The MotoGP action in Argentina on Saturday was interrupted twice by red flags, the first two of the season. The first pause came due to a problem with the rear tyre of Scott Redding, before uncertainty about the performance of the tyres at this tricky circuit led to another break a few minutes later.
Michelin have since issued a statement that both rear tyre compounds will be replaced for race day, with riders being given an extra session in the morning for familiarisation with the different compound tyres that will be used in the race. The compounds pulled were of the same construction and Michelin had brought different tyres in case such an event occurred.
Spaniard Marc Márquez was the fastest in qualifying at the Autodromo de Termas de Rio Hondo, three tenths faster than any other rider on track. Next to him on the front row of the grid are Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, second and third respectively. The rain held off on Saturday but could make an appearance tomorrow.
The Aspar Team riders both struggled in Q1 to get the best grid spots for the race tomorrow. Eugene Laverty fell just over two tenths of a second short of making Q2. The Irishman had concluded the last free practice in 11th place but was not able to repat the result in qualifying. However, he is still confident of a good race pace. Meanwhile, Yonny Hernández suffered mechanical problems which prevented him from keeping up the pace he had shown during the last free practice session. However, the Colombian rider hopes to repeat his good start in the first GP of the season to put on a good show for the South American fans.
Eugene Laverty 17th 1’40.990: “The position is not fantastic but the lap times were really close. We know we have a good setting for the race because in FP4 I used the hard tyre and did a really good lap time, so hopefully we can finish much higher than seventeenth! It seems some other riders were able to gain more of an advantage than me with the soft tyre, so I am happy to use the hard tyre for the race – our performance is good.”
Yonny Hernández 21st 1’41.692: “I’m disappointed because we had a good pace on used tyres in the final practice session and we were working hard, but things just didn’t go to plan. We had a problem with an engine and only had one bike working well for qualifying, but then we had another issue with the chain. In the end we will start from the last row, so I hope we can solve the mechanical problems and get a good start like in Qatar. I will try to recover all the positions I can in order to get into the points and have a good race.”