Argentina MotoGP Test Day 1 - Riders Impressed With Layout As Bradl Fastest

MotoGP bikes have at last taken to the track at Argentina, marking the return of Grand Prix racing to South America for the first time in nine years. All of the riders praised the layout, liking the fast and sweeping nature of some of the sections. Other parts are technical and challenging, but the track appears to have several different lines around it, promising good racing when the series alights for the Argentinian round in 2014.

With a very dusty track, and  only six machines present to sweep the dust from the track, it is hard to attach any significance to the times. Stefan Bradl was the fastest man on the day, lapping in the low 1'44s, and testing a lot of tires. Alvaro Bautista was the second quickest man, while Cal Crutchlow was nearly a second off the pace of Bradl. Whether that means that the Termas de Rio Hondo track is a Honda circuit remains to be seen, as the dusty track made it hard for the Yamaha to use its advantage in edge grip at extreme lean. We will only get an idea of the real balance of power in Argentina once the full MotoGP grid turns up.

That South America is desperate for a return of world championship racing was clear from the attendance at the test. A remarkable number of spectators turned up to watch the test, with fans venturing from Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia to the test, as well as plenty of Argentinians. Also present at the test were the Minister of Tourism and the Governor of the Province of Santiago del Estero. That they had come to do more than just watch became clear when Dorna announced that they had signed a three-year deal with the circuit to host a race, from 2014 through 2016.

Testing continued on Friday, though a wet start to the day meant there was little action on track in the early part of the test.

Below are the press releases issued after the first day of testing:

Cal Crutchlow impressed with new track in Argentina

MotoGP Official Test Argentina 4th July 2013 23°c

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow took centre stage in a historic moment for South American motorsport today when he became one of the first to ride a prototype MotoGP machine on the impressive new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina.

Crutchlow completed 29-laps in the pre-lunch session on the first of a two-day test on the super-fast 4.8km track, which is part of a special promotional tour in anticipation of the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo track featuring on the 2014 MotoGP World Championship schedule.

Booming interest in MotoGP in Argentina was evident again today after fans, media and officials gave Crutchlow a warm and enthusiastic reception on his arrival into Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

A large and passionate crowd gathered to witness Crutchlow put his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team YZR-M1 through its paces on the new circuit, which features 14 fast and technical corners.

As well as giving Argentinian fans a small taste of the high-speed and adrenaline-fuelled action they can expect next year, Crutchlow is on a vitally important data-gathering mission for Yamaha and Bridgestone.

The former World Supersport champion is scheduled to test a wide selection of tyres for Bridgestone, his comprehensive feedback giving the Japanese tyre firm precious information that will be used to help develop the tyre allocation for next year’s race.

Next year’s race will be the first time the sports-mad South American nation has played host to MotoGP since 1999.

Cal Crutchlow - 29laps - 1.49,604 min:

“We have had an absolutely fantastic welcome in Argentina and after seeing the enthusiasm for MotoGP I’m really happy to be finally out on track to demonstrate what a spectacle the fans will see next year. The new track is very impressive and it is a really a good facility that Argentina can be very proud of. The track is still very dirty, so we are just enjoying riding around and learning as much as possible while also feeling the emotion of being one of the first ever to ride a prototype MotoGP bike here. It's incredible how many spectators came to welcome us and see us riding. Hopefully we can put on a good show next year and have a fantastic race because it certainly looks like it will take place in front of a huge crowd. The track has a good mix of long and fast corners and some are tight, so it is very important to get into a good rhythm. I really like Turn 6, which is a long and downhill corner. That is really cool to ride and I think the whole of the MotoGP grid is going to come here and love the track.”


After a day visiting the fascinating surroundings of Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista was on track on Thursday for a short test on the circuit that will be added to the MotoGP World Championship calendar in 2014. The Spanish rider arrived in Argentina on Tuesday and spent a day meeting the nation's press in Buenos Aires before heading to the Tucuman region and Termas de Rio Hondo. It was a good opportunity to learn the layout of a flowing and technically demanding circuit and the weather was kind, with the threat of rain holding off and temperatures around 20 C°.

Alvaro Bautista "This is the first time I have ever been to Argentina and it has been a wonderful experience so far. We were given a huge welcome by an extraordinary number of journalists in Buenos Aires and then on Wednesday we had a fantastic day being tourists at Termas de Rio Hondo. We went out on track today to get a first feel for a circuit that looks really nice and has some technically demanding sections. We spent a day studying the layout and on Friday we will work on adjusting the settings of the bike to suit it more.”

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Thank you, David, for another informative article--and thanks for the extraordinary website. On this ocassion, though, I was surprised to read that fans at the Argentinian GP test came from such places as "Chili" and "Columbia". 

[Editor's note: facetious and overly long post about an (admittedly very stupid) spelling mistake snipped]

When not writing in English here, I am also to be found writing articles for Dutch magazines, in Dutch, my second language. Unfortunately, that means that occasionally, spelling habits from one language slip into the other unnoticed. The problem is particularly bad with the plural and possessive of factory names, which are reversed in English and Dutch (Hondas/Honda's in English, Honda's/Hondas in Dutch). 

Country names are another case in point. In this case, the Dutch name for Chile is Chili, hence my slip. Though that doesn't excuse Columbia, as that was just plain wrong. I beg of my readers to occasionally cut me some slack. I will try to fix things as quickly as possible.

My English spelling has gone to the dogs since I've been writing regularly in French :-(

Mr. Emmett,

Please refrain from speakin' anything but 'Merican. My eyes get to waterin' an I can't figger out which of me meds is doo for the takin' at thees late ours.


...but it's Colombia not Columbia, when one is refering to the South American country, which I assume you (both) were.

...that may have been your point, I got bored of reading such a long list and skipped!

I apologize for the excessively long comment ... Indeed, my point was simply to indicate that, while places called Chili and Columbia exist both in the earth and even in the interplanetary space, there are no countries by those names in South America or elsewhere. The right names are, of course, Chile and Colombia.

It´s truly ridiculous; what you think to "know" has nothing to do with knowledge in the true sense of the word. Knowledge bases on experience (experiments), what you are referring to is a state of mind conditioning by the societey you life in (prison for your mind / matrix).

The respective parts on this "planet" have no names or any kind of borders, they are artificial (political). You can call it whatever you want, Cili, Chilli, Chilo, Chillas, Hilli or Silli; instead people apologize after making a so called "mistake" for beeing maximally conditionated/indoctrinated.

It´s simply ridicolous how unnatural most minds are; without any self-reflexion. Of course (nearly) everybody agrees tacitly in a herd of (sleeping) sheep.

Congratulations ...

Whilst this site is the best for MotoGP journalism, it also attracts the grammatically anal brigade. Just read the article, skip the occasional typo / cultural grammar mistake and enjoy the content!

...with a preference grammatical correctness (!) Communication is why we read articles and for that communication to be readable is surely desirable. I don't believe it is anal to expect a professional writer to do so correctly, or anyone else for whom English is a first language for that matter.

That said, I am certain anyone whom pointed out the mistakes was doing so with a smile not maliciousness.

I follow David on Twitter. When something jumps out as incorrect. I just tweet it to him. Don't really see the point in making a post in the thread that has nothing to do with the content of the article. So yes, I'm with you. Just read the damn article and enjoy.

David, I feel your pain :)
As Dutchman living in Flanders, working in IT (mainly English) and collaborating with French people… I know all too well how quick those things sneak in :) No biggie

I think I spelt that correctly. The multi-lingual audience here makes some poor translations into 'English', but they are all understandable and the styles make it interesting. That David writes well, as well as informatively is a welcome bonus, if not a necessary element of this site. I get the impression that corrections are welcomed, it's the whingeing or patronising corrections that are irksome.
Like the MGP bikes - if everybody was required to have the same structure and detail it would be boring. David's/others occasional mistakes show the human side of this site.
Before anyone goes beyond helpful correction to patronising criticism they should ask themselves if they could have put this site together (as in concept;creation;development;maintenance;evolution).

David et al., when I submitted my admittedly over long comment on the Chili/Columbia issue I never thought it would unleash such a tempest of reactions ... I once again would like to apologize for the fastidiously long message, which, clumsy as it surely was, was written with a humorous intention. Small matters aside, thank you once again, David, for the wonderful website and for your fabulous writing.


I guess I got a bit carried away in my defence of you and my critique of jmari. Apologies to the both of you and thanks for taking my comment out, which could be considered condescending while it was actually trying to be the opposite. So sincerely sorry and genuinely thanks.