Preview - Spanish MotoGP

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander
Here's an informative Press Release from our friends at Camel Media Service. Maybe it's just me, but I think these guys actually put useful information into these things. You think they’d take a walk around the paddock and clue the other PR types in, if we asked them real nice like?


The 4.423km Jerez circuit is regarded by many people as the spiritual home of MotoGP. The track which opened in 1986 usually stages the first European grand prix of the season and attracts huge crowds of over 200,000 for the weekend. Despite having two fast corners, the track has one of the slowest average speeds in the grand prix calendar but often provides exciting racing in all classes.

The track is situated just outside the town of Jerez almost on the Atlantic south coast of Spain in an area of Andalusia famous for it's sherry and horses. It was built in 1986 and staged the Spanish Grand Prix a year later. In 1988 it hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix but a year later The Spanish Grand Prix returned and has been held at the circuit ever since.

The circuit was modified in 1994 and last year a new pit complex and paddock facilities were constructed to bring the track, which has also staged Formula One car racing, right up to date.

The Pons team have a good record at the Jerez circuit with Alberto Puig winning the 500cc Spanish Grand Prix for the team at the circuit in 1995. Both Max Biaggi and Tohru Ukawa have experienced success at the track. Biaggi won the 250cc race in 1996 and finished second in the 500 in 1998 and third the next year. Ukawa was second in the 1999 250cc race and third a year later.

The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Europe and this year record crowds are expected to converge on the circuit and surrounding towns for a fabulous weekend of racing and partying.


Length: 4.423km
Width: 11m.
Direction: Clockwise.
Pole Position: Left.
Right corners: Eight.
Left corners: Five.
Longest Straight: 600m.
Constructed: 1986.

Lap record: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.920s - 154.710km/h, 5/5/2003

Pole-setting lap 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 1m42.193s

MotoGP Race winner 2002: Valentino Rossi (Honda) 46m51.843s - 152.894km/h

Tohru Ukawa 2002: Third

Max Biaggi 2002: DNF

COBAS INSIGHT - Antonio Cobas, the Technical Director of Camel Pramac Pons

"We may be based in Barcelona but we feel very much the race at Jerez is our second home grand prix. We have raced and tested there many times and have usually secured some very good results. However, we go into the race on Sunday with little experience of racing the four-stroke Honda at the track. We have tested with Tohru there but only in the wet but we have not tested at all with Max.

Despite this, we are confident of some more good results because with the experience and data we have about the track it should not be that difficult to set up the bikes. It's a slow track despite having two fast corners and has one of the slowest average lap speeds in the MotoGP calendar.

The surface gives good grip and tyre choice should not be problem because the surface does not cause great wear. It has been known to rain at Jerez but once again that is not a great problem because of the surface which is one of the smoothest of the season.

With those two fast corners linked to medium and slow corners, it's very important to get the geometry settings on the machine correct to help the rider. The lap times from the other four-stroke teams at the beginning of the year were very fast and I'm expecting a good race on Sunday. Both Max and Tohru rode well in South Africa and we are confident that we can provide them with good machinery.

Jerez is a very special place with such great ambience and we always look forward to racing there."

For more up-to-date information and high-resolution pictures click here: Camel Media Service

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