MotoGP makes welcomed return to Argentina after 14 years

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Riders excited to get on track with first practice sessions taking place today

MotoGP returns to Argentina this weekend after a break of 14 years and despite the long hiatus, the fans have once again embraced the premier motorcycle road racing World Championship with great excitement surrounding the Termas de Rio Honda circuit ahead of Sunday’s GP Red Bull de la República Argentina.

I think it will be an interesting weekend here in Argentina, as it’s a new track for everybody.

Marc Marquez

The last time MotoGP touched down in Argentina was in 1999, which was the final race of the year. That year will be at the front of the mind of Marc Marquez’s team boss Emilio Alzamora who clinched the 125cc Championship by a single point during that race by finishing second to Marco Melandri.

Marquez is looking forward to getting on track and despite still being a little tender with his healing right leg, he remains confident with the championship leader saying at the official press conference, “I think it will be an interesting weekend here in Argentina, as it’s a new track for everybody. We need to work a little bit more than usual to find the best line, to adapt our riding style and to find the right set-up for this track. I am back at 100% for riding, I still can’t run but I am fine on the bike.”

While the Repsol Honda pairing of Marquez and teammate Dani Pedrosa will be entering the first day of practice in buoyant mood following their results last time out in Austin, Texas, the Movistar Yamaha pairing of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are looking to forget their disastrous GP of the Americas and take a more positive result from this weekend’s outing.

“It is important to go immediately to Argentina after the weekend in Austin and try to get a good result. This is a new circuit for everyone and we have to interpret it well. It is really hard to understand now if this track will be suitable for the Yamaha as there are many variables. We'll know after the first few laps on the track. I am happy with the work we are doing so far and in Argentina we will be even more focused to get good results. Going to a new circuit is always exciting!” Rossi said.

Lorenzo is trying to forget his jump start from the last round and if he has any chance of clinching a third MotoGP title he needs a strong finish in Argentina. “Obviously it’s not the beginning of the season I had dreamed of but I’m quite confident that we can revert the situation. It’s not easy to swallow what happened at Austin but I always try to get the positive thing even if we are in trouble. Now I’m just thinking about Argentina and I’m really looking forward to racing as soon as possible there. Staying on track is the best way to forget and I think our championship is going to kick off over there. I think I’m going to be much more stimulated in front of the Argentinian fans and finally we will achieve a normal race.

Just a few riders could test in Argentina last year so I guess the inconvenience of learning the circuit is almost the same for everyone. Hopefully we will enjoy that track and we will catch a good result before we start racing in Europe. From my side I will arrive with plenty of energy after resting and training hard in Mexico!” Lorenzo added.

The majority of MotoGP riders have not ridden at the renovated Termas de Rio Hondo circuit but one man who did was Stefan Bradl but the LCR man isn’t convinced that the private test will give him any big advantage over his rivals. “I don’t know if it will be any real advantage as the conditions were not perfect here for the test. The others will catch up very fast. I like the track and the layout is good, it will be demanding on the tyres and I think the gaps between the riders will be very close so I expect some good racing,” Bradl said.

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Series MOTOGP
Article type Preview
Tags argentina, featured, hatch, lorenzo, marquez, movistar, pedrosa, repsol, rossi