Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
“Movistar Yamaha Set Sights on Second Round in Argentina”
Following an intense season opener in Qatar almost a fortnight ago, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is impatient to continue their 2017 campaign at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are keen to step aboard their YZR-M1s at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit this weekend. Fresh from the Qatari podium, where they celebrated Viñales’ maiden Yamaha victory and Rossi‘s solid third place almost a fortnight ago, the teammates will gear up for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina.
Viñales confirmed his rising star status in a demanding race at the Losail circuit and is determined to stay focused during the upcoming race weekend. The young gun aims to keep his form at the Grand Prix and to capture his first podium finish at the Argentine track. Having shown his grit at the opening round, he will again do his utmost to fight off the competition and land a place on the rostrum.
Teammate Rossi is also set on challenging amongst the front-runners again this weekend. At the first round he rode a strong comeback race from tenth on the grid, to secure his first top three finish of the season. The nine-time World Champion‘s popularity knows no borders and is also well-spread in South America. He is the Argentinian crowd’s favourite and will be pushing to the limit to give his fans a great show, like he did with his win in 2015 and last year’s second place.
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit first staged a MotoGP event in 2014. The 4.8km long track was purposely redesigned in 2012 to make it Latin America’s most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting layout that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left and nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, this year’s race in Argentina is expected to be another one for the books.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
The opening round in Qatar was a great start to the season. Though the championship is long, starting off on the right foot is crucial. Taking the victory and a double podium at the opening race after an ’unusual‘ weekend has boosted our confidence and made us anticipate the upcoming round at the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit even more. It is a track where we can be strong. Though track conditions and grip level can be a little challenging, like we saw last year, the team has secured good results there in the past couple of races. We aim to hit the ground running when we start work on Friday, to continue the momentum we gained in round one. The deep-rooted passion for motorcycles and racing of the Argentine fans is an added factor that makes the Argentinian Grand Prix very special, so we are eager to repay their support by pushing all the way to the chequered flag.
MAVERICK VIÑALES – MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER – Championship Standings: 1st / 25 points
After the amazing race in Qatar I’m super excited to be back on my M1 this weekend in Termas de Río Hondo. Now we have the difficult challenge to continue getting good results, Qatar was only the first race of 18. I can feel the pressure a little bit because the level of my rivals is very high, but that motivates me even more to keep working hard. We have to be cautious, work step by step and race by race.
VALENTINO ROSSI – MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER – Championship Standings: 3rd / 16 points
It wasn’t an easy start to the championship. We have worked so hard during the test, but during the weekend of the first race we have fixed a few things, especially in the front. The race went very well and I was very happy to be able to get on the podium. Now we go to Argentina. This is a track that I like very much and I’m happy to go there. I hope that there are good asphalt conditions because last year it was difficult for us. We will try to work better and try to go once again on the podium!