2013 South American MotoGP TestMotoGP wrapped up a two-day test Friday at the new Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit in Argentina, which was also confirmed this week to host the World Championship from 2014 through 2016.
The six riders participating dealt with major downpours in the early morning hours, preventing top speeds at the track.The riders lapped somewhat cautiously in mixed conditions later on day two, with the Friday afternoon session extended by 30 minutes to make the most of some late sunshine.Cal Crutchlow, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl were amongst the MotoGP™ contingent who made the trip to South America to check out the new facility, visiting Buenos Aires and the smaller city of Termas de Rio Hondo earlier in the week – before getting down to the real business of putting in some laps of the 4.8km track on their prototype machines.Crutchlow put his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 through its paces, gathering crucial data for both Yamaha and Bridgestone. GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Bautista also worked on set up and understanding the nature of the track, topping the timesheet on Friday afternoon with a 1’45.578 lap.LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl ended the test as the fastest rider with a time of 1’44.188 from Thursday – and only put in 13 extra laps on Friday.Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, meanwhile, collected important data for Magneti Marelli electronics on his FTR Kawasaki. Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat and Mapfre Aspar Team’s Nico Terol were also in attendance as they tried out their Moto2 bikes and Dunlop tires around the new layout.Thursday also saw the official announcement that Termas de Rio Hondo will join the MotoGP calendar until at least 2016, from next year, meaning a return to racing in Argentina for the first time since 1999.With Friday morning’s poor weather conditions at the track meaning that further testing was limited, the riders added some additional laps in the afternoon session before signing autographs for the fans and heading off to return to Europe for round 8 next weekend in Germany.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.