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Preview: MotoGP-Spain

By Sean Alexander, Oct. 28, 2003
-Valentino Rossi enters this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix on top of the world, after clenching the Moto GP World Championship title two rounds ago, then following it up with what can only be described as a dominating performance, at the last MotoGP round in Australia. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that he'll need to watch out for a charge from rising-star teammate Mr. Nicky Hayden. If you have even an once of racing in your blood, I strongly recommend you watch the final round of the MotoGP season. -Sean


*Camel Racing Press Release*


The 4.005 kms Ricardo Tormo circuit on the outskirts of Valencia was named after the late 50 cc Spanish World Champion Ricardo Tormo who died of leukemia in 1998. The track was built in 1999 and staged its first grand prix the same year, with Frenchman Regis Laconi scoring his only 500cc grand prix victory.

The tight twisty circuit is built in a stadium style location. The packed grandstands, that provide a view of the whole circuit, produce an unbelievable atmosphere which provides a fitting finale to the MotoGP season. The experience is more like going to a massive football match with fireworks and crowd noise matching the sound of the bikes. Last year, over 200,00 fans packed the stadium for the three days of the final round of the 16 round Championship.

Only Estoril in Portugal produces lower lap times for the MotoGP machines than Valencia and the circuit often provides a surprise winner. The circuit also stages a round of the World Superbike Championship and is also popular for Formula One car testing. The teams try to test before the Monaco Grand Prix because of the tight twisty nature of the Valencia circuit.

The Honda Pons team have a good record at the circuit with Alex Barros winning there last year on the RC211V four-stroke and finishing second in 2001 on the NSR 500cc two-stroke Honda. Last year, Max Biaggi finished third on the Yamaha, a repeat of his result two years previously. Biaggi also started last year's race from pole position.



Length: 4.005 kms
Width: 12 metres.
Pole position: Right.
Right corners: Five
Left corners: Nine.
Longest straight: 876 metres.

Lap record: Alex Barros (Honda Pons) 1m33.873s - 153.590km/h (3/11/02)2002

Pole setting time: Max Biaggi (Yamaha) 1m33.211s -154.681 km/h.2002

Race winner: Alex Barros (Honda Pons) 47m22.404s -152.174 km/h.

2002 Camel Pramac Pons riders: Max Biaggi third. Tohru Ukawa fifth.


- Antonio Cobas, Technical Director of Camel Pramac Pons

We come to the final round of the World Championship at Cheste in Valencia. This is one of the best designed circuits for spectators, in fact it could be considered as the "Stadium of Motorcycling" because from nearly every point in the stands the spectators can follow one rider throughout an entire lap, something which is impossible at any other circuit in the World Championship.

From a technical point of view it is a very twisty track with only two relatively fast corners. The most important consideration in the set-up work is to ensure that the bike is manoeuvrable. The corners come one after the other with hardly any straights between them to accelerate, so the power of the engine does not have such a strong outcome on the result of the race.

Ninety per cent of the circuit is taken in second or third gear so the ratio settings of these gears is crucial in getting the optimum performance out of the bike. As nearly all the circuit is taken with a relatively light throttle we must apply ignition settings to allow for clean linear accelerations, to make the most of the few metres of straight available between corners.

There do not tend to be too many problems for suspension settings and tyre choice if it remains dry for the race. The track surface is not bumpy and tyre choice is not too tricky either.

This service is provided by Camel, title partner of theCamel Pramac Pons team.

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