Press releases previewing the Termas De Rio Hondo round from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Oliveira and Binder eye repeat of Argentinian successes
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders aim to take their first podium finishes of the season this weekend, at a track where they have previous rostrum experience.
04/04/2018 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
After two weeks rest following the inaugural event of the season in Qatar, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team face the only South American round of the year. Argentina already holds special memories for Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, who are hoping to continue their positive experience on the fifth MotoGP visit to the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit.
Fifth position in Qatar did not meet Oliveira's expectations for the season opener. The Portuguese wants at least a podium finish in Argentina, where he placed on the rostrum for the first time in the intermediate class last year. In addition to his second position, he also took his maiden pole position in Moto2 that weekend. These results should serve as a motivation for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider at a circuit which has had some sections laid with new asphalt.
Teammate Brad Binder has also had great performances at this round. A third place and his first pole position in Moto3, in 2016, are his best memories, although ninth place last year in his rookie season in Moto2 is also a noteworthy result. In that race he took his first points in the class, climbing 15 positions and with a broken arm. Fond of the characteristics of the track, the South African arrives in Argentina well rested after spending a few days in his native country.
Unlike last year, the Moto2 practice and qualifying sessions won't close each day. Qualifying will begin at 1:30pm -6:30pm CET-; The second race of the year will take place at 1:20pm local time -6:20pm CET- on Sunday.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"After the first round of the season in Qatar we’ve had plenty of time to spend at home, training. I've been riding bikes a lot, in order not to lose my feel for it. I'm really looking forward to returning to Termas de Rio Hondo because I enjoy riding there a lot; We have achieved good results there as well. I don’t have a clear objective; I will just continue working as we have always done to try to at least improve a little on the result from the first race. That would be a positive first step. We must remain among the top positions."
41 BRAD BINDER
"These two weeks without racing have been perfect for me to go home to South Africa and enjoy the good weather before this second round of the year. I am anxious to return to Argentina, where two years ago I achieved my first pole position as a World Championship rider and placed on the podium. Also, last year I got my first points in Moto2 there. It's a really cool track and I hope to be in the fight for the podium this Sunday."
The Forward Racing Team lands in Argentina
After the debut of two weeks ago in the Qatarine desert, the Forward Racing Team landed today in Argentina, the land of fire, which is the second stage of the Moto2 World Championship. Here, the two flag-holders of the Swiss Team, Stefano Manzi and Eric Granado, will ride every inch of tarmac of the circuit to demonstrate their talent and deal at their best, with a race that is announced to be very challenging from every point of view. The Championship has just begun, and both riders will go on with the work done until the Qatar GP, trying to let back the bad luck they have had during the previous steps of the season.
The South American track has been partially resurfaced, so its conditions would probably be better than the passed years and the track must ideally became faster.
The Argentinian GP, for the Moto2 riders will begin the 6th of April at 09:55 local time, on Friday, with the first session of free practices.
“I really like the Argentina GP. After the Qatar race, which in reality has been a bit strange, probably also because of the chenged time schedule, I can’t wait to be back on track to continue the job that I’m doing with the team. I won’t do particulars predictions, so I just wait the moment I will back on track to evaluate the conditions and decide with my mechanics which setup will be better. The humor is high and I will do my best to be as competitive as I can.”
“I can’t wait to be back in Argentina after four years of absence. This race is the nearest one to my home, in Brazil, so there will be a lot of people and fans there to cheer for me and this gives me a lot of strength and motivates me in doing my best. Concerning the technical level, I remember that the Circuit is a very fast, and this really stimulates for me. I ideally know this track, but I have to consider that during these years of absence it has been probably changed, I think the holes and the tarmac will be different. Compared to Qatar GP I’m feeling positive, also because I hope not to have technical problem anymore, especially the ones related to the engine, which privates me to race as I wanted and I should do. I hope to do a good job with the team and to prepare myself to do my best and to be as competitive as possible for this race, which is very important for me.”
Giovanni Cuzari - CEO Forward Racing Team
“We arrive in Argentina with a common purpose: revenge. The Qatar GP presented many difficulties. The change of the time schedule and the consequent temperature, which was higher than the passed years, hasn’t helped us. Furthermore, the bad luck of having assigned a defective engine to the Granado bike didn’t gives to our rider the possibility to do a complete turn of practice, except for the qualifying which, at that point, was already compromised.
This situation, added to the difficulties that Manzi has had, definitely hasn’t helped to ride the mood of the week-end. The goal for this weekend is to be more aggressive, also because this race is considered the home-race for our Brazilian rider, and we know we have some responsibilities also for the supporters of our number 51.”
Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez determined to continue progress in Argentina
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders come into the only South American round of the season motivated after a positive Qatar GP.
Aron Canet, Alonso Lopez and the rest of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 team move on to the second round of the season this coming weekend, as the Argentinian GP takes place at Termas de Río Hondo.
A fornight ago, Aron Canet started the 2018 season with a second place finish in Qatar, missing out on victory by just 23 thousandths of a second. This solid beginning to the season serves as additional motivation for the round at Termas de Río Hondo, a track where last year he showed his competitiveness: Taking off from fourth on the grid, he rode at the front until tyre problems dropped him down to eleventh.
As was the case in Qatar, everything will be new in Argentina for rookie Alonso Lopez. However, the Spanish rider made a promising debut at Losail, competing against rivals with more experience than him inside the points until he suffered a crash. Lopez is determined to continue progressing at Termas de Río Hondo, and a circuit that he will have to acclimatise to quickly.
Free Practice for the Argentinian GP begins on Friday at 9:00am local time. The Moto3 race will get underway at 12:00pm.
"I hope to keep the good feeling going"
"The Argentinian GP is almost held in summer, so the weather is usually very good. I like the track, although last year I didn’t have a good feeling in the race because we didn’t make the right choice with the tyres. I hope to keep the good feeling from Qatar going; the track didn’t offer much grip there, but we were able to ride strongly.”
"The objective for the race is to finish"
"After making my debut In Qatar, we are off to another circuit where I haven’t ridden before. The motto will be the same: Learn the circuit, accumulate kilometres and try to ride alone with a good pace. The objective for the race is to finish. In Qatar I got ahead of myself with six laps to go and didn’t take the chequered flag. However, overall the Grand Prix was a positive one. In Argentina we will look to take another step forward by learning and enjoying ourselves.”
TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2 IN ARGENTINA FOR ROUND 2
Jorge Navarro and Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 reunite for the second event of the season at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina. One year ago, the Spanish rider scored his maiden Moto2 point there courtesy of a 15th place finish after an exciting battle with Switzerland’s Aegerter.
The goal for this year, however, is a lot different. The top-10 achieved in Qatar – right on target with the expectations – has shaped a very different season for the Valencian rider, who is now looking forward to keeping the momentum going while aiming at greater results.
The first free practice session will get underway at 10:55 local time (GMT -3) on Friday, while Sunday’s race will begin at 13:20.
JORGE NAVARRO #9
I made the most of the two-week break between Losail and Termas. I trained hard and did a bit of everything, and I believe we’ll get to Argentina in great shape and very focused. We want to make a step forward from Qatar and even though it’s not one of the tracks I love, it will be nevertheless a good proving ground to seek that improvement in each and every session.”
ARENAS TRAVELS TO ARGENTINA AFTER COLLARBONE INJURY
Ángel Nieto Team rider ambitious to show front-group potential, alongside team-mate Andrea Migno
The countdown is underway for the Moto3 World Championship riders as they prepare to return to action in Argentina after two weekends off. The Autódromo de Termas de Río Hondo is the start of almost four months of racing every other weekend, which will define the championship positions that are realistically possible in the second half of the season. For now it is Jorge Martín, Aron Canet and Lorenzo dalla Porta that hold a small advantage over the rest, after all three stepping onto the podium at the opening round in Qatar, with the next challenge to replicate the feat of last year's Argentinean Grand Prix winner Joan Mir.
Albert Arenas heads to Argentina just over two weeks after injuring his right collarbone during the warm-up session for the Grand Prix of Qatar. The Ángel Nieto Team rider was operated on by Doctor Mir on his return to Barcelona and immediately began a recovery programme with the aim of remounting his KTM in free practice on Friday in Argentina. Arenas is determined to show that he can mix it at the front of the pack, like his team-mate Andrea Migno, who finished fifth in the World Championship's only South American round last season. The Italian kicked his season off with a top-ten finish in Qatar, but he is hoping to be more competitive still in Argentina as he targets a return to the front positions.
Andrea Migno: “After two weekends off I am looking forward to getting back on the bike. I like the track in Argentina and I hope to have a good race there and come away with a satisfactory result. Last year it went pretty well for me, I crossed the line in the lead group and finished fifth. We want to be competitive, even more so than we were in Qatar.”
Albert Arenas: “I am happy with the way the recovery is going, the doctors have given me the okay to travel to Argentina and I feel ready to race. I still have a few days to go but I feel good and I am happy with the work we have done, in terms of the physiotherapy and the training. I am looking forward to the days passing and the feeling improving. I tried to keep everything as normal as possible so I don't lose my rhythm.”
The Leopard Racing team on route to Argentina
After placing on the podium at the Qatar GP, the Leopard Racing team arrives on the American continent to face the second round of 2018. On the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, Lundberg & Co. have already triumphed twice in the last three seasons.
Leaving Qatar behind, the MotoGP World Championship changes continent for the second round of the 2018 calendar: this weekend the Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina will take place. The venue of the event will be the Autodromo Internacional Termas de Rio Hondo, a charming track located in the province of Santiago del Estero, 4.8 km long in 5 curves on the left and 9 on the right.
The circuit has been historically positive for the Leopard Racing team, which was won by Danny Kent in 2015 and last season by Joan Mir. This year, the racing unit led by Christian Lundberg is preparing to face the challenge with their spirits high and the confidence of being able to score a great result: both Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Enea Bastianini stood out in the inaugural race of the Moto3 class.
The Tuscan 20-year-old rider appears in Argentina after his first podium ever in his career conquered two weeks ago in Losail, at the debut on the Leopard Racing team's Honda. Stuck in traffic at the start, Dalla Porta managed to outmaneuver his rivals with decisive overtakings that resulted in an extraordinary comeback.
His team-mate Enea Bastianini arrives instead at the Termas de Rio Hondo with a great desire for redemption after his performance in Qatar. The Bestia is conscious of his abilities and the potential of his NSF 250 RW, as well as determined to achieve a great result that can boost him in the championship standings. On Friday, April 6th, the #ArgentinaGP will start with the first two free practice sessions. Stay tuned!
We start again from Termas de Rio Hondo and, even this year, with eyes on the sky. Weather conditions seem to be not goof for the weekend of the Grand Prix of Argentina and this could shuffle cards and reserve surprises. After the first round in Qatar, both Romano Fenati and Tony Arbolino are ready to face the new race weekend and they are motivated to get a better result. The Argentine track ia a fast and very technical circuit, appreciated by both riders. Here, Romano got the victory, in Moto3, during the first edition of the Grand Prix, in 2014.
Romano Fenati: "Let's start from what we did in Qatar, motivated and ready for a new weekend. Apart from what happened during the first race, we are satisfied of how we worked until now, but at the same time we know that we can do more, much more. I always felt good on this track, but here weather conditions are often uncertain. We'll see, we'll do our best".
Tony Arbolino: "Last year it was the first time for me on this circuit and I liked it a lot. It's a fast track with a long straight and this means that slipstreams are very important. I am ready and I really want to do a good weekend. We need to keep the focus and work well on the configuration from the first free practices day".
Reale Avintia Academy arrives to Argentina, one of Livio Loi’s favourite circuits
Reale Avintia Academy – GP of Argentina – Termas de Río Hondo
Reale Avintia Academy team arrives to the circuit of Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina, for the second round of the Moto3 World Championship this weekend. This is one of Livio Loi’s favourite circuits and he is willing to leave back the unlucky start of the season at the Grand Prix of Qatar.
The Belgian riders has always managed to be very fast in this circuit and he hopes to enjoy riding his bike this weekend.
Livio, is more and more comfortable with his KTM machine, and he expects to find the perfect race set-up with his team for Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to start the Grand Prix of Argentina because Termas de Río Hondo is one of my favourite circuits and I’ve been always fast here. I don’t see the time to start working with my crew and my goal will be leaving Argentina with a strong result.”
THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 IN ARGENTINA BETWEEN CONFIRMATION AND REDEMPTION
In Moto2, we back on track after the victory of Bagnaia in the opening race of 2018 season. In Moto3, at work to mend the gap with the strongest guys.
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), 4th April 2018 - Two weeks off and it is time to restart the engines in Argentina for the two-wheels paddock. After the first success in Moto2 in Qatar, Bagnaia backs to the track to confirm the leadership in the World Championship.
Enthusiasm and maximum concentration for the Moto2 Team, currently leading the Teams’s standing s thanks to the points conquered in Qatar by Bagnaia and Marini. Pecco, seventh last year on the Rio Hondo track, will continue the development of his Kalex to hit important results. A great desire to get back on track also for Luca, one of the most competitive in Doha but forced in P9 in the race due to a difficult qualifying.
Redemption and a lot of work await the Moto3 Team with the aim of reducing the gap from the fastest guys. Nicolò, who took full advantage of the break to continue the rehabilitation, is ready to give his best on a track that is well suited to his riding style. The simple layout of the circuit will also be an advantage for Dennis who will discover the Argentine track for the first time during the free practices.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
In Moto2, we started the season in the best way. Pecco did a great race, it's a great moment for him, but Luca has also fought with the strongest guys. We have started to enjoy the benefits of the great work of the winter months, but this should not make us to lose our concentration. In Moto3, it was a different weekend: despite the result, both riders have worked hard and we are sure we can approach the strongest guys from the next races. The easier and faster layout of the Argentinian track is very much appreciated by Nicolò and it will surely be an advantage also for Dennis who will be able to adapt to the new track more quickly than Qatar.
I'm very happy with how the season has started: we worked really hard in these months and the victory in Qatar was a further injection of trust for everyone. We have to continue in this direction, I like the Rio Hondo track and even more the beautiful atmosphere created by the Argentine fans. The track is easier compared to Qatar and the gaps beetween the top guys will be small. I did a good job last year, I finished in seventh place and this year we can achieve an important result.
It will be important to continue in the same direction as Qatar. Starting again from the good feelings of the first race and the winter tests. It will be essential to do a great job since Friday, stay with the strongest guys, in the front positions and find a good pace. We have to continue to work as a team, even with the support of Pecco, to achieve a good result.
I'm happy to get back on track in Argentina, I like the circuit and it's easier than Qatar. I took full advantage of these two weeks of stop to train and try to recover the gap. I still have a lot to do, but I'm feeling better and this is a good starting point. The goal is to continue working with the Team for being competitive again.
For me it will be another debut on the Rio Hondo track: I have never raced on this track, but from the images and the videos I think it will be easier to adapt to this kind of layout compared to Qatar. It will be important to take the pace as soon as possible and try to mend the gap from the strongest guys.
Márquez ready for podium challenge in Argentina
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider, Álex Márquez, heads into this weekend's Grand Prix of Argentina with his sights set firmly on the podium.
Márquez likes the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit where, just 12 months ago, he was involved in a hectic battle for the race win with teammate Franco Morbidelli before crashing out on the final lap.
It's an error that Márquez is determined not to repeat this weekend as he chases his first win of the season, after a rear brake problem forced him to settle for third place in the opening racing in Qatar.
But the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider knows he will have to fight hard for a win in Argentina, where typically low grip levels could favour the factory KTM machines of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder.
Deteriorating rear grip in the latter stages of the race meant that Joan Mir narrowly missed out on a top ten finish on his Moto2 debut in Qatar, a situation he's keen to rectify in Argentina this weekend.
Like his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate Mir is also a fan of the 4.2km Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, having won last year's race on his way to the Moto3 World Championship title. The Majorcan is determined to add to his points haul this weekend with a strong result in only his second race in the intermediate Moto2 category.
"I enjoy Argentina a lot. Last year I was fast here and was able to fight for the victory, so it's a good track for me, even if I did crash on the last lap. It was at this race last year that I made the step that allowed me to challenge for race wins during the remainder of the season, so I'm happy to be back. Termas is always a little bit slippery and grip is hard to find, so we need to focus on this during practice. I think the KTM bikes will be strong here because of the grip levels, so we need to stay focussed as we work to reduce their advantage."
"I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead. I have good memories of this track after the win here on the Moto3 bike last year. Normally this is a layout that suits me and one on which I can go fast, but we this is my first time here racing in Moto2, so we will need to see during practice. For me the goal this weekend is quite clear; to make a step forward compared to the first race in Qatar and come away on Sunday with a better result."
KIEFER RACING READY FOR THE TANGO IN RÍO HONDO
After somewhat of a not easy start to the championship three weeks ago in Qatar, the German Moto2™ team targets to make steady progress during this weekend’s visit to Argentina.
The Gran Premio de la República Argentina, the series round two of the newly 19 races including calendar, marks for teams and riders the first long haul trip this month. In just two weeks, the championship will cross the Atlantic for the US Grand Prix in Austin again.
But before that, it is important for Kiefer Racing and its Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter that they put in a spirited tango in South America this weekend. After the change in terms of material to the Moto2™ machine from Austrian manufacturer KTM, the Termas de Río Hondo circuit is also somehow new territory for the team. The experiences gained during the opening round last time in Qatar, however, will certainly be a valuable help in making the next step towards the top ten.
After a 15-year absence, Argentina returned with a Grand Prix to the championship’s calendar back in 2014. The challenging 4.8 kilometres long track at the Autodromo Termas de Río Hondo is located in the northwest of the South American country. Despite a very time-consuming journey to this rural area within a well-known spa region, the event has long been naturalized meanwhile.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing, KTM) - Championship position 15th (1 point):
"During this unusual longer break after the first race three weeks ago, a test would have been very helpful for sure. But that was not possible, as our material, including the bike, was directly transported by air freight from Qatar to Argentina. So, this means, that a shortly organized private test is not possible till the conclusion of the first European round in Jerez early in May.
"Nevertheless, I really look forward to this weekend. The track in Río Hondo suites my riding a lot more than last time in Losail. We also have, of course, a close look to the data from last year here in Argentina, to make comparisons where we have to focus our attention on improving with the still new package for us. In addition, I had a good preparation in the last weeks, did good trainings in the gym and consistently working on my fitness. Therefore, I feel ready to tackle the challenge at the season’s second race in Argentina."