An enthralling MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina saw Marc Marquez clinch his third win of the year, ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in the top three.
As the race at Termas de Rio Hondo got underway Marquez got caught up in the crowd on lap one but played it patiently, picking off his opponents to get into second – eventually hunting down early leader Lorenzo, with his winning move coming 8 laps from the end.
It was a good day for the Repsol Honda team as Pedrosa stayed in the chase throughout the race, eventually overtaking Lorenzo on the penultimate lap for second.
Lorenzo’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi was briefly into second early on, but ran wide twice and dropped to seventh before fighting his way back up to fourth.
Solid runs from Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) saw them finish fifth and sixth – they were 15s and 19s respectively back on Marquez.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammates Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro were safely inside the top ten, which was completed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and top ‘Open’ rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar) – the Japanese competitor crossing the line 0.073s in front of colleague Nicky Hayden.
Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was 15th after an early crash, whilst there was another DNF for Alvaro Baustista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) who crashed on the first lap, as did Danilo Petrucci (IodaRacing Project).
MotoGP™ Race Classification
- Marc Marquez 93 ESP 25 Repsol Honda Team HONDA 41’39.821
- Dani Pedrosa 26 ESP 20 Repsol Honda Team HONDA +1.837
- Jorge Lorenzo 99 ESP 16 Yamaha Factory Racing YAMAHA +3.201
- Valentino Rossi 46 ITA 13 Yamaha Factory YAMAHA +4.898
- Stefan Bradl 6 GER 11 LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA +15.029
- Andrea Iannone 29 ITA 10 Pramac Racing DUCATI +19.447
- Bradley Smith 38 GBR 9 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA +24.192
- Pol Espargaro 44 ESP 8 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA +29.118
- Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA 7 Ducati Team DUCATI +33.673
- Hiroshi Aoyama 7 JPN 6 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA +43.279
- Nicky Hayden 69 USA 5 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA +43.352
- Yonny Hernandez 68 COL 4 Pramac Racing DUCATI +44.819
- Karel Abraham 17 CZE 3 Cardion AB Motoracing HONDA +45.178
- Scott Redding 45 GBR 2 Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA +48.656
- Aleix Espargaro 41 ESP 1 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA +52.250
- Hector Barbera 8 ESP Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI +53.505
- Michele Pirro 51 ITA Ducati Team DUCATI +53.669
- Michael Laverty 70 GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART & PBM +56.570
- Mike Di Meglio 63 FRA Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI 1’03.140
- Colin Edwards 5 USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA 1’05.760
- Broc Parkes 23 AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 1’16.722
- Alvaro Bautista 19 ESP Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA DNF
- Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA IodaRacing Project IODA-SUTER DNF
- Marc Marquez 93 ESP 75 Repsol Honda Team HONDA
- Dani Pedrosa 26 ESP 56 Repsol Honda Team HONDA
- Valentino Rossi 46 ITA 41 Yamaha Factory YAMAHA
- Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA 34 Ducati Team DUCATI
- Andrea Iannone 29 ITA 25 Pramac Racing DUCATI
- Stefan Bradl 6 GER 24 LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA
- Jorge Lorenzo 99 ESP 22 Yamaha Factory Racing YAMAHA
- Aleix Espargaro 41 ESP 21 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA
- Bradley Smith 38 GBR 20 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
- Nicky Hayden 69 USA 18 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA
- Pol Espargaro 44 ESP 18 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
- Hiroshi Aoyama 7 JPN 15 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA
- Yonny Hernandez 68 COL 11 Pramac Racing DUCATI
- Scott Redding 45 GBR 11 Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA
- Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR 10 Ducati Team DUCATI
- Karel Abraham 17 CZE 8 Cardion AB Motoracing HONDA
- Colin Edwards 5 USA 7 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA
- Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA 2 IodaRacing Project IODA-SUTER
- Hector Barbera 8 ESP 1 Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI
- Broc Parkes 23 AUS 1 Paul Bird Motorsport PBM
- Michael Laverty 70 GBR 0 Paul Bird Motorsport ART & PBM
- Alvaro Bautista 19 ESP 0 Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA
- Michele Pirro 51 ITA 0 Ducati Team DUCATI
- Mike Di Meglio 63 FRA 0 Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI
Moto2™: Dominant Rabat cruises to round three win
Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) cruised to victory at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina, taking the Moto2™ hole shot from pole and leading to the finish line, in front of fellow podium finishers Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40)
Rabat totally controlled the race to extend his World Championship lead to 28 points, crossing the line two seconds ahead of second placed Simeon.
A lengthy battle for third was eventually won by Salom as he overtook Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) in the final stages and put the hammer down to record two fast laps and step onto the rostrum for the first time since his graduation from Moto3™.
Corsi had been in the podium hunt but eventually crossed the line behind Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) for his third successive fifth place finish.
The top ten was rounded out by Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2), Mika Kallio Marc (VDS Racing Team), Sam Lowes (Speed Up), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2).
A mistake from Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) saw him drop to ninth from second on the grid on the first lap and he ended up 18th.
Ricard Cardus (Tech 3) and Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) crashed out early on, Viñales remounting only to pull into the pits shortly afterwards. Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing), meanwhile, retired with a technical problem in the early stages.
Moto3™: Fenati takes Argentina victory
The first ever Grand Prix victory at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo was clinched by Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) in an intriguing Moto3™ contest, with Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) joining the Italian on the podium.
As a huge crowd poured into the circuit to watch Sunday’s Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina action the Moto3 riders produced another great spectacle with Fenati making his way through at the last corner to take the win.
Marquez and Miller appeared to be unhappy with Fenati’s late move but the race result stood after it was reviewed by Race Direction, though the Italian was later given a one penalty point punishment for ‘irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors’.
A brilliant ride from birthday boy Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) saw him clinch fourth spot as he came from ninth on the grid on the day he turned 17.
Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) ended up crossing the line sixth, just behind compatriot Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with the former having run at the front for most of the race.
The top ten was completed by Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team), Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) and Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3).
Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) went down on the first corner, with Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia) also crashing together on first lap. A second crash for Hanika saw him highside out of the race in the final stages.
Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) retired early due to a clutch problem and there were also crashes for John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN), Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia) and Luca Grünwald (Kiefer Racing), though all riders were ok.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo made a stunning return to form today, taking third in the Gran Premio de la República Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo catapulted from the line to take the hole shot into turn one, leading the MotoGP pack into the first ever MotoGP race at the circuit.
Teammate Valentino Rossi jumped two places to fourth as the story of the first laps began. What happened next was a flurry of activity with Jorge dropping initially to third with a wide corner and Rossi climbing to second. The positions were not to last as the Yamaha riders shuffled again, Lorenzo climbing back to retake the lead and Rossi dropping initially to fourth before passing Andrea Iannone for third.
With 22 laps to go a brief state of grace saw the Yamaha riders running in first and second. The moment was not to last as Rossi ran wide, dropping to seventh and giving himself a challenge to fight back up the rankings and chase down Sefan Bradl, Dani Pedrosa and Iannone in front.
Rossi began to move forward and showed a fast enough pace to have kept with the ultimate race winner. Unfortunately a mistake by Stefan Bradl under braking pushed him wide whilst running in fourth, costing valuable time and any chance of a podium. He was able to retain fourth, crossing the line less than five seconds from first place.
Lorenzo was meanwhile leading the race, back to his old self and holding off championship leader Marc Marquez for as long as possible. It wasn’t until just nine laps remaining that Marquez was able to take the lead, passing on turn five to move up. Lorenzo then did everything possible to hold second but was forced to concede and settle for third on the final lap as Pedrosa was able to pass.
The third place finish moves Lorenzo up to seventh in the standings on 22 points whilst Rossi retains his third position with 41 points.
Bradley Smith, who started from 7th on the grid but slightly dropped back to 9th in the opening laps at the 4,806 meter circuit, regained his composure and proceeded to recover the lost ground fantastically well, with his excellent race pace shining through once again. On lap six, the British rider overtook his teammate to clinch 8th position before firmly setting his sights on the position in front. Smith made an incredible charge to close the gap to the Factory Ducati rider of Andrea Dovizioso, gaining valuable time every single lap and gracefully passing him. As the fuel load decreased on his Yamaha YZR-M1, his speed boosted and the 23 year old set his personal best and fifth quickest lap of the race at the final stages, on lap 20. Today’s result sees Smith confident of a top result at round 4 in Jerez as the MotoGP paddock returns to Europe next week.
Rookie Pol Espargaro rode a notable race to collect his second top eight finish in succession at the fast flowing Argentinian Grand Prix. After having ran competitively during the free practice sessions, the Spanish rider qualified in 11th position, but rocketed up to 8th aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 on the first lap. The reigning Moto2 World Champion then set a rapid pace and battled with teammate Bradley Smith for the first part of the race. Later on, he caught Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, passing him on lap 19. The 22 year old Catalan eventually completed the race in a confidence boosting 8th position, with high hopes for the next round at Jerez in his home country’s Grand Prix, after gaining more valuable experience.
Aleix Espargaro couldn’t take advantage from starting from the second row on the grid. The Spaniard was 10th when he crashed out at Turn 2 on the second lap. Fortunately he was able to pick his bike up and rejoin the race. From that moment Espargaro made a very good race recovering from the 21st to the 15th position. Despite this result, Aleix remains the first open in the Championship ahead of Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama.
It was a very demanding race also for team mate Colin Edwards, who started 14th position on the grid. Colin struggled a lot in the 25-lap long race, losing several positions and finally closed 20th.
The MotoGP paddock will move directly to Spain now for the first European round of the season at Jerez next weekend.
Jorge Lorenzo – 3rd, +3.201 seconds – “I’m really happy, this is probably the most sweet third place in my career in MotoGP, arriving after two difficult races. We have demonstrated that even in not our best shape we can fight with the Hondas and arrive in a proud third position. We want to improve; I want to improve my physical condition still and also the bike and when the moment arrives I think we will be ready to win races. We have to keep improving and have patience and wait for our moment.”
Valentino Rossi – 4th, +4.898 – “I had the potential and the pace to end on the podium and especially to fight with the three guys in front. Unfortunately in the first laps first of all I made a mistake and lost a bit but the place I lost some more was when Bradl made a mistake. He arrived too deep in braking and he pushed me out of the track and I lost two seconds on that lap and so the podium.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “It has been a positive race. Considering where we started from on Friday we have done a superb job. At the same time, it is a shame that we lost second place on the last lap and that Vale’s rhythm during the race couldn’t be capitalized on at the end to have both riders on the podium. Vale had difficulty stopping his bike in the beginning because of a combination of the hard front and very hot front brake temperatures. This podium gives Jorge back his confidence and now we are going back to Europe to familiar ground with no unexpected surprises to start our practice with on Friday. This race is a great addition to the GP calendar and we look forward to coming back next year with this weekend’s experience.”
Bradley Smith – 7th, +24.192 – “It was a tough challenge today, but overall I am pleased to once again finish with a decent position. Unfortunately, my start was not ideal and the race was actually a similar scenario to Austin. My pace at the end was exactly where it needed to be, as I started to do low 1:40 laps, but as usual I struggled during the first half of the race when the bike is on a full fuel load. It happens on different race tracks, with various setups and on all types of tyre, so it seems that I have to find a way to adapt better. I just can’t ride with the same corner speed and I’m not as smooth as I am at the end of the race. But we already have some ideas and will work on it in Jerez as I know I am there in terms of performance. Altogether the team and I are doing a really good job, but we just need to find that missing piece for Jerez, where we can hopefully make amends and can challenge as the leading satellite MotoGP bike which is the main aim at the moment.”
Pol Espargaro – 8th, +29.118 – “Of course, it was not a bad race at all, but 8th position is not what I’m aiming for. Especially because I had a really good feeling and a positive rhythm this morning in warm up. However, for some reason I didn’t feel the same at the beginning of the race, possibly because of the full fuel tank so it was a bit harder to manoeuvre the bike around the high speed corners. As a result, the start and the opening laps were difficult for me and after just a few rounds I was already alone. Later on I tried to stay with Bradley, but he was getting stronger and I did not feel too confident with my rear tyre, so I decided not to push any harder and risk crashing out. The positive we can take from today is that we have been getting stronger towards the end of the race, and closing in on the riders in front. It is still a big learning process, but we have to be patient, taking it race by race and continue working. Luckily in just a few days of time I will already be back on the bike, trying to fight with the other satellite bikes and aiming for a better result.“
Aleix Espargaro – 15th, +52.250 – “I’m very disappointed with today’s crash. I need to improve my feeling with the bike at the beginning of the race when the tank is full. I struggle a lot in the first laps, as the front tends to close. Today I crashed without realizing it. It’s a pity because we did a great job in the practices and I had the pace to fight for the first five positions. I look forward to Jerez, where I want to get a good result.”
Colin Edwards – 20th, +1’05.76 – “It was not an easy race. I cannot ride this bike as I want, I’m not comfortable and I cannot push. Yesterday I had found a good set up but today I struggled a lot. We need to keep on working, analysing the data and test new solutions. I’d like to thank my team for the hard work.”
Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez claimed a classic third successive pole-to-victory win at Argentina’s brand-new Termas del Rio Honda circuit today, extending his championship lead in a perfect start to his season as defending World Champion
The factory team’s celebrations were all the more intense after a stirring ride from his team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who set the new track’s lap record as he fought his way back from seventh place to take second from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with just over a lap to go.
It was the second double-top result in succession for the Repsol Honda pair, extending their early lead in the World Championship race on the eve of the European season and reinforcing the status of the Honda RC213V as the leader of the MotoGP pack. Marquez has won every race, and Pedrosa has a full house of podium finishes to back it up.
Marquez was in dominant form all weekend. He led all but one of the free practice session, then underlined his margin with a comfortable third pole in succession ahead of Lorenzo and Pedrosa.
The new circuit is in the remote north-west of Argentina, but the first race the country for 15 years attracted a massive capacity crowd from all around Latin America.
They were treated to a thrilling race. The first laps on the fast and sinuous circuit were a dramatic scramble for positions up front.
As Lorenzo capitalised on an early lead, Marquez fought his way through to second by the fourth of 25 laps, closed on his rival, then stalked him patiently before firmly outbraking him on lap 17 to move away steadily.
He won his third race successive race at a canter by 1.83 seconds. Already the youngest ever GP winner and World Champion, it was further proof of devastatingly strong form for the 21-year-old and his triumphant 1000cc V4 Honda.
The spur for him to take the lead was Pedrosa, for Marquez knew by now that his team-mate was closing fast. The older rider had been pushed back to sixth in an early brawl more reminiscent of Moto3 than MotoGP. It gave him a hard task, but he set to it with a will, picking off his rivals one by one to take third before half distance.
At this point he was more than three seconds behind Lorenzo … but with his quarry in view round several of the popular track’s long, wide corners Pedrosa used the skill and determination of a former 125 and double 250 champion to cut away at the gap with sustained aggression. With less than two laps to go, he had caught him, and scythed firmly past.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) was fourth, after finally prevailing over Stefan Bradl (Team LCR Honda RC213V). The German rider was battered from a heavy fall on the previous day, so fifth was a well-earned addition to his fourth at the previous round.
The fourth Honda RC213V rider Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) crashed out of the race in the early stages – a victim of heavy traffic and a slippery sandy track surface off the racing line. It was a third non-finish in a row for the former 125cc World Champion, who has an extra role race-testing Nissin brakes and Showa suspension.
The new customer Honda RCV1000R machines played an exciting part in a long and fierce battle for the last top-ten position. All four were closely involved at some stage, and the result was only decided in the last corner, when Hiroshi Aoyama pounced on his Drive M7 Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden to steal the place by inches over the line.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) was hardly any further behind in 13th, with Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 12th, all four over the line within less than two seconds.
Scott Redding (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RCV1000R) had been part of the battle for much of the race, and was a close 14th.
In the all-Honda-powered Moto2 class, Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex rider Esteve “Tito” Rabat extended his points lead with a masterful start-to-finish victory, after claiming his third pole position in succession.
Close, exciting and reliable racing is guaranteed in Moto2, with all entries powered by identical race-tuned CBR600 engines supplied by the organisers. Rabat rose above his rivals for all 23 laps, finishing better than two seconds clear.
Front-row qualifier Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter) followed him, also moving clear, leaving class rookie Luis Salom (Pons HP 40 Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) and Simone Corsi (NGM Forward-KLX) to live up to the class’s reputation for close fighting in a battle for third. They finished in that order.
It was Salom’s first rostrum in the class, and he also claimed fastest lap; Pons HP 40 Kalex team-mate Maverick Vinales – a surprise winner in Austin – crashed out in close combat in the early stages.
Alex de Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2 Suter) was a safe sixth; Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) was seventh; rookie Sam Lowes (Speed Up) came through to eighth, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 Suter).
In the Moto3 class, where rival manufacturers battle it out using 250cc four-stroke engines, Honda continued its run of podium finishes, with Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) fighting tooth and nail to hang on to second in a thrilling last-corner battle.
The race was won by Romano Fenati (KTM), with the similarly mounted Jack Miller third, less than half a second behind the leader.
Second Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider Alex Rins had been with the leading group, and was still less than five seconds away in fifth. He narrowly held off fellow-Spaniard Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda), who had dropped back after disputing the lead in the early stages.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda) was at the head of a group fighting for 11th; Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda) claimed the final point in 15th. John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda) crashed out unhurt while running strongly in the top five in the earl laps.
The next race at Jerez in one week marks the start of the European season, after the three opening flyaway races in Qatar, the USA and Argentina. There are 18 rounds in the World Championship, which concludes in Valencia in Spain in November.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st – “I am happy with how the weekend went in general and I’d like to thank all my team. I think it was a nice race for the fans, with plenty of passes and I wasn’t expecting it to be like that. As the race went on and I saw what the gap was to Jorge Lorenzo and I tried to catch up with him quickly and spend a few laps on his tail. When I saw that Dani was getting closer, I tried to overtake in order to maintain more of a gap. I took 25 more points today which are very important and I’ve put together three wins in a row, but we are aware that the season is very long and we are now heading to Jerez where Dani and Jorge are very fast. We will need to be up there with them, fighting for the win!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – “I enjoyed the race but after losing some time at the start it affected me and I found myself alone again. In the final part of the race I had a good pace and was able to recover places, but it didn’t count for much. I took second place, but with the pace that we had we could have pushed for the win. You always have to learn and maybe I saved my tyres too much when I was riding as part of the group. Fortunately we found a good setup that allowed us to be more competitive, and this is positive.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: 5th – “Considering yesterday’s crash in qualifying and the ninth position on the grid, I think we can be very happy with this result. I knew that we needed a good start from the third row, and I made it. The first lap was a bit crazy, but after that I think I played my role in the battle for the front group. We were strong on braking and we could fight with the other guys and I had a lot of fun. In the final part of the race I could not match the speed of the front guys because I had some issues with the front, so I preferred to remain calm to finish my race in a safe and good position.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 10th – “The race was tough. At this new circuit we had many doubts about the durability of the tyres, but I’m very happy to have concluded the race as the best Open class rider. In the last third of the race my tyres were almost on the limit, but I guess this was similar for everyone. I had fun, coming from behind at the end of the race. I had some good battles with Hernandez and Nicky and we swapped places several times on the closing laps. I’m glad I was able to place ahead of them and take tenth position. Earlier this year everything was new to me, but I’ve grown since I joined this team and I think that the result today is the reward for all our hard work. I hope to continue like this next weekend when we go to Europe.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 11th – “I really enjoyed riding today, though I would have liked to have beaten my team-mate after an interesting fight. At the start of the race I did not had a good feeling with the front end. The track conditions had been improving throughout the weekend and so we worked to find rear grip. However, with the improving condition of the asphalt, having so much rear grip made the bike push onto the front end. I guess I am not the only one that this happened to, either. At first I struggled to pick up the pace and move up the field, because I couldn’t brake well. As the laps went by I started to feel more comfortable and I managed to overtake people. On the last lap Hiro closed the gap and he was better on the back straight section. I went a little wide and he got past me. It would have been great to finish as the top Open rider, but Hiro deserved it. I will have to be more attentive next time. Nevertheless I think we did a very good job this weekend.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 13th – “I can say I’m really happy after this race. I finished in front of Redding and I fought all the race with Aoyama and Hayden. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay in front of them to the end. I thought to be able to do it, but I had my front wheel locked up several time when braking hard, so I decided to not take too risk. In the last lap I tried to get past Hernandez, but I was late on the brakes and he took his position back. Nevertheless it was very good race for me and I hope to continue this way in Jerez.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th – “It was a difficult race, because I couldn’t stop the bike. I was struggling a lot with front grip under braking. I already had this problem a little this morning during warm-up, but the situation in the race was worse: I went wide a lot of times and I couldn’t really overtake anyone. This basically spoiled my whole race: I lost half a second on my pace, so I’m disappointed. Also, I was not feeling really great physically: yesterday I started to feel something like a cold, with a lot of sneezing, and today my energy level came down. It’s annoying, because we thought we had a good chance today.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF – “I really don’t know what to say, I am very sorry. It’s a shame, because today I had a good feeling ahead of the race. The only thing we can do now is continue to work hard, as always. We hope to reverse the trend the next weekend in Jerez.”
Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes
Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team, 1st – “From the outside it might have looked like an easy race but on the bike it was incredibly difficult. It is not easy to keep maximum concentration and I knew that if I made a small mistake Simeon was ready to attack. I am really happy because I made a good start and led the whole race. I have to say a big thanks to my team because they gave me a fantastic bike and the tyre choice was perfect. We go to Jerez with a nice lead in the championship but I can’t relax because Mika is now second and he will be pushing hard as always.”
Xavier Simeon, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2, 2nd – “I had a good start, maybe the best ever, then I could make my own rhythm and I tried to follow Rabat, even if he was slightly faster than me. In the early stages of the race with the full tank, however, I didn’t want to stress too much the front tyre because I didn’t know if it would be good for the whole race. Anyway, I managed to maintain the second place also when Salom was close to me, then I was able to open a good gap. At that point I knew it would not have been possible to reach Rabat, so I managed to keep the concentration and brought home the result. I want to thank the team because it’s doing a great job. We could have been on the podium at Austin, but there I made a mistake, but finally here we had that bit of luck that we missed in the first two races. Now we want to continue like this.”
Luis Salom, Pons HP 40 Team, 3rd – “This was so important, after some really bad races. It started last year when a rider knocked me off in Japan, then I crashed in the last race riding for the title. I started on the wrong foot in the first two Moto2 races also, and this is hard for a rider. You start to ask why? But yesterday morning something changed in my mind and also in my bike. In the race I thought fourth or fifth would be okay, but at the end I thought I could go faster, and got this third place!”
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0.0, 2nd – “It was a very difficult weekend and I think we worked very well all three days. Yesterday we had a hard time in the qualifying, I made a mistake, but in today’s warm-up we found the solution for the race. I knew I had to concentrate, but I didn’t start well and in the first corner I went wide and many riders overtook me, which made it hard to get back ahead. I tried to concentrate again and continue in my line, and gradually we made it to the front group. The last lap was fun, we were in front many times and I really enjoyed it. This result gives us good motivation for Jerez.”
Efren Vazquez, Saxoprint RTG, 6th – “I was doing really good laps in the beginning, but finally after some lap I started to get a strange feeling from the front tyre. The steering was trying to close on me in the corners. That didn’t happen all through practice – maybe the asphalt was a bit different today. Anyway, we got good points for the championship, and we will continue at Jerez in the same way, pushing every session.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0, 5th – “In the end it was a fairly successful result. After how it went for the whole Grand Prix, we’re happy with this fifth place. This weekend has been the most I’ve learned in all the races that I’ve been in. In the race today, at first it was difficult to overtake other riders to get ahead, but little by little I was able to reach the lead group. It was a shame because Efren (Vazquez) was a little wide in one turn and I lost contact with them, which ended my opportunity for a better result. The important thing is that we have not stopped working, the whole team is working hard and we have to focus on Jerez.”
Husqvarna Moto3 Report
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo factory rider Danny Kent and supported rider Niklas Ajo both finished in the top ten in a very competitive field in Rd. 3 of the Moto3 World Championship on the brand new circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
Kent, who rides the Husqvarna FR 250 GP machine finished in ninth place and Ajo in eighth after what had been a positive and promising weekend for them but on race day it was tyre wear that slowed them down in the final stages, according to team manager Aki Ajo.
“Right from the beginning it had been quote a good weekend with both riders improving their pace. Danny did really well to be third in qualifying and Niklas was seventh. The race today was a big fight and both were in the top group for a long time but finally they had to slow down because their front tyres were quite destroyed,” Ajo commented after the race.
Kent, who returns to Moto3 after a season in Moto2 had his best qualifying so far in the first three rounds. He was on the front line of the grid with championship leader Jack Miller and Efren Vazquez. He got away well and stayed in touch with the lead group for the first part of the race then dropped back to sixth. Then in the final four laps Kent and Ajo were together contesting eighth place and crossed the line almost together.
Danny Kent: “We had a good start. I put myself in the lead group and was going at the pace of the qualifying session. After the first ten laps, the front tire was very worn and I almost crashed several times. On the last lap I overtook my teammate, but after his final move, I finished ninth. I’m happy because in general this weekend we took an important step forward in free practice and in the qualifying session. Also in the set-up for the race. All we need to analyze what happened with the front tyre and keep improving for Jerez.”
Mahinda Racing Moto3 Report
The Argentine GP was a cruel race for the Mahindra team, with Miguel Oliveira stranded on the start line with a minor but costly technical issue, and second rider Arthur Sissis out of the points, as he gains experience in his first race on the only Indian machine in World Championship MotoGP racing.
The sinuous new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in the Argentinean hinterland seemed at first to favour the sweet-handling Mahindra MGP3O, but circumstances conspired against hopes of another good finish in the points.
Miguel Oliveira qualified for a fifth row start. The Portuguese star had gone from the fourth row to fourth place, inches from the podium, at Qatar, but his hopes of a repeat run were dashed on the start line, when his clutch suffered a rare failure.
Arthur Sissis had to be content with a first full race, after a misfortunate start to the Australian’s first season on the Mahindra. Illness ruled him out of Race 1; he was innocent victim of a first-corner crash in Race 2. Today he improved on his position, qualifying 29th and coming through to finish 22nd.
Mahindras still featured in the points table, with the customer bikes of Alessandro Tonucci (CIP) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) claiming 13th and 14th places.
Renato Fenati (KTM) won a close and exciting race at the fast and scenic circuit, at the first GP in Argentina in 15 years.
Arthur Sissis – 22nd position – “That was a really bad race. At least we got a first finish, but not what we wanted. I started okay but got pushed wide in the confusion in the first corner, and I had problems with grip throughout. The season so far had been difficult, but the pre-season tests at Jerez were much better, so I hope that will be a better race.”
Miguel Oliviera – DNF – “It was the clutch, and I could not start – this is the reality. We need to fix this problem. We have improved this year, but also all the others have improved, so we need to improve more. I hope Jerez could be a better weekend. The winter tests were not so bad there.”
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO Mahindra Racing – “Disappointing, of course, after all the hard work. It was a clutch problem that stopped Miguel … something that could not have been anticipated. But for that, I am confident he could have had another strong race. Our customer bikes showed the MGP3O was good enough for the points.”