Catch up on what’s got everybody talking after a dramatic weekend in Argentina
The Argentina GP produced a stunning weekend of action, from Brad Binder’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) incredible P15 to P1 Tissot Sprint victory to a history-making win for Marco Bezzecchi and the Mooney VR46 team on a wet Sunday.
There were certainly no shortage of hot topics from Round 2, and these are some of the biggest Talking Points from the weekend.
Bezzecchi’s wet weather masterclass drew plenty of plaudits, with some of the biggest coming from his fellow VR46 Academy graduates.
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team): “I’m happy for Marco, I think he really deserved the victory. He was unbeatable this weekend. He was very competitive yesterday, very competitive today in the wet. So his first win in Moto3 was here, his first win in MotoGP is here, so he can be very proud of himself, and I’m confident that he will be very competitive all of the season.”
Bezzecchi: “Without Vale & the academy, this was impossible”
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team): “It is fantastic. I knew the team would win a race this season because we are very fast…I just hoped to have an opportunity also for me in the future.”
“It felt just like the Ranch”
Another VR46 Academy Graduate likened some of the weekend action to a day out at Valentino Rossi’s Ranch, with Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team) finding himself in the thick of a fight with Bezzecchi, Marini and Bagnaia on Saturday.
“It felt just like the Ranch, just like that! We always fight very hard. We are good friends. I mean, we have a great relationship. We don’t hold back anything. We are so open to each other. You know we’re not afraid to give a hit to one another. We’re not afraid to tell someone has been an arsehole, so I think we are a great group. And that’s reflected also on track on the performances and on the way we fight against each other and against other people, yeah.
A resurgent Morbidelli: “I want this feeling in Austin”
“There are still a lot of races”
Sunday proved a huge disappointment for Pecco Bagnaia, with the reigning World Champion crashing out of a comfortable podium place in the latter stages of the race. Having been nigh on flawless to date, does the Ducati rider’s mistake off a glimpse of hope to some of his main title rivals?
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™): “Yeah, but it’s still 38 races. If I start to think about the Championship right now, without fighting for the top five, I think it’s bad. So first I will work as much as possible to find a solution and then we see we talk about the Championship.”
WATCH: World Champion Bagnaia crashes out of podium places!
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing): “It’s been a really frustrating first two races. In Portimao I had really good speed but I couldn’t do a solid result. Here I got also the fastest lap of the weekend in the dry but then rain. I’m a little bit sad, and disappointed with the first two races, but this is long and I will believe. I mean there are a lot of races still.”
“When someone breaks your balls in the first lap for nothing, it’s….”
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) currently sits in the bad books of Fabio Quartararo after the two collided on the opening lap of the race. The Yamaha dropped towards the back of the field as a result, and was more than a little miffed at the Japanese rider, while Nakagami fired back with a bullish response.
Quartararo: “When there is always someone that breaks your balls in the first lap for nothing, it’s…. My start was pretty good. I think I was in the same position. Not better. But I was not that far and making that kind of movement – just, you know, looks like it’s the last lap. It’s not. The positive thing is we come from last to seventh.”
Nakagami: “It looks like from the outside a little bit aggressive, but honestly, at that moment I thought I could overtake and I slightly overshot it a little bit. I missed the apex, but not crazy, you know, it’s not crazy riding.
“We touched a little bit each other, but well, this is the racing and nothing to say. I didn’t make any mistakes. Luckily, I mean, he also didn’t crash. Of course, he lost the position, I want to apologize [for that] but it’s racing.”
“Taka was super aggressive” – Quartararo on Lap 1 flashpoint
“In Jerez we’ll have new things”
For Quartararo, he’s already looking forward to the Jerez Test. The Frenchman revealed that he has a few new things to try on the M1 which he hopes can help boost the YZR-M1’s performance for the rest of the season.
“I’m pushing to have new items in every test. I think for Jerez we will have some new things. It will not change my life. But you know, every time we can find whatever half-tenth or something, we have to take it. And hopefully, in the Jerez Test, we can try some really good parts.
“I think we’ll have an exhaust to try that looks like it’s a bit better. Some aero that I think right now is super important. We are using some really old stuff, but we need to find a direction to improve.”
“A podium? I don’t know”
Alex Rins finished the Argentina GP race as the top Honda, with the Spaniard crossing the line in P9. However, having been as high as fifth, the LCR Honda Castrol rider felt more was on the table in Termas.
“It was not a good result. I don’t know it is was fifteen or ten laps from the end but I started to have some problems with the visor, with the fog inside and I could not see anything. When I started to lose positions it was because of this. I could not see the lines or the curbs so it was a disaster. Before that I was riding quite well and was fifth or sixth. The bike was super and the grip on the maximum angle, compared to the previous bike I was riding, this one had a lot of traction and on the front I was able to stop the bike. So it was a shame, a real shame because – a podium I don’t know – but top five or six? I was able.