2012 Iveco Grand Prix of Aragon

Cal Crutchlow is fighting to hang onto fifth place in the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Iveco Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain on Sunday. The Isle of Man – based Midlander crashed out of the previous round in Misano just two weeks after securing his first ever MotoGP podium finish. Riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha he is involved in a tremendous fight for fifth place in just his second MotoGP season.

Breathing down his neck with just five rounds remaining is nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi fresh from his second place on the Ducati in Misano. The Italian is just two points adrift while Alvaro Bautista, who grabbed his first ever MotoGP podium at Misano and Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl are four and seven points respectively behind the British rider.

Twenty five year old Ulsterman Jonathan Rea continues to replace the injured World Champion Casey Stoner on the Repsol Honda after an impressive MotoGP debut at Misano. In a chaotic race he kept his head to finish eighth and he returns to Aragon where he tested for two days earlier in the month.

It’s a sad race for Cumbrian James Ellison following the death of his father last week. He will have a new Aprilia ART engine in his Paul Bird Motorsport CRT machine.

Gloucestershire teenager Scott Redding is also fighting to hang onto fifth place in the Moto2™ World Championship. Riding the Marc VDS Kalex machine he has a five point advantage over team-mate Mika Kallio and will be looking to capitalize on good qualifying performances in the last two grands prix where he’s taken front row starts.

Twenty one year old Bradley Smith has only missed out points scoring once this season riding the Tech 3 Mistral machine. He has a good record in Aragon with a 125 cc podium finish in 2010 and sixth in the Moto2 race last year. Londoner Gino Rea must have a change of fortune in the last five races with a blown engine his latest tale of woe at Misano.

Wiltshire teenager Danny Kent could be moving up to Moto2 next season and will want to end his Moto3 career on a high riding the Red Bull KTM Ajo machine. He currently lies eighth in the World Championship, 11 points behind Fahmi Khairuddin and the injured Alexis Masbou who share sixth. Danny Webb hopes to sign of his time with the Indian Mahindra team with some points scoring rides after a disappointing and unlucky season so far.


Scottish teenager John McPhee is set to replace the injured Frenchman Alexis Masbou for the remaining five rounds of the Moto3™ World Championship, starting at the Iveco Grand Prix of Aragon in Spain on Sunday. Caretta Technology rider Masbou, who is currently sixth in the Moto3 World Championship, broke his femur in a private test at Vallelunga in Italy earlier this month.

Eighteen year old McPhee, from Oban, Argyll, will join the Turin-based Caretta squad at Aragon and will compete on his KRP M3-01 chassis which has been re-liveried in Caretta Technology colours and is to be fitted with the Italian squad’s Geo Technology Grand Prix spec Honda engine.

McPhee, whose regular ride is with the Racing Steps Foundation-backed KRP team in Spain’s CEV Moto3 Series, will wrap up his hectic end-of-season schedule with a return visit to Valencia for the final round of the Spanish Championship. McPhee heads to Aragon having already picked up three world championship wildcards so far this year including last month’s Grand Prix at Brno where he eventually finished 15th after running as high as third place in the early stages.

There is also good news for Kent-based Danny Webb who has signed a deal with the World Wide Communications Ambrogio Next Racing team to compete in next year’s Moto3 World Championship.

John McPhee:
“It’s fantastic to be given the opportunity. To get more experience at world level with a Grand Prix team like Caretta should give a boost to my prospects of getting a full-time World Championship ride in 2013. Naturally I have a lot of sympathy for Alexis and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. He’s clearly had a strong working relationship with the team to get the results he has, so hopefully I will be able to pick up where he left off.”


The 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone will be staged in September next year. The new Silverstone circuit will stage its fourth consecutive MotoGP event on September 1 in the provisional 2013 MotoGP calendar which was issued last week.

At the moment there are 19 races on the calendar with two races thought to be in Texas, USA and Argentina still to be confirmed. (Provisional calendar attached)


Jorge Lorenzo arrives in Aragon on Sunday defending a 38 point championship lead over the luckless Dani Pedrosa with just five rounds of the 18 round MotoGP Championship remaining. Pedrosa is desperate to close that gap on the Yamaha rider at the Iveco Grand Prix of Aragon but the odds are stacked against him following his first lap crash at the previous round.

Lorenzo secured his sixth win of the season at Misano and knows that virtually podium finishes in those last five rounds would enable him to regain the title he lost to Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda last year. Stoner, who has won the first two grands prix at the 3.155 mile circuit situated between the Mediterranean coast and Zaragoza, is still recovering from his broken right ankle. The Australian will again be replaced by Ulsterman Jonathan Rea but may return for the next round at Motegi in Japan.

While the battle at the front on Sunday is expected to feature Lorenzo and Pedrosa once again nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi could be a threat after his second place in Misano. Ducati and Rossi appeared to have made some definite steps forward and Aragon will be the perfect test for the pair who go their separate ways at the end of the season.

Andrea Dovizioso replaces Rossi at Ducati next year and the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider still has ambitions to finish third in the championship before leaving Yamaha. The Italian is fourth, 23 points behind the absent Stoner while his team-mate Cal Crutchlow is fighting to hand onto fifth place after his crash in Misano.

Just seven points separate Crutchlow in fourth and Stefan Bradl in eighth. Rossi is just two points behind the Englishman while Alvaro Bautista, fresh from his first MotoGP podium at Misano, is just another two points adrift with Bradl just three points behind the Spaniard.

Ben Spies has five more rides with the Yamaha factory team before joining the Ducati ‘Junior’ team next season and will surely grab a podium finish before the end of the season while countryman Nicky Hayden continues his recovery from a hand injury. The American brought Ducati a third place in the first Aragon Grand Prix two years ago.

The CRT battle between Power Electronics Aspar team-mates Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro continues. Frenchman De Puniet leads the Spaniard by just three points after finishing ninth in Misano where Espargaro crashed.

Nineteen year old Marc Marquez is getting closer to the Moto2 World title before joining MotoGP next year. The Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol rider has an impressive 53 point lead in the championship over Pol Espargaro after his seventh win of the season in Misano. He won the Moto2 race at Aragon last year and should clinch the title long before the final round in Valencia. The big fight is for second place where Espargaro has a 20 point advantage over Andrea Iannone, who joins Spies at MotoGP Ducati next year, with former 125 cc World Champion Tom Luthi just four points behind.

German Sandro Cortese also looks odds on favourite to win the inaugural Moto3 World title following his win at Misano. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider increased his championship lead to 46 points after his third win of the season. It’s much closer for second place with just ten points separating the Spaniards Maverick Vinales and Luis Salom.


The 3.155 miles Aragon circuit is the newest addition to the MotoGP calendar having staged its first MotoGP race just two years ago. Situated in the beautiful unpopulated area between the Mediterranean coast and Zaragoza the undulating and long circuit is popular with both riders and spectators. It features seven right and ten left corners and a back straight well over half a mile long.

Circuit Length: 5.078kms
Width: 15 m
Pole Position: Right
Longest Straight: 968m
Left Corners: Ten
Right Corners: Six
Pole Position Record:
Casey Stoner/Honda
1.48.451 (2011)
Lap Record:
Casey Stoner/Honda
1’49.046 (2011)

Friday 28 September
1210 – 1500 British Eurosport – Live Practice Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2
Saturday 29 September
1150 – 1505 BBC Red Button & British Eurosport – Live Qualifying Moto3, MotoGP, Moto2
Sunday 30 September
0955 – 1205 BBC Red Button – Live Moto3 and Moto2 races
0945 –1200 British Eurosport – Live Moto3 and Moto2 races
1230 — 1400 BBC2 Live MotoGP race

Nick will be available at the circuit from Thursday lunchtime until Sunday night. Please note Nick will not be available to answer the phone during qualifying or the races.

Email nick@nick-harris.co.uk
Mobile 07785 224 596
Time Schedule is attached
McPhee has already raced strongly in Moto3 this year as a wildcard

McPhee is looking forward to Aragon this weekend