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MotoGP 2016: Round 2 - Argentina Preview

The first of the two races in the Americas kicks off in the southern hemisphere.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Compared to the wait between the end of last season and the start of this, these two weeks have been nothing, but they've felt like a lifetime. There's a real element of excitement about this year. We had good battles in all three races in Qatar, and with a bit more testing under the belts of the riders, they're going to feel more comfortable on the bike, and it is all very exciting.

The Circuit

The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit is more of a proper racing track than Qatar. It's more exciting to watch, but with it being early days in the championship it can still be a bit of a feeling out session. It never quite feels like it should. I can't put my finger on it. It's not my favourite, but it is racing and it is on two wheels and it will do nicely thank you very much.

In The News

This weekend marks a couple of 20th anniversaries in the MotoGP world. Firstly, LCR are celebrating 20 years as a team, which is a big deal. Secondly, somebody called Valentino Rossi celebrates 20 years as a rider in the system. His first race saw him start 13th on a 125cc bike and finish sixth. He'd win a race later in his first year, and would follow it up the next year by winning his first world championship. He's not bad, I suppose.

Cal Crutchlow has been telling one of his "woe is me" tales, claiming he's the Fernando Alonso of MotoGP because he kept leaving manufacturers at the wrong time. Think that says more about your patience than theirs, Cal.

Meanwhile, El Padrino of motorbikes, Giacomo Agostini, claims there is a huge offer on the table for Jorge Lorenzo from Ducati. Yamaha have told him to stay and win more titles. The merry-go-round shows no signs of slowing down, folks.

Dorna opened up the application process for the last remaining ride for 2017 during the break. KTM will be taking slots 22 and 23, leaving one open space in the new 24-rider-limit format for next year. The front runner is currently Sito Pons, who runs the HP40 team in Moto2. He has been in charge of a MotoGP-winning team in the past, putting a Honda underneath Max Biaggi, Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi.

Further down the field, winglets have been banned in Moto2 and Moto3, probably foreshadowing what will happen to the MotoGP bikes at the end of the year.

Finally, remember Lorenzo Baldassarri's injury in Qatar? You know, the guy who dislocated both shoulders in qualifying? Well, he's expected to take to his bike this weekend and race. These guys are bonkers.

Last Time Out

Have a read of our new Burnt Rubber feature for an in-depth look at all the action from Qatar.

Race Times

(given as British Summer Time - -5 hours for EDT, +1 for CET)

Saturday Qualifying Sunday Race
MotoGP
Q1
18:10-18:25
Q2
18:35-18:50
20:00
Moto2 19:05-19:50 18:20
Moto3 16:35-17:15 17:00

Sunday will see a quick race recap, while we'll go more in-depth in Burnt Rubber on Monday. Join us!