All set for action to commence at Termas de Rio Hondo
In the preliminary press conference on Thursday in Argentina premier class riders Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith were joined by former World Championship regular Sebas Porto, the Argentinian who will make a wildcard appearance in Moto2™ this weekend.
On the back of the victorious start to his MotoGP™ title defence Marquez is full of confidence going into the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina and he was the first rider to address the media.
The Repsol Honda star commented, “I think it will be an interesting weekend here in Argentina, as it’s a new track for everybody. We need to work a little bit more than usual to find the best line, to adapt our riding style and to find the right set-up for this track. I am back at 100% for riding, I still can’t run but I am fine on the bike.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s nine-time World Champion Rossi is the only premier class regular with previous experience of Grand Prix racing in Argentina, albeit at a different venue to this weekend’s host circuit.
Rossi noted, “I have some riding experience in South America, a lot in Brazil, but also some unforgettable moments in Buenos Aires in 1998 and 1999. This track is new but it is good for motorcycles and I think it will be a flowing circuit which will be fun to ride. I have a good first impression.”
Following his first podium for the Ducati Team last time out in Texas, Dovizioso looks to maintain his good form at this round. “The podium in Austin was great for many reasons,” he acknowledged. “Obviously it is great for a rider to be up there but it is also a reward for all the people working hard behind the scenes. I was not feeling well in Austin during the weekend so to end up on the podium was a great feeling. I’m also excited to be riding at this new track.”
One of a select group of riders to have tested last year at the renovated Termas de Rio Hondo circuit – a new venue on the MotoGP™ calendar for 2014 – is LCR Honda man Bradl.
He stated, “I don’t know if it will be any real advantage as the conditions were not perfect here for the test. The others will catch up very fast. I like the track and the layout is good, it will be demanding on the tyres and I think the gaps between the riders will be very close so I expect some good racing.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Smith comes into the Argentina Grand Prix on a high, having registered his best MotoGP™ result to date in Austin. He said, “I struggled in Austin last year so it was good to get the result and get over the line, although I think the potential for the podium was there. I finished as the top Yamaha so I was very pleased with that and pleased for our team. I’ve been around this new track on a scooter and am looking forward to getting out there on a MotoGP bike tomorrow.”
Proud Argentinian Porto, who makes a guest appearance this weekend on Kalex Moto2™ machinery for Argentina TSR Motorsport, is delighted to see the World Championship back in his home nation.
He commented, “I am very happy to be here, it has been a long time since my last appearance in the World Championship. I will try to do my best as the fans are really excited about the racing coming back to Argentina. It has been 15 years since we raced here and motorcycling has grown a lot in that time in South America and in Argentina. I hope I can ride at a good level.”
Practice at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina commences tomorrow with the Moto3™ riders heading out on track for their FP1 run at 9am local time (GMT -3).
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP arrive in Argentina this week to set up for round three of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship on Sunday, the Gran Premio de la República Argentina.
Valentino Rossi arrives sitting in third in the world standings and looking to improve on the ninth place finish of the last round in Texas where tyre wear prevented a serious podium challenge.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo arrives determined to put the last two incident marred rounds behind him and return to his traditional hunting grounds at the front of the pack.
The 4.806m Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit welcomed selected MotoGP teams in 2013 for its first Official IRTA Test ahead of this weekend’s inaugural MotoGP race. Originally built in 2007, the circuit was then re-designed by Italian circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli to be ready for MotoGP.
This week Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro head to Argentina aiming to build on their positive form shown so far this season, at the exciting new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
Britain’s Bradley Smith aims to continue his confident start to the season and assert himself as the leading satellite MotoGP bike in Argentina, having finished with a personal best position of 5th in Texas. Whereas rookie Pol Espargaro, will extend his knowledge of the Yamaha YZR-M1 and attempt to challenge inside the top ten again on Sunday having clinched his first ever MotoGP points last race with an expertly executed ride to 6th position.
For the NGM Forward Racing riders it will be a completely new track, as they were not among the riders who tested at Termas de Rio Hondo last year. After a 4th and a 9th place finish, Aleix Espargaro looks forward to a strong race in Argentina. His team mate Colin Edwards is excited to discover a new racetrack, where everybody will start from zero.
Valentino Rossi – “It is important to go immediately to Argentina after the weekend in Austin and try to get a good result. This is a new circuit for everyone and we have to interpret it well. It is really hard to understand now if this track will be suitable for the Yamaha as there are many variables. We’ll know after the first few laps on the track. I am happy with the work we are doing so far and in Argentina we will be even more focused to get good results. We’ll have to understand as soon as possible the ideal set up of the bike, and above all we’ll have to understand how the tyres behave on this asphalt. We will analyze all the data and we will do our best. Going to a new circuit is always exciting!”
Jorge Lorenzo – “Obviously it’s not the beginning of the season I had dreamed of but I’m quite confident that we can revert the situation. It’s not easy to swallow what happened at Austin but I always try to get the positive thing even if we are in trouble. Now I’m just thinking about Argentina and I’m really looking forward to racing as soon as possible there. Staying on track is the best way to forget and I think our championship is going to kick off over there. I think I’m going to be much more stimulated in front of the Argentinian fans and finally we will achieve a normal race. That track is a new one in the championship and the first ever visit to Termas de Rio Hondo. That’s why we need to improve in a rush from Friday and try to stay calm and concentrate to get the best pace as soon as possible with the bike. Just a few riders could test in Argentina last year so I guess the inconvenience of learning the circuit is almost the same for everyone. Hopefully we will enjoy that track and we will catch a good result before we start racing in Europe. From my side I will arrive with plenty of energy after resting and training hard in Mexico!”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “We head to a new track now where we really don’t know what to expect. We can’t wait to start on Friday to see how the new track is. it’s always exciting to go to a new circuit. Our base set up will be built on the data we got last year from Tech3 when they went to test there so at least we won’t be completely blind going in. After the first 45 minutes we will know a lot more, but also our riders and most of the premier class’ will need to learn the track. We fully expect Vale to continue showing his confidence and remaining competitive with the front riders and after two difficult weekends we are all behind Jorge and supporting him to start his 2014 campaign and catch up to his rivals.“
Bradley Smith – “We head to a new track now where we really don’t know what to expect. We can’t wait to start on Friday to see how the new track is. it’s always exciting to go to a new circuit. Our base set up will be built on the data we got last year from Tech3 when they went to test there so at least we won’t be completely blind going in. After the first 45 minutes we will know a lot more, but also our riders and most of the premier class’ will need to learn the track. We fully expect Vale to continue showing his confidence and remaining competitive with the front riders and after two difficult weekends we are all behind Jorge and supporting him to start his 2014 campaign and catch up to his rivals.”
Pol Espargaro – “For sure it will be very exciting for all of us to return to Argentina after so many years. The fans there have so much passion and I am truly looking forward to the race on this brand new circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo. All the facilities are partly still under construction, so it’s a big step into the unknown. After my best ever result, and finishing as the leading Yamaha in Texas, I am determined to carry on this positive display. The Yamaha feels great and I am pleased with my performance over race distance, so for sure with a big team effort we will be able to get a competitive result in Argentina this weekend.”
Aleix Espargaro – “After the Texas GP I had some time to rest a little bit at home and now I look forward to the Argentina GP. We were not among the riders who did a test session there last year, but anyway it will be new for most of us. It will be important to try to work well during the whole weekend in order to prepare the race in the best possible way and arrive at the race with a good set up to fight with the front guys.”
Colin Edwards – “I look forward to racing in Argentina. I like the country very much and it’s exciting to race in a new place. We had an unlucky race in Texas, so we go to Termas de Río Hondo to get a better result.”
After Andrea Dovizioso’s third place in Texas, the Ducati Team returns to the American continent this weekend for the third round of the 2014 MotoGP season. This time however, the destination will be the southern hemisphere, more precisely in Argentina at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.
Dovizioso, who scored the 84th podium in the world championship for the Italian manufacturer, will be tackling the overseas race with renewed optimism, convinced that the work the whole team is carrying out is going in the right direction.
Unfortunately Cal Crutchlow will not be present in Argentina. After the crash in the race at Austin, the Ducati Team rider had initially been diagnosed with a dislocated right little finger, but further checks at a specialized centre in San Diego (USA) revealed that the British rider had also suffered a tiny fracture of the finger and as a result it was decided that he should undergo a small operation to insert a stabilizing pin. Crutchlow, who already knows the Termas de Rio Hondo track after taking part in two days of testing last year, hoped to recover in time for the Argentinean race but unfortunately continuing intense pain in his right hand, which prevents him from using the front brake correctly, has forced him to abandon. He will now return to England to continue treatment and try and get ready for the Jerez race.
Crutchlow will be replaced in Argentina by Italian Michele Pirro, the test-rider for the Ducati Team.
It will be the tenth time the world championship races in Argentina (the last time was in 1999 with the win going to Kenny Roberts Jr.), and after the Oscar Galvez circuit in Buenos Aires, Termas de Rio Hondo becomes the second track in the South American country to host a round of the championship.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – “The result in Texas was fantastic both for me and for all the team. It was a really hard race, very tiring, and this third place gave me a special satisfaction. When you are able to obtain these results, which almost seem impossible, it is truly a great feeling. We are working really hard and we are always trying to get the best out of our bike. Now we are going to Termas in Argentina, which is a new circuit for almost all the riders. I have no idea what to expect, but I always like to race on new circuits and so I am curious and very motivated.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – “I am very sad to let the team down like this because I was really looking forward to racing in Argentina. On Tuesday I had some scans on my hand and we saw that my finger was still dislocated from the crash and also broken so Dr. Chao decided to put a pin in to stabilize it. Unfortunately I’m still feeling too much pain in my right hand, my knuckles are the most painful part and I’m not in condition to race this weekend. Now I’m going back to the UK to continue treatment and try and get ready for the race at Jerez.”
Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) head to South America this week, for the sport’s first visit to the continent in a decade.
The Spanish pair arrive at the brand-new venue Termas de Rio Hondo in great shape, holding first and second places in the MotoGP World Championship after brilliant performances at the opening two Grands Prix of 2014. Reigning World Champion Marquez was the star performer in both races, taking jubilant victories in Qatar and Texas, while Pedrosa scored a third place and a second place to chase his team-mate in the points standings.
The pair were particularly dominant at the Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago, where the class-leading performance of their full-factory RC213V machines allowed them to race away from the rest of the pack. Marquez beat Pedrosa by four seconds and Pedrosa was more than 16 seconds ahead of the third-placed finisher, proving that the Honda Racing Corporation is continuing its legacy of creating superb racing motorcycles.
Neither rider has visited the new circuit, constructed for MotoGP in the north of the country, 1100km (700 Miles) north of capital Buenos Aires, so they will start from zero on Friday morning.
Marquez, as always, will be helped on his way by mentor Emilio Alzamora, who has fond memories of the sport’s last visit to Argentina in October 1999, when he secured that year’s 125 World Championship riding his Honda RS125 at the Autodromo Oscar Alfredo Galvez on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
One of the few riders who has ridden Termas De Rio Hondo is Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) who spent a couple of days there last summer, as part of a promotional event. He did ride the track on his RC213V but conditions were far from ideal.
Bradl was in the thick of the fight for third place a fortnight ago in Texas, eventually finishing fourth, less than two seconds behind Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati). The young German had already proved his speed in Qatar where he led the race, only to be caught out by the tricky track conditions. He currently holds seventh in the points chase and will be aiming to make further inroads into those ahead of him this weekend.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) comes to Argentina hoping to put a difficult start to the season behind him. The former 125 World Champion crashed out in Qatar and Texas and is determined to score his first points this weekend. Bautista was one of four MotoGP riders who made the trip to Termas de Rio Hondo last year, but like the others he was able to learn little about the circuit due to the poor conditions.
Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R), back with Honda after a five-year absence, is currently the top-placed non-factory Open rider in the championship aboard his RCV1000R, a production machine made by Honda specifically to boost the performance of privateer riders and teams. The man who won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship aboard Honda’s masterful RC211V V5 machine, achieved good points hauls at the first two races, even though like other RCV1000R riders, he is still learning how to get the best from the machine in its debut season.
After a superb MotoGP debut in Qatar, Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was once again showing good pace in Texas until he was caught out by front-tyre issues and crashed. Graduating from Moto2 at the end of last season, Redding it still getting to grips with the many new challenges offered by MotoGP.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) scored points at the first two races of the year and is currently equal on points with Redding. The former 250 World Champion is happy with the initial base setting he has found with his RCV1000R and is looking forward to building on that base from this weekend onward.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) aims for his third points score in a row after a tough race in Texas where he battled front-tyre and fitness issues. The Czech rider’s lingering shoulder injury is still causing him major concerns, and once again in Texas he needed painkilling treatment before the race. Since then he has had more physio on the shoulder and hopes to be in better physical shape this weekend.
The contest for the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship series is shaping up into another great battle with two different winners from the first two rounds, including a stunning debut success by Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) in Texas. This was only Vinales’ second race on a Moto2 bike, but the reigning Moto3 World Champion was in a class apart, coming from behind to score a dominant victory ahead of Qatar victor Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) who now leads the World Championship. Vinales lies second, seven points down, following that win and his fourth-place debut in Qatar.
Rabat was one of two Moto2 riders to visit Argentina’s newest racetrack last year, along with Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter). He enjoyed the layout but a dusty track followed by rain didn’t allow him to really get to grips with the circuit.
Rabat’s team-mate Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) has undergone further rehab on an old shoulder injury that troubled him in Texas and is keen to score a win this weekend to close the gap on the championship leaders.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) had a difficult weekend in Texas and will be aiming to get back to his usual performance level, like in Qatar where he scored a strong podium result. Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward KLX) lies fifth in the current standings following two fifth-place results from the first two races. Right behind him is Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) who finished third in Texas after leading the race.
Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) has high hopes of another strong Moto3 performance on Sunday following a brilliant ride to third in Texas, where he finished less than three tenths of a second off the win, just as he had done in Qatar. The Spaniard showed the speed of his Honda NSF250R by several times sneaking ahead of race-winner Jack Miller (KTM) on the straights. With Honda and his crew working hard, Vazquez currently lies second in the points standings behind Miller.
Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) took fourth in Texas and will be going all out for his first podium of the year this weekend. Team-mate Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) was in the podium fight at the last race, until he fell just a few corners before the chequered flag. He is confident he can be fully competitive once again as the action moves from North America to South America
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250R) and John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) hold seventh and tenth places in the championship standings, suggesting that they too will be running near the front at Termas de Rio Hondo.
Motorcycle Grand Prix racing last visited Argentina in 1999, just one week after Alex Crivillé (Repsol Honda NSR500) had wrapped up the 500 world title, giving Honda a clean sweep of six consecutive World Championships, following five years of domination by Mick Doohan (Repsol Honda NSR500).
The new Argentine venue has been constructed on the shores of Lake Rio Hondo, close to the town of Termas de Rio Hondo, a popular spa resort. Laid out by Italian designers Dromos, the clockwise circuit has a challenging mix of corners, including plenty of faster turns, the kind of corner most appreciated by bike racers.
Following the opening three ‘flyaway’ races, MotoGP hurries home to its European heartland, for the following weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez says: “Argentina will be a new track for most of us, some riders went a year ago but I don’t think the track surface was ideal so they were a little limited on the amount of laps they could do. I’m looking forward to visiting a new circuit and it will be nice for the fans. We will be looking to continue with the same momentum from the first two races of the season.”
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says: “After Austin I’m looking forward to Argentina and getting some laps around the track to feel the bike and learn the circuit! I don’t know much about the new track, I’ve tried to do some homework with maps and videos and find out as much as I could before arriving but it’s hard to say something not being on the bike. I’m looking forward to the weekend and meeting the fans over there as it will be my first visit to the country!”
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista says: “During the tests carried out last year on the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit I could immediately appreciate some very technical parts of the track: I like it a lot, because it’s characterised by many fast corners that suit my riding style. However, it should be said that last year we where able to take advantage of only one day of testing, because we had rain on the second day: therefore we weren’t able to work on bike set-up. I also remember a very dirty track, as it had just been finished. Anyway I believe that it will be okay for the race. In this Grand Prix our priority is to finish the race without taking risks: after the first two races we are still at zero points, so this time we absolutely need to collect some points.”
LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl says: “Every time we race on a new track it’s tough to make predictions. Last year I visited Termas de Rio Hondo for a couple of days but in my opinion it was not a proper test. The paddock was still under construction and the surface conditions were pretty bad. It was impossible to gather data because the grip level was very poor. I am pretty sure they made a big step forward from last year and it will be interesting to challenge my colleagues on a new race track. I know the layout but there’s a lot to do in terms of set-up. The motivation is high considering my fourth place in Austin.”
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Scott Redding says: “The fact that the track of Termas de Rio Hondo is unknown to anyone – apart from the few riders who carried out the tests last year – will make things a bit easier for me, because we will all start the weekend on the same level. In addition, I enjoy a lot riding on a new track: it’s always an interesting challenge trying to be fast on a new circuit, it’s a new motivation. I look forward to start the first free practice, to see how the bike works on this track.”
Drive 7 Aspar Honda rider Nicky Hayden says: “I am excited by the idea of racing at a new track. I always like going to new circuits and experiencing new things in a different country. We go to the same tracks every year so it is good to try something new. We have to try and adapt quickly to the layout and get a feeling for the track as soon as we can. Our attitude towards the job will be the same as always, which is to keep learning about this bike and trying to get the most out of it. I am constantly getting to know the bike and the team more and more and that will help us continue to grow together.”
Drive 7 Aspar Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama says: “Even though we need to keep working hard to improve the performance of the bike the base we have established so far is pretty positive. We are getting clearer ideas every day and the more we learn about the bike the faster we can take it forward. I honestly don’t know anything about the track in Argentina, but from what people have told me it is a cool layout, although technically demanding. The positive thing is that it will be a new track for everybody so we all start from zero, everybody is in the same situation. Hopefully the characteristics of the track suit our bike and we can come away with a positive result.”
Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham says: “It’s my very first trip to South America, so surely I’m excited. I heard legends about Argentinian fans from Czech Dakar Rally drivers, so I hope the atmosphere will be the same at the MotoGP race. New tracks are always difficult and just as motivating. In Argentina at least we all start from the same point, so let’s see who will deal with the circuit in the best way. I think new tracks are always challenge for a tyre supplier, so let’s see what Bridgestone bring for us.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Esteve Rabat says: “The Termas de Rio Hondo track is a good one. It has a good mix of fast and slow corners, with a long back straight. When we tested there the track was very dirty, as it had just been finished, and we had rain on the second day. It meant we weren’t really up to speed, but at least we got a feel for the track layout. I’m looking forward to returning this weekend. We need to sort out the gearbox issues we had in Austin, but I don’t think it will be quite so noticeable in Argentina, because of the nature of the circuit. It’s far too early in the season to be thinking about the championship, so, once again we will head into the race looking for the win.”
Pons HP 40 rider Maverick Vinales says: “I don’t know the track, so me and my team will be starting from zero. Of course, my victory in Texas gives us a lot of confidence, so we will keep working in the same way, focusing on working with the rear tyre because this is always the big thing in Moto2, especially in the last few laps.”
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Mika Kallio says: “The shoulder injury that caused me the problem in Austin is already much better. I’ll get it checked ahead of the weekend but, from what I’ve seen of the Termas de Rio Hondo track, it’s not going to be as physically demanding on the riders as Austin. It’s a new track, which means it’s an unknown in terms of set up, but then it’s the same for everyone. I had the pace in Qatar and again in Texas, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be up there again this weekend. A win would be the perfect way to end the three overseas races and it would put me back on terms with Tito and Maverick Vinales in terms of the championship.”
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
SaxoPrint-RTG rider Efren Vazquez says: “We showed at Austin and in Qatar that we are very close to winning a race. I was very happy with my bike at the last race and I think we will only keep getting better from here. None of the Moto3 riders has been to this new track, so it will be interesting seeing how we all approach the weekend. The aim is the same as always – to be in the fight for the podium and to win if possible.”
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Alex Rins says: “We’re going to a completely new circuit and we shall see what happens, because we all have the same situation to face. We haven’t been able to watch videos or do anything based on previous years, as the only way to prepare beforehand is to study the map of the circuit and try to learn the corners from that. We haven’t even got a computer game to learn from, so I can’t wait for Thursday and the chance to put in some laps on the scooter. That will help us to get an idea, but it won’t be until the first practice session that we see exactly what the circuit is like.”
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Alex Marquez says: “A difficult weekend awaits us, because we are going to a completely new circuit for which nobody has any reference points. We are all in the same situation, starting from zero in terms of both the lines to take and the setup to use. After the good race that we had in Qatar and the crash at Austin, we shall try to regain the confidence that we had and take as many points as possible. We will have to be very focused in practice in order to make the best use of the time available –and to be as ready as possible for the race.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
2014 sees MotoGP™ return to South America for the first time since 2004, as Argentina’s Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo hosts round three of the season.
Measuring 4806 metres in length, the Termas de Río Hondo circuit is characterised by numerous fast, long-radius corners that are expected to result in one of the highest average speeds of the year. The high speeds, hard braking zones and high camber angles of some corners results in this circuit being one of the more severe for tyres on the MotoGP™ calendar.
The Rio Hondo circuit has an unbalanced layout with nine right-hand corners compared to just five left-handers. However, the left-hand corners tend to be more severe in nature than the right-handers and in particular corners such as turn six and eleven generate high tyre temperatures, so the overall loads placed on the left and right shoulders of the tyres are similar. This means the rear tyre allocation for this circuit will be symmetric.
The overall severity of the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo means the rear tyre allocation features rubber compounds from the harder end of the scale. Rear slick tyre options for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders are the medium and hard compound rear slick, while the Ducati and open-class riders have access to the soft and medium compound rear slicks. As the Rio Termas Hondo circuit is a new addition to the World Championship, Bridgestone’s dataset for this circuit is limited, while a wide range of weather conditions could also be encountered. As a result, a special front slick tyre allocation will be offered for this weekend’s Argentina Grand Prix to ensure riders have enough options to deal with the potentially variable track conditions. The riders will be able to choose from three front slick options – the soft, medium and hard compound front slicks – instead of the usual two front options offered per race weekend.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “I am happy to see MotoGP return to South America after almost a decade as it such a passionate region for motorcycle racing. This is an important market for Bridgestone and it pleases me that we will be able to showcase our advanced technology to a whole new audience. The large number of fans present at last year’s test at Termas de Río Hondo was a good indication of the reception we can expect this weekend, and I hope to see a huge crowd welcome the sport back to Argentina. From a racing perspective, none of the factory teams tested at this circuit last year so it will be interesting to see which riders are able to adapt themselves to the demands of this very fast circuit. This weekend will be a busy one for our engineers as they will be tasked with helping the teams get the best out of the tyres at this new circuit.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division – “The Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo is a new addition to the MotoGP in 2014, and our test at the circuit last year shows it is one of the harshest circuits on the calendar for tyres. This circuit has a high average speed with some sections featuring high-camber angles, while corners like turn six are large radius, high-speed corners that generate very high tyre loads. The circuit is interesting in that although there are nine right-handed corners compared to five left-handed corners, the left shoulder of the tyre experiences higher temperatures than the right shoulder, due to the left-handers generally being faster, more demanding corners. As we have limited data for this track, we have decided to have a special allocation for the front tyres this weekend to ensure maximum safety for the riders. Both our front and rear tyre allocation for this race has to provide high levels of durability, stability and resistance to overheating, so we will provide tyres formulated from our harder rubber compounds for the Argentina Grand Prix.”