Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Sasha Macmillen
Circuito De Jerez-Angel Nieto, one of motorcycle racing’s holiest grounds, located in the south of the Grand Prix racing Mecca that is Spain. The country that lives and breathes motorcycle racing will host the fourth round of the championship: the Gran Premio de Espana.
Named after one of Spain’s most accomplished riders, the circuit is 4428 metres long. A stop-go clockwise track, with little to no elevation change, the 12 corners give the impression of another soulless Tilkedrome. However, the circuit is anything but. Though lacking in obvious overtaking opportunities, the circuit can draw the best out of those who dare ride it as the riders make complex and often daring moves.
As the MotoGP circus sets up camp to kickstart the European leg of the season, an unlikely name sits atop the championship table. Marco Bezzechi, in his sophomore year of the premier class, leads a very talented experienced MotoGP field, aboard customer machinery nonetheless. While Bezzechi’s efforts should be lauded without an asterisk, it is important to mention that he’s been the beneficiary of Bagnaia’s mistakes. The defending champion has already crashed out of two races whilst in podium or victory contention, thus ceding a great amount of points to his VR46 stablemate.
It is also worth mentioning that when “Pecco'' has finished a race this season, the Italian was on the podium. This shows his consistency affects his form rather than his class. Bagnaia trails his compatriot by 11 points, and just six behind him comes Honda’s surprise frontman in Alex Rins.
As for Honda’s talisman for close the past decade, Marc Marquez is expected to miss the first of his multiple home grand prix as he continues to rehabilitate his fractured hand. The Spaniard will be replaced by compatriot Iker Lecuona.
As the season heads to Europe, where most of the traditional circuits by modern MotoGP standards are, a more established order would be expected. However with this being the longest calendar and the presence of sprint races, it would be unwise to expect any form of establishment bar the FIM.
What is to happen in Jerez, like anything and everything in Grand Prix Motorcycle racing, will be unpredictable.