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Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo may arrive at Motorland Aragón this weekend with a 38-point lead at the top of the MotoGP™ championship, yet Repsol Honda Team’s main rival, Dani Pedrosa, will have a point to prove after his disastrous last outing in Misano.
This year’s Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón will be the third year the relatively new track will be hosting the event, which has been won by the currently-injured Casey Stoner on the last two outings. Repsol Honda’s Stoner, who has stated he hopes to be back for the Japanese round in mid-October, will once again be replaced by Jonathan Rea, who finished in eighth on his MotoGP debut last time out in Misano. It will however be Lorenzo and Pedrosa who will remain the talking point, with both hoping to take the win at a track where neither has tasted victory before.
Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Ben Spies will aim to continue his positive upturn in results, having completed the last race without any of the faults that have plagued his season so far. Yet much of the attention will be focused the Ducati Team, in particular Valentino Rossi, who looked to have found one of the missing ingredients for success with his Desmosedici. After finishing on the podium in Misano with an updated bike, and reporting a positive test afterwards, Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden will hope to verify their findings with another positive result in Spain.
With his future in 2013 still uncertain, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who recorded his first GP podium last time out, will once again be looking to stake his claim to keep his current ride. He will be buoyed tremendously by his third place in last race, while other Honda satellite rider, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, will hope to overcome the front tyre issue that hampered his charge in Misano. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso may however be the most determined rider on the grid in Aragón, having lost out on the podium by a mere 0.003s in Misano, whilst his teammate Cal Crutchlow will look to bounce back from his crash.
Both satellite Ducati outfits will be aiming for a much-improved race in Spain, after Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham suffered first technical issues and then a crash last time out in Italy, and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá crashed and took out Pedrosa in the first few bends. As usual, Aragón will see a full line-up of CRT machines, including NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci. Both are now running the Suter chassis with a BMW engine in a bid to speed up development of the machine. Whilst Edwards scored his best result yet in Misano, Petrucci will be looking to avoid the technical issues which hampered his home race.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet continues to dominate the CRT table standings ahead of his teammate Aleix Espargaró, yet will face the challenge of San Carlo’s Michelle Pirro, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini, Avintia Blusens pair Yonny Hernandez and David Salom, and Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison.
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