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“MotoGP: Jerez, much more than the motorcycle capital of the world”
The Spanish circuit has been on the MotoGP calendar for 30 years -29 of which it has held the first European round of the season. It has a special atmosphere that makes it stand out from the rest
The Circuito de Jerez has held MotoGP World Championship rounds for 30 consecutive years, since 1987.
Before the circuit was built, Jerez held the ‘Premio Internacional Nuestra Señora de la Merced’ events – urban races run in an area of industrial estates that began in 1958.
In 1988 the Grand Prix was called the Expo ’92 Grand Prix, in tribute to the Universal Exhibition that would be celebrated in Seville in 1992. That year, the Spanish GP was held at Jarama and the Expo ’92 GP replaced the Portuguese GP –despite Jerez being 134km from the Portuguese border.
In 1992 the first air fences were installed, making the Circuito de Jerez a pioneer in the use of this safety measure in the World Championship.
Races there have always been among the first four of the season, and Jerez hosted the inaugural event of the year in both 2005 and 2006.
Historically the Spanish GP was held during the May 1st Bank Holiday weekend, which allowed many fans to travel to Jerez by motorcycle from the rest of Spain. Despite the race now being celebrated a little later in the year, the atmosphere remains spectacular.
Álex Crivillé and Jorge Lorenzo are the Spaniards with the most victories in the premier class at Jerez, with three apiece. Crivillé also won his three in consecutive years.
Alberto Puig was the first Spaniard to win in the premier class at Jerez, in 1995. Although this was the eighth year of racing at the circuit, Álex Crivillé had already won there in 125cc in 1989.
The VIP box is known as ‘the UFO’, measures 530m2 and has a capacity for 120 people inside.
The UFO was built in 2002, completing a remodeling of the pit lane and garages. Since then, it has become one of the most characteristic elements of the circuit.
Motorcycle lovers can get married at the Circuito de Jerez. In June 2014, the first civil wedding was held, at the finish line, just below the UFO.
The control tower is also an icon of the circuit. It is 30 metres high and is crowned with the mascot of wine brand Tio Pepe, measuring 8 metres tall.
In 2016, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the construction of the tower, the Jerez Circuit and Tío Pepe wineries launched a public competition for architects from all over Spain to remodel it.
In 2016, Repsol collaborated with the Circuito de Jerez and Red Bull, offering discounts at more than 900 service stations throughout Spain to fans who travelled from the Circuito de Jerez back to their homes.
The city of Jerez de la Frontera gives its name to sherry, a denomination for a great variety of wines produced in the territory called the “Marco de Jerez”, in the provinces of Cadiz and Seville.
Jerez is considered the home of flamenco art.
It is called Jerez de la Frontera because in ancient times it was in the border territory between the Nazari Kingdom of Granada and the Crown of Castile.
In Jerez a breed of dogs originated called the ‘ratonero bodega andaluz,’ used to control the presence of mice in the wine cellars of Jerez.
A race of horse was also originated there, called the ‘cartujano.’ It is one of the oldest purebred lines in Spain.
The old town of Jerez is considered a Historical-Artistic Monument.
Jerez is the most populated city in the province of Cadiz and the fifth most populated in Andalusia.