Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

Aragon MotoGP

Venue:
Aragon Motorland, Spain
Date:
16-18 September
Saturday 17 September:
MotoGP qualifying: 1150-1500 BST BBC Red Button and online
Sunday 18 September:
125cc & Moto2: 0950-1205, BBC Red Button and online, MotoGP live: 1230-1400, BBC Two/online, MotoGP Extra: 1400-1430, BBC Red Button and online
Jorge Lorenzo

After what was beginning to resemble a procession for Casey Stoner, the MotoGP title race is very much back in the balance.

It's a big weekend for Jorge Lorenzo because his win in Misano. breathed new life into the battle for the championship.

If he can take five points or more from Stoner this weekend then it will be all to play for and we are in for a tense finale to the season.

We were all surprised to hear Stoner say he was tired after the race at Misano, as the other riders just got on with it. We did a lot of travelling, which was a pain for everyone, but I've never known jetlag be an issue for a racer before.

Maybe he had a virus or some flu. We will find out this weekend in Aragon.

It's a strange circuit - one of three trips to Spain for the year - as we go inland from Barcelona into what feels like the middle of nowhere. They have built a fantastic circuit in the desert but they need to build the city to go with it now.

It's a work in progress and it could do with some infrastructure, but it is a good track for racing.

We move on to Japan at the end of the month and Lorenzo has finally confirmed that he will be there., after he, Stoner and Valentino Rossi had expressed reservations about racing in the country because of safety fears following March's earthquake.

That should really put the story to bed now. I know Stoner has said he will make a decision based on his family's feelings but if his main rival is going to race and potentially pick up 25 points, then I think the decision is made for him. I can't see Honda allowing him to miss out on a championship.

The calendar for 2012 has been announced and we have had a victory for common sense. The two American races have been put back-to-back, which should cut down on the ludicrous amount of travelling we have had to do this year, and the long-haul trips to Malaysia, Japan and Australia are all together as well.

It looks a more economical championship for the teams. In times of austerity such factors had to be considered and while the riders can no doubt jet back in between races easily enough, it is a different story for the freight and all the equipment. Now it can be moved around in a more sensible manner.

We have also been told that we will return to Argentina in 2013, which will be good for the sport. The more continents the better as far I'm concerned and the sport is very well supported in South America.

We will also have a third race in the United States - in Texas - which I am looking forward to as it will no doubt be a superb facility.

That round will undoubtedly have to be at the start of the season, as Texas in July will be unbearably hot for everyone.

Finally, we had the sad news last week that James Toseland has been forced to retire because of injury. He never quite reached the heights we hoped for in MotoGP, but it is a shame for British motorsport.

He certainly had more years left in him but we are lucky that there is no longer the paucity of British riders that there used to be.

We have some young stars coming through and the likes of Bradley Smith, Eugene Laverty and Scott Redding have all been linked with a move to MotoGP next year, while hopefully there will be plenty of support for Cal Crutchlow this weekend.

Aragon prediction:

1) Casey Stoner 2) Jorge Lorenzo 3) Dani Pedrosa

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Tom Rostance

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