Bastianini, Oliveira, Quartararo and Zarco spoke about the new schedule that faces the paddock in Argentina
After the announcement that Friday’s track action at the Gran Premio Michelin® de la República Argentina would have to be rescheduled, the start of the pre-event Press Conference took a slightly different tone than usual as World Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Indonesian GP winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), 2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Mandalika podium finisher Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) discussed the challenges that lay ahead on Saturday and Sunday.
“It will be hard for all the mechanics” said Bastianini, as some teams still have none of their apparatus in Argentina to build the garages and get the bikes set up. But every cloud has a silver lining. Losing Friday’s running is disappointing, but once track activity gets underway on Saturday, we face a bumper, non-stop schedule of action that will be thrilling for fans. A challenge for the riders and teams, of course, but it should provide a compelling day that consists of both Free Practice and qualifying.
“I have everything so we can start,” joked Quartararo, who picked up his first podium of the season last time out in Mandalika. “It’s a shame and we really cross our fingers that it arrives tomorrow.
“Basically it will be a challenge, most of all the mechanics, because they will have a lot of work. Saturday will be a long day but on TV it will be nice, we will see if it’s great or not for us. At least we will have it all in one day and only missing one practice.”
The word “challenge” was also used by Oliveira and Zarco when describing what is coming up for the riders and teams on Saturday especially, as well as Sunday with the reduced track time.
“I mean I think we need to be happy considering some teams have nothing and from my side we’re only missing one bike so it’s the least of the problems,” commented Oliveira. “We have to condense the activity for Saturday which will be different and a challenge, especially for mechanics so let’s see how that goes, but happy of course to do something.”
Zarco echoed his rivals’ thoughts: “Tough for the teams that haven’t received anything. The work you usually do in 48 hours they will have only one night so it will be tough. Fortunately for Pramac we have everything, so we are ready.
“Saturday will be a big day but enough practice to get used to the track and also clean the track because it’s been a long time since we raced here. As usual, we will have a slippery feeling and then it will get better so it will be a big day on Saturday. For myself, I like this track and the change in schedule I think it will still be good enough to hope for a good result.”
Just before the quartet of riders sat down for questions, Dorna Sports CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, explained what the situation was in regards to some of the freight not yet arriving in Termas.
“As you know we were in Lombok two weeks ago, everything was prepared well because there was a week in the middle. Last Wednesday we sent two different flights from Lombok to Argentina and one of the flights had a problem in Mombasa, in Africa, then we took the decision that the other flight that had already arrived in Argentina should go back to Lombok, bring the last things of the freight to bring here to Argentina. We did that but unfortunately this flight also has a technical problem, in Mombasa again, and it’s not been able to come.
“In principle it was to take off yesterday to arrive later today, but the problem was bigger than we were aware. Apparently the problem is in a valve of one of the four engines. Two flights have gone to bring the valves to Mombasa. Theoretically the valves are arriving in Mombasa right now, or very soon, to be repaired this afternoon. If everything goes well, around 8 o’clock this evening, the flight will set off on time to do the new schedule prepared for Saturday.”
Once the freight arrives and the teams are all set up, the track action in Argentina should be a belter. Keep up with all the latest right here on motogp.com!