Alex Hofmann's MotoGP Round UP from Aragón

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We're closing in on the end of the season now and while this weekend's race in Aragón may not have been the most exciting one we'll see this season, it was certainly a good one for the championship.

To see Dani Pedrosa going for it like that, taking the win and cutting down Jorge Lorenzo's lead by five points made things all that more interesting, as we get ready for the final four rounds of the campaign.

It wasn't the easiest of weekends for anybody at Aragón, where the weather was a major factor on both Friday and Saturday. Not many people had their set-up right and Pedrosa was really able to benefit from the test Honda did here a few weeks earlier. He was quite simply unbeatable - Lorenzo tried to keep up with him but had a massive slide and almost crashed, and he had to accept that second place was all he could do on the day. The championship is still wide open...

For the Ducati guys this really was a tough weekend. Coming here after the high of Misano, where Valentino Rossi took a podium in the dry and Nicky Hayden made an impressive return from injury, they were hoping to continue that progress at Aragón.

Conditions were difficult as I mentioned, and that made it hard to balance the bike set-up correctly. I remember at Silverstone a couple of months ago, both riders crashed in qualifying because the track temperature was low, and they both went down in QP here too - it seems the bike just doesn't get the tyres up to temperature and get them to work when the track level is below a certain point.

Things were just as tough in the race. Valentino made a mistake at the very start where he clipped Jonathan Rea's wheel and ran on, and he struggled to make time up after that, eventually finishing eighth after fighting his way back through the field.

Nicky Hayden was extremely lucky to escape uninjured from his crash in the race - it looked horrible the way he hit the wall and came off the bike. He seemed to just lose grip, get off line and try and avoid throwing the bike down before hitting the wall but with no air fence there he came at it a lot quicker than he expected. That was due in part to the wetness of the grass and mud, courtesy of the weather the previous two days, and I was just really happy he was not injured and will be able to ride in Japan.

Japan will prove a challenging weekend, but it always does. The weather is always an issue there, it's a stop-and-go track and is Honda's home circuit so they will be very strong there. From there we're straight on to Malaysia which Rossi loves, he's been Mr. Sepang for quite some time, and I hope that there and in Phillip Island things will suit him better.

Either way we'll head out for the Japan-Malaysia-Australia triple header in high spirits and with the aim of having a strong finish to the season!
 

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