Aragon MotoGP 2021 preview: Marc Marquez’ territory

The MotoGP World Championship travels to Spain for the third time this season after Jerez and Barcelona, with the occasion of the Aragon MotoGP 2021. The MotorLand Circuit of Alcañiz (Teruel) will host the thirteenth round of the calendar, with Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) arriving with a very comfortable lead of the standings. 

Quartararo extended his command of the classification by 18 points following his forth victory of the season Portugal, Italy, Holland & Great Britain) in England. He now tops the Standings with 206 points, 65 more than current champion and main rival, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with 141. 

That said and despite this solid advantage, the Frenchman will face a real challenge this weekend. ‘El Diablo’ himself has acknowledged, just hours before the engines start roaring tomorrow, that Alcañiz is the most unfavourable scenario he could face.

 

“Aragon is probably the worst track on the calendar, not for the Yamaha bike but for me. I have been fast there before – I got pole position last year – but I have never really been consistent. So this would be a great thing to fix. I want to learn at that track and be consistent there too” – confessed the #20-. 

He is simply not comfortable on the asphalt of MotorLand Aragon, it is as if he gets a mental block every time he tries. At the 2020 double header (GP Aragón and GP Teruel), he could only manage an eighteenth and an eighth position, respectively. In both the above commitments,

Quartararo kept a good pace on one lap, but on Sunday he just couldn’t keep up. Moreover, those races took place at the end of October with temperatures of around 20ºC, while this weekend these are forecast to exceed the 30ºC mark. 

His rivals behind, will use this opportunity to give the Frenchman a hard time. They know this is their best chance to defeat the indomitable leader of the championship. 

The British test pilot, Cal Crutchlow, will be sharing the box with Quartararo this weekend for the last time after he was promoted to official pilot following the departure of fallen-out-of-grace Maverick Viñales. 

Franco Morbidelli is due to come back for the next (San Marino MotoGP) and subsequent races, after recovering from his knee operation. The Italo-Brazilian, however, will not be coming back to his former team, the SRT satellite, but will make the leap to the official Yamaha squad, bringing forward a move which was originally scheduled for 2022.  

As for Quartararo’s main adversaries at the Aragon MotoGP 2021, Mir is the obvious, most dangerous rival. After his disappointing ninth place in Silverstone, the Spaniard needs to win. Joan Mir claimed third place at both the Aragon and Teruel 2020 GPs while his teammate Alex Rins finished first and second, respectively, all of which demonstrates the suitability of the Iwata machine to the MotorLand racetrack. 
Another of the protagonists this weekend will be Maverick Viñales. Following his express divorce with Yamaha, the pilot from Rosas is making his debut with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, also bringing forward his premiere, which was planned for 2022. Teaming up with him will be his friend Aleix Espargaró, who made history by claiming the first MotoGP podium (third place) for the Noale’s team at Silverstone. 

Marc Márquez, on one of his favorite circuits

Aside from the strongest pilots in the championship mentioned above, much of the attention will focus on Marc Márquez (Team Repsol-Honda HRC) this weekend. This is one of the Catalan racer’s lucky tracks. He has won here more times than anyone else in MotoGP, five in total (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Sadly, neither his rebellious machine, nor himself are going through the best of times. 

Images of Aragon MotoGP 2021: Box Repsol Twitter.

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