The Aragón WorldSBK Round will be the tenth round of the 2023 Superbike season from September 22 to 24. A key event where Álvaro Bautista will try to get the world title back on track at home and that promises high tension. MotorLand Aragón is now a fixed event on the WorldSBK calendar: if you have decided to go to the circuit, this destination guide is for you.
Aragon SBK: a new classic apointment for World Superbike
The MotorLand Aragón circuit entered the WorldSBK calendar in 2011 and has not missed the event since then. Even in 2020 it was one of the circuits chosen to hold two events, in order to minimize logistics in the midst of the covid pandemic.
The first winners in Aragon were the Italians Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi, who shared first and second place in both Race 1 and Race 2, while Carlos Checa was the first local driver to achieve a podium. In Supersport, Chaz Davies achieved victory, beginning his love affair with the track.
Curiously, in its early years, the Aragon Round was held on the variant currently known as 'FIA homologation' where the back straight ended at a left-hand angle. Starting in 2015, the current layout was adopted, where the bikes turn in a long left-hand curve that has produced great race finishes thanks to the possibility of going both outside and inside.
Jonathan Rea was the first winner in this configuration. Curiously, the Aruba.it Ducati SBK team has always managed to win at least one race in Aragon since 2015. On the contrary, MotorLand Aragón is one of the few tracks where Toprak Razgatlıoğlu has never achieved victory.
Aragon SBK in Alcañiz
Motorland Aragon is a well-known destination for teams, as it is usually one of the most common tracks for pre-season training. That is why we can find almost the entire WorldSBK teams in the hotels in Alcañiz. And this small city is home to the MotorLand circuit, a very modern facility inaugurated in 2009.
However, motoring in Alcañiz is not a new hobby. This city created the Guadalupe Urban Circuit (named after the Alcañiz River) in the 1960s and where various motorsport races were held until 2003.
Alcañiz was an important population center during the Middle Ages and therefore has an important heritage for a settlement with only 15 thousand inhabitants. The most prominent building, visible even from the circuit itself, is the Calatravos Castle. It is currently a National Parador, so you can stay there. The castle gets its name because it was donated to the religious order of Calatrava. Other stable buildings are the church of Santa María la Mayor or the town hall in Plaza España.
Aragon SBK: routes around Alcañiz
About 20 minutes by motorcycle heading north, we will find the town of Caspe. It is another town with historical value and some notable buildings, such as the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor del Pilar.
But perhaps the greatest attraction of Caspe is the natural heritage of the Mequinenza Reservoir, also called 'the Sea of Aragón'. From this town we can enjoy the landscape created by this great watercourse. By motorcycle, the road that leads from Caspe to Mequinenza is a festival of curves. It is also the ideal place for MTB routes around its course. And lovers of sport fishing have a reference place in Mequinenza, which attracts people from all over Europe for this activity and others related to the reservoir.
About 30 kilometers from Alcañiz, very close to the border with Catalonia, is the small town of Calaceite. Well preserved, it has an interesting offer of rural tourism in case we are looking for an option where tranquility and the landscape are the protagonist before going to the excitement of the races at Motorland.
For a tourism totally different from other experiences we can visit the small town of Belchite. Or rather the Old Town of Belchite. And this town was the scene of a tough battle in the Spanish Civil War that destroyed all the buildings. After the conflict, a new remote town was built and the ruins are now a tourist attraction as a reminder of one of the country's darkest chapters and one that still has consequences.
Visiting Zaragoza during Aragon SBK
Alcañiz is located in Aragón, a region of Spain that is not as well-known as tourists as the coastal areas or large cities. However, the foreign visitor will find in Aragon a less known and much more rural facet of Spain.
The capital of Aragon is Zaragoza, a city of more than half a million inhabitants that is on the banks of the Ebro River. It is the fifth most populated city in Spain and has various attractions. The main and best known is the Cathedral-Basilica of Pilar. A large complex on the banks of the river whose towers are visible for kilometers before reaching the city. The devotion of the 'maños' (appellation of the inhabitants of Aragon) is total and you can find souvenir numbers of this Christian Virgin throughout the city.
But in Zaragoza we also have buildings such as the Roman walls, since the city was founded in the time of Emperor Augustus, the La Seo cathedral or the Aljafería palace, these last two examples of Mudejar architecture, which mixes medieval Christian styles with arabic.
In the capital we can also enjoy the popular 'tubo'. It is an area of narrow, pedestrian streets that bring together a large number of restaurants and bars. It is a popular leisure area and the ideal place to taste Aragonese dishes such as its famous lamb, called 'ternasco' in the area.
The province of Teruel during Aragon SBK
Motorland Aragon is located about 100 kilometers from Teruel, capital of the province to which it belongs. Teruel is the least populated provincial capital in Spain and an example of the most rural part of the country. However, the city concentrates the activity of the area and is well known. The Plaza del Torico, with its small statue, is its center.
Teruel is famous for its ham, but here we can also taste the region's black olives, the most famous of this type in the country, as well as high quality oils and wines from native varieties.
It is in the fields of the province of Teruel where the Baja Aragón takes place, the most famous rally-raid in Europe and which has been held since the 1980s. This gives us a sample of the wild landscape of the area, but gives it a special charm and very different from the image traditionally associated with tourism in Spain.