Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Anticipate Action in Argentina
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are crossing the Atlantic Ocean on their way to the second Grand Prix of the season, held in Argentina this weekend.
After his strong third place podium finish in Doha, Rossi is full of energy and raring to commence the Gran Premio de la República Argentina, where thousands of local fans will be rooting for him.
The Doctor is the Argentinian crowd's favourite and their cheers have spurred him on to claim several podium finishes. He secured the victory in 2015 and took second place in 2016 and 2017 (making it a double podium for Yamaha last year).
Viñales is also eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1 in front of the Argentinian fans. He showed a superb race pace in Qatar a little more than two weeks ago, riding from 15th to 6th place. However, this weekend he aims to challenge amongst the front-runners right from the start of the race weekend.
The Spaniard could hardly wait to hit the track again after wrapping up the previous round, especially as he has fond memories of last year's race at Termas de Río Hondo. In 2017 he secured a dominant win, and this time round he will aim for nothing less than a duplication of that performance.
The 4.8km long Termas de Río Hondo Circuit was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2014, two years after the track was remodelled and it became Latin America's most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting lay-out that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left, nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, the Argentinian fans can be assured that this round will be another showstopper.
Championship: 3rd – Points: 16
"Last year we were very strong in Argentina. We came first and second and I think it was the best race of our team that season. But since then the balance of the rider field has changed - our rivals are stronger now. It will be a hard fight, but I like the track and usually our bike works well there. It could be a surprising weekend, but I hope to be strong."
Championship: 6th – Points: 10
"I'm happy that we found a really nice set-up in Qatar, the team did a really great job during the last race weekend and now we are looking forward to this week's Grand Prix in Argentina. I can't wait to race in Termas de Río Hondo, where I won the race last year - I felt really strong and confident. I hope to have the same feeling again, to fight for the victory. I really think that we can do a good job this weekend and that we will be at the front during the entire race, with many possibilities to win it. I'm quite motivated."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"We ended the first round in Qatar with a good feeling, so this weekend we aim to draw on that experience. It's quite a journey to Argentina for the team, but it's more than worth it when we see how happy the local fans are to be able to enjoy the action right in front of them. Termas de Río Hondo Circuit is also a good circuit for us usually. It suits our YZR-M1, and our riders both like the track. Last year's 1-2 finish by Maverick and Vale makes us all the more excited to start working towards another strong result this weekend."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Duo Eager to Arrive in Argentina
Following a successful debut in 2018, Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin are excited to head to South America this week for the second round of the season at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit. With a stunning performance during the Qatar GP a fortnight ago, the fast Frenchman is determined to build on his brilliant achievements, while premier class rookie Syahrin aims to further improve aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 of the French outfit ensuing a remarkable first MotoGP race.
The Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina is set to commence with the first Free Practice at 10:55 local time this Friday. The lights for the second Grand Prix of 2018 will switch off at 15:00 local time on Sunday the 8th of April.
Championship: 8th – Points: 8
"I'm happy to be back on the bike soon. After Qatar we had two weeks of rest and I tried the best to prepare myself and thought about everything that happened during the first race of this year's championship. I'm highly motivated to repeat the fastest lap and I want to lead the race again, plus take the opportunity to win this time. At the moment, our first target is to push for the victory and then, if we feel good or not, we can see which goal we can set on Sunday, but I think we are ready to have a great result in South America."
Championship: 14th – Points: 2
"I tried to focus on my physical condition and also my mind for the next race in Argentina. I'm ready for the second round and so excited to ride my crazy horse again. Since Qatar I tried to learn more. I watched some MotoGP action from last year to see what they did during Qualifying and the race. I think I could gain some experience in seeing this and now I want to try to adapt it on the weekend. I trained hard, so I'm more than ready for Argentina and thrilled to ride the big machine in Termas de Río Hondo."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"After what I believe was a very good start of the 2018 season, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is now heading to South America. This is a place and a country we really like and we enjoy spending a week in Termas de Río Hondo. The circuit has a beautiful layout, is very interesting and technical, plus provides great fights every year with all the safety required. I have to say that the organizers together with Dorna and IRTA work truly hard to improve the paddock. I want to say thank you to all these guys, because we have a paddock that is matching the MotoGP standard and it's a good feeling spending time there. Regarding our two riders, I believe the Yamaha YZR-M1 has always been fast there. Last year Johann scored his first points in MotoGP with a 5th place and a big recovery from a poor qualifying. Hafizh will have to learn this track. But since he joined us, he was very impressive and he will be soon feeling at ease and at home on his M1 at this circuit. All in all, the break since Doha was good, but we all feel ready and eager to race again. I hope the weather will be with us and the crowd will be even bigger than last year. We can't wait to be there to meet our Argentinian friends."