Quartararo-Bagnaia, Aragon is a motorcycle crossroads: the championship wins

Over the weekend, the Spanish track will host a new episode of the title fight between the Frenchman’s Yamaha and the Italian from Ducati. This is why this race can have decisive weight

Massimo Falcioni

– Milan

Here is the 15th round of the MotoGP season in Aragon, with Marc Marquez very much expected to return to racing after two years of ordeal and for the World Challenge of Quartaro (Yamaha), Banja (Ducati), Alex Espargaro (Aprilia) and the offensive brigade. Seven other riders on the Ducati, with Bastianini Julie with the harpoon in the barrel. Aragon arrives after Misano and before the Japanese flight on September 25 in Motegi followed on October 2 by Buriram (Thailand), on October 16 by Phillip Island (Australia), on October 23 from Sepang (Malaysia) to finish on November 6 in Spain at the Valencia circuit. Aragon could be the crossroads of the tournament. Here Bagnaia won his first MotoGP race of 2021 by beating Marc Marquez in a sprint and comes after the last four consecutive victories in Misano, Austria, England and the Netherlands and the previous successes of Mugello and Jerez. Here Quartararo always struggles: “It’s not my favorite track,” the Yamaha champ seems to get his hands on.

high speed

Here last year the Ducats (mainly from Bastianini and Zarco) flew a maximum of 350 km/h (347.3) with a Yamaha Quartararo at 339.6 km/h. Here, Yamaha, with its new tire effectively tested in Misano’s tests, can restore its grip and give Quartararo a smile. Here there is room, if desired, to obscure those who pursue the tag of the team’s most classic game. Here’s room to find Marc Marquez who can harness his main strength by pushing the RC213V’s introduction to the limit, also revamped in the frame details to restore stability on the best of days. However, it should not be forgotten that so far, with Marquez absent, Honda has struggled to stay in the top ten.

Technical Department

Aragon is a technical circuit, difficult to interpret, with ups and downs (exceeding 7% for a total height difference of 52 metres), fast, wide curves punctuated by zigzag zigzag curves that lead to elbow curves where then acceleration makes a difference. It’s 5,078 meters in length for riders, with aggressive braking sections that put the tires to a tough test and a major straight line – not the start – is nearly a kilometer (968 metres) as MotoGP bikes reach 350 km/h. Historically, Aragon can be said to have been Honda’s circuit so far, having won the first division seven times since 2010, five of them with Marc Marquez, the last four times in a row. Two wins from Yamaha (with Jorge Lorenzo setting in 2015 still the record: 1’48.120 at 169.0km average), one for Suzuki (Alex Rins) and two for Ducati, first time in Aragon with Casey Stoner (2010) and last year Past with Francesco Bagnaia. Racing masterpiece, Pico’s “magical” masterpiece for 2021, in the lead from start to finish, able to contain Marquez’s last rush, second in the race (+0.673) ahead of Mir and Alex Espargaro Aprilia. “He cleaned up the curves like Pinturicchio,” the engineer says. From the Igna of poulain who brought Borgo Panigale back to success in Aragon 11 years later, giving Italy the 250th win in the First Division, the first country to reach the feat.

Ducati game

From here we start again. With the world rankings after 14 races boiling: Quartararo 211 points, Bagnaia 181, Aleix Espargaro 178 then Bastianini 138, Zarco 125, Miller 123, Binder 115, Vinales and Rins 101, Martin 94. With Bagnaia always in attack and by far the most successful drivers, He engaged nonstop in his preparations to catch up and overtake Quartararo. With the Ducatis being eight on the track and that, in addition to what we want to call our ‘team game’, means that we are now racing in 8v1. And that is also, or above all, valid for Bastianini who is in today’s team. Gresini “customer” (with full support, also financially, from the parent company), as well as a (premium) contract already signed for 2023 with the parent company of Borgo Panigale. Do we need to add more to understand where Bastianini will be on the right track since Aragon? However, enough argument. Anyone understands what the race behavior of the riders should be and what it will be in Aragon and from Aragon onwards, no one is ruling out, riding a Ducati, not just red. Watch out, Quarteraro is here and there will be. He didn’t give up, he didn’t lose his clarity, as his races and lap times show, even if the last few races have been uphill. Besides the new 2023 engine, the M1 since Aragon has advanced itself with important innovations, especially electronics, to improve acceleration above all else. Quartararo wants to go from defense to offense by at least back on the podium and is probably thinking that the returning Marquez could act as a third wheel… in his favour. Who benefits from it? championship.