Massive Fire Destroys Garage Complex At Termas De Rio Hondo Circuit In Argentina

A huge fire has destroyed a large part of the facilities at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina, home to the Argentinean round of MotoGP. The fire started in the early hours of Saturday morning, and damaged the building housing the pit garages. Fortunately there were no casualties.

According to a statement released by Héctor Farina, Director General of the circuit, the fire destroyed the pit complex, the media center, the VIP rooms, and Race Control. Other buildings, including the automotive museum, control tower, medical center, and offices were not damaged to any significant extent.

The statement went on to thank the firefighters, police, and circuit staff who tackled the blaze, despite the substantial danger posed by high winds which were fanning the flames.

The circuit facilities are covered by insurance, Farina stated, but the damage was so extensive that it will take some time to recover and rebuild. Farina concluded by saying the circuit would be working toward preparing for the MotoGP round already postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and provisionally scheduled for a date to be decided in November.

The chances of holding the 2021 MotoGP round in Argentina were already virtually zero thanks to the pandemic. The destruction of the garages and other facilities make it even more likely to be canceled completely.

The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is loved by fans and riders for its layout, but its remote location make it less well-liked by the teams. There have been rumors that the circuit is likely to be dropped in favor of the San Juan Villicum circuit used by the WorldSBK series instead. That circuit has better facilities, and is more easily accessible. The fire at Termas is only likely to accelerate any such moves.

Below is a Twitter thread with footage of the blaze at the circuit, from Argentinian journalist Leonardo Regueira:

 

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Comments

Oh dear nasty fire. No casualties as far as I know.

Thankfully the Juan Manuel Fangio museum is OK.

Aside -

Let's be clear about a few things:

The new Michelin front tire, it is NOT coming for 2021. Good Suzuki, Yamaha. Bad for the V-4's other than Orange. Why? They figured out something on chassis via their small steel spar. It IS coming mid season to test, and rolls out for 2022. Q: who is ready to exploit that outside of the inline 4's? Ducati or Honda? Popcorn out. You two CAN.

Wildcards, they are back on the table. Cal in Blue, Guinters in lite Blue, Bradl, and Pirro. Perhaps others. This is good, yeah?

Yamaha knows that the Morbidelli chassis, and even it's predecessor WORKS. It can take this engine. They WILL have it as an "updated" offering for the Factory Team.

Valves? Yamaha is now free to run the good ones, and turn the wick back up. Expect Blue to be out of their gutter. And? Let's stop acting like this is a one off. They DO this, and often. It has been going on for the whole 4 stroke era.

Honda - their bike is back. Still a bucking bronco as per the engine character and wheelbase, but now within rideability norms. Expect them to creep fwd on the grid. Pol will be pleased if he can settle his exhuberance. They have a solid rider lineup, all of which will steady on. 

Marc will be back. He does not by definition need much time to readapt. He has gotten his tempering, as has the bike. Likely to miss the opening round. Still a favorite. Infections cure, big bones heal ok. The shoulder concern is pure speculation. He arrives soon, and at speed.

Ducati has a teething yr on young riders. They are focused on 2022 already. Bagnaia better better himself, his seat is vulnerable...albeit for the following yr. 

Either Aqua or VR46 are running Suzukis for 2022. Statement qualified by outside shot from Gresini. There are a few breadcrumbs leading to his doorstep. GET WELL SOON FAUSTO!

P.S. hate to, but my first thought was insurance $ in Argentina. 

sad, but that province of argentina is one of the poorest provinces in a country that is poor already, burned out pits and VIP area is the least of their concerns. ive read the some local papers, you should hear all the stories about the stealing and bribing that went on to build a track that gets used for maybe two events per year. channel the insurance money for hospitals rather than rebuilding that track is the most common reaction ive read.  

...regarding Mr. Yamaha's valve issues; I have thought the same thing since the development "freeze".  From this layperson's perspective, I firmly believe every manufacturer cheats.  We're all kidding outselves if we think the manufacturers arent replicating, with extreme detail, the tags, badges and lead seals that are used to "seal" engines after inspection.  Unless there are other, more discreet and barely detectable methods employed by Dorna to ensure rule discipline, theyre all doing it, and getting away with it (usually).  Mr. Yamaha got caught. Apparently their Department of Junior Engineers in charge of Engine Sealing Defeat Technology didn't quite get it done right, leading to an embarassing admission of valve malfeasance.   

Like an anonymous NASCAR official once said, you don't want to get behind on your cheating.