Press releases previewing this weekend's Argentinian round of MotoGP from Termas de Rio Hondo:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP SET SIGHTS ON SECOND ROUND IN ARGENTINA
Following an intense season opener in Qatar almost a fortnight ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is impatient to continue their 2017 campaign at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are keen to step aboard their YZR-M1s at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit this weekend. Fresh from the Qatari podium, where they celebrated Viñales' maiden Yamaha victory and Rossi’s solid third place almost a fortnight ago, the teammates will gear up for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina.
Viñales confirmed his rising star status in a demanding race at the Losail circuit and is determined to stay focused during the upcoming race weekend. The young gun aims to keep his form at the Grand Prix and to capture his first podium finish at the Argentine track. Having shown his grit at the opening round, he will again do his utmost to fight off the competition and land a place on the rostrum.
Teammate Rossi is also set on challenging amongst the front-runners again this weekend. At the first round he rode a strong comeback race from tenth on the grid, to secure his first top three finish of the season. The nine-time World Champion’s popularity knows no borders and is also well-spread in South America. He is the Argentinian crowd's favourite and will be pushing to the limit to give his fans a great show, like he did with his win in 2015 and last year's second place.
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit first staged a MotoGP event in 2014. The 4.8km long track was purposely redesigned in 2012 to make it Latin America's most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting layout that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left and nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, this year's race in Argentina is expected to be another one for the books.
The opening round in Qatar was a great start to the season. Though the championship is long, starting off on the right foot is crucial. Taking the victory and a double podium at the opening race after an ‘unusual’ weekend has boosted our confidence and made us anticipate the upcoming round at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit even more. It is a track where we can be strong. Though track conditions and grip level can be a little challenging, like we saw last year, the team has secured good results there in the past couple of races. We aim to hit the ground running when we start work on Friday, to continue the momentum we gained in round one. The deep-rooted passion for motorcycles and racing of the Argentine fans is an added factor that makes the Argentinian Grand Prix very special, so we are eager to repay their support by pushing all the way to the chequered flag.
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
Championship Standings: 1st / 25 points
After the amazing race in Qatar I'm super excited to be back on my M1 this weekend in Termas de Río Hondo. Now we have the difficult challenge to continue getting good results, Qatar was only the first race of 18. I can feel the pressure a little bit because the level of my rivals is very high, but that motivates me even more to keep working hard. We have to be cautious, work step by step and race by race.
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
Championship Standings: 3rd / 16 points
It wasn't an easy start to the championship. We have worked so hard during the test, but during the weekend of the first race we have fixed a few things, especially in the front. The race went very well and I was very happy to be able to get on the podium. Now we go to Argentina. This is a track that I like very much and I'm happy to go there. I hope that there are good asphalt conditions because last year it was difficult for us. We will try to work better and try to go once again on the podium!
The Ducati Team arrives in Argentina for round 2 of the MotoGP World Championship at Termas de Río Hondo
Following an excellent second place for Andrea Dovizioso in the opening round of the season in Qatar, the Ducati Team is gearing up to tackle the second event in the MotoGP World Championship at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit in the northern part of Argentina, just over one hour’s flying time from the capital Buenos Aires.
This will be the thirteenth edition of the Argentina GP, and the fourth to be held on this new circuit. Andrea Dovizioso scored his best result here in 2015, when he finished the race in second place, but the Ducati Team’s Italian rider also battled for the podium right down to the final lap in 2016. Jorge Lorenzo however has only scored one podium finish, in 2014 when he led but ended the race in third.
The Termas de Río Hondo weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am (14.55 CET), while the 25-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 4 pm local time (21.00 CET).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd (20 points)
“This track is really particular: the conditions change a lot between Friday, when the track is very dirty, and Sunday, and usually we always find the best conditions in the race, because the track improves a lot after each session. In any case Termas is a good track and we have always gone well here. We will tackle the weekend in Argentina pretty excited following the good result in Qatar and after last Wednesday’s test at Jerez, which proved to be quite positive and which allowed us to get some good work done.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 11th (5 points)
“In Qatar the world championship didn’t begin the way we wanted but now we have to turn over a page and carry on, by focussing on the next race. I can’t wait for the Argentina GP weekend to begin so I can accumulate more mileage and experience on the Ducati. Even though Termas is a circuit where I have suffered a bit in the last few years, it’s a special track; last year the Ducatis went really well and I think I will be able to make another step forward. We have to remain focussed and start to work with a setting that allows us to be quick as soon as possible, because here in Argentina everything is new for me with the Ducati.”
The Termas de Río Hondo circuit
The circuit is situated just outside the spa town in the northern part of Argentina from which it takes its name. It was officially inaugurated in May 2008 with a race for touring cars. In 2012 the circuit was modernized, and Termas became one of the safest, most modern and most spectacular circuits in South America. It measures 4.8 km, and has 14 corners, with a main straight of just over one km in length.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’37.683 (177.1 km/h) - 2014
Circuit Record: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’39.019 (174.7 km/h) - 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’37.683 (177.1 km/h) - 2014
Top Speed: Bradl (Honda), 334.1 km/h - 2014
Race Distance: 25 laps (120.2 km)
Corners: 14 (5 left, 9 right)
Race Start: 4 pm local time (21.00 CET)
Marquez and Pedrosa looking forward to the Argentina GP
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are traveling to South America this week for the second round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, to be held at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit in the Province of Santiago del Estero, for the fourth year since MotoGP’s debut there in 2014.
While the track layout is quite different from that of Losail, the Repsol Honda men will have to deal with some similar challenges, such as the Argentinian track’s surface conditions, which are usually quite dusty and lacking in grip, at least on the first day of practice. Weather also is something to take into account as temperatures can sometimes be very hot, further testing tyre life.
The Repsol Honda Team have achieved two double-podiums with Marquez and Pedrosa at Termas de Rio Hondo: a fantastic 1-2 in the circuit’s debut race in 2014, and a 1-3 in 2016.
At the Gran Premio de la República Argentina
– Marc Marquez has 2 wins (MotoGP: 2014, 2016) and 3 Poles (MotoGP: 2014 – 2015 – 2016)
– Dani Pedrosa has 2 podiums (MotoGP: 2nd in 2014 and 3rd in 2016)
“Qatar was a hard Grand Prix but we improved a lot over the weekend even if we couldn’t reach the podium on Sunday. Now we’ll see if the work we did there will be fruitful in Argentina. The track is nice; I’ve always felt good there, but the grip level is always pretty low. Tyre life is something to be aware of, as it’s normally very short, so we’ll work to reduce this issue and also to further improve the general bike setup. We look forward to fighting for the podium in front of our Argentinian fans, who are very passionate and supportive.”
“We’ve remained positive after the first race, which was quite strange due to everything that happened before the start, and now we aim to keep working hard, looking to improve in Argentina. We’ll start with basically the same setup we finished with in Qatar, of course adapting the gearbox and the mapping setting to the track, and on Friday we’ll see where we are. It’s difficult to make predictions before getting to the circuit, as we must see how the track conditions are and how the tyres work. But we are ready and excited to get there and jump on the bike. Usually the asphalt there is very dirty and hard on tyres, but it tends to improve over the weekend. We’ll do our best to get a good result.”
AFTER THE GREAT DÉBUT IN QATAR APRILIA SEEKS CONFIRMATION AT TERMAS DE RIO HONDO
The maiden race for the 2017 RS-GP was one to remember, but for Aprilia it is already time to focus on a new challenge. The second race of the 2017 MotoGP season that will be held on the Argentinian Termas de Río Hondo is a new test bench for the progress the Italian bike has demonstrated.
In Qatar, the new RS-GP proved its competitiveness in the race, managing traction and performance, allowing Aleix Espargaró to finish just behind the leaders, taking sixth place after an excellent comeback ride. Performance on the flying lap in qualifying is the situation where riders and mechanics are now seeking further improvement. In the first race, Aleix was the protagonist of impressive progress, but a good position on the starting grid would increase the chances of aiming for an important result.
Therefore, for both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders, the Argentinian race represents an important exam. If Aleix's goal is to continue the positive trend begun in Losail, Sam Lowes, a rookie in the category, is expecting a positive weekend after a less than easy début.
"After the good sensations in Qatar, I can't wait to ride in Argentina. It's a track that I really like and I'm always comfortable with my riding style there. I hope to be able to get an optimal set up in race conditions, but at the same time I would like to battle for a good position in QP too."
“I am happy to be getting back on the track straight away, especially in Argentina, a circuit that I like and where I was on the podium last year. Qatar was not the début we wanted. The particular conditions certainly did not make my first race an easy one. Next weekend I want to start the right way. As a team we need to take Aleix's good results as a point of reference and continue improving.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“In the first race we received important confirmation on our pre-season development efforts. The RS-GP proved to be a well-balanced bike. It will be interesting to put it to the test on a circuit that is very different from Qatar. The characteristics of the Termas track seem to be a good fit both for the character of our bike and for Aleix's riding style. Sam, on the other hand, after "breaking the ice", needs to continue improving. The first day of practice will be a chance to figure out the track conditions. We will be continuing to work in view of the race but with particular attention on qualifying performance. We will try to improve in that situation, exploiting the new tyre as best we can to aim for a good position on the starting grid.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“We are heading to Argentina with good intentions. We are on a positive trend both in technical terms and in terms of morale after the results in Qatar. Aprilia has done a great job. We have a technical package that has demonstrated a clear step forward. We are keeping our feet on the ground, but we are also well aware of our potential. We want to confirm the progress we saw in the first race on a different track now. On paper, the Termas track could suit our project better than Qatar, but as always, we will only be able to verify that once we get out on the track.”
ALEX RINS CLEARED FOR RACING AT ARGENTINIAN GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 4.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Alex Rins has been cleared to travel to the Termas de Rio Hondo MotoGP™ race in Argentina this weekend following further medical checks to evaluate his physical condition after his accident while training, as team-mate Andrea Iannone is also eager to overcome the crash he had in Qatar.
Rins had a small accident while training last Thursday with his RM-Z motocross machine. He required further checks at the University Hospital Dexeus and was diagnosed with a partial fracture of the right talus, without displacement, but with bone edema. He then underwent further medical checks yesterday and could lean on his foot with some discomfort, and despite the mobility of his ankle not being 100%, he can try to race in Argentina.
Rins will continue physiotherapy and will be monitored by doctors at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
A desire for redemption is carrying Iannone into the second race of the season following his crash; his performance until that moment highlighted how his capability and feeling with the GSX-RR have improved and the Argentinian GP is expected to be an exciting one, in accordance with the circuit’s characteristics.
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit is located 6km from the city of Rio Honda, in the Province of Santiago del Estero. It was built over a 150 hectare area and was officially inaugurated on May 11th, 2008 during the visit of Argentina’s Touring Car Racing Championship. In 2012, the reconditioning, enlargement and modernisation of the circuit began, with the purpose of turning it into Latin America’s most modern, safe and vibrant circuit. It is 4,8km in length (2.99 miles) and has five left-hand corners and nine right-hand turns. The longest straight measures 1076 m (3530.18 ft) and the race will be run over 25 laps; a total distance of 120.2 km (74.8 miles).
“I’m truly happy to get to the second race of the season. I don´t want to hide that I want to redeem myself after the disappointment in Qatar. I think Argentina can be a favourable track for us and I like it very much. It’s technical and fast, and I like this. I hope the track conditions will be good. Usually it has a lot of dirt and takes some time to develop a good grip. I hope this year it will be better.”
“My first race in Qatar had been a very exciting experience and honestly left with me the feeling that it all went too fast and was too short. I can’t wait to experience again all the emotion of MotoGP. The Argentinian circuit is one I like. I believe I will really enjoy the acceleration with the GSX-RR and I’m expecting the straight to seem to be a lot shorter compared to last year’s Moto2. I had this injury while training last week. It’s not a bad injury but will require some time to recover. I really hope it won’t bother me too much with the pain, as I’m excited to continue learning in this class with my Suzuki.”
Zarco and Folger ready to hit the ground running in Argentina
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo head to the second round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship full of confidence as they intend to impress again on the track in Latin America. After winning the Moto2 race last year, Johann Zarco aims to battle to a notable finish this Sunday having led the early stages of the Qatar GP in what was his premier class debut. Whilst Jonas Folger seeks to follow up his hard fought top ten result at the last GP with a strong performance this weekend as he looks to meet the chequered flag in a solid point scoring position. Free practice One starts on Friday at 09:55 local time or 14:55 European Time.
Championship: Not classified
"It will be my second MotoGP race this weekend when we go to Argentina and I’m excited to see what we can achieve. I like the venue, it’s quite new, and this year will be the fourth year that we will race there. I have had some strong results there in the past, with two victories and setting the fastest lap and pole position time at the track in the Moto2 class. The circuit itself is interesting, fast and quite simple, which is why I enjoy riding on it. After the good start in Qatar, I would like to keep the pace and the momentum going and I hope to use the upcoming opportunity in Argentina to score a great result and collect a lot of points. This is certainly possible for us, so lets see what happens but I am motivated and looking forward to racing in Argentina."
Championship: 10th - Points: 6
"I am really looking forward to racing in Argentina on the Yamaha because I thoroughly enjoy the Termas de Rio Hondo track and it is one of my favourites. The layout is quite different to Qatar but I am keen to experience the fast flowing nature of the South American circuit on a MotoGP bike and I am sure that we can have a positive time. My target is to improve and finish higher up the field after what was a solid race in Qatar and for sure, I will be a bit more relaxed this weekend. I am certain that I can make a step up so I’m excited to go there and I am determined to show the people, as well as myself, that I can do a better job than at the last GP."
"The next Grand Prix is at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit where both of our riders have been strong in the past and they love racing at this great track. It’s clear to see that Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger are excited and a bit impatient to get going again, but we all are too! Johann has an impressive record at Rio Hondo, where he has won twice before in the Moto2 class and after what happened at the last race, we are ready to move on. As for Jonas, we are confident in him, and he will be more relaxed this time after getting a top ten result on his debut in the premier class. The weather forecast is a bit tricky at the moment and we hope it will improve, yet nevertheless, we are sure that we can put on a good show. This Grand Prix is also sponsored by Motul, one of the Tech3 partners, so we have extra motivation for this round. Everyone in the team enjoys the Argentina experience, and the fans are fantastic because they come from all over South America to support our racing. Yamaha has been consistently strong at this track so it will be an exciting weekend for us and we are optimistic that our guys can conclude the event with two positive performances on Sunday."
Reale Avintia Racing heads to Argentina for the second round of the season
Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz will cross the Atlantic Ocean this week for the Grand Prix of Argentina, the second race of the season.
Following a positive start of the year, Hector Barbera heads to Termas de Rio Hondo in a good mood. The 13th place of Qatar was the best he was able to fight for in his physical condition and after losing the last part of the winter test. But in Argentina, where he fought for fourth place one year ago, Barbera expects to be battling for a Top Ten result with his Ducati Desmosedici GP16.
His Reale Avintia Racing teammate Loris Baz also looks forward to the arrival in Termas. Over the GP weekend in Argentina, he wants to progress the same way he did during the winter tests and the first race of the season. The 24-year-old French rider was twelfth in the opening round of the season and he is eager to make another step in Argentina and to fight for a Top Ten result as well.
“We head to Argentina physically stronger than in Qatar. My collarbone has almost recovered completely and I was able to train harder during the last week. We go to this race with high expectations, which is very different from those ahead of the first round of the season. I like the circuit. Last year I finished fifth and I think it will be possible to get a great result again. We feel strong and I am confident about our chances to do a good race on Sunday.”
“In the first race everything went really well, and that’s why I’m looking forward to race in Argentina. In Qatar I probably did my best dry race in MotoGP, but even though, my feeling was not the best. I’m convinced that it is possible to do even better. I love the layout of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and I want to do a good race. We will see how the weekend goes, we will keep working step by step to get the best set up and I’ll try to enjoy riding my bike.”
Next stop South America for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat head to South America for the Grand Prix of Argentina keen to capitalise on a positive start to the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.
Both riders scored points in the opening round, with Miller claiming a top ten finish in eighth and Rabat, who is still recovering from the injuries sustained in his Sepang testing crash, taking the final point in 15th position.
The two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders have mixed memories of the Termas de Rio Hondo track. In last year's race, which included a mandatory pit stop due to tyre endurance issues, Rabat secured his best result of the season with ninth place, while Miller crashed out in the early stages of the race while battling with Jorge Lorenzo for sixth.
Miller and Rabat head into the second round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship in Argentina confident that the fast and flowing Termas de Rio Hondo track will better suit the characteristics of their 2017 Honda RC213V MotoGP machines.
"Qatar was a good start to the season and I was happy with the result. Now we head to Argentina looking to improve further, on a track that should be a good match for our bike. We've been getting better and better each time we get out on the bike and I'm confident we can continue that trend at the next two races in Argentina and Austin, two tracks I enjoy racing at a lot. Termas is a circuit that doesn't see much use, so some caution is required on Friday when the track can be a little dirty, but it doesn't usually take long to clean up. I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead, as they always put on a bit of a special show for the race in Argentina."
"In Qatar I finished in the points and closer to the winner than I did all last season, despite the injuries and the track time lost to the weather, so I was satisfied with that. Now we head to Argentina and a very different track, once that I'm very much looking forward to racing on now that I have such a good feeling with the bike and the tyres, especially the front. We know that Friday will be pretty much a lost day if the track is as dirty as we've seen in previous years, but for me it will the perfect opportunity to start building my rhythm without taking too many risks. I'm confident that I can make another significant step forward this weekend in Argentina."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We knew from testing that Qatar was not going to be an easy start to the season for us, so to finish with Jack in the top ten and points for both riders was a very positive way in which to kick off our 2017 championship campaign. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is one that both Jack and Tito like and one at which they've both finished on the podium previously in Moto3 and Moto2. Equally important is the fact that the track is fast and flowing in nature, which is much better suited to our bike than Qatar. I'm looking forward to seeing what our two riders can do this weekend, in a race that is an important one for our partners."
CRUTCHLOW LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK IN ARGENTINA
PRESS RELEASE: 06 April 2017 | Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow is determined to get his season up and running at the Argentina Grand Prix after a frustrating start to the 2017 World Championship in Qatar two weeks ago. Having qualified ninth fastest at Losail, the Briton did not finish the weekend with any points after crashing out early on. However, Crutchlow remains in upbeat mood after an impressive pre-season of testing and is hopeful of securing a good result at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on Sunday.
The 31-year-old is refusing to panic following his trials in a rain-soaked Qatar having endured a similarly difficult start to last year. Indeed, in 2016 Crutchlow failed to finish in either Qatar or Argentina in the opening two rounds, yet still went on to enjoy a memorable campaign that included two GP victories.
With Honda having filled two of the first three places in Argentina last year through Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Crutchlow knows he has the potential to be threatening the podium this week on his RC213V. At a venue he enjoys riding, the Briton is hoping to repay his team with a big performance.
"Obviously after the disappointment of Qatar we are looking forward to Argentina and want to make amends. I started the season off badly last year and I’ve done it again this year, so hopefully in Argentina we can repay the team with a good result. I enjoy riding here and I’m looking forward to performing in front of the fans. We go into the weekend still feeling positive, let’s see what we can do.”
Pull&Bear Aspar Team make April trip to Argentina
Monday, 03 April 2017 11:25
Karel Abraham and Álvaro Bautista head south for the first of two races in America this month, with the intention of picking up where they left off in Qatar
The MotoGP World Championship is back in the spotlight this weekend as the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo circuit in Argentina welcomes the series for the fourth time. Of the three races to be held here so far Marc Márquez boasts two victories and Valentino Rossi one, the Italian's coming in 2015 after an incident involving the Spaniard. With the field having shown their cards in the first round of the season it looks like Maverick Viñales will also be a contender for the win this weekend at a circuit where Ducati also went well last year. This Sunday at 4pm local time we will see if anybody can beat Márquez to become the third different MotoGP winner in Argentina.
The goal for the Pull&Bear Aspar Team in Argentina is to repeat the performance levels of Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham from round one in Qatar, only with a different ending in the case of the Spaniard. Abraham heads into the second round of the season with his first points already in the bag after a strong weekend in Qatar, the Czech rider now targeting another challenge for a top ten finish at a circuit he likes. Bautista also heads to Argentina feeling confident after running at the sharp end of the field through the weekend at Losail. Despite crashing out of the race the Spaniard knows he was running with the front group and he intends to be back with them again this weekend.
Karel Abraham: “I am already looking forward to the next race in Argentina after a good weekend for us in Qatar. It was a very satisfactory first round of the season for us, we have already picked up our first points and I think we can consider that a good start. Now we go to South America for a race in a completely different time zone to Europe. The Autódromo de Termas de Río Hondo is one of my favourite tracks, like Qatar, so hopefully we can keep up this positive trend of performances and results.”
Álvaro Bautista:“We have to take the positives from the race in Qatar and head to Argentina with our batteries charged. After a strange weekend to start the season we can reflect on the fact I was running with the front group until the crash, which was a strange one, and that is what's important. I have been preparing myself physically and mentally, I think we are all feeling highly motivated and ready to make up for it this weekend. Argentina is not a difficult circuit and I think it could be good for the Ducati, as it is very fast. Our objective remains to work hard from the start and see if we can find a feeling that will allow us to fight in the top five. I know that is difficult but in Qatar we were close so that will be our objective again if luck is on our side a little more. We are all looking forward to it, myself and the whole team, so hopefully we can work well all weekend without weather interruptions.”