Moto at Motorland
Spain is a motorcycle racing haven, and one of its newer circuits is definitely worth a visit
Motorland Aragón is set in a spectacular, land-locked region of Spain, and this modern circuit hosts one of four Spanish MotoGP rounds on September 23.
Expect massive crowds – the Spanish are famously passionate about their motorcycle racing – with more than 100,000 fans attending over the weekend, and the kind of furious, tight competition that MotoGP offers.
Home favourites have dominated since 2012, when Dani Pedrosa won. Jorge Lorenzo has taken two wins since, and defending champion Marc Márquez has won three times including in 2017. Before that, it was Australian Casey Stoner who won the first two Grands Prix at Aragón.
While Motorland, which opened in 2009, is billed as a state-of-the-art venue, street races took place in the nearby medieval town of Alcañiz between 1963 and 2003, with the twists and turns of the narrow streets on the ‘Guadalupe Circuit’ proving a challenge for tin-tops, GTs and rally cars alike.
Alcañiz is just minutes away and is a town of just 16,000 people, offering a relaxing and authentic taste of Spanish culture.
Venture south to the remote provincial capital Teruel, and you’ll be able to see the Cathedral of Teruel, a UNESCO World Heritage site which exhibits the unique Mudéjar style of architecture. Other towns which blend North African influence with medieval Christian culture are dotted around Aragón, but if you’re looking for something on a larger scale then Zaragoza – 105km north-east of Alcañiz – blends that history with the feel of a modern city.
If you’re not planning to spend the whole weekend at the circuit, then the mountain scenery makes for some incredible driving roads and a wide choice of outdoor activities.
Grandstand tickets for the weekend range from £72-£90 in advance, while general admission for all three days is £41, with child and senior discounts available.
HOW TO GET THERE
Zaragoza serves as Aragón’s hub, with affordable flights from London Stansted operated by Ryanair on a regular basis. Or fly to Bordeaux and drive/ride through Pau and over the Pyrenees for a rather spectacular road trip.
WHERE TO STAY
This area offers affordable accommodation, but rooms in Alcañiz book up quickly. Nearby towns offer a casa rural from around £50 per night and there are hostels and hotels. Try staying in Calanda, Caspe, Alcorisa, Andorra or Valderrobres.
The food. Aragónese meals include lots of game and roasted meats. Migas, a local speciality made with hard bread, garlic and pork, is worth the trip alone. Vegetarians might find it difficult and English isn’t widely spoken.