Hosting its first MotoGP™ event in 2010, the modern complex at MotorLand Aragón has roots firmly tied to the street-racing era of nearby Alcañiz, which ran between 1963 and 2003. Although wet weather is common in this rocky province, conditions for Challenge #5 of the MotoGP™ eSports Championship are pre-set to Dry – so competitors can tackle the track with courage.
The circuit is still one that requires some special attention though, running clock-wise for just over 5kms (3.321 miles). With undulating tarmac, an overall elevation difference of 50 metres, and 17 turns – a total of 7 right-hand corners and 10 left, MotorLand is certainly dynamic.
Quick to ride and technical too, there is one long straight of almost a kilometre, interspersed with flowing turns and tight hairpins, and it is the twisty parts where riders will need to focus. A manageable and well-balanced bike is crucial, which may lose out in the hardest sections of braking, but will overall make for a more stable ride.
Heading away from the Start line, turn one is the first of three hard braking zones, and at a 90-degree angle it is taken in first gear. Staying out wide means smooth acceleration through turns 3 and 4 – both fast right-handers. Turn 3 is also uphill, and speed is a necessity, so time isn’t lost. A sharp left at turn 5 results in a difficult brake point, this time with the bike at a lean. It is a slow corner taken in first gear to ensure there is no loss of grip with the front tyre.
Turn 7 is the first serious direction change, as three lefts flow into a first geared right-hand turn – before a short straight into the 7.2% drop of the "Sacacorchos" or Corkscrew corner at Turns 8 and 9. Sacrifice the speed here to get through turn 9 and out onto a short, fast, straight heading into turn 10.
Turn 10 is a long and fast bend but also a blind corner, requiring steady throttle to gain time once onto the third longest straight section of the circuit. Up into fourth gear, and through turn 11 which is just a slight bend – before back down to first gear for another 90 degrees turn at 12, which is also one of the hardest braking zones.
Not at full throttle, but with strong acceleration, head through corner 13, where it is a good place to make up time before the slow and tricky downhill “S” of turns 14 and 15. The longest straight of the track, a total of 968 metres, is directly after, and the only chance riders have on the circuit to gear all the way up to sixth. Speed will top out around 320kms – this means that the most demanding corner for braking is turn 16, where motorcycles will undergo a deceleration of close to -1.5 g.
Both the final corners are taken together and are very fast, as well as uphill. In second gear, ride wide for the first section and then close the line to go out the other side on the gas. The Start/Finish straight appears directly after turn 17 and is not the place where riders want to get left behind.