We return to Termas de Rio Honda for the seventh time, 350th race since MotoGP has existed (2002)
March 31, 2022
S.i back to Termas de Rio Hondo for the seventh time, 350th race since MotoGP has existed (2002). To date, only two riders have taken MotoGP pole: five times Marc Marquez (three wins and two falls starting in front of everyone) and one Jack Miller, in 2018, when he started alone on the grid with all the other drivers beyond the last row for a collective penalty.
2018 was also the year of the furious comeback from Marquez’s last place after a penalty for an incorrect maneuver at the start: in that race, Marc suffered two more penalties, one for a contact with Aleix Espargaro and one for another faired Valentino Rossi, who ended up on the ground. The only rider to be on the top step of the podium in MotoGP and at the start on Sunday is Maverick Vinales, who won with Yamaha in 2017 starting from sixth position. Returning to current events, here are the themes on the eve of the Argentine GP, the third round of the 21 on the calendar.
Llast time we raced in Termas was 2019: even then the asphalt was quite worn. No upgrade work has been done and predictably it will be pretty dirty too. Definitely one more problem for Michelin, which arrives here with tires similar to those of 2019, but with the carcass of 2020: in short, there are many unknowns.
D.eluding in Qatar, very competitive in Indonesia: which Yamaha will we see in Argentina? After the excellent second place obtained in Mandalika, Fabio Quartararo declared: “Termas will be the most difficult GP of the season for me“. Fabio (eighth in 2019) doesn’t like this track too much, but according to Andrea Dovizioso the M1 should adapt well to the track.
Un similar speech should also be made for the Suzuki, very fast and effective in the winter tests and on Friday in Qatar, in trouble thereafter. There are no apparent reasons for this decline in the GSX-RR, which always appears very balanced and with a more powerful engine. At Termas, Suzuki only took one podium, in 2018 with Alex Rins (Cal Crutchlow won), but it’s fair to think they can do well.
Bagnaia for the ransom
Un point in two GPs: it is clear that Pecco Bagnaia has to change his season. We are not at the last resort yet, because the championship is very long, but it is clear that there is an absolute need for a good result to aim for the title.
Honda without Marquez
QHow much will the absence of Marc Marquez, replaced by test driver Stefan Bradl weigh? The reference is not so much to the results as to P’s reactionol Espargaro, who becomes in effect the top driver of HRC. How will Pol react? Will he feel somehow gratified or burdened with responsibility? And will the return to the “traditional” casing make the RC213V return to the top positions? There are many questions in the Honda House.
Bastianini making his debut on this track in MotoGP
THEThe leader of the world championship Enea Bastianini, first with 30 points, two more than Brad Binder and three than Fabio Quartararo, has never raced on this track in MotoGP, as has Binder: he could have some more adaptation problems. In the 6 GPs held in Termas (five in Moto3, one in Moto2), Bastianini never got on the podium, obtaining a fourth place as the best result. But this is a whole other Aeneas.
KTM, no longer a surprise
No.in the first two races, few thought about the KTM as a bike ready to compete for the podium and victory: now the opponents will also look more closely at Miguel Oliveira, winner in Indonesia, and Brad Binder, second in Qatar.
Aprilia, waiting for Vinales
TOthe end of the race in Indonesia, Maverick Vinales said “he had the best GP with Aprilia”. In fact, his times in the wet were similar and even better than Aleix Espargaro’s. In dry conditions, however, Maverick did not convince either in Losail or in Mandalika: the Noale manufacturer needs the best Maverick.