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We captured the evening atmosphere in Cadiz on the weekend of the Jerez GP on May 5th, 2018. For a Grand Prix weekend in this region you have to book early in order to find something reasonable at a reasonably priced price.

Before the fourth round of MotoGP in Andalusia

After Ducati and Aprilia had shared the victories equally in the first 6 races, it could well be that a third manufacturer will be on top of the podium for the first time in Jerez de la Frontera. With Jack Miller as the winner in 2021, as well as Brad Binder as second last year and sensational Pedro Acosta, KTM in particular has three hot irons in the fire. Yamaha ace Fabio Quartararo, however, as the double winner in the first pandemic year of 2020, is, in contrast to his teammate at the time, only considered an absolute outsider. The Catalan Maverick Viñales, the first double winner of the still young 2024 season in Texas, won the race in the smallest category in Jerez de la Frontera in 2013. The Aprilia figurehead has also been on the podium three times in the premier class. As the only three-time winner this year, Maverick is in the form of his life and is brimming with confidence. However, you should never underestimate Marc Marquez, who has already won three times in MotoGP at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto.

Our photo from Saturday on the MotoGP weekend of 2018 from between turns 7 and 8 with the target turn 13 at the back on the right, named after the three-time Jerez GP winner from 2010 to 2015 Jorge Lorenzo. Shortly after this photo was taken, Cal Crutchlow took pole position. A year later we saw Fabio Quartararo as a rookie in the same role when we returned here.

Location and route details

Just a few kilometers west of the city of Jerez de la Frontera is the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto, named after the 13-time world champion. The Spaniard, who comes from Zamora in the northwest of Madrid, is the most successful pilot in history in the so-called shot glass class up to 50cc and in the 125cc category, where he won 7 titles. Nieto died at the age of 70 as a result of an accident when he was hit by a car while riding his quad bike in Ibiza. As on most GP tracks, the Circuito de Jerez is driven clockwise. The course has 6 left and 8 right turns and, at 11 meters wide, is significantly narrower than the more modern race tracks on the calendar. With a length of 4,423 kilometers (2,748 miles), Jerez is in the middle of the current MotoGP and WorldSBK circuits. The longest straight measures 607 meters and the route is accessible to spectators all around (at least at MotoGP events), such as Assen, Le Mans and Barcelona.

Because there is a huge traffic jam blocking the route from Jerez de la Frontera and generally from the west on Saturday and Sunday, we recommend arriving on the A-382 from the east, accessible from the south via Cuartillos and Casablanca via the Jédula ramp .

The most successful pilots in Jerez

Before the motorcycle world championship was renamed, pilots from overseas always dominated the 500cc premier class, with Australians and Americans taking turns in their triumphs. The later HRC Honda team boss Alberto Puig was the first local to manage to break this series in 1995. It was the only win of the Catalan’s career. His compatriot Alex Crivillé was much more successful on both counts, achieving the hat trick from 1997 to 1999. However, the third time he benefited from Mick Doohan’s serious training crash, which ended the Australian’s career. The last triumphant on the toxic 500s was MotoGP icon and 9-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who achieved his hat trick in the first year of MotoGP in 2002. Four more victories followed in his long and incomparable career, making his mark of seven successes in Andalusia difficult to top in the future.

Our summary of all the winners and podium finishers in the premier class, where you can see how the record holder was also victorious in the two smaller classes before. In addition, the most popular motorcycle racer in two-wheeled history took numerous podium places in Jerez and in 2020 even the very last one of his career.

The situation in the World Championship before the fourth round

The 3 races in the Sprint and Grand Prix categories are currently only shared by 3 pilots, who are therefore in the top 5 of the interim ranking. But as our summary shows, there are also two drivers in between, the resurgent Enea “la Bestia” Bastianini and rookie Pedro Acosta, who have never won before. However, a win will only be a matter of time for them, provided they don’t get injured in the near future. The same applies to Brad Binder, who is a tiny point behind title defender Bagnaia before the Spanish GP. The latter could even achieve a hat-trick in Andalusia if he doesn’t make any more of his numerous mistakes this season. After only three rounds, the situation in the World Championship is of course still completely open. That’s why we think it’s premature to talk about the title decision yet. What will be much more important in the near future is which drivers can secure their stay in the premier class. At least for those who don’t yet have a contract for next year and this definitely affects the overwhelming majority of them. In this regard, Jack Miller’s chair at KTM, as winner three years ago, may even be shaking.

The current World Cup leader is one of the hottest items when it comes to the rumor mill regarding contracts for the coming season. Either he gets Bastianini’s seat in the factory team, or Jorge leaves Ducati, as he openly stated at the press conference in Texas. Bagnaia, Binder, Moto2 pilot Aldeguer (at Ducati, the customer team is still open), Fabio Quartararo (of course still at Yamaha), Luca Marini and Johann Zarco (both Honda) are already confirmed for next year.

Schedule for the Spanish Grand Prix – with critical comments

The short race held on Saturday, which usually lasts 12 laps (10 in the WSBK), is definitely an enrichment, especially for the fans. What we find interesting is the different meaning in MotoGP compared to WorldSBK, in which most commentators equate victories in these sprint races, which have existed there since 2019, with runs over the full distance. However, this handling is highly questionable when it comes to the falsification of statistics it causes. This is of course absolute nonsense, especially due to the halved number of points and the fact that from rank 10 onwards the rankings are worthless in this regard. In addition, the achievements of previous heroes are unfairly devalued. A good example of this is the sensationalism by many that Bautista recently surpassed “King Carl” Fogarty. However, this only applies if you include sprint victories when counting race successes. However, the Spaniard is not just a dwarf against the second best superbike pilot in history, with only two titles compared to four of the English icon. Because MotoGP uses the term Grand Prix for full-distance races, neither journalists nor other commentators dare to equate sprint successes with these races.

Compared to the previous year, very little has changed and, unfortunately for some pilots who show little enthusiasm for it, this particularly affects the Rider Fan Parade. Every fan should form their own opinion on this, we, along with Johann Zarco, are among the skeptics of this change, which was introduced last year together with the Tissot Sprint Race from the WorldSBK. This is for the simple reason that the number of falls observed since then has clearly increased.

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