Home heroes: Argentine racers

It’s time for Termas de Rio Hondo, so here’s a quick history lesson before we tango

As we head into the second MotoGP™ round of the season at Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina, let’s take a look at some home heroes from the land of gauchos, Borges and tango.

Sebastian Porto

The most recent Argentinian GP winner, Porto celebrated seven wins in the 250cc class. His most recent win, in 2005, saw him battling with Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo to stand at the top of the podium in Assen.

Porto joined the 250cc class in 1995 with Aprilia and later moved to Yamaha in 1999. With Yamaha he took five podium finishes, including winning the 2002 race in Brazil, and finished fifth overall that year.

After a year with Honda in 2003, Porto returned to Aprilia and was runner-up in the 250cc World Championship, taking ten podium finishes in 2004.

In 2006, he then announced his retirement from motorcycle racing.

But four years ago, in 2014, Porto made a one-off wildcard appearance in Moto2™ at Termas de Rio Hondo as the newest track on the calendar opened its gates to the MotoGP™ paddock.

Now, Porto is back on track at Termas de Rio Hondo to do a demo lap on the Energica bike that will be competing in the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup from 2018.

Benedicto Caldarella

Benedicto Caldarella

Born September 1st 1932, Benedicto “Chiche” Caldarella made his debut in the 250cc class in 1961 with Honda.

He took his first and only win in the 500cc class in Argentina, on a Matchless G 50. With two more podium finishes, he took fifth place overall in the championship.

In 1963, Caldarella took two more podiums; another with Matchless, coming third in the 500cc class, and he also took third in the 125cc class with Bultaco.

Caldarella moved to Gilera in 1964 and took second in Argentina in the 500cc class, some more glory on home soil.

Jorge Kissling


Born March 10th 1940, Jorge Kissling was, at the time, the youngest rider to win a premier class race, taking to the top of the podium in Buenos Aires in 1961 aged just 21. Kissling rode for Matchless and came seventh overall that year.

Kissling would take two more podiums, one on a 125 and another on a 500, before he sadly passed away during a touring car race in Buenos Aires in 1968, aged just 28.

Gabriel Rodrigo

Taking the first pole for Argentina for a long while at Brno in 2017 – and then getting another next time out – Rodrigo is the home representation for the Argentina GP in 2018. Riding for RBA BOE Skull Rider in Moto3™, the Argentine hasn’t yet taken a podium in his Grand Prix career, but he’s been close. First time out in 2018, he took fifth – setting him up well for his home race.