Aragon Grand Prix Review 2020

2020-10-20 07:56
Michelin was the title name for today’s Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragón in Spain as local MotoGP™ hero Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) took top billing to become the eighth winner in this intriguing season.

This weekend at the 5,077m anti-clockwise MotorLand Aragon circuit, cold temperatures had been a main concern, leading to the organisers changing the start-time of today’s 23-lap race to an hour later. This led to almost perfect racing conditions for the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres with track temperatures at 31°C and produced a fantastic race.

Starting from 10th on the grid, Rins had to make his way through the field – setting the fastest lap of the race in the process – before getting to the front group, passing Pole-setter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in his progression, before making his move on early race-leader Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). His pairing of soft front and soft rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyres gave him the grip and performance he required and he soon started to show a dominance at the front. Behind him several battles raged as Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) joined the lead group from 11th on the grid. As the race drew to its exciting conclusion Marquez began to close on Rins, but the Suzuki rider held off his advances to take the victory on his home track. Marquez took second and his second podium in as many weeks, with Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) coming home in third, a result which moves him to the top of the championship standings and also signalled Suzuki’s best-ever result in a MotoGP race.

With cold weather playing such a factor this weekend, tyre choice was always at the forefront of every team’s planning and today’s choice saw four of the available specifications chosen for the race with on the hard front and hard rear remaining unused. Rins and Mir both used soft/soft, whilst Marquez went with medium front and soft rear.

Early pace-setter Viñales was next across the line in fourth, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) fifth as he took the position of First Independent Rider. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was sixth and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) kept his title hopes alive with seventh. Eighth went to Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was ninth, leaving Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) to close out the top-ten. The cold asphalt conditions meant that fast lap-times were always a premium this weekend, but the drive produced through the rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyres led to a new Event Best Maximum Speed as Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) recorded 351.8 Km/h, an increase of over 5 Km/h on the previous best.

Michelin will now remain at Aragon for the second race in this double-header as the venue stages the first running of the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel on Sunday 25th October.

Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR:

“It’s amazing to get the first position here in Aragon, because when I was small I used to spend the summer in a small village here and this victory is dedicated to all the people that can’t come here to the track and support us with the difficult situation of the Covid. Suzuki really wanted this victory, because we are doing a lot of podiums with Joan (Mir), but still the victory wasn’t there, but not it has arrived and I’m really happy. I am really pleased to win the Michelin Grand Prix, especially with how well the soft/soft worked today, I was using the medium front, but I felt really confident with the soft front and we got the victory with it.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“The Michelin Grand Prix is a special event for us and today produced a great race and another winner, we have now had four different manufacturers win a race this season, which shows our tyres are producing results for many different types of motorcycle and rider. It has overall been a difficult weekend again due to the very cold temperatures. The asphalt was below 10°C on Friday morning and it is always a big demand for the riders to try to generate and keep heat in those conditions. We did advise how to use the tyres, but the organisers took the decision to delay all the sessions and today’s race, which was the best thing to do for all the classes. With the warmer afternoons it made tyre choice interesting today and we saw four of the six specifications used. They all performed well and despite all the difficulties faced this weekend – both on and off the track – we are pleased with the weekend from a racing point-of-view. We will now stay here for another race next weekend and the forecast seems to be better, so we plan to improve further and push for records.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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