2017 started the best possible way for Leopard Racing rider Joan Mir, with a stunning win in Qatar and the points lead for the first time this year. Now it’s time for Argentina – and the first chance for the grid to strike back.
Mir will certainly be tough to beat, with confidence high. Another tough rival is sure to be British Talent Team rider John McPhee, who arrives fresh from his best ever dry result in Qatar. The man who completed the podium, Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), will also be a surefire threat at the front – carrying through his momentum from an impressive end to 2016.
His teammate, Fabio Di Giannantonio, is another to watch – along with compatriot Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers). Both having more anonymous races than expected in Qatar, they did take strong top ten finishes – but will be looking for more in Argentina. The man just pipped to the podium at Losail – Aron Canet (EG 0,0) – is another who will be fighting hard to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Likewise Red Bull KTM Ajo teammates Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder. Antonelli took a solid result first time out, and will be looking to convert that into increased confidence. Bendsneyder, who was tapped and subsequently crashed, will go all out at the chance to convert his impressive 2017 pace into a finish this time round.
The two needing a turnaround are Enea Bastianini (EG 0,0) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), as the two Italians were further down the timesheets than expected in Qatar. For different reasons, Argentine rider Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) will also want the weekend to play out very differently at his home race, after breaking his collarbone in FP1 at Losail. The RBA rider intends to ride but must pass a medical beforehand.
Moto3™ begin FP1 at 9:00am local time (GMT -3).
Moto3 World Championship Classification
1 – Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) 25 points
2 – John McPhee (GBR – Honda) 20 points
3 – Jorge Martin (SPA – Honda) 16 points
4 – Aron Canet (SPA – Honda) 13 points
5 – Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) 11 points