Sep 25, 2012
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Jorge Lorenzo (99).
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo may arrive at Motorland AragÃ³n this weekend with a 38-point lead at the top of the MotoGP™ championship, yet Repsol Honda Team's main rival, Dani Pedrosa, will have a point to prove after his disastrous last outing in Misano.
This year's Gran Premio Iveco de AragÃ³n will be the third year the relatively new track will be hosting the event, which has been won by the currently-injured Casey Stoner on the last two outings. Repsol Honda's Stoner, who has stated he hopes to be back for the Japanese round in mid-October, will once again be replaced by Jonathan Rea, who finished in eighth on his MotoGP debut last time out in Misano. It will however be Lorenzo and Pedrosa who will remain the talking point, with both hoping to take the win at a track where neither has tasted victory before.
Lorenzo's Yamaha teammate Ben Spies will aim to continue his positive upturn in results, having completed the last race without any of the faults that have plagued his season so far. Yet much of the attention will be focused the Ducati Team, in particular Valentino Rossi, who looked to have found one of the missing ingredients for success with his Desmosedici. After finishing on the podium in Misano with an updated bike, and reporting a positive test afterwards, Rossi and his teammate Nicky Hayden will hope to verify their findings with another positive result in Spain.
With his future in 2013 still uncertain, San Carlo Honda Gresini's Ãlvaro Bautista, who recorded his first GP podium last time out, will once again be looking to stake his claim to keep his current ride. He will be buoyed tremendously by his third place in last race, while other Honda satellite rider, LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl, will hope to overcome the front tyre issue that hampered his charge in Misano. Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso may however be the most determined rider on the grid in AragÃ³n, having lost out on the podium by a mere 0.003s in Misano, whilst his teammate Cal Crutchlow will look to bounce back from his crash.
Both satellite Ducati outfits will be aiming for a much-improved race in Spain, after Cardion AB Racing's Karel Abraham suffered first technical issues and then a crash last time out in Italy, and Pramac Racing Team's HÃ©ctor BarberÃ¡ crashed and took out Pedrosa in the first few bends. As usual, AragÃ³n will see a full line-up of CRT machines, including NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Colin Edwards and Came IodaRacing Project's Danilo Petrucci. Both are now running the Suter chassis with a BMW engine in a bid to speed up development of the machine. Whilst Edwards scored his best result yet in Misano, Petrucci will be looking to avoid the technical issues, which hampered his home race.
Power Electronics Aspar's Randy de Puniet continues to dominate the CRT table standings ahead of his teammate Aleix EspargarÃ³, yet will face the challenge of San Carlo's Michelle Pirro, Speed Master's Mattia Pasini, Avintia Blusens pair Yonny Hernandez and David Salom, and Paul Bird Motorsport's James Ellison.
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol's Marc MÃ¡rquez heads to the AragÃ³n race with a 53-point cushion at the top of the Moto2™ standings, yet as he showed last time out in Misano, he will still put everything on the line for that top-spot.
In Misano he was involved in a battle to the end with Spanish rival, Pons 40 HP Tuenti's Pol EspargarÃ³, which is likely to repeat itself at this weekend's Gran Premio Iveco de AragÃ³n. EspargarÃ³ must win races in order to stand a chance of winning the Moto2™ title, whilst MÃ¡rquez looks unable to just race for points. Throw into the mix one charging Andrea Iannone aboard his Speed Master bike, and the race is already a mouth-watering prospect.
Interwetten-Paddock's Tom LÃ¼thi, who only lies four points off Iannone in third, will also be giving his all at the Spanish track, as he looks for not only a better championship position, but another trip onto the podium. Behind him, the battle for fifth in the standings is hotting up, as Marc VDS Racing Team duo of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are separated by only five points, with the Finn looking in ominous form last time out in Misano finishing fourth.
Tech 3 Racing's Bradley Smith, who last year fought his way from 16th to 6th at the AragÃ³n track, will hope to get a podium under his belt this year, before heading up to the premier-class next year with his current squad. EspargarÃ³'s teammate Esteve Rabat and Technomag-CIP Dominique Aegerter will however only have their sights set on each other, as they are points even in eighth, heading Came IodaRacing Project's Simone Corsi, who will look to make amends for his crash at the last race at his home race.
GP Team Switzerland's injured Randy Krummenacher will be replaced this weekend by Swiss rider Jesco Raffin, while the grid also welcomes CNS Motorsport's wildcard Alex Marinelarena.
Blusens Avintia's Maverick ViÃ±ales will be drawing on all his home support at this weekend's Gran Premio Iveco de AragÃ³n to reel in Red Bull KTM Ajo's Moto3™ championship leader Sandro Cortese.
Cortese currently holds a lead of 46 points over his Spanish rival, after holding off ViÃ±ales' late charge at the Misano round last time out. Yet there is now a third that has been firmly thrown into the mix in the shape of RW Racing GP's Luis Salom, who is looking ever more like the complete package in Moto3™. Though he lies 56 points off Cortese, with the unpredictability of the entry-class championship, Salom will see himself as an outside potential for the title still. Cortese may however be racing with more peace-at-mind than the Spanish duo, as he has today been confirmed with the Intact-GP Team in Moto2™ for next year, which will field a Kalex machine.
Team Italia FMI's Romano Fenati, who finished on the podium on Misano last time out, could once again be one of the front runners in AragÃ³n, yet will face a stiff challenge from his Spanish rival for 'Rookie of the Year' Alex Rins. Estrella Galicia 0,0's Rins only narrowly missed out on the podium in the last race, yet will fancy his chances with a home advantage, to claw back the 24-point deficit to Fenati.
Caretta Technology's Alexis Masbou and AirAsia-SIC-Ajo's Zulfahmi Khairuddin should have been resuming their battle for sixth place in the championship, both tied on 81 points, yet Masbou injured himself in a big crash before Misano, and will be replaced by British rider John McPhee until the end of the season. Cortese's teammate Danny Kent, only 11 behind on 70 points, finished sixth in AragÃ³n last year, and will be hoping for an equal or better result this time around.
The Moto3™ race will also see two wildcards fielded in the form of Bradol Larresport's Jorge Navarro and Wild Wolf BST's Juan Guevara. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3's HÃ©ctor Faubel has been permanently replaced by German rider Luca Amato.