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BMW Motorrad in Spain

BMW Motorrad in Spain - Motorland Aragon WSB Preview

The Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport enters uncharted waters this coming race weekend. From 17th to 19th June the FIM Superbike World Championship will visit Motorland Aragón (ESP) for the first time. The ultra-modern facility is located near Alcañiz in the region of Aragón in north-eastern Spain. This is the venue for the seventh round of the 2011 season, just one week after round six in Misano (ITA).

The Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport and works riders, Leon Haslam (GBR) and Troy Corser (AUS), tested in Motorland Aragón during the winter. This gave them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the circuit and collect important data in preparation for the race. For Leon and Troy, the coming days are all about getting back to 100 percent fitness and recovering from the injuries received last weekend in Misano. Leon’s injuries included a broken toe, while Troy suffered a bruised hip and a cracked rib.

In this season’s Riders’ Championship, Leon is in fifth place on 106 points, while Troy is currently 15th on 49 points. Over the course of the first six race weekends of the season, the pair has already scored 155 points for the Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW lies fourth with 138 points. Only the best result from each race counts towards this championship.

Leon Haslam:
"Aragón is quite interesting for us. A few of the teams selected it as their test circuit. We tested there once in the winter and did not do too badly. I feel that we have made some progress now with the BMW S 1000 RR, so I am actually looking forward to returning to a circuit where I have done some testing. And on top of that it is a new circuit for everyone, so it is quite exciting to see how it will all pan out.

The circuit is quite technical. In a lot of corners the radius hangs on to you, it is always an issue with grip over there, and on top of that you have some high-speed straights leading into very, very tight corners. It has a mixture of everything and a lot of different elevations. I think it will make for good racing"

Troy Corser:
"The Motorland Aragón circuit reminds me a little bit of Portimão, with lots of blind crests and corners, long off-camber corners and up and down sections. It was good that we tested there to learn the circuit. It is a quite technical track to get the bike to work at. I am looking forward to going there.
Unfortunately my last race day in Misano was short, due to my injuries. But now I have nearly one week to rest and recover. And with that, I am confident that all will be okay in Aragón"

Bernhard Gobmeier, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director:
"We tested at Aragón in the winter, just after Leon joined the team, and we had a very positive outcome, although the low temperatures meant we did not get any really conclusive information about the interplay between tyres and chassis. Obviously the BMW S 1000 RR has been developed and evolved considerably since then, and definitely for the better, so we are looking forward to going there. It is a track that seems to favour the characteristics of our machine. The Superbike World Championship has never raced there before so everyone is going in on the same level. With that anything is possible. The track itself is very abrasive with high grip levels, so tyre management and conservation will be the key to a good race in Spain.

Fortunately neither of our riders suffered really bad injuries in Misano. However, the bruises and fractures are obviously painful – that much is clear. Our two boys are currently in extremely good physical and mental condition, so we assume that they will be fully fit again in time for the weekend. All in all, we are hoping everything runs more smoothly again in Aragón."

This season the FIM Superbike World Championship travels to Motorland Aragón for the first time. The circuit is located near Alcañiz in Aragón, an autonomous community in north-eastern Spain. Alcañiz has about 16,000 residents and is located approximately 99 kilometres from the capital of Aragón, Zaragoza.

Motorland Aragón is regarded as one of the most modern motor racing facilities in the world. It was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, in cooperation with the British architectural office of Foster and Partners, and was opened in September 2009. Formula One driver Pedro de la Rosa was involved in the planning of the layout in an advisory role. As well as the racetrack itself, the complex also boasts a karting circuit, a technology centre and a leisure centre.

The circuit has two different lengths: one version is 5.077 kilometres long, and the other 5.345 kilometres. The races in the FIM Superbike World Championship are held on the longer variant. The track is between twelve and fifteen metres wide and the longest straight is 1.726 kilometres long. Motorland Aragón also boasts two paddocks, as the circuit can be divided into two separate circuits, each of which is almost three kilometres long.

A motor cycle grand prix was held there for the first time in 2010, and the track was added to the FIM Superbike World Championship calendar from this year. The circuit is used all year round for testing purposes by a diverse range of automobile and motorcycle series.

The circuit’s features pose some real challenges for the teams and riders, with blind crests, descending corners, and up and down sections. There are also a lot of flowing sections, the key to which is finding the right line on which to enter the following curve whilst still exiting the present one. A number of slower sections complete the mix.

The combination of corners seven and eight is based on the infamous "Corkscrew" at Laguna Seca (USA). The final corner is also interesting: here, the drivers must accelerate early in order to take momentum into the uphill start-finish straight, at the end of which awaits a 90-degree left-hander – one of many overtaking opportunities.

Facts and figures:

Circuit/Date - Motorland Aragón / 19th June 2011

Start time Race 1 (local/CET) - 12.00 hrs / 12.00 hrs

Start time Race 2 (local/CET) - 15.30 hrs / 15.30 hrs

Lap/Race distance - 5.345 km / 106.900 km (20 laps)

Corners - 8 left-hand and 10 right-hand corners

Data Test:
Longest section at full throttle: 12.8 sec / 867 m
Fastest corner: Turn 2, 3th gear, 151 km/h
Maximum deceleration: 311 km/h – 39 km/h

Courtesy of BMW Motorrad

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