MotorLand Aragon this weekend hosts round 14 of the 2018 MotoGP championship. It will be the series’ third of four visits to Spain, with one further visit remaining; the season finale at Valencia. It is almost inevitable, however, that the championship will be decided well ahead of Valencia on November 18.
Factory Honda rider Marc Marquez takes a 67-point lead to Aragon and with three wins from five starts at the circuit, including the last two years, he will be confident of maintaining the pressure on his rivals ahead of the fly-away rounds immediately after Aragon. Honda riders have in fact won five of the eight races to date at the circuit, Yamaha two and Ducati one. Both Yamaha victories were by Jorge Lorenzo in 2014 and 2015.
It is difficult to see Yamaha on the top step come Sunday considering their performances to date in 2018. After a disappointing seventh place finish at his home race last time out Valentino Rossi has dropped to third place in the championship and now trails Andrea Dovizioso by three points after the Ducati rider claimed his third victory of the season at San Marino.
Though the victory elevated Dovizioso to second place he gained only five points on leader Marquez who came home second. Britain’s sole representative in the premier class, Cal Crutchlow claimed third place and his first podium since taking victory in Argentina at round two.
Aragon remains a circuit where Rossi is yet to record a win and with Yamaha’s woes continuing it is difficult to see that record being banished in 2018. The other circuits where the Italian is yet to win a race are Austin, the Red Bull ring in Austria and the Buriram International circuit in Thailand which is new to the calendar for 2018.
1 Marc Marquez Honda 221
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 154
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 151
4 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 130
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 124
6 Cal Crutchlow Honda 119
In Moto2 Francesco Bagnaia’s sixth victory of the season at the San Marino round extended his slender lead at the head of the championship to eight points over Miguel Oliveira, who for the second race in succession came home in second behind the Italian. Last year the pair placed tenth and third respectively. Once again we will see a new name on the victors list for the Moto2 race with none of the previous eight winners still competing in the class.
With an 87-point gap between second place Oliveira and Brad Binder in third Moto2 looks very much a two horse race, the pair remain the only riders to have taken more than one victory so far this season. On only one occasion, the Sachsenring Germany have both riders finished outside of the top three.
The Moto2 race at San Marino made headlines the world over thanks to the antics of Romano Fenati who grabbed the brake lever of Stefano Manzi at 135mph after the pair had made contact earlier in the race when Manzi attempted to overtake his fellow Italian. Fenati was disqualified and has since had his contract with the Marinelli Snipers Team cancelled his contract and he has also lost his ride at Forward Racing for next season.
1 Francesco Bagnaia Kalex 214
2 Miguel Oliveira KTM 206
3 Brad Binder KTM 119
4 Lorenzo BaldassarriI Kalex 116
5 Joan Mir Kalex 114
6 Alex Marquez Kalex 113
Jorge Martin once again heads the Moto3 title race thanks to his second place finish and the retirement of title rival Marco Bezzecchi in San Marino. The pair have won seven of the of the twelve races to date this season, Martin five and Bezzecchi 2. The remaining five all being one by different riders. The pair though also have six retirements between them, three apiece.
As with Moto2 we are guaranteed an new name to those winners list at Aragon with none of those having previously won the race competing in the class.
1 Jorge Martin Honda 166
2 Marco Bezzecchi KTM 158 -8
3 Fabio Di Giannantonio Honda 137 -29
4 Aron Canet Honda 118 -48
5 Enea Bastianini Honda 117 -49
6 Gabriel Rodrigo KTM 97 -69