Press releases from the MotoGP teams and from Michelin after Sunday's fascinating race at the Termas De Rio Honda circuit in Argentina:
Dominant Marquez takes first win of 2019 in Argentina, points for recovering Lorenzo
A 9.8 second victory for the untouchable Marc Marquez in Argentina as Jorge Lorenzo gains more points and crucial bike time.
Overnight rain in Termas de Rio Hondo didn’t deter the MotoGP field during morning Warm Up, both Repsol Honda Team riders running consistently in the top ten. Marc Marquez again finished on top, Jorge Lorenzo within a second and in 11th after the 20-minute session.
Forecasts were all proven wrong as the 25-lap Argentina Grand Prix ran without even a single drop of rain and instead the grid was met with ever-climbing track temperatures. A lightning start saw Marc Marquez convert his pole position into a one second lead after just a single lap, the reigning champion never once looking back. Lap after lap his advantage grew, Marquez over 12 seconds clear before the end of the race. Crossing the line 9.816 seconds ahead of second placed Valentino Rossi, Marquez claimed his first win of the season and his third win at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in untouchable style.
The victory was accompanied by Marquez’s biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP race, his previous best coming at the 2016 Argentina GP (a gap of 7.679s) and is his 45th win in the premier class. Marquez leaves Argentina with 45 points and the championship lead.
Unfortunatley Jorge Lorenzo’s race got off to a difficult start as he dropped down to 21st from 12th after trouble getting off the line. However, consistent pace saw Lorenzo quickly return to points scoring positions and run at a pace similar to those fighting towards the front. Crossing the line in 12th, Lorenzo collects not only more points but also more race time on the Honda.
Honda now moves to the top of the Constructor’s Championship as a result of the victory.
The MotoGP World Championship prepares to travel to Austin, Texas for round three of the 2019 championship at the Red Bull Gran Prix of The Americas, April 12 -14. Marquez has won all six races at the circuit while Jorge Lorenzo has taken a pair of podiums previously.
“First of all I want to say congratulations to the Repsol Honda Team and Marc Marquez for winning this race. Marc has been fantastic all weekend. In Warm Up we made quite a big step and I was able to be faster and I felt good for the race. Unfortunately we had some very unlucky things happen, at the start I hit the pit limiter and the bike wouldn’t go. When I realised I was at the back so I had to fight through, I was able to move forward but we can’t be happy with this result.”
Rossi Rallies To Second In Gripping Argentina GP
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi saved the best for last at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina weekend. He used his experience to cunningly make his move - a perfectly executed block pass - in Turn 7 of the very last lap, to take a superb second place. The final lap wasn‘t lucky for team-mate Maverick Viñales. Though his challenge wasn‘t all smooth sailing, he was looking competitive in the final stages of the race. He was lying in seventh place when another rider collected him on lap 25, resulting in an N.C. score.
Rossi had a strong start from fourth on the grid, held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn't succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back to second place to lead the chasing pack.
Despite running wide on lap 7, he quickly made up for the lost time. When he was back in second place a lap later, the crowds were on their feet. As Marc Marquez was already over 6s ahead thanks to the battles of the chasing group, the Italian focused on defending his position.
While the number 46 rider‘s tussles with Andrea Dovizioso for second place continued, the pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.
Viñales had a rocky start from second place on the grid, but was quick to slot into fifth, behind his team-mate. He made good on yesterday's promise to ride aggressively in the opening laps, moving past Jack Miller for fourth before crossing the line for the first time. However, the moment was short-lived. The Spaniard was swamped in the busy bustle of the front group and fell back to eighth.
He wasn‘t taking it lying down, though. He earned back seventh place and pushed to the fullest to latch on to the group fighting for second. He was hanging in there but lost two positions as he ran wide with 9 laps to go.
Still Viñales didn‘t give up. He had ensured his soft-soft tyre combination would last for the entire 25-lap race-length, and now he was about to pick the fruits of his labour. With five laps to go, he overtook Takaaki Nakagami for eighth. He had to close a 0.9s gap next and managed to reach the back of the group in front. He soon found himself in seventh position, but on the last lap disaster struck. Another rider accidentally clipped the back of Viñales‘ bike, ending his challenge.
Today's results see Rossi climb to 3rd position in the championship standings with a 10-point gap to second and a 14-point margin to first. Viñales is now in 11th place, with a 36-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds the same position in the team classifications.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock touches down in the United States for the Grand Prix of the Americas, held at the COTA track in Austin, Texas.
Position: 2nd - Time: +9.816 - Championship: 3rd / 31 points
"It's been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I've been on the podium. This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes. Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period. I'm so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more. Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even 1cm, else Dovi would pass me again. At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I'm happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking."
Position: DNF - Time: N.A. - Championship: 11th / 9 points
"I saw the replay of the incident with Franco and it was nothing. It was the last lap and we all tried to be at our best, so it's just one mistake, and it is what it is. Maybe at the next race I will make the same mistake, it's something you can explain, it's not a problem. The soft tyres were for sure the right decision, because in the first lap, though I didn't start well, I was overtaking many riders, so finally at the end of lap 1 I think I was third or fourth. So that was not bad. But the bike wasn't working perfectly, so we need to keep working and see if we can solve it for the next race. Honestly, I feel good at every track, we show good potential. It's always in the race that we have an issue. When the bike is there, I'm always in the top-3."
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"We are very happy and satisfied with this second place, though we are disappointed for Maverick. This weekend the team worked really well. We had some difficulties in FP1 and we were able to correct them and find solutions quite early on. This morning after the Warm Up, Valentino ultimately made the right decision for him, choosing the medium rear tyre. It has been a good team effort, so we really want to enjoy this second place. Maverick was feeling well on the soft tyres during Warm Up, so he decided to go ahead with them. However, already from the beginning of the race he was having difficulties when stopping the bike. We have to analyse this problem and try to understand it, because it's a pity he couldn't be as fast as this morning. To make matter worse, he was collected by Morbidelli on the final lap. It was a shame, but the most important thing is that both riders are OK. Still, the podium result is a good boost for us all and gives us good motivation for the next round."
Andrea Dovizioso (3rd) claims yet another podium at the Argentina Grand Prix; strong comeback by Petrucci (6th)
The Mission Winnow Ducati team stepped on the podium once again today at Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) with Andrea Dovizioso, third on the finish line. The Italian, who started from first row, dictated the pace within the group of riders fighting for the podium while chasing Marquez, and held second position for most of the race to fend off his rivals valiantly until the very last lap before facing a drop in tyre performance. Dovizioso's third-place finish marks his second consecutive podium in 2019 after a thrilling victory in Qatar and puts him in second position in the championship, just four points behind the provisional leader.
Danilo Petrucci, who started from tenth position on the grid after a difficult qualifying session, mounted a strong comeback and climbed back up to fourth position before facing, like his teammate, a tyre drop in the final stages and finishing sixth.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd
"I'm undoubtedly happy with the podium, which was our goal ahead of this round on a historically difficult track for us. On the other hand, I'm not particularly satisfied with how the rear tyre performed, because we couldn't pull away towards the end of the race, which is the opposite of what we expected in light of what we've seen during practice. In the last lap, I couldn't shake off Rossi or pass him back, it would have been too risky and 16 points are still very important for us. For sure, we collected some interesting data, which we'll analyse in depth ahead of next race. Austin is yet another tricky track for us theoretically, so our goal in Texas will be to try to step once again on the podium."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 6th
"I'm happy because, after making some mistakes during qualifying, today we managed to give our best out there on track. Had I started a bit closer to the front, I probably could have fought for the podium until the very end, but I had to ask a lot to the tyres to climb back through the field and in the last couple of laps I was really struggling with the rear under braking, so I had to play defense. Still, I'm satisfied because we worked well here, improving day by day, and I want to maintain the momentum at Austin, where first and foremost I'll need to be stronger in qualifying. Our goal is to ride constantly at the front and score points, which will be crucial in such a long season."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Austin (United States) for the third round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for April 12-14.
RINS MAKES BRILLIANT RECOVERY FOR FIFTH IN ARGENTINA
Team Suzuki Press Office - March 31.
Alex Rins: 5th (+ 12.563)
Joan Mir: DNF
• Alex Rins carves through for a superb Top 5 finish.
• Joan Mir forced to retire with rear grip issues.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR maintain positivity heading to Round 3.
The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina offered up a tense and excitable atmosphere on Sunday with its many passionate fans. Alex Rins and Joan Mir had a tricky task ahead of them after struggles in qualifying, but the determined duo showed improved pace in the morning warm-up.
As the lights went out, the track temperature rose to 41c and tyre longevity was set to play a key role in race management. A steady start from Alex Rins saw him hovering around the Top 12, whilst Joan Mir after a good start progressively dropped down to 17th in a couple of laps.
Highly motivated to take a strong result at one of his favourite tracks, Rins didn’t let up and continued a push through the field. The Spaniard had already gained six places on his grid spot after seven laps. After setting a best lap, Alex found himself fighting within the lead group with 10 laps to go. Keeping his head and riding smoothly, Rins fought his way towards podium contention and eventually took an excellent 5th place.
Meanwhile, rookie Joan Mir got away well but soon suffered with severe lack of feeling and grip on the rear tyre. As the 25 lap race neared its conclusion, Joan was forced to pull into pit lane, and he unfortunately retired from the Argentinian GP.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Yesterday’s qualifying was a bit of a disaster for both our riders, but Alex recovered really well today and I’m very happy with his performance and the overall performance of the whole team. We had a good chance of a podium here, but given the circumstances we’re very pleased with 5th place. We are sorry that Joan wasn’t able to show his potential and could not finish the race. We’ll be back to fight again at the next race.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“In the end the race was very exciting with Alex, he made an unbelievable recovery and came very close to the podium once again. This time it was very difficult because of the grid position, but his result shows how competitive we can be. Alex turned a bad Saturday into a good Sunday. Unfortunately Joan suffered a problem with the rear tyre which we’re still investigating, he couldn’t ride properly or push. It’s a pity for him, but we’ll look forward to Texas.”
“The race was incredible, I didn’t make any mistakes which was amazing given how slippery and tricky the track was. I really need to improve my grid positions in the next races, so I’m aiming for better qualifying sessions because my starting position really cost me today. But I’m happy to bring home a Top 5 for myself and the team.”
“We’re still in the process of checking what happened today, but I didn’t feel good with the rear grip right from the beginning of the race. I made a decent start, and when I was behind Alex I was ready to try and go with him through the pack. It would have been good to learn from him and work together. This is the first time I’ve pulled into pitlane in my career, but I was really feeling something strange from the rear end.”
TOP TEN ONCE AGAIN FOR APRILIA WITH ALEIX ESPARGARÓ
ANDREA IANNONE SEVENTEENTH
With a courageous ride, skill and a bit of luck in the last part of the race, Aleix took his second top-ten finish in Argentina after the outstanding début in Qatar. On the starting grid with the soft rear tyre, Aleix stressed the rubber in the first part of the race, moving into tenth place and trying to stay close to the leading group. The gaps actually stayed quite close and the number 41 RS-GP kept Quartararo in its sights, thinking of attacking for better positions in the second half. Instead, tyre wear forced Aleix to ride the latter part of the race on the defence. Overtaken in the finale by his brother, Pol, he did not give up and took the position back on the final lap. Just as he got past him, a double crash gave him a nice ninth-place finish.
Andrea and his team, on the other hand, had to reckon with the same difficulties encountered on Saturday which had compromised their qualifiers. Starting from the eighth row, Andrea was never in the conditions to be able to make a comeback. He fought tooth and nail in a race that was certainly difficult, but which also constitutes another step forward in getting to know the bike for him and for his team.
"I cannot help but to be satisfied, especially if I look at the championship standings, which are what really counts anyway, because being ninth after two races is not bad at all. To be honest, I had hoped to do better, especially in the second part of the race. We were undecided about whether to use the medium or the soft and in the end we chose the soft, but just as I was thinking about going after Quartararo, I felt a clear drop in tyre performance. I started to have a lot of spin and it was impossible to maintain my pace. They were eight very difficult laps, but finishing ninth, even if there was a double crash ahead of me, is not bad at all. Until we are ready for better placements, it will be important to finish the races and collect points."
"On this track, we struggled in a bit of a strange way, because our difficulties began when the grip increased. Usually, performance increases with more grip, so understanding this anomaly needs to be our primary goal. I’m not worried. I know what my potential is and I have faith in Aprilia’s work. Even today, if I had started a couple of rows farther forward, I would have been able to stay with the group, considering the fact that I lost a lot of ground on the straight without any slipstream."
Top ten breakthrough for Espargaro in Argentina
MotoGP 2019 Rnd 2 Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo (ARG) - RACE
A hot and humid Gran Premio de la Republic Argentina was the setting for Red Bull KTM to acquire their first top ten classification of the season thanks to the efforts of Pol Espargaro. In the Moto3 class Jaume Masia celebrated an emotional maiden victory from Pole Position as KTM filled the first two podium places in the class.
An initially unstable weather forecast turned out to be dry, hot and sticky for the second MotoGP race of the year at the fast and twisty Circuito de Termas de Rio Hondo. Pole Position holder Marc Marquez ran away to his first victory of 2019 but the rest of the MotoGP pack was quite tightly grouped.
Pol Espargaro started from 11th position on the grid and battled with his brother Aleix for space on the fringe of the top ten. A last lap crash between Maverick Viñales and Franco Morbidelli meant that #44 could profit from the accident and was just denied 9th place by his elder sibling on the last lap; taking his KTM RC16 to 10th position.
The Spaniard was chased by impressive Red Bull KTM Tech3 rookie Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese produced a sterling performance to notch 5 championship points for 11th place in just his second outing in the premier class. Johann Zarco again collected the final MotoGP point for 15th spot while Hafizh Syahrin was not too far from the Frenchman in 16th.
Pol Espargaro: “Satisfied for sure. We got some points and we did a good race. We were fifteen seconds away from second place and it was a faster race than last year. We are closing the gap to the top guys but still missing grip in some conditions. I fought with my brother for that ninth position at the end but couldn't make it happen. Anyway: an improvement from Qatar. The bike is getting better and I think on these tracks – Qatar, Argentina and Austin – we have been struggling in the past and we can see we are closing the gap and getting better and better. Miguel had a great race and we can see he was fast from the warm-up.”
Johann Zarco: “I struggled all the race and nearly hit Lorenzo at the beginning which almost put me in last place. I had a good feeling in the first eight laps but could not pass my opponents and then it began to be harder and harder to ride the bike. I used a lot of energy to get in the points and was passed by two riders and in the end was lucky to get 15th position. It is difficult to have these kinds of races. At the moment I cannot ride how I want but will work to the maximum with the team to adapt to this condition. Later we will have more things to work on. Pol and Miguel had a nice race so if I can at least get close to them or be the first KTM will be some satisfaction but to get near the top we’ll need to do some other things. I want to keep as positive as possible and I know that all what we are going through now will make me stronger in the future.”
Miguel Oliveira: “I’m truly delighted about this race. It’s nice to finish in the points, which was our target coming to Argentina. In the end, it was a good weekend with a good qualifying, we improved in our time attack, I felt good with the bike, so now it’s a week to rest and to come back to Texas, which is another track we need to discover with this bike but I’m quite pleased with my performance in Argentina, second KTM, very close to Pol, so I think we are on the right way.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m very happy that we improved on our last race! Thank you very much to the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team because they all kept believing in me. I was fully motivated for the race, although the beginning was difficult. I’m satisfied because I was able to stick with Johann (Zarco), although we need to work on the rear. We finished very close to the points, but still far from the top. We need to learn, be patient and keep the motivation high.“
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “We know the category is very hard for each and every position and we are super-happy that Pol achieved this tenth place and also Miguel had an amazing race. Johann got into the points again: he is still not happy with the bike but we will keep on pushing to make a package where he can perform in the future. We will help him in all aspects. It was a positive weekend and we will go to Texas thinking about what we can do better. We also know that people are working very hard in the company and we are thankful for that. We are constantly getting parts and we will push all together to get consistently inside the top ten: this is the target. We are happy with tenth today but we were almost ninth.”
#ArgentinaGP Race. Stunning race for Jack: P4 and once again 1st Independent rider. First two points in MotoGP for Pecco.
The Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina gives great satisfaction to Pramac Racing with Jack Miller protagonist of an extraordinary race celebrated at Parc Ferme as 1st Independent, and Francesco Bagnaia who manages to score the first two points of his MotoGP career.
Jack got a great start from P5 to finish the opening lap in 3rd position. Halfway through the race, he is still glued to the group that fights for the second position then he is involved in a battle with Morbidelli and Petrucci that makes him lose some positions (7th place on lap 16). The Australian rider remains focused and begins a great comeback that allows him to overcome Morbidelli, Petrucci and Rins to easily finish in fourth place.
Pecco's start - from P17 - is very positive and allows him to recover three positions in the first 3 laps. The Italian rider pushes hard but halfway through the race, the consumption of the front tire is already high. Bagnaia still has the merit of not giving up and after winning the duel with Zarco finishes in 14th position.
P14 – Pecco Bagnaia
"It was very important to finish the race and understand as much as possible. I am quite happy with the result: it is a good starting point. I understood a lot about how to ride in the first phase of the race. I got off to a good start and managed to go fast but I overheated the front tyre. It was a good weekend and we are going to Austin with confidence".
P4 – Jack Miller
"I am obviously satisfied with the result we achieved in Argentina, although I may have lacked some experience. I fought a lot with Petrucci and Morbidelli and this duel made me lose contact with the riders in front. All thing considered it's okay because today we have learned a lot. We are working very well and for this I thank the team".
SUPERB SEVENTH PLACE FOR TAKA IN ARGENTINA
PRESS RELEASE: 31 March 2019 | Argentina Grand Prix
Takaaki Nakagami claimed his second successive top-10 finish of the 2019 season as he took seventh position in the Argentina Grand Prix. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider demonstrated his evolution in the MotoGP class as he once again battled towards the front of the field throughout at Termas de Rio Hondo on Sunday.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Taka worked hard to stay in touch with the fight for second (behind runaway leader Marc Marquez) despite suffering grip issues with a soft rear tyre. He battled with Maverick Vinales throughout, but got his reward for persistence when the Yamaha man crashed out along with Franco Morbidelli on the final lap, allowing the LCR rider to climb two places and claim his best result in dry conditions.
Takaaki Nakagami – 7th
“I’m pretty happy about today’s result. The race was quite tough because I chose the soft rear compound as I wanted to try and push towards the front after the start. But unfortunately I struggled to find a grip with it from the beginning and so it was a demanding race for me”.
“But we tried to do our best, the race pace was consistent throughout apart from the last five laps when the grip was nearly gone. I’m happy to finish P7, which is my best result in a dry race, and I really want to thank the team who did a great job this weekend. We are closing the gap to the top and are really looking forward to Texas where we can make another step forward.”
Magnificent Top 10 for Quartararo in Argentina
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider claims first points of the season, finishing eighth. Franco Morbidelli suffers an unfortunate crash on the final lap, when fighting for sixth place.
The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team experienced mixed fortunes at the Argentina GP on Sunday, as Fabio Quartararo claimed his first points in the MotoGP category whilst Franco Morbidelli crashed out on the final lap.
After a difficult debut in Qatar last time out, Quartararo enjoyed a solid race at Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, finishing in eighth place and earning his first points of the year. The Frenchman was very consistent with his lap times in his second race in the class and spent practically the entirety of the contest in tenth place. Late crashes for his teammate and for another rider would move him up into eighth at the chequered flag.
Morbidelli's unfortunate crash came at Turn 7 during the last lap of the race, when he was in eighth position and challenging for the Top 6. The Italian was enjoying an excellent race - one of his best performances in MotoGP - and had been in the podium spots during the initial stages.
Quartararo and Morbidelli are now in 12th and 16th position in the overall standings, respectively, with 8 and 5 points apiece. The Frenchman is the top rookie in the MotoGP class, whilst PETRONAS Yamaha SRT are eighth in the team standings.
The next race will take place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, from April 12-14th.
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"If we analyse only the race, we are happy with Fabio Quartararo's result and even more so after listening to his comments, in which he explained that he struggled early on with a full tank. We are satisfied with his eighth position, in what is only his second race in MotoGP.
Franco Morbidelli was up at the front from the start of the race and fought until the last lap. It's a shame about his crash, because we lost some important points, but it was a race situation in which three riders were going for it. Fortunately, everyone involved is fine.
It has been a positive weekend overall, for our riders and for the team, so we'll take that away from Argentina and prepare for Austin, where in two weeks' time we will try to get good results for both riders."
#21 Franco Morbidelli
"The race had been going very well for us and we were fighting for the top positions - just like we wanted to do. I felt very strong in parts of the circuit. I had a great time dicing with Rossi, Miller and Crutchlow, and it was a really good race until the final lap. I was fighting for sixth position when I reached Viñales. I didn't want to try a pass, but I couldn't brake properly due to the double slipstream. Maybe it was this - combined with his attempt to cut in to pass Petrucci - that led us both to go down. It was a shame for both of us, but fortunately we are both okay. It's important to take away the positives from this race, so that we can keep at the same level and continue improving at the next round. Both Yamaha and the team have worked really well throughout the weekend, which is what I'll take away from this race."
#20 Fabio Quartararo
"I am very happy with what we have done today in Argentina. I was worried before coming here because we had not tested at the track, and it is a circuit at which I had always struggled in other classes, but I was always in the Top 10 this weekend, so it's been very positive. I learned a lot from the other riders today; I made some mistakes at the start, through being over-eager to do things well. It was my first time in the middle of a group battling with a full fuel tank, so it wasn't easy. Later on we were able to find our pace and have a good race. I want to thank the entire team for the great work they have done, both today and throughout the weekend."
Oliveira brings home first points in Argentina - Syahrin fights for top 15
In an incredible exciting second Grand Prix, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s MotoGP rookie Miguel Oliveira missed out on the top 10 by just a whisker to bring home his very first premier class championship points today at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. The Portuguese Youngster showed an impressive performance from the first lap, making up one position by another to eventually see the chequered flag just 0.176 seconds behind fastest KTM rider Pol Espargaro in 11th as the second fastest rookie in the hard-fought MotoGP field.
Meanwhile Hafizh Syahrin did a strong race as well. Starting nearly at the end of the grid, the Malaysian star did fast lap times and quickly caught up with the riders in front. He managed to find his way through to P17 halfway through the 25 laps race. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider was biting hard to reach the top 15 in the course of the remaining laps and finally ended up in 16th. Syahrin now targets to score points in less than a fortnight, when the entire circus moves over to Texas for round three of 2019.
“I’m truly delighted about this race. It’s nice to finish in the points, which was our target coming to Argentina and after being close in the first race, we were quite competitive in this race to be able to fight for this goal. So, I’m really happy for that. In the end, it was a good weekend, with a good Qualifying, we improved in our time attack, I felt good with the bike, so now it’s a week to rest and to come back to Texas, which is another track we need to discover with this bike, but I’m quite pleased with my performance in Argentina, second KTM, very close to Pol, so I think we are on the right way.”
“I’m very happy that we improved on our last race! Thank you very much to the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, because they all kept believing in me. I was fully motivated for the race, although the beginning was difficult. But I tried to fight back and managed to come back to the group in front of me. Unfortunately, after 15 laps, I didn’t have a good feeling with the rear anymore, it was sliding a lot and I was unable to find the right amount of grip, but still I tried to keep the rhythm and to stay close with the rest of the field. I’m satisfied, because I was able to stick with Johann (Zarco), although we need to work on the rear. We finished very close to the points, but still far from the top. We need to learn, be patient and keep the motivation high. Now we are there, we just need to keep working with the team. Thank you very much to all our sponsors, my team, my family and all the people, that are supporting me. Let’s try again and continue pushing!”
“Argentina is definitely a place, that the Tech3 Racing team likes. After 2018, we leave this Grand Prix also 2019 with a big smile on our faces. From Friday mornings’ FP1 to the race, we improved every single session with both riders. Miguel has done an incredible job. He has been really working hard, trying to recover from the slight disappointment to have missed the points in Qatar and he made us very happy, very proud. It’s only his second MotoGP race and I think what he does is the work of a very established and experienced MotoGP rider. I definitely would like to thank him a lot and to congratulate him. I believe he is a strong asset for the whole KTM Racing department and we are happy to see Pol and Miguel pushing each other until the flag. I think this is good for KTM to gather all this information from different riding styles and I would like to thank KTM for the good bike we have had this weekend. I believe this was a really strong weekend, which will for sure give a big boost to all of us. I wouldn’t like to finish this quote for the Argentina Grand Prix with a very special thank you to Hafizh Syahrin, who was a bit lost in Qatar. But the way he recovered here in Argentina from FP1 was amazing. He has been fighting the whole race long with Johann Zarco, he never let anything in between them two. He has been pushing from the start of the race until the line. At one stage there was a mistake in the race result and he was in 15th, which would have been incredibly rewarding for his effort, but anyway top 16 is a great thing. He has been fighting with other riders, he has been passing riders like Mir, Rabat, Abraham, Iannone and this is something we are very proud of. We knew he had a great potential, but we wanted him to show it on KTM, which is, what he has done today. So, again, well done and thank you very much Hafizh! Both of our riders and the whole team have a week off now and we see each other in Texas, to start where we left off here in Argentina.”
MICHELIN MASTERS THE TERMAS HEAT AS MARQUEZ DOMINATES
Michelin took on the demands of the Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina today at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina as its MotoGP™ tyres performed strongly in the testing conditions which saw Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) race to an emphatic victory.
The 4,806m Argentinian track has been a challenging circuit for Michelin since coming back to MotoGP in 2016, but this weekend the French company were given the chance to perform in a fully dry event at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit – for the first time in the four-years since its return – and saw its tyres produce impressive results throughout the weekend, a fact that will give the technicians and designers plenty of data for the future.
Today’s forecast was for rain, but this never materialised and actually temperatures rose to the highest recorded throughout the whole weekend, as the thermometer reached 44°C when the race started, making tyre choice for all involved a complex decision as no-one had experienced those conditions during the two preceding days. Marquez got the holeshot and led for the first lap, before extending his lead on lap-two by setting the fastest lap of the race. He continued to increase his advantage with his hard front and soft rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, before crossing the finishing line almost 10-seconds in-front of the chasing group. Leading the following pack home was Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), as he got the better of third-placed man Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) with a last-lap overtaking manoeuvre, making it a three manufacturer podium. Today’s podium was decided following a race-long tussle for the second and third places between a group of seven riders, all using a mixture of compound configurations, as five of the available choices were used during today’s intensive race.
In front of a record race-day crowd at Termas de Rio Hondo of 64,086, the position of First Independent Rider went to Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), as he took fourth place, with Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) in fifth. Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) was sixth and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) came home in seventh. Top rookie position went to Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) with eighth place, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was ninth and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took tenth position and made sure that all five manufacturers finished in the top-ten, again giving proof of Michelin’s desire to supply tyres for all teams to use that will give them optimum performance.
Michelin will now make a cross-continent journey as it and MotoGP head from South to North America and the third round of the championship, which will be at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday 14th April.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“This has been one of my best weekends in MotoGP and one of the best Sundays of my MotoGP career, because I managed it in a very good way. I had a solid weekend and I am very happy, because we understood really well the way to work with the tyres and we understood which was the best tyre for us. It looked in the beginning of the race we took a risk with the soft rear, but for me it was the best option for my strategy. I was planning to push from the beginning and open a gap, so I did it and then at the end I managed the tyres really well and I was very happy to take the win.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“Heading here we knew this was one of the biggest examinations of the tyres in the whole season. We brought a full range of rear symmetric tyres – which was something we hadn’t done at any track before – and we were very pleased with how the whole selection performed all weekend. The Free Practice sessions were all very fast and so was Qualifying and all the tyres showed good consistency. Today with the increase in temperature at the time of the race, there were many decisions made as to the correct compounds, as it was hotter than it had been all weekend, but our technicians worked with the teams and riders to make the best choices for the conditions. It was good to see three manufacturers on the podium, as this again shows we are making tyres that are competitive for all. Now it is time to head to Austin and what promises to be another challenging event on a very demanding track – but we are certainly up to the task!”