Inking a three-year deal with Dorna, Argentina will finally be a part of the MotoGP Championship starting next season. The news has been a long time coming, as the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit was originally slated to be a stop for MotoGP racers for the current season.
However, after some political strife caused by the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, the Spanish oil company’s Argentinian subsidiary, MotoGP cancelled the round just before the start of the 2013 MotoGP Championship.
Though the official reason for the cancellation was because of the Spanish government’s recommendation that its citizens not travel to the South American company, one only has to follow the money and spheres of influence within MotoGP to discern the real motivations behind the rounds cancellation.
With all this seemingly now in the past, MotoGP has concluded its first days of testing at Termas de Rio Hondo, with favorable reviews coming from the riders who were in attendance. It is worth noting though, that no riders from the Repsol Honda team were in attendance.
“It is a great honor to receive this championship in Argentina in addition to other sporting events that take place in our country such as the Dakar Rally,” said National Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer. “We hope that the Argentine public can enjoy the top class of motorcycle racing, which hasn’t come to our country since 1999, and we will do our best to make sure MotoGP stays in our country for a long time.”
“It was a big pity today that the rain came because people told us that there has been no rain here for more than 20 weeks!” said Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow. “I’m really pleased the track dried out at the end and I was able to do some laps to thank the fans for being so patient and coming out to support us. This test has been one of the few times when there’s not been so much pressure, so I’ve been able to have a lot of fun with the other guys on track. Nowadays in MotoGP you have to be on the limit and giving it 100% for every lap of every test and race, so it was nice to be able to have a bit of fun on the bike.”
“We collected some data for Yamaha and Bridgestone but I’m not sure how helpful it will be because conditions for the race will be completely different. The track was quite dirty but some sections are incredible. Some corners are really fast and there are a lot of overtaking opportunities, so I think it will make for great racing in all three classes. It has been a great trip and very important for Dorna and Yamaha to promote MotoGP in such a key market like Argentina and I am proud that Tech 3 and Monster were able to play such a big part in it.”
“I’d like to thank everybody involved in our visit this week. I’ve loved every minute of my first visit to Argentina. It is great to experience another culture and the welcome and hospitality we have received has been overwhelming and my first visit to Argentina is one I will never forget. The support and passion for MotoGP has been amazing to see and now I can’t wait to be back next year for the race.”
Source: MotoGP & Monster Yamaha Tech 3; Photo: Monster Yamaha Tech 3