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.
Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
The bikes have finally hit the track at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Pushbikes, that is ... Cal Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista, Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl and Tito Rabat have all spent time lapping the Argentinian circuit ahead of the two-day test which starts on Thursday, some circulating on bicycles, some lapping the track in rental cars.
First reports from the track are positive, with all of the riders tweeting that they like the layout. It appears to be a fast track, with several fast, sweeping corners, the kind of track which riders love, and as promised by the race organizers when they announced the race just over a year ago at Assen. It would be the fastest track on the calendar, was the promise. The general assessment is that the track looks safe, with no dangerous areas, which is a major positive for the track.
Cal Crutchlow arrived in Argentina this morning, to take part in a two-day test at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in the north of the country, in preparation for next year's MotoGP round at the tr
With MotoGP scheduled to race in Argentina in 2014, the MotoGP teams will be heading down to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit between the Assen and Sachsenring races in July to conduct a two-day test at the track, as well as take part in a number of promotional activities. The test, to be organized by Dorna, will see a number of teams participate, with Dorna announcing that teams representing the three factories racing in MotoGP will at least be present at the circuit.
The 2013 Argentinian round of MotoGP has been canceled, as we forecast it would be yesterday. Today, Dorna issued a statement on the cancellation, and the FIM issued a new 18-race calendar without Argentina on it.
As explained yesterday, the decision to cancel the round has been forced upon Dorna by the Spanish government, which is recommending that Repsol staff should not travel to Argentina, after the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, the Argentine subsidiary of the Spanish oil giant. With Repsol behind several different riders and teams in the championship, going without Repsol-backed riders would have left the starting grid decimated.
Even before the Argentinian round of MotoGP had been officially added to the calendar, the race has been in doubt. The race, provisionally scheduled to take place on April 14th next year at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, has been caught in the crossfire between the Argentinian government and Repsol, over the former nationalizing Repsol YPF, the Argentinian arm of the Spanish petroleum giant.
The provisional MotoGP calendar has taken a little longer than normal to appear. An initial calendar had been expected at Brno in late August, but no calendar was forthcoming at the Czech Grand Prix. The next rumored date for the calendar to be released was the weekend of the Misano round of MotoGP, but once the paddock assembled at Misano, it became apparent it would emerge a few days later - MotoMatters.com was told by an IRTA representative that the calendar would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.