Moto3™ saddle up for Argentina

Vague gaucho references aside, it should be another cracker of a showdown – and home hero Gabriel Rodrigo hopes to lead the charge

As we head into Round 2 of the season, it remains everything to play for by definition, but for Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) even more so this time around. Racing in Qatar despite breaking his collarbone in the test there, the Argentine scored a point to open his account for 2019 but he’ll want much more on home turf as he could become the first Argentine rider to win in the lightweight category. Last year he started from third, and he’ll be hoping the couple of weekends in between the season opener and the long trip to Termas de Rio Hondo will put him right back in the mix at the front.

Finishing near the front in any Moto3™ race is far from an easy task, however, and there are plenty of rivals trying to spoil the party. First time GP winner Kaito Toba finds himself in the position of Championship leader and high on confidence after Qatar, and the likes of Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), who took pole and a podium at Losail, and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Team), who was just half a tenth off the win, will be buoyed by their season opener as well. Their experience rivals Rodrigo’s too, although the man with the most experience of winning in the class was unable to play all his cards in Qatar and will likely remain top of the list of expected frontrunners: Romano Fenati (Snipers Team).

After a more difficult start at Losail, the Italian veteran sliced back through the pack to the front and unleashed some incredible moves along the way before a mistake reading a track limits warning left him a little out of position near the end of the race. Ultimately it was a ninth place for Fenati on his return and that will not be enough, with the target for Argentina much higher – especially as he’s the only man on the grid to have already won there.

Meanwhile teammate Tony Arbolino took pole last year, Canet’s been on the podium at Termas de Rio Hondo and so has John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), and the likes of Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) have had top results. Lopez also has a new face alongside him in the garage this weekend as 2019 teammate Sergio Garcia joins the fray. Absent in Qatar due to being underage, the Spaniard can now race as he’s past his 16th birthday and he’ll be looking to make a mark against his fellow rookies. Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) was top rookie in Qatar in P7, taking an early lead in the fight for Rookie of the Year, but this is new turf for everyone without a test beforehand…

Experience, talent, past records and current confidence all dive into the mix for the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina – make sure to tune in on Sunday 31st March for another Moto3™ melee.

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