Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Manuel Gonzalez rode himself into the spotlight today at the Autódromo Internacional de Termas de Río Hondo. Despite being a Moto2 rookie and having never ridden at the Argentina venue before, he secured tenth place on the grid. It was a busy day of learning for teammate Keminth Kubo. He will start tomorrow‘s Grand Prix of Argentina from P29.
Gonzalez had predicted that he would adapt to the Termas track quickly. He put his smooth riding style to good use during the two extended Moto2 practice sessions in preparation for qualifying. The plan worked. In Q1 he produced a 1‘44.156s on lap 5/8 that put him second in the timesheets with four minutes remaining. The Spanish talent held the position and promoted to Q2. During the second session he impressed once again. Finding more than 0.3s on his previous best lap time, he set a 1‘43.761s that earned him tenth place on the starting grid.
Kubo used the two 50-minute free practice sessions to get familiar with the, also for him, completely new track. He systematically worked with his team to gradually improve his pace throughout the day. He dug deep in Q1 and bettered his pace lap by lap. Striving to dip under the 1‘45s mark, the Thai rider put his head down in the final stages of the 15-minute qualifying session and succeeded on his last attempt, posting a 1‘44.876s. He will start tomorrow‘s race from P29.