2017 Argentina Saturday Round Up: Wild Weather, The Wizard Of The Wet, And The Great Tire Conspiracy

MotoGP's weird and wonderful Argentina trip continues to confuse, with qualifying turning out as topsy turvy as ever. Or perhaps not quite as topsy turvy as yesterday: though the front of the MotoGP grid still contains more than a couple of surprise names (more on that later), there are the first signs that some semblance of normality is starting to creep back. That doesn't mean it's going to be 2009 again any time soon, when the grid basically predicted the finishing order, bar accidents, but bookies everywhere are worrying less about the chance of a rank outsider staging an upset. On Friday, all bets were off. On Saturday, they were hedging their bets again.

Oddly enough, part of that was down to the weather. It was a peculiar day in terms of weather, the morning starting cool and dry, but rain starting to fall at the end of MotoGP FP3. It dried out again after that, allowing Moto3 to start their qualifying session on a dry track, before the rain returned with a few minutes to go. MotoGP FP4 took place on a wet track, but the rain lifted and the track started to dry during qualifying. Q1 was wetter than Q2, and tire choice became crucial. Vacillating between the soft and the hard tires cost more than one rider passage through to Q2.

By the time Moto2 took to the track, a dry line was starting to form. Andrea Iannone had gambled on going out on slicks during Q2 but came straight back into the pits when it turned out to be impossible. The Moto2 riders went out on wet tires at first, but were quickly able to switch to slicks. With the track improving with every lap the riders put in, pole position was changing hands just about every time a rider crossed the line. In the last 22 minutes of qualifying, the pole time was slashed by eight and a half seconds.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez Fastest On Wet Trac

The rain finally gave the riders consistently wet conditions in Argentina for the final session of MotoGP free practice. Marc Marquez was fastest in the wet, finishing ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso. Danilo Petrucci set the fourth fastest time, ahead of Jack Miller and Jonas Folger.

Fastest man in the dry, Maverick Viñales, was eight quickest, a second off the pace of Marquez in the wet. Valentino Rossi fared no better, ending thirteenth and 1.350 seconds slower, while Jorge Lorenzo was a second and a half behind Marquez in sixteenth.

Results:

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2017 Argentina Moto2 FP3 Result: Baldassarri Fastest In Rain-Hit Session

The weather once again took center stage for the final session of free practice for the Moto2 class in Argentina. The rain which had fallen during the final fifteen minutes of the MotoGP session left the track in a pretty treacherous condition, leaving riders wary of pushing too hard. Conditions improved towards the end, with riders upping the pace, but still falling a couple of seconds short of the times set on Friday.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP FP3 Result: Crutchlow Fastest But Few Improvements On Tricky Track

The rain came to Termas De Rio Honda at last during the MotoGP FP3 session, but it held off until the second half of the session before it sent everyone scuttling back to their garages. The conditions made it hard for may riders to improve, with nobody able to break into the top ten and go through to Q2. 

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Additional Front Tire Withdrawn After Getting Stuck In Customs

The MotoGP riders will not have the additional soft front tire at their disposal for the Argentinian Grand Prix. In a meeting of the Safety Commission on Friday night, the riders agreed that they did not need the tire, as the current allocation of three fronts was sufficient for safety purposes.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice in Argentina:


MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP ROARS INTO ACTION IN ARGENTINA

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales set the tone at the first two free practice sessions of the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina. Teammate Valentino Rossi also had a productive day, but struggled to find the right feeling and secured 16th place.

Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), 7th April 2017

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