Gran Premio Red Bull de la República Argentina: Day one round-up – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News




The MotoGP™ paddock arrived at the 4.8 km Termas de Rio Hondo for the first day of practice at the Gran Premio de la República Argentina to be greeted by some rather ominous grey clouds overhead.

Despite the threat of rain, it never materialised and with a track temperature of 25 degrees, conditions improved throughout the day.

It is the second time that the MotoGP™ World Championship has visited the Termas de Rio Hondo, with Marc Marquez winning the inaugural race last season. There were two MotoGP™ Free Practice sessions on Friday with FP3 scheduled for tomorrow ahead of Qualifying, and the race on Sunday.

FP1 saw Suzuki head a MotoGP™ session for the first time since Alvaro Bautista set fastest time in FP2 at Valencia in 2011, as Aleix Espargaro finished on top of the timesheets in a morning that threw up some surprising results. The reasons for this though were simple, as during the session most Factory and Satellite riders used just one set of tyres in an attempt to clean the dust off the racing line and increase grip-levels, and didn’t even attempt to set a flying lap.

Therefore grip levels had improved considerably during FP2 at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, leading to all of the riders setting improved lap times in the afternoon, although ten minutes into FP2 the rain that had threatened all day finally arrived. Luckily it was a short shower that only caused a brief delay to proceedings.

After the rain, it was the usual frantic end to the session as riders went out on a fresh set of tyres to attempt a flying lap. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro repeated his feat from the morning, proving that his pace from FP1 was no fluke and finished on top of the timesheets with a 1’38.776.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+0.535s) was in 2nd ahead of Marc Marquez (+0.560s) on the Repsol Honda and CWM LCR’s Cal Crutchlow (+0.627s), who was once again impressed during practice.

The second GP15 of Andrea Dovizioso (+0.658s) finished in 5th just ahead of the Movistar Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo (+0.687s) who completed the top six. The provisional third row consists of Pol Espargaro in 7th, Scott Redding, and Valentino Rossi who finished the day over a second behind the leader.

The Movistar Yamaha’s of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi seemed to struggle with the track conditions as they tried out the extra hard tyre. Both riders explained that Suzuki’s softer tyre option is what had given them an advantage, and that they were not far behind the rest of the riders.

Aspar Team MotoGP’s Nicky Hayden was the leading Open class rider in 14th place, 1.7s off the pace of Espargaro.




The Moto2™ riders returned to the Termas de Rio Hondo track for FP2 this afternoon at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la República Argentina. Despite earlier spots of rain during MotoGP™ FP2, track conditions were once again good for the Moto2™ session with riders improving their times from the morning.

It was Frenchman Zarco who ended up fastest, setting a 1’42.239 on his Ajo motorsport Kalex. He finished just ahead of Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes (+0.067s) and the Moto2™ runner-up from last season, Italtrans Racing Team’s Mika Kallio (+0.187s) in third.

The provisional second row consists of reigning Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat in 4th on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Kalex, Athina Forward Racing’s Lorenzo Baldassarri in 5th and Xavier Simeon on the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 bike in 6th.




Grip levels at the Termas de Rio Hondo had improved dramatically from this morning’s FP1 session after riders had cleared the dust off the racing line, with lap times dropping accordingly as the day went on.

It was the winner last time out in Austin who set the fastest time of the day, as Danny Kent managed a 1’49.154 on the Leopard Racing Honda, just five-tenths slower than Alex Marquez’ Circuit Record set last season.

Belgian Livio Loi (+0.411s) on the RW Racing Honda was next, ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Karel Hanika (+0.411s) and Italian Enea Bastianini (+0.505s) on the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 machine in 4th.

Rounding out the provisional second row were Hanika’s teammate Miguel Oliveira (+0.721s) and young French rider Fabio Quartararo (+0.738s) on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda in 6th.



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