2017 Argentina Moto2 FP2 Result: Morbidelli Beats Schrotter

Franco Morbidelli ended the second session of free practice for the Moto2 class on top of the timesheets. The Marc VDS rider put in a late charge to set the fastest time at the end of the session, dislodging his teammate Alex Marquez.

More riders would find their way between the two Marc VDS teammates. Marcel Schrotter impressed on the Suter, getting within two tenths of Morbidelli, while Taka Nakagami ended up in third. Lorenzo Baldassarri, who had been quickest in the morning, finished FP2 as fourth fastest, a quarter of a second off the pace of Morbidelli.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP FP2 Result: Viñales Quickest In Charge For Q2

Maverick Viñales has once again topped the timesheets in the MotoGP class in Argentina, putting in a late charge to open a gap of three tenths over the rest of the field. Marc Marquez sits in second, while Karel Abraham once again showed strong pace to set the third quickest time.

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2017 Argentina Moto3 FP2 Result: Mir Asserts His Authority

Joan Mir continued his reign in the Moto3 class, dominating the second session of practice quite convincingly. He had got off to a slow start in the session, then found some speed in the second half, ending by putting over half a second into the opposition. 

Romano Fenati was pushed back into second place, the Honda rider demoted by Mir's charge, but still finishing over a tenth faster than Nicolo Bulega, taking third in FP2 just as he had in FP1. John McPhee was fourth quickest, just nine thousandths of a second behind Bulega, and over a tenth ahead of Niccolo Antonelli.

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2017 Argentina Moto2 FP1 Result: Baldassarri Leads Morbidelli

Lorenzo Baldassarri has topped the timesheets in the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class in Argentina. The Forward Racing rider put in a very strong last couple of laps to displace Qatar race winner Franco Morbidellli from the top spot, ending up over two tenths quicker than the Marc VDS rider.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP FP1 Result: Viñales Leads Intriguing First Session

That the Termas De Rio Hondo track is in better condition this year was obvious from the outset, and underlined by the times set by the MotoGP riders. Maverick Viñales' best time in FP1 was faster than the time set by Marc Marquez last year in FP3, after a day and a half of riding on the track.

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2017 Argentina Moto3 FP1 Result: Mir Leads Ahead Of Brave Rodrigo

Joan Mir has topped the first session of practice for the Moto3 class in Argentina. The Moto3 class were first to take to the track, and found a track which was still dirty and dusty, though not quite as bad as in recent years. The dirty track meant that times were well off race pace, Mir's best time of 1'51.559 over 2.6 seconds slower than the fastest race lap.

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2017 Argentina MotoGP Preview: Dirty Tracks, New Tires, And The Doctor At 350

After the first MotoGP race held at the Termas De Rio Hondo circuit had finished, Jarno Zafelli, the brilliant track designer behind the transformation from humdrum car track to fast, flowing, challenging circuit layout, was both deeply satisfied and mildly disappointed. Satisfied, because the riders had to a man raved about the layout of the new track. Disappointed, because the average speed around the track had maxed out at 177.1 km/h, just a few kilometers per hour short of Phillip Island, at that point in time the fastest circuit on the calendar. But it was only a minor let down: having so many riders enthusiastic about what he had done to the track was a far greater triumph.

Since then, both Termas and Phillip Island have been surpassed in terms of average speed by the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, round which Andrea Iannone was clocked at 186.9 km/h. But Spielberg is a collection of long straights joined together by a few tight corners. It may be fast, but it is anything but flowing. It cannot hold a candle to either Argentina or Australia.

It's not just the corners that slow riders down in Argentina, however. There is also the track surface. Not so much with asphalt – not much wrong with that – but rather the lack of use the circuit gets. For some unfathomable reason, the circuit owners don't like the track to be used much. The last event at the circuit was three weeks ago, when a track day was held for bikes. There are a dozen or so other events at the circuit through the year. Assen, by contrast, sees the track being used for 200 days of the year, and activity at circuits in Spain and Italy is even higher.

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2017 Aragon WorldSBK Review, Part 1: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition...

Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies went toe to toe and bar to bar in both races at Aragon, and while they shared the spoils with a win apiece it was clear that Aragon could be a defining moment in the 2017 WorldSBK season.

Over the course of two 18 lap races there was nothing to separate both riders. Even so at the end of an eventful weekend of racing Rea had still extended his championship lead by a further 20 points over Davies. Saturday's Race 1 crash came at the conclusion of a thrilling back and forth between the two riders who have defined WorldSBK in recent years.

It's easy to criticize Davies after his costly error but having lost a full morning of running due to an engine problem he was on the back foot. The 30 year old cited an issue with weight transfer on used tires as the cause for his crash which likely came from not having enough track time over the opening two days. When asked if he had pushed over the limit in search of the win the Ducati rider made it clear that striving to win was the single thought on his mind after having been on the back foot in Australia and Thailand.

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Michelin - Argentina An Important Test For Tires

The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit proved to be quite an ordeal for Michelin in 2016. In their first year as official tire supplier, Michelin arrived at the Argentinian circuit with only limited data from testing. They were not entirely to blame for that situation: test riders had ridden at the track in 2015, but had the weather conditions against them. A damp track and the slower pace of test riders meant that the tires did not get the workout they needed to stress them to the limit.

That did happen during practice for the race. The rear Michelin of Scott Redding's Pramac Ducati delaminated during FP4, causing a radical shakeup for the race. The race was once again cut in two, and compulsory pit stops added. As a result of that event, Michelin responded by becoming a lot more conservative in their tire selection, producing tires which were much more hard wearing, but also provided less feel and less grip.

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Why Rossi must reinvent himself once again

Rossi’s third-place finish in Qatar suggested he has fixed the front-end problem that haunted him during testing. Or was the result just a desert mirage?

Despite the lack of a refreshing gulp of Cava, no man on the Qatar GP podium was happier than Valentino Rossi. Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso had fully expected to be there, but not MotoGP’s ageing veteran. A miserable pre-season test programme followed by a lowly 10th place in practice had some people muttering in Losail’s pit lane: is this the beginning of the end?

Of course it wasn’t.

Rossi is nothing if not a Sunday man. From 1.1-seconds behind Viñales in practice, he finished the 20-lap race 1.9-seconds behind his team-mate.

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Superbike Commission: WorldSBK Follows MotoGP In Dropping Penalty Points

After the Grand Prix Commission abolished penalty points at their meeting at Qatar, it was inevitable that they would meet the same fate in World Superbikes. At the latest meeting of the Superbike Commission, the rule-making body for the WorldSBK series, the penalty point system was abolished in WorldSBK, just as it has been in MotoGP.

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2017 Aragon WorldSBK Official Test Times: Sykes Fastest The Day After

The day after the first European round for the WorldSBK series, the riders were back in the saddle, for the first in-season official test of the year. Monday at Aragon carried on much as Saturday and Sunday had finished, with three of the four podium scorers setting the fastest times of the test.

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