After a week of travel, Moto3 heads to Argentina for the second round of the 2023 season. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit will be the eighth time that the race is held in the country.
CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP will be without Joel Kelso at this race after he fractured his ankle in Portugal. The team has replaced him with 17-year-old David Almansa, who will be competing in his second season in the FIM JuniorGP World Championship and made his debut in Moto3 last year.
Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit
The Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit is located near the city of Termas de Rio Hondo in the Province of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. It is a 4.805 km track and has 14 turns. It is considered one of the safest and most modern tracks in South America. It has hosted several motorsport events, including a round of the World Touring Car championship in 2012.
The track was designed by well-known racetrack engineer Jarno Zafelli and is renowned for its fast and flowing layout that encourages excellent racing. It is a mix of fast sweeping bends and high-speed corners, as well as the usual hard-braking zones that are a signature feature of many South American circuits.
It is a long track that features some interesting turns before the start/finish straight and a fast 180 degrees turn 1. There are also several spots that can present opportunities for overtaking.
With a layout of nine right hand bends and five left-handers, allied to a straight over one kilometre long, the track is a fast and exciting place for riders to battle. But it also requires a lot of grip from the tires to ensure that the bike can take advantage of the long corners, especially when the tyres are hot and dry.
This is the only Argentine circuit on the MotoGP calendar, and it attracts a huge crowd of fans every year from around the country. It is also a popular destination for other local races, including the National Formula Renault and Porsche GT3 Cup Latin America.
Termas de Rio Hondo has hosted the GP of Argentina since 2014. The event is held on a regular basis in the calendar, with each season attracting new fans to the city and the circuit.
The Termas de Rio Hondo is situated on the northern part of Argentina, just outside the spa town of Termas de Rio Hondo. The circuit was reconstructed in 2012 and has been one of the most exciting tracks on the MotoGP calendar.
It is one of the fastest in the calendar and it is highly demanding on tyres, featuring fast sweeping bends, high cambers and hard-braking zones throughout its layout. The Termas de Rio Hondo track has nine right-hand turns and five left-handers, allied with a straight over one kilometre long.
In the past, Termas de Rio Hondo has featured several rounds of the Moto3 World Championship. It has also played host to a round of the International Motorcycle Superbikes Series and other FIA sanctioned classes.
Termas de Rio Hido is an exciting and challenging circuit that has been home to some of the best racing in Argentina. It is a 4.805km track with 14 turns, and was designed by Italian circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli.
Termas de Rio Hido has been home to the GP of Argentina since 2014, and is one of the most recent additions to the MotoGP calendar. It has also seen some memorable results from riders such as Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Argentina has been a strong venue for Moto3 since 2014 and this year it will be host to its first Intact GP race. This is a special event for the team as it will mark ten years of running the racing project from Memmingen in Germany. The team has grown year after year thanks to the passion, dedication, and sweat of the three founding members Jurgen Lingg, Stefan Keckeisen, and Wolfgang Kuhn, who are all proud of the achievements they have achieved over the years.
In the Moto3 class the Intact GP team is hoping to make another strong start to the season in Argentina as they aim to get their bike and riders set up for victory. The team will be represented by Swiss rider Tom Luthi, who has won a Moto2 World Championship round already this season and also has two of the top ten riders in the category, Swiss Randy Krummenacher and Spaniard Hector Garzo.
The Intact GP team will be supported by several teams who are ready to take on the challenge in Argentina. Dynavolt Intact GP, who won their first World Cup race in MotoE in 2022, are among the teams ready to face the challenges of the new Ducati era in the all-electric category. They will be represented by German and Swiss riders and will have the help of their team manager Jesko Raffin.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) has a surprisingly strong record in Argentina with three podium finishes, his only defeat being in 2015. He will be looking to use the track as an opportunity to improve on those results and will try to get his MotoGP season back on track at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.
He will also be looking to build on his positive Qatar campaign, which saw him finish fifth and take a strong ride through penalty. Pedrosa is hoping that the new Michelin tyres he will have in Argentina will help him to find more speed and improve his pace.
Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) has not been at his best since the opening round in Qatar, but he still managed to claim a strong third place. He will be looking to build on that result and could have a chance of winning the Gran Premio Motul de La Republica Argentina if he has a strong race and can overcome some of his issues.
Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda) is coming off an impressive performance at the Qatar round, which was a step forward from his previous seasons. He was able to improve on his race in Qatar and will be ready to go again, with the Ducati engine working well for him.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) has been a consistent performer in the MotoGP class this season and is a clear contender for the title this time around, he will be looking to keep up the momentum from Qatar and take his first win of the year at the Gran Premio Motul De La Republica Argentina. He will be joined in the battle by fellow Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa, who was on the podium in Argentina last season but will be looking for a stronger ride and more confidence ahead of his bid to win the season opener.
Red Bull KTM Ajo
The Red Bull KTM Ajo is back in Argentina for the second time in two years, kicking off a new Moto3 season at Termas de Rio Hondo. It is the team’s first visit to the track since claiming their debut Moto3 win in 2018 and it will be an opportunity for Australian youngster Joel Kelso to build on his success last weekend at Portimao.
In 2022 Tito Rabat led every lap of the Gran Premio Red Bull de la Republica Argentina, and he and Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS teammate Alex Marquez will be hoping for more drama-free racing at Termas de Rio Hondo this year. It’s a place where Rabat – the reigning Moto2 world champion – has a strong record and with his current tenth position in the Championship, he’ll be keen for more progress on this track and in Argentina’s South American surroundings.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the MotoGP paddock, Australian rider Jack Miller has already won races on his Open class Honda and his confidence is growing after a successful start to the season in Qatar. CWM LCR Honda have a strong line-up for the Argentinian round, with Joel Kelso, Brad Binder and Alex Rins among those fighting for points.
The Ajo KTM team will be bolstered by the signing of Australian Remy Gardner who will join them for the 2021 FIM World Championship. The 22-year-old has previously ridden in the Moto2 category for the KTM GP Academy and will be looking to make the most of his sixth term in the sport.
Day 1 of Termas de Rio Hondo’s opening Moto2 practice saw Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing) quickest, but he was just 0.066 seconds ahead of Ai Ogura and Filip Salac on the QJMOTOR Gresini machines. Several riders crashed out but not without injury including Honda Teams Asia’s Ai Ogura, who crashed just after the end of dry practice and left with a broken nose.
Ajo’s Pedro Acosta will be aiming to follow up his first race win of the season in Portugal with another victory at Termas de Rio Hondo, with a good performance from him expected. Meanwhile, Fabio Quartararo has made a strong start to the season in his first year with the KTM GP Academy and he’s confident about his progress on this circuit and in Argentina.
In the Moto3 battle, Daniel Holgado and David Munoz topped the time sheets on the opening day of the round, with Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) close behind. A strong weekend could see Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) return to the podium.
The race will also feature a number of new faces to the MotoGP paddock, with French teenager Augusto Fernandez and Australian rookie Joel Kelso set to join the action on the rostrum. It’s a great chance for these youngsters to make their mark on the competition and it will be interesting to see how they handle this tricky damp track.