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Extended 30 minute Warm Up sees Iannone on top in the wet

Extended 30 minute Warm Up sees Iannone on top in the wet

Wet conditions greeted the MotoGP™ World Championship for an extended 30 minute Warm Up, Iannone leading the way from Pedrosa and Marquez.

MotoGP™ Warm Up was once again the first session of the day for the premier class. An additional 30 minute Free Practice session, a result of Michelin withdrawing both rear tyre options, had been scheduled for 09:00 Local Time but was cancelled due to weather conditions. The session had been designed to allow the riders to learn the new ‘special’ rear slick tyre, but rain meant riders could not do this.

The usually scheduled Warm Up at 10:40 Local Time saw riders head out for half an hour, the session extended by ten minutes to be a full half an hour long. As the session was wet, the race later could therefore be a 20 lap flag-to-flag race with a mandatory pit stop if the track dries. This would see riders use the original tyre allocation.

If the race starts wet but dries, Race Direction have the ability to red flag the race and start a new ‘dry’ race of ten laps. If the circuit remains wet for the race, it will progress as a normal wet weather race for 25 laps.

Riders were able to test not only the Michelin wet weather tyres, but also their bike changes should a flag-to-flag situation arise at the Gran Premio Motul de la República. Wet spells during the test in Phillip Island allowed riders to gather some understanding of how the Michelin tyres and Magneti Marelli electronics perform in the wet, the 30-minute session critical for the riders to further their knowledge of their machines in the wet.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) proved that the 2016 Desmosedici GP is still a weapon in the wet, setting a 1’49.117 to lead the session by a miniscule 0.006s from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in third was 0.030s back on the top time, all riders showing incredibly well in the wet.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) was once more the top Independent Team rider, the Spaniard has had great pace throughout the weekend. Ahead of the weekend his team remained quietly confident about his chances if the rain fell. A time of 1’49.259 from Barbera ensured all of the top four were within just a tenth of each other.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed the top five, the Italian known for his ability to master even the most treacherous of conditions. His teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, was down in 12th and will have to find a little extra should conditions remain the same for the race.

Colombia’s Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Team MotoGP) adapted to the wet conditions well and ended seventh, half a second back on fellow Ducati rider Iannone. As the only South American rider on the grid, the Argentina GP is an important race for him.

What will happen next is now at the mercy of the weather, Race Direction having a plan for all outcomes.

Full Warm Up results and times can be viewed here. The race will begin at 16:00 Local Time.

MotoGP, 2016, GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA, WUP, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Repsol Honda Team, Ducati Team

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