moto3 / Amazing Top Five for Locatelli and Mir
The Italian earns his best result on the World stage, while the rookie scores the fastest lap. A difficult race for Quartararo.
An extraordinary result rewarded all the efforts of the Leopard Racing Team, completing a great afternoon at the Argentina GP. All three riders left the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit with points, their performance emphasised by Locatelli and Mir.
The day began with a cold shower, after a week characterized by high humidity and roaring air and track temperatures, on Sunday morning the heavens opened and threw a spanner in the works. The 20 minute Warm Up session allowed Andrea Locatelli to show off his skills, seizing a great fourth place behind Pawi, Antonelli and Bulega.
In the race the Malaysia Pawi immediately took off in the lead and ran away with the race. Joan Mir sprang from fifth on the grid, but the first laps were difficult for him because of the mixed conditions on track. A highlight came early on from Andrea Locatelli, who went from 20th to ninth in just a single lap. The Italian able to enter the second group of five riders alongside his teammate.
It was an uphill struggle for Fabio Quartararo, the French rider struggling to keep pace with his rivals and losing important ground mid race. Importantly, he was able to bring his KTM RC250 GP to the finish line and collect points, ending the race in 13th for 3 World Championship points.
The last three laps of the race gave a great show: the potential third step of the podium on offer with the top five a certain possibility. Mir made a small mistake but was able to clock the fastest lap of the race, a 1’56.365. Locatelli was passed by Binder and finished fourth, the best result of his career. His rookie teammate, Mir, was fifth and moves to sixth in the overall World Championship Standings.
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI – 4th:
“There are no words! Right from the warm up this morning we knew that in these conditions I could do well to show my true potential. I have to thank the team because they gave me a bike that was almost perfect. I was able to push hard. I enjoyed it, something that we have to keep doing in the next races. This result gives us hope and stimulates us to work harder!”
#36 Joan MIR – 5th:
“It was a good race, we went in a crescendo and fifth is a very good finish. Shame about my mistake in the final laps which upset my rhythm a bit, because I thought I could have been even closer to the guys ahead. I want to thank my team for the good bike. I also did the fastest lap of the race, for the first time in the World Championship. I can’t wait for Austin!”
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO – 13th:
“It was a very difficult race for me, I have not found the right feeling with the bike, I was better in the early stages with a wet track than on dry asphalt. We have to analyse the data to identify the problem. The important thing is to leave the track and think of Austin.”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Premio de la República Argentina 2016:
1 – Khairul PAWI / MAL / Honda Team Asia / Honda / 21 laps
2 – Jorge NAVARRO / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / +23.170
3 – Brad BINDER / RSA / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / +30.060
4 – Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA/ Leopard Racing / KTM / +30.339
5 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +30.506
13 – Fabio QUARTARARO / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +57.893
Moto3™ World Standing 2016:
1 – Brad BINDER 36 points
2 – Niccolò ANTONELLI 31 points
3 – Jorge NAVARRO 29 points
6 – Joan MIR 15 points
9 – Andrea LOCATELLI 13 points
17 – Fabio QUARTARARO 6 points
Photo credit: Leopard Racing