The contest for the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship series is shaping up into another great battle with two different winners from the first two rounds, including a stunning debut success by Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) in Texas. This was only Vinales’ second race on a Moto2 bike, but the reigning Moto3 World Champion was in a class apart, coming from behind to score a dominant victory ahead of Qatar victor Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) who now leads the World Championship. Vinales lies second, seven points down, following that win and his fourth-place debut in Qatar.
Rabat was one of two Moto2 riders to visit Argentina’s newest racetrack last year, along with Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter). He enjoyed the layout but a dusty track followed by rain didn’t allow him to really get to grips with the circuit.
Rabat’s team-mate Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) has undergone further rehab on an old shoulder injury that troubled him in Texas and is keen to score a win this weekend to close the gap on the championship leaders.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) had a difficult weekend in Texas and will be aiming to get back to his usual performance level, like in Qatar where he scored a strong podium result. Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward KLX) lies fifth in the current standings following two fifth-place results from the first two races. Right behind him is Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) who finished third in Texas after leading the race.
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Esteve Rabat says:
“The Termas de Rio Hondo track is a good one. It has a good mix of fast and slow corners, with a long back straight. When we tested there the track was very dirty, as it had just been finished, and we had rain on the second day. It meant we weren’t really up to speed, but at least we got a feel for the track layout. I’m looking forward to returning this weekend. We need to sort out the gearbox issues we had in Austin, but I don’t think it will be quite so noticeable in Argentina, because of the nature of the circuit. It’s far too early in the season to be thinking about the championship, so, once again we will head into the race looking for the win.”
Pons HP 40 rider Maverick Vinales says:
“I don’t know the track, so me and my team will be starting from zero. Of course, my victory in Texas gives us a lot of confidence, so we will keep working in the same way, focusing on working with the rear tyre because this is always the big thing in Moto2, especially in the last few laps.”
Marc VDS Racing Team rider Mika Kallio says:
“The shoulder injury that caused me the problem in Austin is already much better. I’ll get it checked ahead of the weekend but, from what I’ve seen of the Termas de Rio Hondo track, it’s not going to be as physically demanding on the riders as Austin. It’s a new track, which means it’s an unknown in terms of set up, but then it’s the same for everyone. I had the pace in Qatar and again in Texas, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be up there again this weekend. A win would be the perfect way to end the three overseas races and it would put me back on terms with Tito and Maverick Vinales in terms of the championship.”
Source: Honda Racing
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