an identical fate last year while he was battling with Marquez for the lead, eventually crossing the line in 14th. He crashed out of the race in 2013 after Marquez had famously collided with him and damaged a traction control sensor, but was victorious in 2012. He also has two second-places to his name from 2010 & 2011.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso has crashed out of the race at Aragon in three of the last five years. His best result was a third place back in 2012 after a race long battle with his then teammate Cal Crutchlow for the podium. His current teammate Andrea Iannone crashed out of last year’s race after an excellent ride that saw him battling for the lead. The Italian won the Moto2™ race in 2010, making him one of only three non-Spanish riders to have won at the circuit along with Casey Stoner (MotoGP™ 2010 & 2011) and Romano Fenati (Moto3™ in 2014).
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro achieved his only MotoGP™ podium last year as he crossed the line in second on the Forward Yamaha. His teammate Maverick Viñales has got three podiums to his name at the circuit across all classes (125cc - 3rd 2011, Moto3™ - 2nd 2013) after winning last year’s Moto2™ race from pole.
In the Satellite battle Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (135pts) has a 42-point lead over Danilo Petrucci (93pts) on the Octo Pramac Ducati after his first podium of the season at Misano. The British rider finished fifth in last year’s race while Petrucci pulled of his best result of the season in 11th on the IodaRacing ART bike. Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro remains on 81 points after his crash at the San Marino GP, while LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow is a further two points back. The Brit achieved his sole podium for the factory Ducati Team in last year's race as he crossed the line in third.
In the Open standings it is Forward Racing’s Loris Baz who now leads the way after his incredible fourth in the mixed conditions at Misano. The Frenchman (28pts) has a 5-point advantage over Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera (23pts), with Jack Miller on the Open LCR Honda in third on 16 points.
The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon begins on Thursday at 5pm with the official Press Conference; the on-track action kicks off at 9am local time with Free Practice.
MotoGP™ World Championship Classification
1 - Valentino Rossi ITA (YAMAHA) 247 points
2 - Jorge Lorenzo SPA (YAMAHA) 224 points
3 - Marc Marquez SPA (HONDA) 184 points
4 - Andrea Iannone ITA (DUCATI) 159 points
5 - Bradley Smith GBR (YAMAHA) 135 points
Zarco given first title chance at Aragon GP
Having continued to extend his Moto2™ World Championship lead, Johann Zarco has his first chance to clinch the title.
An exciting San Marino GP saw Ajo Motorsport’s Johann Zarco gifted the lead as Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) clashed with Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Racing Interwetten) early in the race. The Frenchman would go on to take a dominant victory, since taking the lead of the standings in Argentina Zarco has extended his advantage at each round. Having won the last three successive races, Zarco could equal Toni Elias’ record of most successive wins in the Moto2™ class set in 2010.
Along with breaking yet more records, Zarco has his first chance to claim the 2015 Moto2™ World Championship crown. For the Frenchman to become champion he must outscore Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing) by at least seven points and ensure he does not lose more than ten points to Rins, who still has a mathematical chance to win the title. A full list of results that would secure Zarco the title can be found here.
Aragon will also host the 100th Moto2™ race since the class replaced the 250cc class in 2010. Of all the riders in the intermediate class, Aegerter is the only rider to have participated in the previous 99 races. There have been a total of 26 different winners, 2015 championship challenger Rabat having taken 11 wins throughout his Moto2™ career. Rabat’s form at Aragon is impressive, having claimed two second place finishes in his last two visits to Aragon. No doubt Zarco will have his work cut out for him to secure the title.
The San Marino GP did not go to plan for Alex Rins, the Moto2™ rookie taking out Aegerter early in the race and then receiving a black flag for battling with the leading riders despite being a lap down. Even after failing to score, he still has a chance of taking the Moto2™ title but will have to win the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon to keep his hopes alive. Twice Rins has started from pole at Aragon in the Moto3™ class.
There have also been several changes in rider line up as Mika Kallio joins the QMMF Racing Team in place of Australian Anthony West. In turn Kallio’s seat has been filled by Edgar Pons for the remainder of the season. Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team) will again miss the race due to his broken leg.
Moto2™ World Championship Classification
1 - Johann Zarco FRA (KALEX) 224 points
2 - Tito Rabat SPA (KALEX) 181 points
3 - Alex Rins SPA (KALEX) 164 points
4 - Thomas Lüthi SWI (KALEX) 131 points
4 - Sam Lowes GBR (SPEED UP) 128 points
Moto3™ ready for heated battle
A career first win for Enea Bastianini at home keeps his title hopes alive.
The San Marino GP saw another classic Moto3™ World Championship race with a group of six riders fighting vigorously throughout. It once again came down to the final few corners as Enea Bastianini on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 bike played his cards perfectly to overtake Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) with just a few corners to go and take a career first win in the lightweight class. Bastianini celebrated with a tri-colore haircut in the style of the Italian flag, much to the joy of the 90,000 strong home crowd.
Bastianini is now 55 points behind championship leader Danny Kent, who had a disappointing San Marino GP. With five rounds to go there title battle is still very much on and a win at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón could certainly hand the momentum back to the young Italian.
Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent is still very much in control of the 2015 Moto3™ title battle and will be looking for victory in Aragon. The Brit was forced to drop a place during the San Marino GP for exceeding track limits, ending any chances of victory. Kent’s best result at the Spanish circuit came in 2014 when he finished third. Honda could also claim their first lightweight class constructors title since 2001 at Aragon if they are able to outscore KTM by 11 points.
The battle for third in the Moto3™ World Championship has Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Oliveira split by just five points, the advantage passing back and forth. Fenati won the 2014 Aragon GP having qualified down in 13th, recently the Italian has been performing better in Qualifying and will no doubt be in the mix in Aragon yet again no matter his grid slot. It was announced ahead of the San Marino GP that Fenati will remain with his SKY Racing Team VR46 in 2016 before a move to Moto2™ in 2017.
Oliveira heads to the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón with a best finish of fifth in 2013. An upgraded KTM frame and swing arm saw him return to challenging for victory for the first time since breaking his wrist at the German GP earlier in the season. The Portuguese rider will move up to Moto2™ in 2016 with the Leopard Racing squad.
Efren Vazquez will be out for a good result at his home grand prix, the Leopard Racing rider suffering an unfortunate crash in Misano while fighting with the leading group. 2015 has seen the Basque rider claim four podiums, but also fail to finish five times.
Moto3™ World Championship Classification
1 - Danny Kent GBR (HONDA) 234 points
2 - Enea Bastianini ITA (HONDA) 179 points
3 - Romano Fenati ITA (KTM) 139 points
4 - Miguel Oliveira POR (KTM) 134 points
5 - Niccolò Antonelli ITA (HONDA) 126 points
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