In front of the audience, Aleix Espargaró took pole position for the GP of the Argentine Republic

Aleix Espargaró was fastest on Saturday in MotoGP (Dorna Sports Press)
Aleix Espargaró was fastest on Saturday in MotoGP (Dorna Sports Press)

After passing the logistical problems and after its reschedulingstarted the business of Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Argentine Republic in Termas de Río Hondo, Santiago del Estero, third appointment of Speed ​​World Championship. This Saturday the Spaniards Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) broke the clocks and set the best time in qualifying which allowed him to start first in Sunday’s race.

The plane with the last load arrived on Friday evening and in the early hours of Saturday morning the mechanics of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team (Valentino Rossi’s team) and Gresini Racing struggled to assemble the bikes. The day lasted nine and a half hours with the bikes of the three categories on the track due to the absence of activity this Friday.

In the premier category it was a very tight ranking in which 16 pilots were within the second and this heralds a competition bitterly contested for tomorrow. The eldest of the Espargaró brothers set a time of 1m38s244 and beat his compatriot and teammate 210/1000, Maverick Vinales. Third, at 219/1000, was the Australian Jack Miller (Ducati). (Yamaha).

Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Pol Espargaró (44) in action (OSD Group Press)
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49) and Pol Espargaró (44) in action (OSD Group Press)

“It has been a very stressful day. I am proud to have reached pole position. I think I can win tomorrow thanks to the pace I showed over the weekend. In the morning I rode with the medium tire and in the afternoon with the soft one (it adheres faster to the asphalt). It wasn’t easy, but I felt very confident with the performance of the tire, ”said the poleman.

Fourth was the current champion, the French Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and the top five was completed by the South African Brad Binder (KTM). Sixth and seventh were the Spaniards of Suzuki, Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Among the ten fastest behind the Ducati Pramac team riders, the Spaniard Giorgio Martino and French Giovanni Zarco and Italian tenth Luca Mariniwith another Ducati, but from the Valentino Rossi team.

Joan Mir in one of the corners of the Santiago circuit (Press Press Grupo OSD)
Joan Mir in one of the corners of the Santiago circuit (Press Press Grupo OSD)

The public was eager to see MotoGP, which returned to Argentina after two years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fire suffered in the pits in February 2021, completely renewed. The grandstands of the Santiago circuit seemed full and despite there was no number of spectators, at this Saturday’s press conference the head of the local promoter, Orly TerranovaShe said “we estimate to repeat the same amount of audience as in 2014″. On that occasion there was 125,961 people in the cumulative of the three days.

Promotional ones.

In Moto2 the pole position went to the Spaniard Fermín Aldeguer (Boscocuro). Behind was his compatriot Augusto Fernandez and Italian Tony Arbolino, both with Kalex trails. While in Moto3 the best time went to the Spaniard Sergio Garcia (GasGas). The second was the Japanese Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) and third, another Spaniard, Be Guevara (GasGas).

The stands were full of public (Undersecretary of Tourism of Santiago del Estero)
The stands were full of public (Undersecretary of Tourism of Santiago del Estero)

Tourist boom.

This event is promoted by the National Institute for the Promotion of Tourism (INPROTUR), an organization that reported that Termas de Río Hondo breaks seasonality as it receives thousands of national and international tourists who will spend an average of 20,000 pesos a night for four days in the hotel, food, mobility and other purchases, regardless of the cost of the transfer and tickets.

Meanwhile, the average cost of pilots, organizers and international press will amount to 120,000 pesos in 6 days of stay. The main emitters are tourists from Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador. During the stay, about 60,000 vehicles entered the city and more than 50 commercial, private and charter flights.

Hotel occupancy:

100% 5 and 4 * hotels (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

3 * Hotel 95% (Thursday, Friday) and 100% (Saturday and Sunday)

2 and 1 * hotels 97% (Thursday, Friday) and 100% (Saturday and Sunday)

Timetables and TV.

This Sunday’s program will begin with the Warm Up, a test used by riders and teams to check that everything is going well on the bikes. The three races can be seen live and directly from ESPN at 12, Argentina time:

09: 30-09: 50: Warm Up Moto3.

10: 00-10: 20: Warm up the Moto2.

10: 30-11: 00: Warm Up MotoGP.

12:00: Moto3 Race (21 laps)

13:20: Moto2 Race (23 laps)

15:00: MotoGP race (25 laps)

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