So far the two have been the most consistent performers of the season – but Lowes has form at Termas…
We’ve seen two stunning runaway wins so far in 2022, with Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) proving the class of the field in Qatar and then Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) putting in a history-making masterpiece in Mandalika. Now it’s more fresh turf for the newer faces in the field, so can Vietti and Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) keep their 100% podium record rolling? And what will Chantra have in store off the back of his maiden win?
Moto2™ race recap: Chantra springs a surprise in Mandalika
Starting with the most recent winner, there's a good omen from back in 2019 as the Thai rider has both experience and success in Argentina, having taken his first Moto2™ top ten at the venue in only his second race in the class three years ago. That could bode well, but if experience is to prove king then Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), third overall as it stands, is arguably in the best position as he arrives with two previous podiums at Termas de Rio Hondo. Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) has ridden the track too, although suffered an injury at the venue in 2019, and Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) also knows Termas – and the Brit was on pole and the pace last time out before his crash.
It will be interesting, then, to see if Vietti and Canet can come out swinging in the face of experience, with more podiums for the two this weekend likely to prove statements of intent: three podiums at three very different tracks and in very different conditions would go a long way to prove their speed is here to stay throughout the season.
On the other side of the coin, there are a few riders looking for a lot more than they took home in Indonesia. One is rookie sensation Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who had a much bumpier start to his season than many anticipated, and he'll be taking on Termas for the first time ever. Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) did some great damage control on race day in Lombok but had an overall tougher weekend after fighting for the podium in Qatar, and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) will be keen to re-join that postcode too.
Grand Prix of Indonesia: Moto2™ race highlights
Moto2™ also has home hero Gabriel Rodrigo (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) on the grid, with the Argentinean intermediate class rookie looking to make a step forward. Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing) also has paternal ties to Argentina and so begins a fortnight of important races, and that's also true of compatriots Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) in many ways, who will also want to make the most of Termas to head into Texas on the front foot.
After three years of waiting, the time has come to return to the land of tango and Moto2™ couldn't be better poised for another stunning race weekend. Tune in at 13:20 (GMT -3) as the intermediate class take on Termas de Rio Hondo!