Press releases from the teams, Bridgestone and the circuit designer after Sunday's thrilling MotoGP race in Argentina:
Rossi Rules MotoGP‘s Argentine Adventure
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), 19th April 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi ended his Argentine adventure in style today with a sensational victory in the Gran Premio de la República Argentina. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo started strongly as a key protagonist before dropping to finish in fifth.
Starting from a less than perfect eighth position on the grid, Rossi was immediately in the middle of the pack fighting for first corner position. Taking a lap to find his rhythm he then started his move up the field, taking first Danilo Petrucci and then Aleix Espargarò to move into sixth. With 20 laps to go his teammate Lorenzo was next as the Doctor continued his charge towards the front.
The next pack to be dispatched were Andrea Iannone, then Cal Crutchlow and finally Andrea Dovizioso to put the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider in second position. Rossi then had the seemingly impossible task of closing a gap of over four seconds to leading rider Marc Marquez.
The nine-time world champion then delivered a performance for the record books, putting the hammer down and cutting the lead lap by lap to reel Marquez in with just two laps remaining. A fast exchange of positions followed through turns two, three and four, with Rossi exiting turn five in the lead. In his rush to counter attack, Marquez then clipped Rossi‘s back wheel on the exit, crashing out of contention.
Teammate Lorenzo was quick to attack from the grid start, taking third through the first corner then swiftly dealing with Aleix Espargarò for second and beginning the hunt for Marquez. The charge was to be short lived as the Mallorcan struggled to make the harder rear tyre work for him, gradually dropping to take fifth at the line.
Rossi‘s victory brings with it some incredible numbers, bringing Rossi‘s podium tally to 199, 110 of which are victories and 51 of those with Yamaha.
The result puts him on 66 points at the top of the rider standings, six clear of Dovizioso in second. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP also lead the team standings on 103 points and Yamaha lead the constructors standings with 66 points.
Lorenzo‘s fifth place finish delivers 11 points, putting him on a total of 37 in fourth, one point ahead of Marquez.
46 Valentino Rossi
1st / 41'35.644 / 25 laps
“It's a great victory, we made the right decision and started with the extra hard tyre. When I saw Marc start with the red one I knew that he would try to push at the beginning. I made a great start but on the first corner Iannone pushed me on the outside. Step by step I came back, and when I arrived in second Marc had a little more than four seconds lead. I knew the race was long, so I knew he could have some difficulty. Catching him lap by lap, I could see him far away but coming closer and closer, it was a great taste! I overtook him in braking, but he is a rider who is all or nothing, he touched me in the corner, then he touched me again as I was accelerating, I think he made a mistake and he crashed. It's a shame because it could have been a great fight on the last lap. In three races we have demonstrated we can be competitive everywhere and fight for the championship.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
5th / +10.192 / 25 laps
“Honestly, I am very disappointed. I didn't expect to finish in fifth position. I expected to fight at least for the podium. I was was not able to ride as good as Valentino with the hard rear tyre, maybe we needed a softer one to feel better. I didn‘t feel good and I wasn‘t able to ride as I wanted. Anyway, we keep getting points and let‘s see in Jerez if we can be faster. Valentino‘s race was unbelievable, he was able to go faster than anyone else with the harder tyre, he is in an unbelievable shape.”
“Valentino delivered an incredible performance today, a race we won‘t forget! It‘s been a challenging weekend but both Vale and Jorge and the whole team have worked hard from the beginning to find solutions and improve the set up of the bikes so I have to thank them all for their efforts. Tyre choice was always going to be critical today and Vale was able to make the hard option work spectacularly to reel in Marc and take the win. He is in top form and proving he is still a real contender for the title fight. Jorge started really well and initially looked to have the pace to contend for the podium. Unfortunately he was not able to get as comfortable as Vale with the harder option but still worked hard to ensure a good points finish. I‘m confident we will see him at the sharp end in Jerez.”
Dovizioso puts in another great race to finish runner-up at Termas de Rio Hondo. Iannone takes fourth in the Argentina GP.
One week after his second place finish at Austin, Andrea Dovizioso produced another fine performance to repeat the result at Termas de Rio Hondo when he finished runner-up behind winner Rossi in the Argentina GP.
With this result, the 29-year-old from Forlì finished second for the third time in a row in this early part of the season, after putting together a fast and intelligent race. Dovizioso crossed the line in fifth at the end of lap 1 and continued his charge upwards to reach second on lap 8. Three laps later Rossi, who was also working his way to the front, overtook the Ducati Team rider but Dovizioso remained firmly on his tail until the end, and aided by the fact that Marquez crashed, he took the chequered flag in second place.
Andrea Iannone also had a very good run throughout to finish fourth at the flag. The 25-year-old from Vasto, who qualified on the front row, crossed the line in sixth on lap 1 but then moved up to fourth on lap 3 behind team-mate Dovizioso. Iannone was then passed by Rossi and began a terrific battle with Crutchlow and Lorenzo. On the penultimate lap Andrea succeeded in passing Crutchlow, moving into third, but the British rider retook the place right at the final corner and so Iannone was classified fourth in the Argentinean race.
Thanks to today’s results, Dovizioso remains second overall in the Riders’ standings with 60 points, six behind leader Rossi, while Iannone moves up to third with 40 points.
Ducati lie second in the Constructors’ table with 60 points and the Ducati Team are second in the dedicated Teams’ classification, with 100 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd
“I am really pleased, even more so than in the first two rounds, because this was a very difficult track for us. In practice and qualifying we went quite well but we were not that fast, and managing such a demanding race with the drop in rear tyre performance was very important and rather complicated. Everyone really had to struggle, but once again we managed to get onto the podium. This result means that we are looking really strong, because we are there up at the front even when the conditions are not so much in our favour. I want to thank the team, who are working very well, as well as Ducati who have made a special bike, and I feel very confident about the future because we can only get better.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th
“In the race we could have certainly have battled for the podium, because we were set up well to be quick and in the end we demonstrated it. Around half-way through the race I was in a bit of difficulty and I changed the engine mapping to try and reduce the sliding of the bike and ride a bit better, but it was too late. I probably didn’t guess the strategy right, and in the end I paid for it. It was a pity because in the final stages I was quicker than Cal, but I arrived a bit long at the final corner and he passed me. In any case it was a great scrap, and for sure I will try and get even in the next race.”
Paolo Ciabatti (Ducati Corse Sporting Director)
“We are really satisfied with this result, which comes on a difficult track for us. Also on this occasion the riders and the team worked very well and the GP15 demonstrated once again that it is a really competitive bike. Dovizioso was really fantastic and he ran a fast and intelligent race to take second place for the third time this season. It was a pity about Iannone, who deserved to finish on the podium, but in any case we return to Europe with our two riders second and third in the championship and we can be pleased about that. I want to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse who have worked non-stop these last few months and I dedicate this result to them”.
Disappointment for Marquez and Aoyama in Argentina
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez enjoyed a strong start from pole position, tussling for first place on the opening lap with Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro and took the lead as they crossed the line for the first time. He pushed to open a gap over the rest of the riders and by lap thirteen he was benefitting from his hard option rear Bridgestone tyre – the softer of the compounds available – and had opened up a 4.2s advantage over a chasing Valentino Rossi.
Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama dropped back at the start from 15th to 22nd on the first lap and gradually progressed through the pack to reach 14th by lap twenty-one. Meanwhile Rossi continued to chip away at Marc’s lead as Marc’s tyre life began to drop and Rossi’s extra hard tyre choice was coming into it’s element. With seven laps to go the gap was down to just two seconds and with three laps to go it was down to half a second as the riders began to battle. With two laps remaining, they jostled for first place then in the next corner they touched and as they picked the bikes up Rossi’s rear wheel collected Marc’s front and the reigning World Champion hit the ground. Despite running to his bike to rejoin the race, Marc soon saw this was not possible and had to accept his race was over.
In the final five laps, Hiroshi continued to fight and was up to 11th on the last lap when he was hit in the final turn by Petrucci and unfortunately crashed out of the race also. Race direction reviewed both incidents immediately and docked a penalty point from Petrucci but considered the contact between Marc and Rossi a racing incident.
It was a disappointing end to a strong weekend for the team. Now they must pack up and head to Spain for the first round of the European races which takes place on Sunday 3rd May.
DNF Championship Standing: 5th - 36 points
"It’s a shame what happened, because we were having a good race! It was interesting, because our tyre choice was different from Valentino’s as I felt we were not as competitive the harder compound. The strategy was working out well for us – it’s just a pity about the last two laps. When I saw that he was closing in on me, I decided to conserve the tyres a little. On the final laps I went back to riding in the low 1'39s to check that the tyres were still in good shape, and knew that we would be fighting to the end. When he caught me, we fought for a few corners and unfortunately we touched and I crashed. I've always said that he's my idol and my reference, so you always learn things from him. Now we have to think about Jerez and begin to recover points."
DNF Championship Standing: 17th - 5 points
"I didn’t get the best start as the start procedure seemed to happen very fast and caught me slightly off guard, so I didn’t get off the line immediately. I lost some positions and had many riders in front of me so I had to fight hard and managed to progress from 22nd position to 11th on the last lap. Unfortunately in the last corner on the final lap, Petrucci tried to pass me but he hit me forcing me to lose the front and I crashed. It was disappointing to end the race in this way. Also, with the incident involving Marc, it’s not been a good weekend for the Repsol Honda Team and I’m very sorry for all the team. Race control penalised Petrucci with a penalty point, so it’s good that they acknowledged the incident, but anyway it doesn’t affect our result."
TOP-10 FOR TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR IN ARGENTINA
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 20th
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales raced to seventh and 10th positions respectively in the GP of Argentina, securing important points and collecting feedback for continued-development of the new GSX-RR.
In only the third race in the 2015 MotoGP season, both its riders showed how far the team has come at the early stages of the 18-round championship.
The Argentinian weekend was very positive overall, with both riders fast in all practice sessions and finally achieving the positive results of Viñales progressing directly to the Q2 session and Espargaro second overall in qualifying. Such steady steps forward are part of the philosophy of the Team, both on the racetracks and in Japan, and these results show the positivity of the project.
After three races overseas it’s now time to go back to the European tracks; the first in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain on Sunday May 3rd.
Satoru Terada – Team Director:
“This was the third race for us and again we go back home with positives and negatives. We have clear realisations that we have some issues with chattering. We have tried many different solutions in Austin and also here, but we couldn’t solve it in a racing situation. The engineers in Japan are already working with our data and feedback. Now we go back to the Factory and will develop some solutions to be applied hopefully immediately in Jerez. But we must also be happy for the weekend here in Argentina. Aleix finished second in qualifying and Maverick entered directly into Q2. These results are in-line with our expectations and we must be proud of them. For this I want to say thank you to the riders, who put a lot of effort in – and to all the team here in Termas de Rio Hondo – as well as our engineers in Japan. These results also confirm that the project course of this bike is good. Of course we need to improve it and make it more competitive but I’m confident about the potential overall.”
“It’s been a tough race, unfortunately I finished seventh after being in second place on the grid. This is not what we were hoping or expecting for. We are afflicted by some issues at the rear from the beginning and we need to fix them to be more competitive. For sure this seventh place doesn’t pay justice to the positive that we had this weekend and this is why I am a little disappointed after the race. We have transferred a lot of feedback to the engineers, therefore I hope we will get some improvement in the European races. So far we are too-far from the top than we actually deserve.”
“I was hoping for a better result in the race according to the progress I made this weekend, including my direct access to Q2. Unfortunately I had a bad feeling with the tyres in the early laps so I could not be as effective as I wanted, but then unexpectedly the feeling got better and better as the tyres got more worn, so at the end of the race I was lapping at nearly the same times as the race leaders. For sure we take comfort from this, because it means that we have a good machine. We need to improve in the qualifying session and also in the set-up for the race. But once again, being in the top-10 is a positive result we must be proud of.”
BAUTISTA AND MELANDRI, BOTH AT THE FINISH LINE, CONTINUE TO IMPROVE WITH THEIR RS-GP BIKES AND REDUCE THE GAP BEHIND THE PACK
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), 19 April 2015 - In the second American race on the Argentinian Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini confirmed the progress demonstrated in Austin. The two RS-GP bikes, for the first time both crossing the finish line, significantly reduced the gap behind the leaders and the middle pack.
Some conservative riding in the first part of the race kept the two riders from being able to battle for positions in the points with Bautista finishing 19th ahead of Melandri in 20th, both coming back in the final stages of the race. But the times (just over 4 seconds from 11th place) in the end reward the hard work they and the entire team have done on development.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
"Today's result in terms of times is quite positive. We finished with Alvaro at 4.672 seconds from eleventh place and about 44 seconds from the leader. I would have liked a better final placement but perhaps we were too careful in the first part of the race. But our overall pace, both Alvaro's and Marco's, was very close to that of the riders in the middle pack. An encouraging performance and Marco also confirmed that by now he has come quite close to his team mate's performance."
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
"Beyond the final placement, which without a doubt could have been better, we ran a good race, lapping with the group that battles consistently for points. With a faster first part a better final placement was definitely within our reach. But we'll head home having taken a step forward with both riders. Marco has evidently also found some confidence and feeling here. We can be optimistic as we look forward."
"In the first part of the race I was too calm. I wanted to conserve the tyres, but I actually noticed less wear, probably because the track conditions were better. At the end I tried to push harder even though at that point the group of riders ahead of me had already created a gap that I was unable to close. In any case, we finished another important race, also reducing the gap behind the winner compared to how we did in Texas. No we are already looking forward toward Jerez, the location of the first European race, with the goal of improving further. I want to thank the team which is always working very hard: we take a small step forward every time and we are able to better identify what we need to do to improve."
"To be honest today I had hoped to keep up with the group of riders ahead of me, but at the beginning of the race I lost a lot of time, struggling with the lack of stability at the front and poor grip at the rear. It's a shame because I had even gotten off the line well and from the mid-race point on the bike felt like it had been feeling these last few days, letting me lap at a good pace, staying around 1'41.5."
CRUTCHLOW SEALS STUNNING PODIUM IN ARGENTINA
Cal Crutchlow took an outstanding third place in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Argentina, to seal the CWM LCR Honda Team’s first podium finish since 2013.
With the sun breaking through the clouds as the riders sat on the grid, the British rider was left with a conundrum as to which rear tyre to use, eventually deciding to use the softer option available to him.
This meant that despite running in second place behind Marc Marquez for much of the early laps, Crutchlow was forced to relinquish that spot as he conserved his tyres. He dropped as low as fifth at one point, but fought bravely to cling on to the Ducati of Andrea Iannone in front.
As Marc Marquez crashed out of the race under pressure from Valentino Rossi, the CWM LCR Honda rider knew he still had a shout of a podium, and a stunning move through the final corner sealed third place to spark huge celebrations in the team pit.
Cal Crutchlow #35 - 3rd place
“We are so pleased to get the podium, when I get to come up here it’s usually because you’re going fast! The CWM LCR Honda Team did a great job, we worked so hard for the third spot.”
“The plan was always to try and let Marc go at the start, hold the other guys up and then try to push at the end. I had a bad middle of the race though and the bike locked up a couple of times and I made a few mistakes, but I tried my best to hold onto some grip for the end – and it seemed to pay off!”
“We would have been happy with fourth place, because that’s where we started. We got lucky though because Marc crashed, but ultimately we battled for it, so we deserve it.”
MILLER IS TOP OPEN RIDER IN ARGENTINA
Jack Miller finally showed his potential in his debut season as a MotoGP rider, as the CWM LCR Honda man took 12th place in the Grand Prix of Argentina and came home as the top Open class rider across the line.
The Australian had started the race from a lowly 21st position on the grid, but as has now become customary in his fledging MotoGP career, he quickly made up positions, and was battling well within the points scoring spots.
Having dispensed of former world champion Nicky Hayden, Miller also made it past Stefan Bradl, with just the Ducati of Hector Barbera standing in his way of becoming top Open man. Miller conjured up some of his usual magic in the final corner of the race, slotting his Honda RC213V-RS underneath the Spaniard to take four points and the honour of top Open bike for the first time in his rookie year.
With his teammate Cal Crutchlow having sealed an amazing third place, Miller’s Open win saw him join his colleague in parc fermé, sparking wild celebrations across the board.
Jack Miller #43 – 12th (Open Class Win)
“It was a great day today, we are always making steps forward and I am so happy to see things progress like this. Step by step we are getting closer to the front.”
“Today it was so hot out on track and the tyre was really destroyed by the end of the race – we were sliding about so much. I can’t thank the CWM LCR Honda Team enough for giving me the bike I needed. We needed to do a lot of work in the warm up to get it where we needed it for the race, so I’m absolutely delighted.”
Redding returns to top 10 in Argentina
Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina – 19 April 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Scott Redding secured his first top 10 finish of 2015 in a demanding 25-lap Termas de Rio Hondo MotoGP encounter in Argentina.
The 22-year-old finished an eventful race in ninth position after he had chosen to run Bridgestone’s extra hard compound rear hoping to benefit from better grip in the crucial final laps.
The British rider never felt completely comfortable on board his Honda RC213V machine but he secured a season best finish after brilliantly keeping a hard charging Maverick Vinales at bay on the final lap.
Scott Redding: 9th
“All I can say it was a better weekend than Qatar but not as good as Texas. I was behind Hernandez in the early laps when his bike caught fire and I was getting covered in oil. That disturbed my rhythm a little bit but I was struggling for front and rear grip. I ran the extra hard rear tyre because Bridgestone said the hard was a big gamble and we knew the extra hard would be good for the race distance. Hindsight suggests the hard might have been better when you look at Crutchlow and Marquez, but the important thing is I finished in the top 10 and gained more valuable experience.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“A top 10 is a solid result and important after the non-finish in Texas. We have a lot of work still to do though because Scott didn’t have the same confidence on the bike that he had in Austin. Track conditions have been difficult all weekend with a lack of grip and excessive tyre wear and that made the task a tough one. Scott has another full race distance under his belt and we have a lot of data now to help us push back towards the top six again in Jerez.”
Smith and Espargaro conquer Argentine GP with strong finishes
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith continued his strong form in the 2015 season by expertly speeding to 6th position at round 3 of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina. The young British rider kicked off his race from 10th position on the grid with the sun beaming down on the track and leapt forward as the lights went out to hold his qualifying position at the close of the first lap. He then ran a series of competitive laps as he sought to glide through the field and storm to a top result. With 15 laps until the end, Smith dived inside Aleix Espargaro to snatch 7th and his determination remained strong as he opened a gap on the pursuing rider. The young Briton carefully maintained his tyres before smoothly continuing his strong pace, greeting the finish flag in 6th position. His solid performance in Argentina confirmed his second consecutive sixth place finish this season and fills him with confidence for the forthcoming European rounds.
Additionally, Pol Espargaro completed a superb run to 8th position in Argentina after producing a driven and determined ride in the challenging race. Starting from 18th on the grid after a tricky qualifying session, the young Spaniard leapt into action and finished the first lap in 13th having expertly passed five riders. The 2014 rookie of the year carried on his fine work as he set into a solid rhythm and overtook Vinales on lap five and then Scott Redding just one lap later. He pushed onwards and clinched 9th position shortly afterwards as he continued his consistent lap times to gap the pursuing riders. He eventually soared across the finish line in 8th, having overtaken ten riders in the 25 lap battle today. His performance marks a positive end to a challenging weekend and now the 23 year old Spaniard looks onwards to the next round at Jerez optimistic of scoring a top finish.
Position : 6th Championship : 7th Points : 28
"Today I'm really happy about taking home this 6th position as this is actually better than we expected during some points of the weekend. Before the race, I was still undecided about which compound of rear tyre to use as the tyre life is vital at this track due to the grip issues we have had all week. We made a few changes inbetween the warm up and the race including the decision to go for the hard compound. It was a shame that the first corner didn’t go to plan, like it did last week and I wasn’t able to go around the outside and make up some places. A few guys got in underneath me who were riding on the racing line, whilst I was on the dirty section of the track. Afterwards, when you lose three or four seconds because of a tricky start like this, it’s impossible to get back with the leading bikes as the lap times are so similar. However, I will gladly take this result as it confirms my third consistent race finish in the top eight, which is a far better start to the season compared to last year. So now I am looking forward to Jerez with confidence as I can't wait to return to race in Europe in two weeks time."
Position : 9th Championship : 9th Points : 15
"I can't be disappointed with the result considering where we started. The first few laps were quite positive as I was able to put myself right behind the two Pramac bikes as well as Vinales. However after this, Hernandez’ bike caught fire right in front of me and I lost a lot of time compared to Brad and my brother. Before he retired, there was oil on the track as well as on my vision so I needed to be careful even though I was sure he would stop sooner or later. By the time he pulled over, the gap to my brother who was in front of me, was already a bit too big. I tried to recover some time on him and Bradley, but it didn’t go according to plan. Halfway through the race, I had closed in a bit but then as soon as I realised that I wasn’t able to catch them, I decided to stay in my rhythm rather than risk crashing. To go from 18th to 8th is not a bad result as we managed to limit the damage and take home some valuable points. It was clearly not our best race, but I’m really looking forward to going back to Europe and competing at the race tracks where I know I am strong."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"It was such an exciting race and I am so happy to see Yamaha win it with an incredible Valentino on board! Last night there were some long faces in the Yamaha camp and they were a bit sceptical about what they could accomplish in the race. Yet, everyone at Yamaha worked really hard and focused more on the race pace rather than the qualifying. The choice of the extra hard tyre was definitely the best decision for all the Yamahas as we could clearly see how much Valentino recovered at the end of the race. Our boys did a really good job and we are very pleased with what they achieved here today. Bradley had another really strong showing and after undertaking a good start he then set about making up all of the places that he could. He was lapping very similar times to Jorge all race and ended up in 6th, which is another great result so I am very satisfied. On the other hand, what a performance from Pol! He was 18th on the grid but finished 8th at the flag and it was an incredible recovery. Both of our riders scored strong points here in the race, which is always important for the Championship and now we will head back to Europe knowing that it was mission accomplished."
First points for the team Athinà Forward Racing in Termas de Rio Hondo
Both Athinà Forward Racing riders finished the Termas de Rio Hondo race scoring points. Loris Baz and Stefan Bradl have crossed the line in 14th and 15th position respectively.
Baz, who started 22nd was the protagonist of a good recovery and he collected his first points in MotoGP. The Frenchman, who made his debut in the premier class of motorcycle Grand Prix in Qatar, had a good race pace and was able to reach his direct competitors finishing third in the Open category.
Stefan Bradl finished in 15th position also scoring points. It was a difficult race for the German conditioned by the fact he had no feeling with the electronics especially in the closing laps.
“It was not an easy race for me. I am very sorry for the result, I did not have a bad start, but after 10 laps, I started to have problems with the electronics and the tires especially in the fast corners. Up to that point I was fighting for the head of the Open class but then everybody passed me. We have to analyze the data, to understand what happened and get ready for Jerez”.
"It was a really good race and I am very satisfied. I struggled in the opening laps with a full tank as I was losing the front and I had to give in different positions. With the passing of laps the feeling improved and I managed to keep a really good pace that allowed me to reach my direct opponents of the Open class. Today I picked up my first points in MotoGP, I am very happy and I have to say thanks to all the guys for their work. In just three races we have reach the goal of scoring points".
Petrux fights and finishes 11°. Yonny forced to retire due to a technical problem
A Sunday of ups and downs for Pramac Racing Team who finished the overseas double- header rounds with 11th place for a courageous Danilo Petrucci and with the retirement of Yonny Hernandez due to a technical problem.
The GP de la Republica Argentina began very well with both Pramac Racing riders who got a great start. Petrux managed to maintain the seventh position gained in qualifying by choosing an inside line into the first corner to counter the attack of Valentino Rossi. One lap later Valentino managed to overtake Petrux, starting the comeback that led him to win the Grand Prix at the Circuit de Termas de Rio Hondo. Meanwhile Yonny Hernandez once again rocketed away at the start and made up four positions in less than two laps to get behind his team-mate. The Colombian rider, who had looked fast since the morning warm-up (9th quickest) unfortunately was forced to stop his bike due to an oil leak that caused the bike to catch fire after coming into contact with the hot exhaust. Luckily there were no consequences for Yonny.
Petrux gritted his teeth in order to cope with the rapid consumption of the rear tyre which did not allow him to respond to the attacks of Redding and Viñales. His performance started to improve as the fuel went down and Danilo began lapping in 1'40'' before finishing a gutsy 11th after taking the inside line on Aoyama in the last corner before the finish straight.
Danilo Petrucci now has 15 points in the overall standings, confirming his presence in the Top 10 (9th place) of the premier class of MotoGP. Yonny Hernandez (still at 6 points) has the possibility to improve in a fortnight in the GP of España at the Circuit of Jerez. Pramac Racing Team is in 7th position with 21 points in the Team classification.
11° Danilo Petrucci - Pramac Racing Team #9
"I am very satisfied. I had a good start and I was able to stay with the others in front. I knew I didn't have a great race pace with the full tank and this made me struggle a lot in the middle part of the race. Then I could manage to lap stronger even if the Top 10 was already too far away. Now we go back to Europe, where I know the circuits best. The season's goal is to get points in every race and I am respecting the program so far".
Yonny Hernandez - Pramac Racing Team #68 - Rit. al 7° giro
"I am very sad about what has happened. I started very well, recovering positions and entering the Top 10 where I wanted to finish the race. Unfortunately that problem happened. After the main straight I felt something very hot coming from below. I did not immediately notice the fire. But a couple of corners later the temperature became unbearable. I saw the flames and I had to stop. I do not know what was the problem and the team is trying to understand what happened. Certainly I had bad luck. Now I have to think only about of Jerez. I want to have a good race and I will give my all ".
Barbera leaves Argentina leading the Open Class
Avintia Racing MotoGP – Grand Prix of Argentina – RACE
Hard race in Argentina for the Avintia Racing team rider Hector Barbera, who was the best Open Class in the qualifying yesterday and today had a big battle with Jack Miller until the chequered flag. Only 0.075s separated the Spaniard from the Australian rider, but the most important thing is that Barbera still leads the standings of Open Class, only two weeks before arriving to Jerez.
For Avintia Racing Team´s French rider Mike Di Meglio, the weekend went better and better. After qualifying 23rd on the grid yesterday, he battled until the last lap with Eugene Laverty to cross the line in 18th position. The MotoGP World Championship will be back in Europe in just 15 days with the Grand Prix of Spain.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 13th (2nd Open) / @HectorBarbera
I was struggling during all the weekend as this track has a special kind of grip. I started the race from a good position and that helped me, but during the race I had some grip issues. I’ve been fighting with Miller from mid race and in the last lap we passed each other three or four times. I braked perfectly for the last corner and I got the inside line, but he still crossed the line first. We touched a little bit, but this is racing and I want to congratulate him because he beat me. I’m angry because we were very close of making three out of three, but the level in this category is very high and this gives me more motivation for Jerez.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 18th (7th Open) / @Mikejpp63
I’m quite disappointed. On the first laps I was not pushing very hard in order to save the rear tyre, but I was in a group with Aoyama and I felt good. Lap by lap my pace was improving and I had good feeling, but then the rear was giving me some problems under braking. Accelerating out of the corners I was really strong, but with some other riders right in front of me, it was really difficult to overtake. On the last laps, I had some contacts with Laverty and I lost my position. But the main problem was qualifying, because we started from the back. Anyway, this race gives me some hope, because we had a good pace and we were fighting in the same group with all the Open bikes.
Nicky Hayden close to repeating Austin comeback in Argentina
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar fights to be best Open rider, but mistake on final corner drops him to sixteenth
The MotoGP race at Termas de Río Hondo was a close battle of strategy to the end, in which tyres played a crucial role in the outcome. Marc Márquez burst away at the front, but by the end his tyres had slowed him down and Valentino Rossi –starting from eighth on the grid- gradually caught up with him. The Italian overtook Petrucci, Espargaró, Lorenzo, Iannone, Dovizioso and Crutchlow along the way, and with three laps to go reached Márquez. After an initial attempt to pass was defended, on the second Márquez clipped Rossi and crashed out. Rossi went on to win the race, whilst Dovizioso and Crutchlow, five and eight seconds behind,respectively, joined him on the podium.
Nicky Hayden was close to repeat his feat from last weekend. In Austin, the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider had started the race from far back and put together a great comeback. Today, in Argentina, he took off from twentieth position on the grid, had some uncomfortable first laps, but managed to ride in a large group and manage his tires almost to the end. He had entered into the points-scoring positions, and could have been the best Open rider of the GP, but over-braking at the last corner saw him open the door to a number of riders who had been on his tail. In the end, he crossed the line in sixteenth place, getting little reward for a great performance.
Teammate Eugene Laverty was also unable to close the weekend in Argentina successfully. The Northern Irishman had completed his best round of practice sessions in MotoGP so far in the run-up to the race, but on Sunday he encountered problems. A loss of feeling with the rear and a lack of grip forced him to ride with caution and he concluded the race in seventeenth place.
16th Nicky Hayden: "Today I had a very hard race; my start was bad and on the early laps I was not riding well. Thankfully, afterwards I felt comfortable and I was able to climb several positions. But while I was riding a little faster than the other riders around me, I could not leave them behind. At first, with a full tank, I found it really hard to slow the bike down on the back straight, and that cost me several positions. As the race progressed I was riding with more confidence and I could position myself well. On the last lap I managed my best time in the second sector and greatly reduced the difference to the group that was battling to be the top Open rider. I even got up to twelfth, but on the last corner I braked too hard and went wide, which cost me some positions. It's frustrating to finish a race like that after we had done a good job, plus the team had worked so hard this weekend. We have learned a couple of things about the geometry that improve the bike’s handling, and we will have to continue working on them at Jerez."
17th Eugene Laverty: "We've done a great job this weekend, probably the best since I’ve been in MotoGP. In contrast, today I completely lost rear grip and I was not able to continue performing at my best. The other riders who were going round with me had much more grip when cornering, and the behaviour of our bike had changed a lot compared to practice. We went with the harder tyre compound, which we had been testing throughout the weekend. Everyone today was slower, but our times were significantly slower. I don’t know why, but today we suffered a lot from a lack of grip. The suspension didn’t work the same way as previously during the weekend either. At the beginning of the race the bike slid out a lot and I almost crashed, I lost some time and I realised that something was not working properly. It's a shame, after the great work we’d done this weekend I was convinced we would get a better result."
No points due to technical problems in Argentina
Despite great efforts, the Czech rider Karel Abraham at third attempt did not gain poits to World Championship Classification. Due to technical problems with the bike Abraham finished at 21st position in Argentina. The excitig race was decided by tyres condition, which were very quickly consumed during the whole session. The winner is the Italian rider Valentino Rossi, before another Italian Andrea Doviziozo and British Cal Crutchlow.
„I don´t know what to say again. We didn´t gain points in the third race in a row and it was never under my control. The bike didn´t work well today during the race, I was losing acceleration out of the corners. It´s hard to say something now. I´ll wait until we find out what happened today.“
Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic
„After the morning warm up result we were expecting a great race. We were quite close to the best riders and we were able to fight with them. Technical problems appeared immediately after the race start. We couldn´t go fast and we lost seconds in each lap. We are angry and frustrated at the moment. The main goal now ist to find out what happened.“
"Italians do it better"
The 2015 Argentinian MotoGP secured a new World Record on fewest crash number per event.
Thanks to it's layout, Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, designed by italian racetrack designer Jarno Zaffelli (Dromo Italian Applied Circuit Design), proved that reducing crashes applying best practices is a reality.
With only 25 crashes in the full event, with no recorded major injuries, it's the lowest number of racing incident of last 3 seasons, equalling Mugello racetrack in 2011, another racetrack assessed by Dromo's DroCAS™. All the crashes happened in predicted areas on calculated racing incident probabilities.
From the media:
"Fast tracks are good for racing. ...Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is confirming it in 2015. The mixture of fast sweepers and tricky braking sections places an emphasis on bike handling and rider ability, over and above sheer engine power. This gives enterprising riders opportunities to excel, and overcome any horsepower disadvantages they may have." motomatters.com
See you in Mugello in late May with the brand new run-offs and in Misano World Circuit with the complete track overhauled. Dromo, circuit design Made in Italy.
Relentless Rossi grabs amazing Argentina MotoGP™ victory
Round 3: Argentina MotoGP™ - Race
Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, Sunday 19 April 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Medium & Hard (Asym.) & Ex-hard (Symmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 25-26°C; Track 37-39°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s put in one of the performances of his career to win his second race of the year at Argentina’s Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.
Starting from the third row of the grid, Rossi worked his way through the field and showed excellent pace during the race – including setting a new Circuit Record Lap time on the twentieth lap – to chase down early race leader Marc Marquez who led the first twenty-three laps of the contest. On the penultimate lap, Rossi managed to pass Marquez for the race lead, with the Repsol Honda Team rider then crashing out while the two were challenging for position. Rossi would go on to win by 5.685 seconds from Dovizioso in second place, while a last-gasp pass by Crutchlow on Andrea Iannone ensured the British rider finished in third for his first podium with his new team.
Track temperatures at the start of today’s Argentina Grand Prix was 37°C, some 10°C lower than seen in qualifying yesterday. On perhaps the most demanding circuit for rear tyres, all but three riders selected the harder rear slick option available; extra-hard for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and hard for the rest of the field. The three exceptions were Honda riders Crutchlow, Marquez and Aoyama who selected the hard compound rear slick – the softer of their two options. Front tyre choice was more varied, although it was the hard compound front slick that was the most popular race choice, with fifteen of the twenty-five riders selecting this option, and the remaining ten riders opting for the medium front slick. All tyre options performed incredibly well with a new overall race time record and race lap record being set, while seventeen of the twenty-five riders were able to set their fastest lap in the second half of the race.
After three rounds Rossi extends his lead in the championship to six points over Dovizioso in second place, while Andrea Iannone moves into third place in the standings twenty points behind his teammate.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“This was another amazing race in what has been a thrilling season so far! Congratulations to Valentino and Yamaha on such an impressive victory, his pace in the second half of the race was outstanding. It was unfortunate to see Marc crash out, but we know that he never gives up and will be challenging for victory at the next round. We had another large and passionate crowd at Termas de Rio Hondo this year and undoubtedly the exciting race they witnessed will help boost their love for MotoGP even more. It was a successful weekend for Bridgestone as our new tyre allocation performed very well and we are looking forward to starting the European leg of the MotoGP season at Jerez in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“We were fortunate to have good conditions again today and apart from a few exceptions, the riders selected the same tyre combinations they used during race simulations yesterday. The lower temperatures did make choosing which rear tyre to use for the race difficult, particularly for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders. However, I am pleased with how all of our slick options performed at a circuit that is incredibly demanding on the rear tyre. Having so many riders setting their quickest lap of the race in the final stages is an indication of the consistent performance our new tyre allocation provided. In particular the debut of our new extra-hard specification rear slick was a satisfying result as it was the winning tyre and Rossi was able to set a new race record lap time on the twentieth lap of the race on this specification of tyre.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“I am sorry for the incident with Marc and I hope he is ok, but it was a great race and I am very happy to have won. I had good pace and although Marc was far ahead during the race, I saw he selected the hard rear tyre and so I had to concentrate and keep riding at one hundred percent to catch him. Two victories already and I believe we can fight until the end of the championship.”