After last weekend’s curtain raiser in Portugal, the MotoGP circus heads to the Americas for the second round of the 2023 season.
The Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, located in northern Argentina, will host what promises to be an exciting weekend of two-wheeled action. The 4.8km circuit will demand nothing but the the best from the riders. The circuit is seldom used outside of MotoGP and is expected to be extremely dirty. With teams still adapting to the new weekend schedule, the tricky conditions will only add to the unpredictability.
After cruising to victory in the first round, Pedro Acosta is being tipped by almost everyone to top the podium again. The former Moto3 champion has hit the ground running and will be looking to make amends after missing multiple races last season through injury. The 18-year-old threw down the gauntlet with a dominating ride in Portugal, he will be the man to beat this weekend.
Aron Canet was the only rider capable of matching Acosta’s pace in Portimão. The Spaniard finished 2nd for the 10th time in Moto2 and remains in search of his first win in the intermediate class. After finishing 4th in Argentina last season, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on him this weekend.
Last year’s winner, Celestino Vietti, will be hoping to replicate his success on Sunday. After a promising start to his 2022 campaign, the Italian rider had a tough time keeping his VR46 machinery upright. He crashed out of a number of races and his hopes of winning the Moto2 Championship faded quickly. After joining the newly formed Fantic Racing during the offseason, the 21-year-old will be hoping to build on his solid points finish last weekend in Portimão.
Vietti was joined on the podium last season by the Honda Team Asia duo of Somkiat Chantra and Ai Ogura. The latter missed the opening round in Portugal after injuring his wrist during the winter. The Japanese rider has been declared fit and will kickstart his campaign this weekend.
Another rider who impressed last time out in Argentina is 17-year-old Fermin Aldeguer. He stunned the field in qualifying, taking his maiden pole position at just 16 years of age. Unfortunately, the Spaniard crashed out whilst challenging Vietti for the lead, so there’s no doubt he’ll be chomping at the bit to get out on track.
The hopes of British fans will once again rest on the shoulders of Jake Dixon and Sam Lowes. The pair finished 6th and 7th respectively last weekend and both finished inside the top 10 on their last visit to Argentina.
According to the forecast, weather could play a key role throughout the weekend. Rain is likely to be a factor on Friday which will keep teams on their toes with showers a possibility on Sunday. Temperature’s are expected to be in the low-to-mid-20s. The race is scheduled to start at 12:15pm local time (4:15pm GMT).
Feature Image: MotoGP