Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are keen to step aboard their YZR-M1s at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit this weekend. Fresh from the Qatari podium, where they celebrated Viñales’ maiden Yamaha victory and Rossi’s solid third place almost a fortnight ago, the teammates will gear up for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina.
Viñales confirmed his rising star status in a demanding race at the Losail circuit and is determined to stay focused during the upcoming race weekend. The young gun aims to keep his form at the Grand Prix and to capture his first podium finish at the Argentine track. Having shown his grit at the opening round, he will again do his utmost to fight off the competition and land a place on the rostrum.
Teammate Rossi is also set on challenging amongst the front-runners again this weekend. At the first round he rode a strong comeback race from tenth on the grid, to secure his first top three finish of the season. The nine-time World Champion’s popularity knows no borders and is also well-spread in South America. He is the Argentinian crowd’s favourite and will be pushing to the limit to give his fans a great show, like he did with his win in 2015 and last year’s second place.
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit first staged a MotoGP event in 2014. The 4.8km long track was purposely redesigned in 2012 to make it Latin America’s most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting layout that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left and nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, this year’s race in Argentina is expected to be another one for the books.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Manager
“The opening round in Qatar was a great start to the season. Though the championship is long, starting off on the right foot is crucial. Taking the victory and a double podium at the opening race after an unusual weekend has boosted our confidence and made us anticipate the upcoming round at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit even more. It is a track where we can be strong. Though track conditions and grip level can be a little challenging, like we saw last year, the team has secured good results there in the past couple of races. We aim to hit the ground running when we start work on Friday, to continue the momentum we gained in round one. The deep-rooted passion for motorcycles and racing of the Argentine fans is an added factor that makes the Argentinian Grand Prix very special, so we are eager to repay their support by pushing all the way to the chequered flag.”
Championship Standings: 1st / 25 points
“After the amazing race in Qatar I’m super excited to be back on my M1 this weekend in Termas de Río Hondo. Now we have the difficult challenge to continue getting good results, Qatar was only the first race of 18. I can feel the pressure a little bit because the level of my rivals is very high, but that motivates me even more to keep working hard. We have to be cautious, work step by step and race by race.”
Championship Standings: 3rd / 16 points
“It wasn’t an easy start to the championship. We have worked so hard during the test, but during the weekend of the first race we have fixed a few things, especially in the front. The race went very well and I was very happy to be able to get on the podium. Now we go to Argentina. This is a track that I like very much and I’m happy to go there. I hope that there are good asphalt conditions because last year it was difficult for us. We will try to work better and try to go once again on the podium!”
Zarco and Folger ready to hit the ground running in Argentina
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo head to the second round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship full of confidence as they intend to impress again on the track in Latin America. After winning the Moto2 race last year, Johann Zarco aims to battle to a notable finish this Sunday having led the early stages of the Qatar GP in what was his premier class debut. Whilst Jonas Folger seeks to follow up his hard fought top ten result at the last GP with a strong performance this weekend as he looks to meet the chequered flag in a solid point scoring position. Free practice One starts on Friday at 09:55 local time or 14:55 European Time.
Championship Standings: Not Classified
“It will be my second MotoGP race this weekend when we go to Argentina and I’m excited to see what we can achieve. I like the venue, it’s quite new, and this year will be the fourth year that we will race there. I have had some strong results there in the past, with two victories and setting the fastest lap and pole position time at the track in the Moto2 class. The circuit itself is interesting, fast and quite simple, which is why I enjoy riding on it. After the good start in Qatar, I would like to keep the pace and the momentum going and I hope to use the upcoming opportunity in Argentina to score a great result and collect a lot of points. This is certainly possible for us, so lets see what happens but I am motivated and looking forward to racing in Argentina.”
Championship Standings: 10th / 6 points
“I am really looking forward to racing in Argentina on the Yamaha because I thoroughly enjoy the Termas de Rio Hondo track and it is one of my favourites. The layout is quite different to Qatar but I am keen to experience the fast flowing nature of the South American circuit on a MotoGP bike and I am sure that we can have a positive time. My target is to improve and finish higher up the field after what was a solid race in Qatar and for sure, I will be a bit more relaxed this weekend. I am certain that I can make a step up so I’m excited to go there and I am determined to show the people, as well as myself, that I can do a better job than at the last GP.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“The next Grand Prix is at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit where both of our riders have been strong in the past and they love racing at this great track. It’s clear to see that Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger are excited and a bit impatient to get going again, but we all are too! Johann has an impressive record at Rio Hondo, where he has won twice before in the Moto2 class and after what happened at the last race, we are ready to move on. As for Jonas, we are confident in him, and he will be more relaxed this time after getting a top ten result on his debut in the premier class. The weather forecast is a bit tricky at the moment and we hope it will improve, yet nevertheless, we are sure that we can put on a good show. This Grand Prix is also sponsored by Motul, one of the Tech3 partners, so we have extra motivation for this round. Everyone in the team enjoys the Argentina experience, and the fans are fantastic because they come from all over South America to support our racing. Yamaha has been consistently strong at this track so it will be an exciting weekend for us and we are optimistic that our guys can conclude the event with two positive performances on Sunday.”