The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team is on its way to Spain’s MotorLand Aragón for round three of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl are looking forward to reuniting with the team and returning to action on board their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines, in what is the first European event of the season. The race weekend action will be followed by a one-day official test at the same track on Monday.
Located in the picturesque province of Teruel, which forms the southern part of Aragon’s autonomous community, the track made its debut on the WorldSBK calendar in 2011, one year after hosting its maiden MotoGP event. Both Hayden and Bradl have therefore a wealth of experience at the spectacular 5.077km (3.15 mile) racetrack, which is known for being one of the most complete and challenging venues in the international motorcycle racing scene – as well as a riders’ favourite.
The on-track action will kick start on Friday morning at 9:45am local time (GMT +2) for the first hour of free practice, while the two 18-lap World Superbike races will get underway at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Nicky Hayden 69
We’re back to Europe now and it’s time to race at Aragon, which is a great track: it’s a mix of everything, but probably the most technical challenge is represented by the blind entry of some corners and especially the ‘Corkscrew’, for which it is crucial to get the braking markers right. For the rest, I’d say it’s a circuit where tyre wear is a bit more critical in comparison to other venues. It obviously hasn’t been the best start of the season for us and the bike have arrived to Aragon straight from Thailand, so the team did not have a real chance to work on it during the break. We don’t expect an easy weekend but we’ll do our best to take advantage of the strengths of the bike and work hard together, trying to improve our performance from the first two rounds.
Stefan Bradl 6
The Aragon round is a very important one for me, because it’s the first European event of the season and I am looking forward to racing on a track that I really like a lot. I think we can improve on the results of the first two rounds because I think it’s a circuit that better suits the package we have at the moment. I really hope we can make a step forward and get closer to the front of the field, in order to challenge for some good results there. The Monday test makes this event even more important for us, in order to keep moving in the right direction for the central part of the season.
Round three of the season is around the corner and we’re happy finally to race on European soil after the two flyaway events of the year, which haven’t given us the results we were looking for. We have a clearer path of development for the new Fireblade which will start with Monday’s official test, but now it’s time to concentrate on the actual racing weekend at Aragon in order to make the best possible results there. It will be a very busy weekend and there’ll be a lot of work to do, but we’re ready for it and looking forward for the on-track action to resume.