2014 Argentina MotoGP from Termas de Rio Hondo
For the first time since 1999, World Championship racing headed to South America. This year’s third round of the MotoGP Championship got underway Friday at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo.
And so far, the dominate rider was no surprise; Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez led the three out of four free practices, qualifying, and today’s warm-up ahead of the race.
The 21-year-old has won the opening two rounds of MotoGP at Qatar and Circuit of the Americas, and holds the Argentina MotoGP pole by nearly 0.8 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Before the action begins, here are some pre-race stats:
• Marc Marquez maintains his 100% record of starting from pole in 2014. He is aiming to become the first rider to win the opening three races of the year in the premier class since Valentino Rossi in the 500 class in 2001. The last rider to win the opening three premier class GP races of the year from pole was Giacomo Agostini back in 1971
• Jorge Lorenzo is second on the grid – his first front row start of 2014. If Lorenzo does not finish in the top three in the race, it would be the first time since his rookie year in MotoGP that he will have started three successive races without finishing on the podium
• Taking the final place on the front row is Dani Pedrosa, who has finished on the podium in the last six MotoGP races
• Aleix Espargaro heads the second row of the grid, equalling his best grid position in MotoGP – first achieved in Texas two weeks ago
• Andrea Dovizioso is the top Ducati rider in qualifying, in fifth place on the grid. Dovizioso will be aiming to be come the first Ducati rider to finish on the podium in successive races in the MotoGP class since Casey Stoner in 2010
• In sixth place on the grid is Valentino Rossi, who won the 250 GP at Buenos Aires in 1998, making him the only rider on the grid to have won a GP race in Argentina
• Seventh on the grid is Bradley Smith. If Smith equals or improves on his fifth place finish of two weeks ago in Texas, he will be come the youngest British rider to have successive top five finishes in the premier class since John Newbold in 1975
• Andrea Iannone is in eighth place on the grid, equalling his best qualifying result since moving up to the MotoGP – first achieved in Catalunya last season
• After crashing in qualifying, Stefan Bradl is the ninth fastest qualifier – his worst
grid position since he was tenth on the grid in Barcelona last year
• Alvaro Bautista, who heads the fourth row of the grid, will be aiming to score points for the first time in 2014
• Nicky Hayden will start 12th, having passed through to Q2 for the first time this year and as the leading rider on a Honda RCV1000R machine