Features

"Motorland is a difficult track plenty of braking at angles"

After a positive and successful race in Misano less than two weeks ago, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the MotoGP paddock head to one of the most modern circuits on the calendar - Motorland Aragon. 

The circuit set in the Spanish countryside has a little bit of everything from ups and downs to a long straight, and we can’t forget one feature which is now synonymous with Aragon; the wall!

Alex Rins’ Crew Chief, Manuel Cazeaux, talks us through how the team will tackle this 14th round of the season.

“Aragon, for sure, is not the easiest circuit on the calendar and there are several challenges. The riders need to find the best lines, and the team must find the best set-up. So it’s a difficult track - you have a lot of braking at angles, and you need to make sure that the rider feels confident especially when it comes to stopping the bike and corner entry. One of the toughest parts is Turn 2,  it’s the first right-hander after the long straight and a long left-handed corner, so you have to be careful there with the tyres and with everything. But at Aragon there are a lot of things you need to pay attention to.”

One of the areas the team will focus on in the early sessions is the aerodynamics, and how they can effectively use this year’s aero package given the recent rule changes.

“There are two points on the track where there can be a lot of wheelieing and you need the aero package to give you extra downforce and try to get more acceleration in those points. But the compromise for this can be in the handling of the bike in the corners, so we need to find the best balance. Since the rule changes we don’t have so many aerodynamic options, so that makes it harder to find the best way to manage the circuit and the potential windy conditions we often have here. We have two different aero options so we have to find out which one will be more effective.”

Manu also explains that Aragon’s long corners and often warm temperatures can also make tyre management more of a challenge than usual…“Tyres are another key point about Aragon; it’s very demanding for both front and rear tyres and we usually see a lot of tyre wear due to the long corners. We did a test here recently and the lap times dropped quite a lot during the second half of our race simulation so tyre management will be very important.

The flowing parts of the circuit certainly do suit the characteristics of our bike, but the hard braking and hard acceleration from low gears is where we’re still struggling and aiming to improve

Despite all its difficulties, this 3rd Spanish stop on the 2018 calendar does have certain quirks which suit the GSX-RR and could play into the hands of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins.

“The flowing parts of the circuit certainly do suit the characteristics of our bike, but the hard braking and hard acceleration from low gears is where we’re still struggling and aiming to improve. We haven’t had the best results here in the past, our best so far being a 4th place with Maverick in 2016, so let’s see if we can improve. We certainly hope so!

See you on track from Friday 21st September at Motorland Aragon!

Tyres are another key point about Aragon; it’s very demanding for both front and rear tyres and we usually see a lot of tyre wear due to the long corners