Round fourteen of the 2014 MotoGP season takes place at MotorLand Aragon; a venue where variable weather conditions, long sweeping corners and hard braking zones create a challenge for tyre development. Measuring 5078 metres in length, Aragon is a technical circuit with a back straight almost one kilometre in length among a mixture of long sweeping corners and slower, tighter curves. The varied nature of the circuit and its susceptibility to cool weather requires a special approach to tyre development. Tyres that warm-up quickly, and provide both good cornering grip and braking stability are required at this Spanish circuit.
The presence of a couple of long-radius left-hand corners at Aragon means that overall, the left shoulder of the tyres are put under greater stress than the right. As a result, asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber compounds on the left shoulder are provided at this circuit. For the rear tyre, the options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha are the medium and hard compound, while the Ducati and Open-class riders will have the soft and medium compound rear slicks available. The three front slick options at Aragon are the soft, medium and hard compounds. Owing to the smooth tarmac and possibility of cold weather, the main wet tyre for Aragon is the soft compound option, although every rider will also be able to select a small number of the alternative, hard compound wet tyre.
“After a disappointing weekend in Italy, it will be nice to return home to race in front of our home fans in Aragon this weekend and also my fan club will be coming! This is my favourite track of the year and we’ve had good results here in the past three years so I hope to continue this way. It has technical first and final sections, and you need to be strong in cornering, but we will be working hard from Friday to be back on top on Sunday!”
“Last year obviously wasn’t the best for me, but apart from that I’ve always done well in Aragon and I’m looking forward to racing in front of our home crowd again, the support is always great and gives you motivation! Obviously Marc has a huge lead in the Championship but there is only a single point between me and Valentino, so my priority is to win races and open that margin to take second in the standings.”
“Heading to Aragon after winning my home Grand Prix is really nice. We had a good race, we worked well all weekend and the result was spectacular. Now we must try to repeat what we did in Misano. The main objective is to continue like this, fighting for important positions every weekend. I am just a point behind Dani in the championship and I want to fight for this position. I also especially want to be strong everywhere. I arrived to victory at Misano step by step and we have to continue like this until the end. We are on the right way!”
“Motorland is a great track but it’s one of the few circuits on the calendar where I was never able to win. Over the last few years the layout seemed to be more suitable for our rivals, but I guess this season we can be closer especially because we tested there a couple of days after Montmeló so we already have some references. I’m still pursuing my first victory of this season and Misano again wasn’t the place, but I’m not worried about it. Hopefully we can complete a good weekend at Aragon and let’s see what happens! You never know. Last year I won in Motegi, a Honda track, and it was a massive surprise. I don’t see why we can’t do the same thing this year at Aragon!”
“Aragon is a track where I’m good, I got to the podium in Moto2. I think I can have a good race, the Ducati this year has improved in all the tracks and we have the potential to do well here too. Tuesday I tried the GP14.2 at Mugello, it is not much different than the version I used so far. With the new bike I was immediately at ease and I like the riding position more. The bike is narrower than the GP14, my impressions are positive but we did not get to do a comparison. Here we have both bikes to really understand the differences.”
“I am delighted to be here at Aragon. I started my career here with the Pramac Racing Team. This is a track I like and where I like to ride. It’s like a home track because I know it very well. This race will be useful for me to understand what actually where I improved compared to my first race with Ducati. “
“Aragón is a strange track: it’s not one of my favourite circuits, but we have been going really well in the last few races this year on tracks with very different characteristics and so I also expect to go well at Aragón, just like we did at Silverstone and above all at Misano, which was a really special race. We are now becoming a more competitive reality and I am very happy with our constant progress.”
“I can take some positives to Aragón of being able to ride the bike well again during the weekend and finish the race. In terms of my riding style, I quite like the circuit, I’ve had some good battles there in the past and results haven’t been too bad. I think the more flowing corners that Aragón has got are a little bit more suited to my style anyway and we know the Ducati is good in the braking zone so hopefully we can benefit in those areas.”
“I am really happy to finally return to action this weekend. Racing motorcycles is not only my job but my passion and it hasn’t been easy for me to miss so many races. I just focused on getting back as quickly as possible but riding a MotoGP is not something you can test your fitness for until you try it. I have been riding quite a bit of dirt-track lately but I can’t say for sure how strong I am so I am looking forward to getting on the bike and seeing the results of the operation. At the moment I don’t want to set any objectives other than to get back out there and see how I feel. I am looking forward to seeing the team again and I can’t wait to get back to the serious work on Friday. My arm and wrist feel quite strong and the movement has improved. I didn’t want to come back until I knew I had done everything I could to recover and I am happy with the result. I managed to get on the podium the first year we raced at Motorland, I quite like the circuit and it has some fun corners.”
“I am excited about racing at Aragón this weekend. There are only five races left this season and I want a good result from each of them – especially Motorland because it comes directly before my home Grand Prix in Japan so I want to go there in good form. Aragón is also an important race for the team because it is one of their home races. Motorland is a cool circuit, I guess the long straight will penalise us in respect to some of our rivals but the rest of the track should suit our bike. Misano didn’t go as well as we hoped but we are making decent progress at the moment and hopefully we can continue to do so this weekend.”
“Aragon is a very special track, being characterized by fast corners mixed with some tight ones and also a very long straight; it’s another circuit where last year we were competitive, even though the references of 2013 at this time have little value. At the moment we are struggling and we have a lot of problems; I hope that the atmosphere of my home race can help us to find a solution, because in this situation is really difficult to get some good lap times, even if we push at the maximum. I’m very motivated and I really want to get back to work together with the team, looking for a solution in order to find myself more comfortable on the bike; the support of my family and of the many friends who will be on the track this weekend will be also helpful”.
“Aragon is quite a nice track and even though it will be again a new circuit for me on a MotoGP bike, I think that it could be good for our technical package. At Misano we faced a difficult weekend and we struggled to be fast, so now we are determined to be back at the level of competitiveness we put on display in the previous races. We will work hard to get back in front of the other Open Class Honda and, if possible, we will also try to fight with some Factory bikes”.