The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón holds special significance for the team as it’s not just a home race for Viñales but also for the team’s title sponsor, Movistar, who are the title sponsor of the Aragon GP as well.
Following his home Grand Prix, Rossi is in third place in the championship, 3 points from second place and 70 points from the top of the standings. He has his heart set on a place on the podium this weekend, especially since he so narrowly missed out on one last year, when he made his incredible comeback from injury just 24 days after leg surgery, securing fifth place.
Though the Aragón circuit wasn’t added to the MotoGP calendar until 2010, the Doctor already stood on the podium there three times before. He secured three third places in total in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
This weekend Viñales will be fighting again to move up from fifth place in the championship rankings. He currently sits 6 points behind the rider in fourth place in the overall results and has a 97-point margin to first place.
The local hero has stood on the podium in Aragon three times before. He secured a third place in 2011 in the 125cc class, a Moto3 second place finish in 2013, and a Moto2 victory in 2014. However, he is still missing the MotoGP rostrum to complete the set. Having just missed out on the premier class podium in the last two years, securing fourth position, he is eager to make it happen this time round.
The MotorLand Aragón circuit is situated near the town of Alcañiz in Northern Spain and is only a few hours’ drive from Barcelona. The circuit was given the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award in its debut year, reflecting the riders’ and the fans’ appreciation of the venue. The fast and challenging 5.1km long track has ten left and seven right corners, and a 968m longest straight. It draws thousands of fans, especially as it’s the last European race before the triple-header overseas, making it a round motorsport enthusiasts don’t want to miss.