MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Argentina Hosts MotoGP at Entirely New Circuit This Weekend

042414top-i2

The Termas de Río Hondo circuit, entirely rebuilt just a year ago, will host its first MotoGP race this weekend in Argentina. The track was designed by the Italian company Dromo, and has been tested by just a handful of world championship-caliber riders prior to this weekend. One of those riders is Tito Rabat, currently leading the Moto2 championship for Marc VDS Racing.

You can see an illustration of the track, with elevation changes, above. Dromo believes from computer simulations that the track will yield the highest average speed of any circuit contested by MotoGP this year. Here is what Rabat has to say about the laps he took during a practice session last year (in a press release from Marc VDS Racing).

Gosselies, Belgium – 21 April 2014: While most of the Moto2 riders will get their first glimpse of the all-new Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo on Wednesday, Tito Rabat was one of only two Moto2 riders that travelled out to Argentina last year to spend two days testing on the track.

The Moto2 championship leader was impressed with both the layout of the circuit and the enthusiasm of the Argentinian race fans he met during his visit.

“The first day the track was very dirty, as they’d literally just finished building it, and on the second day it rained,” explains Rabat. “It meant we never really got to test the track properly at race pace, but at least we got an idea of the layout.

“It’s a nice track, with a good mix of fast and slow corners and two fast straights. The back straight in particular will be interesting, as it’s over a kilometre in length with a slow corner at the end, so the brakes are going to get a good workout!

“Overall the track isn’t too technical, but there are parts that you need to get right. The exits onto the back straight and the start finish straight for example will be critical to a fast lap time.

“The first two turns are quite tricky; you’re hard on the brakes at the end of the start finish straight and then you have to negotiate two 180-degree corners without losing speed. These two corners aren’t particularly quick, but they are quite technical.

“Turns three and four are critical, as you need to carry as much speed as possible out of here and onto the long back straight. Get these two corners wrong and you’re going to have riders pulling out of your slipstream and blasting past you on the straight.

“At the end of the back straight you’re hard on the brakes again for turn five, a fairly slow right hander, but then you’re into my favourite corner on the whole track.

“Turn six is a long, long left-hander that is unbelievable. You need to be completely focussed on the Moto2 bike here, because you’ve got the throttle on the stop and the rear tyre is spinning and sliding all the way through the turn.

“Then it’s hard on the brakes again for turn seven, a tight right-hander, which opens out into turn eight. You’re accelerating all the way through turn eight before getting back on the brakes for the left-hander at turn nine. Out of turn nine you flick the bike right for turn ten, which is more of a kink than a corner, and then you’ve got a fairly long left-hander at turn 11, where the bike is on the side of the tyre for quite a long time.

“The combination of turns 12, 13 and 14 are also critical to a good lap time. The three corners are quite technical, but you need to get a good exit from turn 14 to ensure you have the speed on the start finish straight. Get it wrong during the race and, again, riders will slipstream past you on the run down to turn one.

“The finish line is quite close to the exit of turn 14, so we could see some last lap heroics in these last three turns during the race!”

The Grand Prix of Argentina at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo gets underway with free practice for all three classes on Friday 24th April.

17 Comments

  1. SquidProQuo says:

    The graphic looks a lot like Laguna Seca only backwards.

  2. Provologna says:

    My most favorite lifetime race attendance was two weeks ago in Austin. I have complained in the past about how boring the series has become, with MMs overwhelming dominance.

    By the race end, the physical gap between MM and #2 Pedrosa was an eternity. But I’m here to tell you, sitting 75′ in the MG (Main Grandstand) from the start line, with MM flying past @ 212mph on a 230hp 2-wheeled rocket ship: watching the “tellie” vs. being at a MotoGP are two different animals. One could not possibly over state the sheer bliss and excitement of being in the presence of these men on their machines.

    MMs first Qualifying Lap he broke his own track record, then the next lap he broke the prior lap record again. Don’t hold your breath waiting for someone to knock MM off the #1 podium of this track.

    I walked a few miles over the weekend, and just about everywhere you go at this track the views are breathtaking. Do not, I repeat, do not miss this race next year!

    Unquestionably, of all fans wearing clothes emblazoned with motorcycle racing legends, Rossi is the most adored, by huge margin. Frankly I can’t even estimate who is #2.

    Along these lines, there was a good number of fans wearing all Repsol Honda colors, and a few rare (trending younger) fans showing their affection for Marquez, sporting hats, shirts, and even a few umbrellas with his name.

    While exiting behind the stands, I struck up a conversation with another fan in my age range (late 50s). I said something like, “Love or hate Marquez, it’s hard not to admire his talent.” He gave a little chuckle, replying, “Wait and see. The more he wins, the greater grows his fan base…everyone loves a winner.”

    Is winning not the root of the above-documented man-crush for Valentino Rossi? Since that fan’s little insight two weeks ago, I noticed how hard it is to resist a growing infatuation with Marquez, in spite of my general history of desiring a winner to be “Any one but Red” (Big Red Honda). Seeing him race and win in person only further cements the attraction.

    Who wouldn’t want to see JLo and Stoner racing head to head with MM, all on competitive machines?

    • MGNorge says:

      You bring up something that may slip by those watching these events on the tube. When in person you get a more singular perspective at any given time of the race. If you park yourself at the beginning of tun one you see the results of the drag race to it. If you watch along the infield you see those battles. On TV you can see anywhere, anytime, even from the bikes! Years ago when I attended road racing events I was most dazzled by the seeming lack of fear and skill possessed by each rider than who they were or what they rode. It’s a different experience.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I was in Austin, too, seated at Turn 15. It was my first MotoGP, and I loved it. I’ll be attending again for sure.

  3. Dargo says:

    Why are the Hondas so good, they have two wheels, an engine, a swing arm like everyone else

    • Norm G. says:

      not like everyone else, they’ve enjoyed 2 decades of uninterrupted sponsorship. CASH for the win.

      • MGNorge says:

        But then Honda doesn’t win every race so whatever may be go on behind the scenes it’s not a sure bet. Look at just about any kind of competition and if a brand or even single athlete wins too often for the likes of some there must be some foul play at work. One fact is however, Honda does like to race, they do like to win and they aren’t afraid to pull out the purse in that pursuit. They do know how to produce some brilliant machines no matter what.

  4. Ricardo says:

    I think this is a circuit for Lorenzo, it will require extra smoothnes on the transitions and turns.

    • Curly says:

      He must just be sandbaggin’ right? At 2.2 seconds back after the second free practice I’ll bet there’s no joy in the Yamaha garage.

  5. Hot Dog says:

    Jeez, everyone’s Negatrometer is pegged wide open! JLo is going to be very cranky.

  6. Tim says:

    Hondas will definitely dominate this track.

  7. MGNorge says:

    Looks pretty demanding with only two main straights, one uphill, where engine power would come into play.

  8. Norm G. says:

    re: “The Termas de Río Hondo circuit, entirely rebuilt just a year ago”

    awesome, now let’s hope it doesn’t get renamed Termas de Río “Honda”.