MotoGP™’s visit to the newly built Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina saw the second day of testing affected by rain, due to a Friday morning downpour at the South American venue.
Following Thursday’s announcement that the track will join the FIM MotoGP World Championship calendar from next season, the riders and teams decided not to risk potential mishaps on Friday morning after an early shower.
The six riders participating lapped somewhat cautiously in mixed conditions later on day two, with the Friday afternoon session extended by 30 minutes to make the most of some late sunshine.
Cal Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl were amongst the MotoGP™ contingent who made the trip to South America to check out the new facility, visiting Buenos Aires and the smaller city of Termas de Rio Hondo earlier in the week – before getting down to the real business of putting in some laps of the 4.8km track on their prototype machines.
Crutchlow put his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 through its paces, gathering crucial data for both Yamaha and Bridgestone. GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Bautista also worked on set up and understanding the nature of the track, topping the timesheet on Friday afternoon with a 1’45.578 lap.
LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl ended the test as the fastest rider with a time of 1’44.188 from Thursday – and only put in 13 extra laps on Friday.
Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, meanwhile, collected important data for Magneti Marelli electronics on his FTR Kawasaki. Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat and Mapfre Aspar Team’s Nico Terol were also in attendance as they tried out their Moto2 bikes and Dunlop tyres around the new layout.
Thursday also saw the official announcement that Termas de Rio Hondo will join the MotoGP calendar until at least 2016, from next year, meaning a return to racing in Argentina for the first time since 1999.
With Friday morning’s poor weather conditions at the track meaning that further testing was limited, the riders added some additional laps in the afternoon session before signing autographs for the fans and heading off to return to Europe for round 8 next weekend in Germany.
- Bradl: “A race that will spark a lot of discussion”
- Barbera: “The first race was a disaster”
- Espargaro: “I had a collision with another rider at Turn 1”
- Iannone: “In MotoGP it’s never easy to recover”
- Lowes: “We are just 5 points off the Championship lead”
- Viñales: “Today we paid the biggest price”
- Laverty: “I almost crashed so many times”
- Petrucci: “I saw the dash go off…”
- Crutchlow: “I feel I would have won the race”
- Espargaro: “Jorge’s race underlines how tough it is for us”