Motul Grand Prix of the Republic of Argentina 2016
Posted on Mar 29, 2016 by Nick Harris
ROUND TWO 2016 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – SUNDAY 3RD APRIL
Twenty - Five Points scoring finishes for Smith
Bradley Smith’s eighth place finish in Qatar was the 25th successive race at which he has scored points. The last race at which he did not finish in the top fifteen was the British GP in 2014 when he had to call into the pits due to a faulty rear wheel. This is one of the longest sequences of successive point scoring finishes in the history of the premier-class. Among current riders only Valentino Rossi has a longer sequence of successive point scoring finishes
Crutchlow seeks argentine repeat performance
Cal Crutchlow chases a repeat of his only podium finish of 2015 in the Motul Grand Prix of the Republic of Argentina on Sunday. The Isle of Man – based midlander was a superb third on the LCR Honda last year pipping Italian Andrea Iannone on the line in the 25 lap race round the demanding 2.986 miles Termas De Rio Hondo circuit. Crutchlow was beset with electronic problems at the opening round in Qatar which caused him to crash after a very impressive start.
Bradley Smith pulled a decent eighth place out of the bag in Qatar after a difficult time in testing and practice on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha. The Andorra – based Oxfordshire rider finished an impressive sixth last year and will be looking to push on after signing a two year deal with the KTM factory team starting next year.
After so impressing in winter testing Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding was a solid tenth on the Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati in Qatar while Irishman Eugene Laverty will be looking for another good result after equalling his best ever MotoGP™ finish in Qatar. The Aspar Ducati rider was 12th after sorting out engine problems that had dogged him in testing.
There were contrasting fortunes for Britain’s Moto2™ stars at that opening round. Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent took full advantage of a controversial start procedure that saw many of the top riders penalised for jumping the lights, to finish an impressive sixth on his return to the class. The Wiltshire – based rider won the Moto3 race last year in Argentina to set up his successful title bid.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes was one of those leading riders caught out by the lights. Despite a ride through penalty on the Federal Oil Gresini Kalex he still finished ninth after starting from the front row of the grid. Last year he was third in Argentina just seven days after his maiden grand prix victory in Austin.
It was a tough Moto3 start for Scotsman John McPhee in Qatar. The Racing Steps Foundation supported Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra had struggled in testing and practice with frame and gearbox problems. He finished 27th in Qatar but must be encouraged by the third place of Mahindra rider Francesco Bagnaia.
Did you know?
The first Argentinean GP took place in 1961 and was held in Buenos Aires; the first time that a grand prix had taken place outside of Europe. Not all of the top riders attended the event and the 52 lap, 203 km, 500cc race was won by home rider Jorge Kissling (Matchless) from fellow countryman Juan Carlos Salatino (Norton).
Lorenzo chases first argentine victory
World champion Jorge Lorenzo chases his first win at the Termas De La Rio Honda circuit in Argentina at the second round of the MotoGP™ World Championship. The Spanish Movistar Yamaha rider won the opening round in Qatar but faces a fresh challenge in the Motul Grand Prix of the Republic of Argentina at the demanding 2.986 miles circuit situated 500 miles North West of Buenos Aires at which he secured his only podium, a third place, a couple of years ago.
Marc Marquez won the race in Argentina two years ago and Valentino Rossi won last year when Marquez crashed following a controversial collision with the nine times World Champion. Marquez was pleased both with his and the performance of his Repsol Honda in the opening round where he finished third behind the impressive Andrea Dovizioso on the ‘rocket ship’ Ducati. The Italian finished second last year with Cal Crutchlow pipping his team-mate Andrea Iannone for third in a race to the line. Iannone will want to forget his crash in the opening Qatar round while fighting for the lead.
The circuit will be a new challenge for the Michelin tyres and new controlled electronics that came through that opening challenge in Qatar in pretty good shape. Rossi was fourth but less than four tenths of a second behind second placed Dovizioso. Dani Pedrosa missed the race last year in Argentina with his arm pump problems. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro comes into to replace the injured Danilo Petrucci in the Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati team.
Twenty one year old Maverick Vinales put the Ecstar Suzuki on the front row in Qatar but messed his start to eventually finish sixth in front of the Monster Tech3 Yamaha pair of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith.
The very experienced Tom Luthi won the opening round of the Moto2™ World Championship after a controversial race in which so many of the top riders were penalised for jumping the start. The likes of Sam Lowes, Alex Rins, Franco Morbidelli and World Champion Johann Zarco, who won the race last year from Rins and Lowes, will be chasing a cleaner start at the second round.
The Moto3™ World Championship started with a typical nail- biting fight to the line led by Italian Niccolo Antonelli with under two tenths of a second separating the top three. South African Brad Binder was second getting closer and closer to that first grand prix win with Italian Francesco Bagnaia an impressive third on the Aspar Mahindra. There should be a repeat battle in the 21 lap race on Sunday.
Great starts by Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo opened the defence of his world title in Qatar in great style, as illustrated by the following facts and stats:
BT Sport 2
Friday 1st April 13.00pm – 20.00pm (practise)
Saturday 2nd April 13.00pm – 20.15pm (practise & qualifying)
Sunday 3rd April 13.30pm – 15.15pm (warm-ups)
Sunday 3rd April 16.30pm – 22.00pm (races)
ITV 4 Highlights
Monday 4th April 22.00pm – 23.00pm