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Jul 2, 2013

MotoGP Riders Arrive In Argentina Ahead Of Test At Termas De Rio Hondo Circuit

(From left) Tito Rabat, Alvaro Bautista, Randy Mamola and Stefan Bradl in Argentina. Photo courtesy of Dorna/MotoGP.com.
Ahead of MotoGP™ testing at the brand-new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina this week, various riders gathered in capital city Buenos Aires on Tuesday afternoon. They were joined by representatives behind the planned full-time return of the sport to the South American country from 2014.

The two-day test session at the all-new circuit, which is situated 1,100km north-west of Buenos Aires, will welcome MotoGP™ for the very first time and will be taking place on Thursday and Friday of this week.

On Tuesday came an introduction to the country on what was a first official trip to Argentina for the riders. The press conference was staged at Buenos Aires’ Hotel NH City and attended by Angel Hugo Nicolai (Vice Governor of the Province of Santiago del Estero), Leonardo Boto Alvarez (Executive Director, National Institute of Tourism) and Ignacio Sagnier (Communications Manager, Dorna Sports).

Looking ahead to the test, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow is particularly excited about the circuit and some of the ‘banked corners’ it offers.

“It will be great to get there and finally try it out,” Crutchlow began. “Then we can go back and tell the other riders what we thought of the place. From what we have seen, I don’t think any improvements will need to be made because it looks like a fantastic facility and circuit, so we are looking forward to going and hopefully we can have two good days riding around the track to also give them some important information.”

Crutchlow was joined by MotoGP™ rivals Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl and Hector Barbera as well as Moto2™ representatives Tito Rabat and Nico Terol.

“We will start with this official test and maybe next year have a GP here in Argentina,” added GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bautista, having witnessed the official presentation. “It will be very interesting to see the new track; the corners, the asphalt and also the (level of) safety, which will be very important.”

In May, the track moved a step closer to obtaining the maximum approval required by MotoGP™ governing body the FIM in order to host a championship round. As LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl reckons, the venue will be a true test for tyres:

“The layout of the circuit looks really fast. That can be really busy for the tyres because we will be on the edge, accelerating really hard for a long time. I can see some really fast corners, so I’m looking forward to seeing it and then testing on Thursday to get as much information as possible for next year. Probably one of the most important things is that we will be able to find out how the tyres will work.”

This week’s two-day test will run from 10am-5pm local time (GMT -3) on both Thursday and Friday, including a one-hour break during the day.




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Cal Crutchlow receives warm welcome in Argentina

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow’s busy schedule took him to Buenos Aires in South America today, the British rider embarking on a special promotional tour in advance of the MotoGP World Championship returning to Argentina in 2014.

Fresh from his third place in Saturday’s Dutch TT at Assen and a memorable visit behind-the-scenes of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday, Crutchlow made the long trip to South America for a series of on and off track promotional activities that commenced today.

The 27-year-old attended a packed press conference at the NH City & Tower in Buenos Aires where he and several other representatives of the MotoGP community got a warm welcome from fans, media and officials.

More than 150 members of the media assembled for the press conference, which was attended by a large number of local dignitaries including the head of the National Tourism Department Enrique Meyer.

Crutchlow is now looking forward to breaking new ground later this week when he takes part in a two-day test session at the magnificent new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.

Crutchlow, who has finished on the rostrum in three out of the last four races in a riveting 2013 campaign, has the honour of being one of the first to lap the 4.8km layout on a prototype MotoGP machine when the test gets underway on Thursday.

Cal Crutchlow :
“This is my first visit to Argentina and I have been overwhelmed with how much interest there is in MotoGP. The passion and enthusiasm for MotoGP here is infectious and it will be great to be back next year for the race. South America is a key market for Yamaha and Dorna and the interest today proves why it is essential that there is a MotoGP race in this part of the world. Now I am looking forward to trying out the new track on Thursday and Friday. It is a huge privilege for me to be one of the first to ride the track on a MotoGP bike and great that the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team can be involved in helping promote the sport here. From what I have seen the new track looks fantastic. I've had chance to see some on-board footage and it looks like it will be a good challenge next season with some very fast sections. I hope the people of Argentina are going to enjoy seeing us racing in their country.”