Alex Rins in the Suzuki Ecstar Box in October 2020 in Motorland Aragon – with a win and second place behind Frankie Morbidelli, the Spaniard was the most successful man on the circuit near the small town of Alcaniz last year.

Does the round in Alcaniz bring a preliminary decision in the title fight?

A year ago, the double race in Motorland Aragon brought the turning point in the MotoGP World Championship. Before that, Fabio Quartararo was 10 points ahead of Suzuki Ass Mir in the interim ranking. Back then, two third places were enough for the Catalan to take the lead from the French. The curious thing was that the Monster Energy Yamaha rider had already won three times before, while his toughest opponent did not have a win. It was only in Valencia that the team-mate in the lead then let his comrade pass much too conspicuously so that he would not have to be without a Grand Prix success in the event of his title win. But this season the omens are completely different, except for the fact that Joan Mir has been without a win again, but is still second in the World Cup.

Johann Zarco 2020 on the Reale Avintia Ducati – as a strong fifth in the second race, the fast man from Cannes was able to impress a lot on the two-year-old Ducati GP-19. This time he comes back in third place in the World Championship on the current model and is one of the podium candidates on the fast track.

The new Quartararo – matured and clarified
This time, the young man from Nice travels to Alcaniz as a five-time winner. He’s the only one to have scored points in every race, and only Jack Miller has won more than once. The Australian has already missed the chequered flag three times because he landed in the gravel trap and Joan Mir, Johann Zarco and Pecco Bagnaia, who were ahead of him in the World Championship, are no longer clean in this regard. Perhaps the most dangerous man on the next route is Marc Marquez. He had won five of the seven MotoGP races previously contested in Motorland, and even a Moto2 Grand Prix in the 2011 season. In the twelfth intermediate place, however, the little Catalan is not a threat to Fabio Quartararo. But there is much more danger from him, because he can knock his opponents out of the race with such mindless actions as the last one against Jorge Martin in Silverstone. Should he not fall for once, however, he can take important points away from the opponents of the Yamaha star because he is definitely one of the favourites for victory in Aragon. In this respect, the world championship leader is well advised to take good care of the Repsol Honda man next weekend and not to go into an Infight with him.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) after his victory in Silverstone, where he had no serious opponents – the Frenchman developed into the absolute high-flyer and so far most reliable man in MotoGP after his ups and downs last year.

The premiere for Maverick at the Aprilia

After being kicked out of the Monster Energy Yamaha works team as a result of his misconduct in Spielberg, Viñales will have his first Grand Prix for the Italian brand. Last year his new team-mate Aleix Espargaró had trouble in Aragon. The man from Granollers scored three points for Aprilia, also because he hadn’t the slightest chance in terms of top speed against the fast opposing bikes. It is precisely on this track that Maverick tries for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini for the first time. A fourth and a seventh place in the previous year mean his benchmark on the Monster Energy Yamaha of 2020. In the previous year, as in 2017, he was quite successful with fourth place on the Japanese manufacturer’s M1. Even on the Suzuki he was able to shine as fourth in the 2016 season, which is why we can be particularly excited about his premiere with the Italian manufacturer.

Maverick Viñales on the Aprilia during his first test drives in Misano – the Catalan is considered a MotoGP surprise bag and has everything from a top result to complete failure. After Suzuki and Yamaha, he found shelter at the manufacturer from Noale.

The current World Championship status for all 3 classes at a glance

With a lead of 65 points over his closest rival in the interim classification, Fabio Quartararo will definitely still be in the lead on his onward journey to Misano. Behind the French, however, it is very close and theoretically even Jack Miller currently has the chance to conquer second place. At the top, the situation is similar in all three categories. If the world championship leader wins, he will be able to significantly expand his gap on the toughest opponents in the title fight. Especially in the premier class, the Yamaha rider could bring about a preliminary decision if Mir, Zarco, Bagnaia and Miller do not manage to finish well in front of him.

Motorland Aragon – the track

The modern course offers 10 left and 7 right turns and, at 5.077 kilometres, is one of the longer routes on the GP calendar. The slope is 15 meters wide, and the longest straight line is between curves 15 and 16, which merges into the target curve 17. In the opening year, the racetrack was awarded the prize of the best GP of the year by the IRTA (Association of MotoGP GP teams), which no other racetrack had ever received in the first GP year. Marc Marquez is by far the most successful MotoGP rider in Motorland. This means that the Honda man is automatically one of the top favourites for victory in Alcaniz after his victory on his other favourite track in Saxony. The best results of the world championship leader, however, are fifth place in 2019 and eighth place in the second race last year.

The last bend of the long final curve 16 is officially considered curve 17, which is not immediately obvious to every viewer in view of the route plan. Therefore, this number is also missing from our route map.

The schedule for the Tissot GP of Aragon

The provisional combined calendar of MotoGP and WorldSBK

After Aragon, there are currently five Grand Prix on the calendar. This is still a tentative combined plan because FIM and Dorna released an initial draft on November 5, 2020, as if there was no longer any problem with the corona pandemic at all. This short-sightedness took revenge, however, and the number of changes for the two motorcycle world championships has since reached double digits. It is particularly annoying for the fans of both series, and teams, riders and sponsors of WorldSBK, which was formally cannibalized by the conflicting appointments. After the introduction of the track limits hated in the paddock and by many spectators and the often completely arbitrary application of the new rules by the FIM commissioners, MotoGP has lost much of its appeal. We have therefore pulled the rip cord and only sporadically report on the current Grand Prix sport. All planned trips have already been cancelled and from now on we limit ourselves to the WSBK for detailed and timely reporting.

The last change concerned the second race in Misano in October, after the cancellation of the Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang published on August 19th. At the moment, all overseas races are still considered extremely endangered, which is why Texas in MotoGP and San Juan and Mandalika in WSBK remain questionable.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).