Nicky Hayden is back to work this week, testing his new WSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR race bike at the Motorland Aragon race track. An important day for the Kentucky Kid, the weather unfortunately didn’t get the memo and thus didn’t cooperate – heavy fog engulfed the track, along with very cold temperatures.
As such, Hayden didn’t get much time on the Honda CBR1000RR, riding only a handful of laps during the test – mostly fulfilling team media obligations and getting the Honda’s basic setup to his liking.
Hayden will have a second opportunity to test the Honda CBR1000RR at Aragon on Tuesday, and later this week he will appear at the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy.
If you want an advance preview to Hayden’s appearance, Honda Pro Racing has put together a nice video interview with the former MotoGP champion. Check it out, after the jump.
The day after an intense race at the Motorland Aragon circuit, MotoGP held its first full Michelin tire test since Sepang this year. The track was open to any teams wishing to give the Michelin tires a spin, or work on the setting of their bikes.
Fourteen riders elected to make use of the opportunity, including both Repsol Honda riders, the Tech 3 Yamaha duo, both LCR Honda riders, and the Aprilia men, along with Scott Redding, Aleix Espargaro, Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi.
Michelin had brought three rear tires and four front tires to Aragon, keen to get some data from the circuit, as they have not had much testing at the track, and very little in the dry.
Another episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is available for your aural pleasure, as the boys come to you from Spain, fresh off the Aragon GP.
The conversation is obviously centers around Jorge Lorenzo’s victory, and what it means in relation to Valentino Rossi’s championship. Other topics include the heroic rides by Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Iannone, as well as the struggles and developments in the Ducati and Suzuki camp.
Just when it looked like the three Grand Prix championships were getting closed to being wrapped up, along came Aragon. The three races at the last European round before the Pacific flyaways left the title chase still open in all three classes.
The outcome in both Moto2 and Moto3 still looks pretty much inevitable, but a win by Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP meant that the battle for supremacy between the Spaniard and Valentino Rossi is anything but over.
The Moto2 and Moto3 crowns may end up being handed out at Motegi, Phillip Island or Sepang, but the championship fight for MotoGP will most likely go all the way to the last race in Valencia.
That may be hard on the fans of the two riders involved, but for MotoGP as a series, it is great. The pressure and the tension goes up with every race, and makes watching an ever greater joy.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his 60th Grand Prix victory.
Dani Pedrosa came out on top after a titanic battle with Valentino Rossi for 2nd place.
Andrea Iannone battled through the pain of his injured shoulder to finish in 4th place.
The last two races have followed a familiar pattern. On Friday and Saturday, Jorge Lorenzo has laid down a scorching pace, which his rivals – and more importantly, his teammate and rival for the 2015 MotoGP title, Valentino Rossi – have been unable to follow.
Lorenzo’s name was penciled onto the winner’s trophy, and his grip on the MotoGP class looked secure.
Then on Sunday, everything changed. The weather gods intervened, rain lashed down at Silverstone, then started and stopped at Misano, throwing the race into disarray. Both times, Valentino Rossi handled the conditions better than Lorenzo, gaining big points in both races.
At Silverstone, Rossi won comfortably, while Jorge Lorenzo struggled home in fourth. At Misano, Rossi rode a tactically poor race, but still managed to come home in fifth. Lorenzo got caught out by the pace of Scott Redding, failing to understand that the Marc VDS rider had already been out for several laps and had his tires up to temperature and his brain up to speed.
The Movistar Yamaha rider tried to stay with Redding, and paid the price when he turned left after a long series of rights, crashing out and scoring zero points.
What do we have at Aragon? Another weekend where Lorenzo is dominating, Marc Márquez his only clear rival, with Dani Pedrosa there as a dark horse.
Valentino Rossi, meanwhile, is struggling with tire degradation, the performance of the tires dropping in the heat. Rossi could lose a big handful of points to Lorenzo on Sunday, if he is unable to match the pace of the top three.
He really needs a bit of a miracle, either in the shape of rain, or in the form of colder temperatures.
Marc Marquez set a new lap record of 1’46.635 to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Aragon.
Jorge Lorenzo was only just behind Marc Marquez, in 2nd place.
Andrea Iannone battled through the pain of a dislocated shoulder to take the final place on the front row.
When your first name is Maverick, you surely have heard every Top Gun joke there is to make, especially by the time you are 20-years-old.
Just in case he hit the brakes, and watched them fly right by, we couldn’t help but serve up a couple more for Maverick Viñales, thanks in large part to his media event with the Spanish Air Force. Talk to me Goose.
Feeling the need for speed at the
Danger Zone Zaragoza Air Base, near the Motorland Aragon circuit in Northern Spain, Viñales was treated to a tour of the facility and a flight aboard one of the Ejército del Aire’s F/A-18 Hornets.
Ecstar Suzuki teammate Aleix Espargaro was unfortunately not at the event, but is quoted as saying that once he got back to the track, Maverick could be his wingman anytime.
While we aren’t sure if the pattern was too full for fly-by, rumors of a shirtless volleyball 1980’s video montage are so far completely unfounded.
This is probably the coolest pre-event MotoGP media event ever, and after the jump we have a bunch of high-resolution shots from it, Ice…Man.