moto3 / EXTRAORDINARY MIR TAKES COMEBACK VICTORY, LOI FIGHTS AND ENDS SIXTH
The duo Leopard Racing Team were the authors of two great comebacks at the Termas de Rio Hondo. Mir won the Grand Prix having started in 16th place, Loi finished sixth overall after a hard-fought race. Deja-vu on the podium, the same as in Qatar, Joan Mir consolidating his leadership.
The lights went out at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo and racing began at round 2 of the Moto3 World Championship. The Leopard Racing Team duo were on the fourth and sixth rows respectively on the grid, Livio Loi (12th) and Joan Mir (16th). But the talent of Mallorca has proven time and time again able to recover from the back. He was confident heading into the race after showing dominating pace in Free Practice.
Mir recovered immediately at the start, passing his teammate Livio Loi, and on the first lap was up in tenth place. The Belgian, Livio Loi, was engaged in a fight at the edge of the points, in 14th provisionally. After catching the leading group in just two laps, Mir began his masterpiece: the Spaniard setting a good pace and jumping his opponents one by one, taking command of the race. It took just six laps for him to reach the lead!
The Scot McPhee approached menacingly and on the eighth lap passed using the slipstream of Mir, but the Spanish rider responded at the next corner, closing the door behind him.
Meanwhile Loi passed Suzuki and Bulega, reaching the top ten. Halfway through the race, the first 5 riders with Joan Mir began to break away while Di Giannantonio and Bastaniani slipped away. Livio Loi was uncontrollable, moving to sixth place and leading the second group, challenging the likes of Fenati.
With seven laps left, a mistake saw Mir drop down the order but in one lap he recovered all his lost positions, regaining command of the race. Opponents were approaching and trying to study the lines of the leader, Mir able to close all doors ahead of the final lap. Joan Mir crossed the line and took victory at the Argentine Grand Prix in front of John McPhee and Jorge Martin; recreating the podium in Qatar: the Moto3 Championship dominated by the ‘J.M. Trio’ this year.
But above all, Joan Mir was able to establish himself as the creator of another amazing comeback from 16th place. For the talent of Palma de Mallorca this is his third career victory, his second consecutive win of the season, consolidating his leadership with a perfect score (50 p). The Leopard Racing Team was also overjoyed with Livio Loi, having fought like a lion throughout the race, holding off a hard bone as Fenati. The Belgian now occupies seventh position in the overall rankings (14 p).
#36 Joan MIR – 1st:
“What an incredible race! It was hard for me especially in the start and, once I arrived in the front group, I had to manage it in the best way. We started the championship great, but it’s just the second race – everything can change in an instant, we must keep our feet on the ground. In truth I did not think I could win this race, because I started so far back; I tried to stay calm. It was a totally different race from Qatar, but I am very happy and want to thank the whole team!”
#11 Livio LOI – 6th:
“It was a good race, too bad only for the first ten laps, I was caught up in traffic, sometimes with close calls with my opponents. Meanwhile leaders had already run off. Too bad, because I had the speed and pace to battle in the first group. I never gave up and I want to thank the whole team for the work we have done together. We continue like this!”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina 2017:
1 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 21 laps
2 – John McPhee / GBR / British Talent / Honda / +0.261
3 – Jorge Martin / SPA / Del Conca Gresini / Honda / +0.339
6 – Livio Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / +7.598
Moto3™ World Standing 2017:
1 – Joan MIR 50
2 – John McPhee 40
3 – Jorge Martin 32
7 – Livio LOI 14
Photo credit: Leopard Racing