Bike Racing

Track Preview: MotoGP paddock returns to Europe with the legendary Jerez De La Frontera circuit in Spain

Feature Image Credit: Motogp.com events gallery

Jerez De La Frontera has been the scene of many controversial moments in MotoGP, “Your ambition outweighed your talent” being one of the most famous quotes to ever grace modern motorcycle racing after Valentino Rossi took Casey Stoner out in the wet race in 2011.

After Marc Marquez took a dominant victory at COTA last time out, MotoGP looks forward to returning to Europe with arguably one of the most prestigious tracks on the calendar. It is, of course, Round 4 at Jerez De La Frontera in sunny southern Spain.

Last year we saw Dani Pedrosa take an emotional victory in front of his home crowd, but of course with a circuit that has hosted the Grand Prix paddock since it was built, in 1986 it has become known for many controversial moments in the past.

So lets look at the facts: Jerez is 4.4km (2.75mi) in length, consists of 5 left turns and 8 right turns, the circuit race record is currently held by Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha in 2015 where he set a 1’38.735 on his way to a dominant victory, he also holds the qualifying lap record from the same year, which is a phenomenal 1’37.910. The top speed record is held at 295.9kph by Andrea Iannone in 2015 on-board a Ducati.

The overtaking hotspots are into turn 1 but as Valentino Rossi found out in 2011, it’s very easy to loose the front end in the wet.

The next best opportunity on the circuit is turn 6, named Dry Sack. If you get a good run out of turn 5, Sito Pons, you often see a out-braking manoeuvre into Dry Sack, who can forget the famous Moto2 race in 2010 when Shoya Tomizawa was taken out here causing his bike to drop oil and leave over a dozen riders on the floor and marshalls scrambling to help all the riders.

after turn 6 you have to wait all the way to 90 degree right hander of turn 9 for the net opportunity to make a move.

Failing that what’s left? Well arguably the most controversial corner in MotoGP history, yes., Jorge Lorenzo corner, turn 13, whether it be in 1996 with Mick Doohan sticking it up the inside and Criville falling after a light touch, or 2005 when Valentino Rossi made heavy contact with the Spaniard Sete Gibernau, knocking him off his Telefonica Movistar Honda. or in 2013 when turn 13 was named the Jorge Lorenzo corner, and it was in fact the man himself who lost out to Marc Marquez, again a replica move to Rossi in 2005. Thankfully Jorge managed to stay aboard his Yamaha but didn’t particularly want to accept Marquez’s immediate apology in parc ferme where tensions visibly ran high in the aftermath.

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One of the most memorable non controversial moments from Jerez has to be Brad Binder’s first World Championship win coming from 32nd on the grid to win by 3.2 seconds in what can only be described as a exhibition ride.

It all started after qualifying practice where Binders RedBull KTM Ajo bike was found to be using a non-homologated issue leading to a mapping infringement meaning he started the race from the back of the grid, Binder won what can only be described as a odds defying race, Moto3 is known for being a hard racing category so it is difficult often to do a dominant race in the entry class, this win for Brad Binder ultimately kick started his championship campaign winning the next 2 races and eventually winning 7 races in 2016.

It’s fair to say after three brilliant races, across all classes, so far this season Jerez has all the ingredients for another thrilling race. Will Andrea Doviziozo leave Spain as the championship leader? Can Pedrosa take another famous victory like last year? Or will Jorge Lorenzo break his winning drought? Overtake Motorsport will have all the answers for you – so stay tuned!

Click here for more information on the Jerez De La Frontera Circuit.

Feature Image Credit: Motogp.com events gallery

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