“All we want is to push”: action stations for Aragon!
The Press Conference kicks off the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon, with plenty to talk about in Teruel
Thursday, 09 September 2021
The doors to MotorLand Aragon are open once again, with the pre-event Press Conference for the Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragon welcoming Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), closest challenger and reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Ducati Lenovo Team’s Jack Miller, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, Silverstone podium man Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), home hero Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) and the returning Maverick Viñales as he debuts with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini.
Here are some key quotes!
Fabio Quartararo: “It’s a totally different situation compared to last year. In 2019 I didn’t do a bad race but now I have a totally different feeling on the bike, I’m in a different situation and I feel much better. Of course it’s not my favourite track but at some tracks I didn’t like I was pretty fast this year, so it’s not so important. It’s not my favourite place here but of course I will do the same work as always and try to fight for the best position.
“I think what I didn’t have last year… the consistency. We were fast in Jerez, Barcelona and even Misano, it was just up and down. This year I’m really consistent and it’s changed a lot and I think to fight for the championship it’s the main key, so if I need to say something I would say the consistency I could maintain this year.”
Joan Mir: “It was a shame in Silverstone, before the Grand Prix I expected much more and honestly during the race had some problems and I couldn’t finish in a better position. Luckily well the other Championship contenders also made some mistakes and they were also in trouble and yeah, I’m second but I’m not looking a lot at it. I think that we must reset, it’s important to start here with a good feeling, let’s see if I can find it again and to be fighting for the victory on Sunday would be amazing also. I will give my best and to see where we are.
“Compared to last year, we lost a bit of speed. The thing we wanted to improve this year was something we made a bit… not that we made it worse, but we didn’t improve as expected. This made everything a bit more difficult. There is still a lot of racing left and I think there’s room for improvement.”
Jack Miller: “It was really nice to be strong at the end of the race, it’s been a while. Being able to show I was able to maintain the tyres, especially at Silverstone which is one of the most brutal tracks on tyres, maintain them and put in a solid second half of the race was key. I enjoyed it a lot. I had to have a lunge on the last lap on Aleix, it was one of those things, you don’t just roll over and give it to him. And I think it would have made his podium a bit more special for sure, it was a lot of fun and hopefully we can do it all again on Sunday here in Aragon.
“We have a more consistent bike underneath us this year if we look at performance on every track. I think we’re in a good position but we won’t know until we go out for FP1 tomorrow. As you said the weather is a lot warmer than when we were here last year and it feels more like an Aragon GP now. We were on the podium here in 2019, last year both races were shocking, in the second one I only made it to Turn 2, so hopefully his year we will be able to turn the luck around. Six races left, we’re sitting fifth in the championship and yeah we need to get some more points on the board.”
Aleix Espargaro: “I have a little more confidence after the Silverstone result. Obviously the podium was very important but the most important thing for me was the level we have showed at every GP, in different conditions we’re always close to the top guys so obviously now after the podium I feel a bit more relaxed. Now let’s try to do better, to keep fighting for the podium. This is a circuit that I really like, where the bike has worked quite well in the past. The weather looks better than last season, where we struggled a lot because it was cold so I can’t wait to ride the new bike here.
“I’m very happy Maverick joined our team. I think he arrived in the best moment of Aprilia’s racing story. We’ve been talking for a long time with Maverick about Aprilia, about joining us in the future, but after the thing in Austria, I’m super happy he can be racing again with us. As my teammate I think we have a very strong team also with Sava in the test team role. I think the future is bright for us, obviously to improve from where we are now is not going to be easy, the level is very high, the riders ahead of me are very strong and also their machines, but the challenge is very beautiful so Maverick and I are ready to go for it!”
Alex Rins: “As what we did in the first part of the season, all the ups and downs, we deserved that podium, myself and the team. We’ve arrived at this track with a lot of confidence. It’s a track I really enjoy, the layout is unbelievable but you know, all the riders are super fast, and the level in MotoGP is super high. Let’s see where we are, we will give our 100%.
“It was hard to accept, but in the end we worked hard with the team, my personal team and race team, and after the summer break we arrived in Austria with a different mentality, trying to go race by race and trying to learn and enjoy the ride and in the end I think it is the best idea. We suffered a little bit in Austria for the layout but in Silverstone we were able to show our real potential and yeah, let’s see how we go here.”
Pol Espargaro: “Well… I don’t trust so much in these kinds of steps, like you work good during one weekend after a tough season and everything changes. I trust in the hard work, for sure the season hasn’t been what we wanted, at the end we were working hugely to make it in one weekend, ok it was Silverstone, but our goal isn’t to make one weekend for the season. We want to keep this pace for the rest of the season, or if it’s not possible this year, do a good pre-season next year and hammer next year. For us, all of Honda’s goal, we are so far back in the Championship that we don’t have a chance to fight for something, let’s say, interesting. We’ll keep our heads down, maybe it’s going to happen that we arrive here and we suffer again. Trust me when I tell you that I’m working hugely, Honda too, to try to be the best package possible in the second half of the season or at the start of the next one.
“I’ve been in the last races, last year I was fighting with some of them, but last year I was fighting with different riders, not the ones I was facing at Silverstone. For sure the way they approach the overtake, and the way they overtake you, is much different. It allows you to ride in a different way, much smoother, relaxed, no one is going to come overtake you in a crazy way when you are in first or second. They are smoother in their overtakes and everything is much easier when you are in front and you don’t need to be stressed and recovering positions, just trying to overtake the other guy and protecting the inside every lap. So the race was much easier, even if I finished in the top five. As you say this place is good for Honda, at least last year, but as Jack said this year the temperature has changed a lot. We face sometimes, from one week to another the track changes so much, so from one year to another we don’t know, especially with the temperature we’re going to face for the weekend.”
Maverick Viñales: “I’m more than excited, I’m very hungry and motivated to start this story with Aprilia. The six races ahead are just a present to prepare better for next year. Our priority is trying to learn, for sure it is very different, I need to learn a lot and learn quick.
“For sure, this year set up a lot of fire inside of myself. All we want is to push. I’ve been away for a while, but I think we come back in a good way. After the two tests I feel positive to be here and get experience on a weekend and we just need to learn.”
That’s the lowdown from the Press Conference, with MotorLand Aragon poised to deliver a thriller. Tune in as Free Practice begins on Friday morning, before Sunday sees the lights go out for the premier class race at 14:00 (GMT +2)!
Fuentespalda, home of the longest zipline in Europe, welcomes some fast faces for their first race of the weekend
On Thursday morning before the Aragon GP, MotoGP™ riders Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were joined by Moto2™ Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) at Europe’s longest zipline. Located in the Teruel province, the “Tirolina Fuentespalda” zipline extends over almost two kilometers and sees those who dare drop 200m over that distance, reaching some impressive speeds. And so, of course, the race was on for the quartet of eager riders.
The winner? Rins. The Suzuki rider got up to a whopping 128km/h, with Zarco hot on his heels with 121 on his second run. Gardner reached 115, and Miller? The Ducati rider didn’t put the monitor on… so we’ll never know!
Zarco and Miller praised the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider’s untouchable top speed though, and enjoyed getting back out the saddle for something a little different. And Rins? The quip of the day came from the winner, with the home hero giving an accurate appraisal of the layout. A two kilometre straight? “More a Ducati track”, but he nevertheless took to the top step and aims to do the same on Sunday at MotorLand.