Two weeks after the ill-fated Grand Prix of the Americas, the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini heads to Argentina this weekend for the third round of the season, on the new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. A good opportunity to make up the disappointment suffered in Texas, where both riders were forced to retire due to a crash. Alvaro Bautista is one of only four riders (along with Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl and Hector Barbera) to have already visited the Argentinian track aboard a MotoGP bike, during the tests performed last year in July: the Spaniard will therefore start the weekend with a slight advantage, which intends to use to be able to notch up on Sunday his first World Championship points, after two retirements collected in the first two races. His team mate, Scott Redding, will instead discover a whole new circuit aboard his Open Class Honda RCV1000R: a challenge that fascinates the young rookie, usually at ease at first contact with circuits he has never seen before.
ALVARO BAUTISTA “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 characterized by many fast corners that suits my riding style. However, it should be said that last year we were able to take advantage of only one day of testing, because we had rain on the second day: therefore we haven’t been able to work on the 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”.
SCOTT REDDING “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 - I think it 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”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Unfortunately, the outcome of these first two Grands Prix of the season is negative: apart from the crashes, the thing that worries me the most is the low level of competitiveness shown by Bautista in Texas. In Qatar we were protagonists, in Austin instead we struggled from the beginning. Therefore, our first priority is to come back to a good level of performance, then obviously it will be important to realize, collecting Bautista’s first points. Alvaro already travelled out to Argentina last year to spend two days testing on the circuit: it’s a small advantage which we will try to exploit. Scott will instead face again a completely new situation, but my feeling is that he will be able to adapt quickly”.
FACTS AND FIGURES
1’44”188 - The fastest lap time recorded by Stefan Bradl during the two days of testing that MotoGP carried out last year on 4th and 5th July on the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
1999 - The last time the World Championship held a Grand Prix in Argentina was in 1999 at the Circuito de Buenos Aires. Kenny Roberts Jr (Suzuki) won the 500cc race.
9 - Argentina hosted 9 World Championship Grand Prix so far, always in Buenos Aires.
Published on : Apr 21 2014