Crash.Net MOTOGP News
Aragon wins 'Best MotoGP' at first attempt
16 December 2010
Spain's MotorLand Aragon circuit has made history by winning the IRTA 'Best Grand Prix' award at its very first attempt.
The new Spanish circuit overcame intimidating obstacles as a replacement race to triumph on a calendar filled with world class facilities.
While most of the circuits know a year in advance whether they'll be included on the grand prix calendar, MotorLand Aragon had half that time.
The race track, which was the first reserve circuit, was placed on the calendar on March 18, just over six months before the September 19 race date.
Once given the green light circuit management immediately began preparations to host the MotoGP World Championship, making sure that when the teams, riders, and spectators arrived at the track near Alcañiz they would be well taken care of.
Located 200km southwest of Barcelona, the track, which was built with local government backing, was designed by famed architect Hermann Tilke.
Also the prestigious British firm of architects, Foster + Partners, has contributed with the design of the upcoming Leisure and Culture area.
The third area is a technology park (TechnoPark). The end result is multi-purpose motorsports complex based on the pillars of technology, sports and leisure and culture.
Spread across the track's 5.077 km layout are a combination of 17 corners of varying speeds, mixed in with elevation changes. Because of the MotoGP testing ban, none of the premier class riders were allowed to test their prototypes prior to the race. But they were allowed to ride other equipment, which many riders took advantage of.
Future world champion Jorge Lorenzo, of the Fiat Yamaha team, said: “I really like this track. It's so fun to ride and it is quite different, a new challenge. It is interesting to ride the M1 here after coming here on an R1.”
Added Ducati's Nicky Hayden, after qualifying second fastest: “I think they've built a track they can be proud of. It's a nice facility, the layout is good and safe. There are some fun sections with blind entries, some fast corners and some slow ones... it's a nice mix.”
Though the track is ultra-modern, it has roots in the past. The Alcañiz Street Circuit hosted its first City of Alcañiz GP in September 1965, with races running right through to 2003.
As cars became more powerful and speeds increased, it became increasingly more difficult to host a safe event. As the millennium drew near, a plan was made to build a motorsports complex. Motorland Aragon is a public corporation created in 2001 as "Motor City of Aragon.”
IRTA President Herve Poncharal noted the circuit's quick work to prepare for the grand prix in announcing the award.
“This is a very special year for this award. We've had the pleasure of honoring many great tracks, but none in the first year of their existence. And none which had only six months to organize their first ever grand prix. That they were able to do it was impressive and historic; they are the first track ever to win the award on the first try.
“As we all know, Spanish motorcycle fans are second to none. There was some concern that having a fourth race in Spain would be a problem, but that wasn't the case. The race drew a very strong crowd of over 70,000 who were treated to fantastic racing at a facility that is so much more than a race track. It's also fitting that they join Jerez, Catalunya, and Valencia as a winner of the award.
“Having won in their 'rookie' year sets a standard that won't be easy to match. How do you improve when you're chosen as the best? However, I'm confident that won't be a problem. Jose Angel Biel, President of MotorLand Aragon Circuit, and his staff worked tirelessly for six months to make the race the success it was, and the day after the race they began planning for 2011, when they take their proper place on the calendar.”IRTA Trophy Roll of Honour.
1984: Silverstone / GB.
1985: Hockenheim / Germany.
1986: Nurburgring / Germany.
1987: Assen / Netherlands.
1988: Suzuka / Japan.
1989: Donington Park / GB.
1990: Jerez / Spain.
1991: Donington Park / GB.
1992: Catalunya / Spain.
1993: Eastern Creek / Australia.
1994: Eastern Creek / Australia.
1995: Mugello / Italy.
1996: Mugello / Italy.
1997: Mugello / Italy.
1998: Phillip Island / Australia.
1999: Brno / Czech Republic.
2000: Mugello / Italy.
2001: Catalunya / Spain.
2002: Valencia / Spain.
2003: Valencia / Spain.
2004: Brno / Czech Republic.
2005: Valencia / Spain.
2006: Catalunya / Spain.
2007: Brno / Czech Republic.
2008: Losail / Qatar.
2010: MotorLand Aragon/Spain