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Home Heroes: The Crown of Aragon

Home Heroes: The Crown of Aragon

Many of the Spanish riders consider the Aragon GP to be their home round, but few can truly lay claim to it.

The small town of Cervera, Lleida is the birthplace of two World Champions and located near the Aragon circuit which is quite remote. The province of Lleida is the home of both Marc and Alex Marquez and as such they can truly claim Aragon as their home round. Both have had mixed fortunes at the circuit, especially the elder Marquez.

Aragon joined the World Championship calendar in 2010 as a replacement for the Hungarian GP, which was scheduled to be held at the Balatonring but a number of issues arose. Since then, Aragon has become a favourite circuit for many of the riders and teams, its 17 corners offering a unique challenge including turns 8 and 9 which have similarities to the famous Cork Screw in Laguna Seca.

Marc Marquez has enjoyed success and heartbreak in equal measure at his home round of Aragon. In 2010, while challenging for the 125cc title, the elder Marquez brother was taken out at the first bend and his championship challenge dealt a serious blow. The following two years saw him take a win and a second in the Moto2™ races, overcoming fierce battles in both years. The 2013 season saw Marquez take victory at Aragon; his last win of the year. But disaster struck in 2014 when he fell while on slicks as it began to rain, Marquez pushing to his limits as he continued to learn what a MotoGP™ bike could do.

Younger brother Alex Marquez has had a similarly dramatic time at Aragon; of his three starts at the circuit in the Moto3™ World Championship he has claimed tow podiums. The 2014 Moto3™ race was critical to Marquez’s challenge for the title that year, perhaps even the deciding factor. A drying track saw Marquez and title contender Jack Miller collide as they rounded the final corner, Miller being sent down and handing Marquez an 11 point lead. Marquez would go on to take the Moto3™ title by just two points, Miller unable to close that 11 point gap.

Aragon is also home of Efren Vazquez, the Basque rider’s legion of fans flocking to the circuit each year to support him. With 137 race starts ahead of the Aragon GP, Vazquez is the second most experienced rider in the lightweight class and has taken two victories during his long career. Three times Vazquez has finished inside the top five at Aragon, but the podium still eludes him. As part of the Leopard Racing team in 2015, Vazquez has perhaps his best chance yet of a home podium.

MotoGP, 2015, GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN, Efren Vazquez, Alex Marquez, Marc Marquez

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