Gran Premio Red Bull De La Republica Argentina 2014

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 by Nick Harris


Bradley Smith looks to beef up his podium chances when he journeys into the unknown at the Gran Premio Red Bull De La Republica Argentina on this Sunday. The 23 year old Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider arrives at the brand new 2.986 kms Autodromo Termas De Rio Hondo for the third round of the MotoGP™ World Championship fresh from a superb fifth place in the previous round in Austin. He crashed out of the opening round in Qatar after qualifying on the front row of the grid for the first time.

Unfortunately Smith’s former team-mate Cal Crutchlow will miss the race after breaking the little finger on his right hand when he crashed at the previous round in Austin. The Isle of Man based Midlander tested at the Autodromo Termas De Rio Hondo track last year but hopes to return to the Ducati saddle for the fourth round of the championship at Jerez in Spain next week.

Looking for a change of fortune will be the two other British MotoGP riders. Gloucestershire's Scott Redding was another faller in Austin after hitting major tyre problems towards the end of the race while Ulsterman Michael Laverty chases his first points of the season after finishing 16th in both the opening rounds riding the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia machine.

In the highly competitive Moto2™ World Championship Sam Lowes has made an impressive start. The World Supersport Champion scored a superb sixth on his debut in Qatar but was just out of the points in Austin after being brought down at the first bend. Londoner Gino Rea chases his first points of the season riding the AGT Rea Racing Suter.

Danny Kent and John McPhee fought a tremendous Moto3™ battle in Austin. Wiltshire  based Kent finally clinched eighth place in front of the Scotsman and both are ready to push on in Argentina where all teams start on a level playing field.

Bradley Smith:
“The next stop is Argentina and a brand new track for us all. It’s a big step into the unknown and I just hope it’s a Yamaha track because I’ve had enough of these Honda tracks already. It’s going to be a level playing field and who can set up his bike the best will win. It’s a big team effort.”

A step into the unknown
MotoGP takes a step into the unknown when it travels to Argentina for the first time in 15 years for the Gran Premio Red Bull De La Republica Argentina at the brand new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo on Sunday. The 2.986 mile circuit which is situated 800 miles west of Buenos Aires stages the third round of the 18 round championship that so far has been dominated by World Champion Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda.

The 21 year old Spaniard has won both the opening rounds and already holds a 14 point advantage over team-mate Dani Pedrosa in two races that have been a disaster for Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo in particular. The four times World Champion was tenth in Austin after jumping the start while crashing on the first lap in Qatar. Team-mate nine times World Champion Valentino Rossi was a superb second in Qatar but only eighth in Austin after devastating front tyre probems.

Leading the Yamaha duo in Austin were the Monster Tech 3 duo of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro who were fifth and sixth respectively while Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl will be looking for a repeat of their third and fourth Austin place at the brand new venue. It was a great ride onto the podium by flu ridden Dovizioso in a mixed day for the factory Ducati team. His team-mate Cal Crutchlow crashed and dislocated a finger on his right hand. The Open class battle will continue with Aleix Espargaro leading the way on the NGM Forward Racing FTR Yamaha from the RCV 1000 R Hondas of former World Champion Nicky Hayden and Scott Redding who was unlucky to crash near the finish in Austin with major tyre issues.

Argentine Asides
The last Argentine grand prix was staged at the Aerodrome Oscar Alfredo Galvez in Buenos Aires in 1999. Italian Marco Melandri won the 23 lap 125 cc race by just 0.219 seconds from Emilio Alzamora. Olivier Jacque scored a convincing 250 cc race victory while Kenny Roberts Junior won the 27 lap 500cc race from Max Biaggi.

Sebastion Porto is the most successful Argentine rider in grand prix racing. He won seven 250 cc grands prix. He was second in the 2004 250 cc World Championship when he won five grands prix. His last grand prix victory came in Assen a year later.

The first Argentine Grand Prix was staged at Buenos Aires in 1961. Argentinian Jorge Kissling won the 52 lap marathon 500 cc race in one hour 39.06 seconds riding the British Matchless single cylinder machine. There were six starters and six finishes. Australian Tom Phillis won both the 125 and 250 cc races for Honda.

Three times World Champion Freddie Spencer made his Honda grand prix debut in the 1982 Argentine Grand Prix. He eventually finished third behind Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene. Just 1.37 seconds separated the trio when they crossed the line in the 32 lap race.

Five times World 500 cc World Champion Mick Doohan won three successive 500cc Argentinian Grands Prix in 1994/95 and 98 on route to the World Championship. Father and son Kenny Roberts won in 1982 and 1999 respectively. Other Argentinian 500cc grand prix winners were World Champions Mike Hailwood and Eddie Lawson.

Hondo Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 2.986 km /4.806 miles
Width: 16m
Pole Position: Left
Left Corners: Five
Right Corners: Nine

Television Times
BT Sport (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
Friday 25th April
1.00pm - MotoGP 2014: Grand Prix of Argentina - Free Practice LIVE 

Saturday 26th April
1.00pm - MotoGP 2014: Grand Prix of Argentina - Qualifying LIVE

Sunday 27th April
2.30pm - MotoGP 2014: Grand Prix of Argentina - Moto3 Race LIVE
4.15pm - MotoGP 2014: Grand Prix of Argentina - Moto2 Race LIVE
5.45pm - MotoGP 2014: Grand Prix of Argentina - MotoGP Race LIVE 

Monday 28th April
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme – ITV4 

Tuesday 29th April
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: Episode 3 (BT Sport 1) 

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