Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelins looking ahead to Argentina:
The Ducati Team arrives in Argentina, at Termas de Río Hondo, for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship
After the 2018 season’s opening round, which saw a splendid victory for Andrea Dovizioso in Qatar, the Ducati Team is now getting ready to tackle the next race in this year’s MotoGP World Championship. The Argentina GP will take place from 6 to 8 August at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit in the northern part of the country, approximately one hour by plane from the capital Buenos Aires.
The Argentina GP has now arrived at its fourteenth edition, and the fifth at this circuit. Andrea Dovizioso scored his best result here in 2015, when he finished the race in second place, while last year he was forced to retire following a crash caused by a collision with another rider’s bike.
Jorge Lorenzo stepped onto the podium in 2014, finishing the race in third place, while last year the Spanish rider crashed at the first corner and had to retire.
The Termas de Río Hondo weekend will get underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 10.55 (15.55 CET), while the 25-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 15.00 local time (20.00 CET).
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (25 points)
"This circuit is rather unusual, in that the conditions change a lot between Friday, when the track surface is usually very dirty, and Sunday, when the asphalt has improved considerably. Last year at Termas we struggled a lot, but the Desmosedici GP has improved a lot since then and after the win in Qatar we are very excited, so our aim now is to get a good result also in Argentina!”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – no points
“After the disappointment of Qatar, as well as trying to understand the causes of the problem so it doesn’t happen again, for us the important thing is to continue to work as hard as ever, because I think we are close to finding a more suitable setting for my riding style. I’m working with my usual commitment and I’m sure that we are going to get good results soon, even in Argentina, because I don’t believe there are favourable or unfavourable tracks, and when I arrive at a circuit I always think I can fight for the win. Everything is possible in MotoGP: the championship is still very long and we have to think positively."
The Termas de Río Hondo circuit
The circuit is situated just outside the spa town in the northern part of Argentina from which it takes its name. It was officially inaugurated in May 2008 with a race for touring cars. In 2012 Termas was modernized, and it became one of the safest, most modern and most spectacular circuits in South America. It measures 4.8 km, and has 14 corners, with a main straight of just over one km in length.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’37.683 (177.1 km/h) - 2014
Circuit Record: Rossi (Yamaha), 1’39.019 (174.7 km/h) - 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’37.683 (177.1 km/h) - 2014
Top Speed: Barbera (Ducati), 334.4 km/h – 2017
Track Length: 4.8 km
Race Distance: 25 laps (120.2 km)
Curves: 14 (5 left, 9 right)
Race Start: 15.00 local time (20.00 CET)
Podium: 1st Viñales (Yamaha), 2nd Rossi (Yamaha), 3rd Crutchlow (Honda)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’47.512 (160.927 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Viñales (Yamaha), 1’39.694 (173.547 km/h)
Marquez and Pedrosa head to Argentina for second round of MotoGP World Championship
After scoring a strong podium finish in Qatar with Marc Marquez and completing a positive one-day private test in Jerez de la Frontera on 26 March, the Repsol Honda Team is heading to Argentina for the second round of the 2018 MotoGP racing season.
Built in 2007 and 2008, the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit joined the MotoGP calendar in 2014. Since then, the Repsol Honda Team have achieved two double-podium finishes, in 2014 and 2016, but suffered a double DNF in 2017 when Marc and Dani crashed out of the race while fighting for podium finishes.
At the Gran Premio de la República Argentina
Marc Marquez has 2 wins (MotoGP: 2014, 2016) and 4 Poles (MotoGP: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Dani Pedrosa has 2 podiums (MotoGP: 2nd in 2014, 3rd in 2016)
“We started the season with a great race and a close podium finish in Qatar, and we had a positive test in Jerez last week. I feel good at the moment, happy with my bike and with how my team is working, but we’re just at the beginning of what will surely be a tough season. We must wait and see how it goes at different circuits, starting with Termas this Sunday. I like the Argentinian track and I enjoy the atmosphere with the fans, who are always very passionate and supportive, but we must not lower our guard. After the excitement of the first race, it’s now time to be calm, concentrate, and work hard to try and be faster. I think this Championship is very open, with many strong rivals that can fight for the victory on Sunday. At the moment everything seems very equal, and during the season we’ll see who is able to improve and to consistently stay at the front.”
“I look forward to going to Argentina to resume working with my team and prepare for Sunday’s race. In Qatar we didn’t get the result we were expecting and were capable of achieving, but we know the potential is there, which gives us confidence. In Argentina we’ll keep working with this positive attitude. The track conditions at Termas may be challenging at the start of the weekend but they’ll be the same for everyone, and they usually improve over the weekend. We’ll work on our bike to be ready for whatever conditions we have for the race, and then we’ll give 100 per cent when the lights go off.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Anticipate Action in Argentina
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are crossing the Atlantic Ocean on their way to the second Grand Prix of the season, held in Argentina this weekend.
After his strong third place podium finish in Doha, Rossi is full of energy and raring to commence the Gran Premio de la República Argentina, where thousands of local fans will be rooting for him.
The Doctor is the Argentinian crowd's favourite and their cheers have spurred him on to claim several podium finishes. He secured the victory in 2015 and took second place in 2016 and 2017 (making it a double podium for Yamaha last year).
Viñales is also eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1 in front of the Argentinian fans. He showed a superb race pace in Qatar a little more than two weeks ago, riding from 15th to 6th place. However, this weekend he aims to challenge amongst the front-runners right from the start of the race weekend.
The Spaniard could hardly wait to hit the track again after wrapping up the previous round, especially as he has fond memories of last year's race at Termas de Río Hondo. In 2017 he secured a dominant win, and this time round he will aim for nothing less than a duplication of that performance.
The 4.8km long Termas de Río Hondo Circuit was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2014, two years after the track was remodelled and it became Latin America's most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting lay-out that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left, nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, the Argentinian fans can be assured that this round will be another showstopper.
Championship: 3rd – Points: 16
"Last year we were very strong in Argentina. We came first and second and I think it was the best race of our team that season. But since then the balance of the rider field has changed - our rivals are stronger now. It will be a hard fight, but I like the track and usually our bike works well there. It could be a surprising weekend, but I hope to be strong."
Championship: 6th – Points: 10
"I'm happy that we found a really nice set-up in Qatar, the team did a really great job during the last race weekend and now we are looking forward to this week's Grand Prix in Argentina. I can't wait to race in Termas de Río Hondo, where I won the race last year - I felt really strong and confident. I hope to have the same feeling again, to fight for the victory. I really think that we can do a good job this weekend and that we will be at the front during the entire race, with many possibilities to win it. I'm quite motivated."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"We ended the first round in Qatar with a good feeling, so this weekend we aim to draw on that experience. It's quite a journey to Argentina for the team, but it's more than worth it when we see how happy the local fans are to be able to enjoy the action right in front of them. Termas de Río Hondo Circuit is also a good circuit for us usually. It suits our YZR-M1, and our riders both like the track. Last year's 1-2 finish by Maverick and Vale makes us all the more excited to start working towards another strong result this weekend."
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR READY TO TANGO AT TERMAS
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 4.
The GP of the Republic of Argentina will mark the first long travel for the MotoGP riders this season, with more than 14 hours of journey time to get from Europe to the western region of Santiago del Estero. This long trip will require Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins to adapt quickly to the new timezone, and recover and conserve their energy.
The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is a relatively new track which brings together some of the characteristics from the best historical European venues, yet it has its own character which the riders really appreciate. This year some sections have been resurfaced, which will mean an initial question mark in terms of tyre performance and longevity.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR head to Argentina with positive feelings after the GP of Qatar, where there were many positive indications in regard to performance. Iannone and Rins’ achievements have been positive, setting the team on a good path for future development.
Last year’s race was a hectic one for the team: Iannone took 13th place in a rainy qualifying session, and he was feeling confident for the race, but a very small mistake on the grid – a jump start – took away his dreams of glory as he had to complete a ride through penalty. Starting only his second ever MotoGP race was tough for the Spaniard Alex Rins, who was struggling with an injury to his foot. However, he fought fiercely in the race, but was forced to stop before the chequered flag as the pain became unbearable.
“Argentina represents good memories for us, especially if I go back to 2015 and 2016, but we had some tougher times here last year. Alex arrived with an injured foot which made riding pretty tough for him, while Andrea had a ride through which complicated his race and also we started there to suspect some issues with the machine which we had to start facing. This year I believe we can approach this second race with more confidence, in Qatar we had positive outcomes from both riders and the GSX-RR is showing to be more competitive. It will be interesting to check further where we stand with the performance, our competitiveness and potential will become clearer and clearer with each race. I believe for Alex it will be important to be consistent with the performance he did in Qatar; staying close to the top riders both in practice and the race. Also with Andrea we can be competitive, he took positive experience from Qatar and we can improve his performance. It will be an interesting race, we are still at the beginning but it could be a good opportunity to assess our performance for the rest of the season.”
“I head to Argentina with positive feelings, as I remember that last year we could perform quite well here. The circuit is one I like and the GSX-RR is well suited to the layout. Last year my feelings were good, unfortunately we had to do a ride through penalty in the race which took me out of contention for the top positions, but the performance and the pace were very competitive. I’m expecting good team work to help me improve session by session, together we’ll work on all the small things that once they are put together they can make a good performance overall. The first races are always important to give the right direction to the rest of the season, I want to try to seize this GP at 100%.”
“I’m positive about going to Termas de Rio Hondo because the circuit is something special and I like it. I remember that last year I came to Argentina with an injury on my foot, and despite this I have good memories of the track - so that means it’s really nice! Another good thing about this place is the people: the fans are really close to us and the whole location turns into a big party when welcoming the MotoGP people.”
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit is located 6km from the city of Rio Hondo, in the Province of Santiago del Estero. It was built on a 150 hectare plot and was officially inaugurated on May 11th 2008, during the visit of Argentina’s Touring Car Racing Championship. In 2012 the reconditioning, enlargement and modernisation of the circuit began, with the purpose of turning it into Latin America’s most modern, safe and vibrant circuit. It is 4,8km in length (2.99 miles) and has five left-hand corners and nine right-hand turns. The longest straight measures 1076 m (3530.18 ft) and the race will be run over 25 laps; a total distance of 120.2 km (74.8 miles).
Qualifying: 12th - 1'50.725 (+3.213)
Race: 16th - +46.219
Qualifying: 23rd - 1'52.340 (Q1)
APRILIA FLIES TO TERMAS DE RIO HONDO IN ARGENTINA
It will be the 4.8 kilometres of the Argentinian Termas de Rio Hondo track hosting the second round on the 2018 MotoGP calendar. A fast track (more than 170 km/h average) with plenty of treachery, especially in terms of grip conditions. The weather forecast, with a chance of rain, contributes to increasing the uncertainty expected from the South American round.
This is an exam that Aprilia is tackling with renewed ambitions, comforted by both the potential of the new 2018 RS-GP and by the wide margins of improvement shown in Qatar.
"We need to keep working. In Qatar, the feeling in the race was rather good before the problem in the end that kept us from a top-10 finish that was well within our reach. I am confident because we confirmed our strong points, especially over race distance, whereas we have room to improve our flying lap in qualifying. We are at the beginning of the season. We have set some ambitious goals for ourselves which will certainly not be easy to confirm, but we have all our papers in order to have a good season."
“The sensations after Qatar were not the best, but I am sure that we will be able to solve the problems that came up in the race. The RS-GP worked well up to that point, so apparently we missed something and that is what we will focus on in Argentina. With so many new components introduced on the 2018 RS-GP, it becomes essential to analyse the data and the bike's reactions carefully in order to create a working base that can then be dialled in as the weekend progresses."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Duo Eager to Arrive in Argentina
Following a successful debut in 2018, Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin are excited to head to South America this week for the second round of the season at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit. With a stunning performance during the Qatar GP a fortnight ago, the fast Frenchman is determined to build on his brilliant achievements, while premier class rookie Syahrin aims to further improve aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 of the French outfit ensuing a remarkable first MotoGP race.
The Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina is set to commence with the first Free Practice at 10:55 local time this Friday. The lights for the second Grand Prix of 2018 will switch off at 15:00 local time on Sunday the 8th of April.
Championship: 8th – Points: 8
"I'm happy to be back on the bike soon. After Qatar we had two weeks of rest and I tried the best to prepare myself and thought about everything that happened during the first race of this year's championship. I'm highly motivated to repeat the fastest lap and I want to lead the race again, plus take the opportunity to win this time. At the moment, our first target is to push for the victory and then, if we feel good or not, we can see which goal we can set on Sunday, but I think we are ready to have a great result in South America."
Championship: 14th – Points: 2
"I tried to focus on my physical condition and also my mind for the next race in Argentina. I'm ready for the second round and so excited to ride my crazy horse again. Since Qatar I tried to learn more. I watched some MotoGP action from last year to see what they did during Qualifying and the race. I think I could gain some experience in seeing this and now I want to try to adapt it on the weekend. I trained hard, so I'm more than ready for Argentina and thrilled to ride the big machine in Termas de Río Hondo."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"After what I believe was a very good start of the 2018 season, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is now heading to South America. This is a place and a country we really like and we enjoy spending a week in Termas de Río Hondo. The circuit has a beautiful layout, is very interesting and technical, plus provides great fights every year with all the safety required. I have to say that the organizers together with Dorna and IRTA work truly hard to improve the paddock. I want to say thank you to all these guys, because we have a paddock that is matching the MotoGP standard and it's a good feeling spending time there. Regarding our two riders, I believe the Yamaha YZR-M1 has always been fast there. Last year Johann scored his first points in MotoGP with a 5th place and a big recovery from a poor qualifying. Hafizh will have to learn this track. But since he joined us, he was very impressive and he will be soon feeling at ease and at home on his M1 at this circuit. All in all, the break since Doha was good, but we all feel ready and eager to race again. I hope the weather will be with us and the crowd will be even bigger than last year. We can't wait to be there to meet our Argentinian friends."
Morbidelli and Lüthi targeting points in Argentina
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi, are both targeting points this weekend, as MotoGP heads to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina for round two of the 2018 World Championship.
Morbidelli opened his points account with 12th place in the opening round of the season in Qatar, but Lüthi was disappointed to miss out on the final points scoring position, as he came home 16th on his MotoGP debut.
Both riders know the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit – Morbidelli won the Moto2 race at the Grand Prix of Argentina last year and was joined on the podium by Lüthi, who finished third – but Friday's opening free practice session will their first experience of the circuit aboard a MotoGP machine.
Once again the two MotoGP rookies are facing a steep learning curve this weekend, but both are determined to leave Argentina on Sunday with more points on the board.
"I’m really looking forward to this race because it’s a race where the Honda has previously performed better than in Qatar. We have a bit more theoretical potential there. It will be nice to see. After the good result we achieved in Qatar and the good progression we’ve made since, I can’t wait to jump on the bike and do my job. I will give my maximum to learn the track as quickly as possible and to reach a good level. We will see. For sure I’ll try to be fast!"
"When I got back from Qatar I was disappointed I hadn’t achieved my first points in MotoGP, but I’m really happy overall with the progress we made over the weekend. I think it’s important we can continue like that in Argentina. It will be a new track for me with a MotoGP bike, as opposed to Qatar, where I tested before the race, so this will be all new. Overall, I like the track and I’m really looking forward to making more progress. We really learned a lot in Qatar and if we can continue that work it should be another positive weekend for us."
Reale Avintia Racing riders ready for the Grand Prix of Argentina
MotoGP GP of Argentina – Termas de Río Hondo
Reale Avintia Racing team riders, Tito Rabat and Xavi Simeon, are already in Argentina ready to start the action on Friday at the Autodromo de Termas de Río Hondo.
The Spaniard Tito Rabat arrives very motivated following his great debut with Ducati in Qatar a few weeks ago and he is eager to start working in a circuit where he has the taste of the victory, even if it was in the Moto2 class, he expects to be very fast this weekend, regardless of whether conditions for the race, even if it’s dry or wet.
His teammate Xavier Simeon also arrives in confident mood to Termas de Río Hondo. The MotoGP rookie faces the weekend with the desire to enjoy and keep learning the secrets of the premier class. But he also wants to take a step forward and try to open his point account in a circuit where he has been on the podium. Simeon was second at Termas in 2014, just behind Rabat.
“I arrive very motivated and looking forward to make a good race weekend. After the good race in Qatar I want to continue in the same line of work to be able to take another step forward with my Ducati. It seems that the forecast for the weekend brings rain, so I would like to be able to show that I can also be fast in wet conditions. But the most important thing will be to keep focus over the weekend, finish the race and score more championship points, the more the better”.
“After my MotoGP debut a few weeks ago I arrive in Argentina willing to improve and continue learning. The result in my first race was not the best, but Termas is a circuit that I like a lot and I think it can be good for the Ducati and for my riding style. I’m aware that it won’t be easy, but here I’ve set a goal for the race, I want to be at the same level of the other rookies, and I think that it will be possible”.
ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM RETURN TO THE PROMISED LAND
The Spanish MotoGP outfit returns to Argentina, venue of their best result for the past two seasons
The MotoGP World Championship returns from what will be its longest break between now and summer, ready for a run of eight straight races with just a week off between each. A breathless few months kicks off this weekend in Argentina, where Italy's Andrea Dovizioso arrives as the series leader after his opening night victory under the lights of Qatar. An advantage at the chequered flag of just 0.027 seconds over Marc Márquez was enough for the first win of the season for the Ducati rider and a five-point lead over the Spaniard in the championship, although both have bad memories of the Termas de Río Hondo circuit, having failed to finish there in 2017, when Maverick Viñales took the win.
The Ángel Nieto Team are eager to return to Argentina, venue of their best ever results in the MotoGP class: respective fourth positions for Álvaro Bautista in 2017 and Eugene Laverty in 2016. For 2018, the team is aiming for a return to the leading positions, with Bautista, who enjoyed his best result of last season at Autódromo de Termas de Río Hondo, travelling to Argentina in determined mood after his spirited ride in Qatar, where he recovered from 21st on the grid to finish 12th+1. His team-mate Karel Abraham also has fond memories of the Argentinean race in 2017, when he qualified on the front row before battling to a creditable top ten finish. The Czech rider adapted well to the circuit in Termas and is hoping for another strong qualifying performance this weekend, which along with a good start should propel him to a standout result in the race.
Álvaro Bautista: “Last year's race in Argentina wasn't bad for us, fourth place was the best result of the season and it is a circuit that on paper looks quite easy and fun – I like it. This year we arrive in a different way. We were better prepared in 2017, whereas this season we are still facing some issues. In Qatar, after all the work we did in practice, we saw an improvement in the race, which was positive if you look at where we started, the lap times we put together and the gap at the finish to the winner. So I can take plenty of motivation to Argentina, which is a track that suits my style well. It will be difficult to repeat the result from last year but if we are able to build on the feeling from the race in Qatar we can certainly be closer. That is our objective now: to close the gap to the top until I am able to enjoy myself properly and give my maximum on the bike. Let's see if we can get another good result in Argentina.”
Karel Abraham: “I like the Termas de Río Hondo circuit and also last year it was good for us, especially on the Saturday when we qualified second on the grid. I am looking forward to going back there and I want to give my maximum in qualifying to achieve another strong starting position that we can build on with a strong race. I think that if I can make a good start and put some fast laps together at the beginning of the race we can fight for an interesting result. We will give it our best shot. I'm ready.”
CRUTCHLOW EXCITED TO BE BACK IN ARGENTINA
PRESS RELEASE: 05 April 2018 | Argentina GP Preview
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow is looking to build on his positive start to the new MotoGP season at this weekend’s second round in Argentina. The Briton just missed out on a podium place at the curtain-raiser in Qatar, but took great encouragement from his fourth-placed finish in Losail.
Crutchlow will now be looking to build on an impressive record at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo where he has cracked the podium in two of his last three visits. While hopeful of extending that fine run of form, the 32-year-old admits it’s likely to be a highly-competitive race this weekend with many contenders for a top-three finish.
"I think we did a good job as a team and a manufacturer in Qatar because historically it’s been a difficult circuit for Honda, but they worked very well in the winter, as we know, and we were a lot more competitive this year. Also our team and me, I felt good with the bike and the tyres and was able to be competitive with the front guys. It was a shame we were not able to battle for the podium in the end, but we come to Argentina, a circuit that’s been good to me.
“The first year we came here I didn’t race as I had the broken hand, but after I seem to have had a good run of results. I don’t think there’s any specific reason, the track doesn’t suit my style or anything like that, I just seem to go well here and there’s always a great atmosphere. But there’s also a lot of riders who are able to be competitive here and I’d say there are ten guys who could be on the podium this weekend.”
NAKAGAMI AIMS TO IMPROVE AGAIN IN ARGENTINA
PRESS RELEASE: 05 April 2018 | Argentina GP Preview
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami will continue his MotoGP learning curve when he takes to the track for the Argentina Grand Prix this weekend. The Japanese rookie made his premier class debut in the opening round of the championship and impressed as he completed the race and finished just outside the points in Qatar.
Having not previously raced at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Nakagami is expecting a challenging weekend as he gets to grips with the new circuit. However, he believes the experience gathered from Qatar will stand him in good stead and is hoping to make further steps forward on his MotoGP machinery.
“It’s the second round and of course it’s a new track for me with the MotoGP bike. It’s going to be tough, because ahead of the first race in Qatar we had tests there, but we’re confident with the team and the bike. We’re just a bit worried about the weather forecast because a lot of people told me there will be rain these three days, especially Friday and Saturday.
“We’ll take it day by day and session by session to continue adapting to the MotoGP bike. We’ll try to keep calm and are looking forward to this weekend. I was not that happy about the race result in Qatar, but it was good experience to finish the race as it was long and tough. And once I’d finished the race I was thinking about this one in Argentina and trying to improve.”
MICHELIN HEADS TO SOUTH AMERICA FOR AN ARGENTINIAN CHALLENGE
Michelin has embarked on the long journey over the Equator to Argentina as the MotoGP™ World Championship heads to Termas de Rio Hondo for the second round of the season and the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina.
The South American circuit is a challenge to riders, teams, bikes and especially tyres, as the high temperatures and the abrasiveness of the asphalt makes this one of the most demanding tracks of the year. This will be further heightened this season because parts of the 4,806m circuit have been resurfaced, meaning Michelin and the teams have no data to process as to the type of surface and the difference it will make to one of the toughest laps on the calendar. Due to this change the MICHELIN Power Slick allocation will be slightly different from the normal three front and three rear tyres, as a fourth choice will be added to the selection. This will make the following selections available; soft, two medium and a hard compound for both the front and rear, with the two front mediums having different compounds, whilst the two rear mediums will have different casings from each other. The tyres will mostly be of a symmetrical design, with only the rear hard compound featuring an asymmetrical build with a harder right-hand shoulder. Michelin supplies these different applications to give the riders as much choice as possible and allow them optimum performance around the Termas track.
With a layout set out over the nine right-hand bends and five left-handers, featuring a mix of fast sweeping turns and hard-braking zones, plus a straight more than a kilometre in length, all combining to make this is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit has supplied plenty of excitement since its inception into the MotoGP calendar in 2014. The physical location of the track is also a challenge for logistics as it is situated approximately 1,100km from Buenos Aires, meaning the whole paddock has a monumental journey just to get to the Province of Santiago del Estero, near the foothills of the Andes mountain range where the thermal town of Termas de Rio Hondo is located. This geographical position can also lead to very changeable weather, from extremely hot and humid conditions to torrential downpours, and should wet weather make an appearance the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available in soft and medium compounds for front and rear, with both rear applications having an asymmetric design featuring a harder right-hand side.
The second round of the 2018 MotoGP season will get underway on Friday 6th April by means of two Free Practice sessions, with Saturday featuring two more practice sessions, ahead of the all-important qualifying to determine grid positions for the 25-lap race, scheduled to begin on Sunday 8th April at 15.00hrs local time (20.00hrs CEST, 19.00hrs BST, 18.00hrs UST/GMT).
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“Argentina has been a circuit that has certainly given us a number of challenges during the two years we have raced there. It is a track that can be very hot, have high abrasiveness and then it can rain and the temperature drops quite a lot, so we must be ready for every eventuality. This year those uncertainties have been added to with parts of the track being resurfaced, so we are going there with very little knowledge of what exactly to expect, although the track has been very helpful with advanced info, but that is different from having existing data from races or tests on a new surface. That is why when Dorna asked us to fix the tyre allocation at the start of the season we had it included that we could take a fourth option front and rear slick to Argentina, so that we can give all the riders the best opportunity to find a balance of tyres that best suits them, their bike and the altered track. We believe with the knowledge we have gathered since our return to MotoGP we have the right compounds to take on the Termas track and hope to see some very fast times recorded during the weekend.”