moto3 / Mir unleashed on FP Friday in Argentina
The winner of the Qatar set the pace in both free practice sessions of the Argentina GP, the second round of the 2017 Championship, edging his rivals by more than half a second. A good performance also for the Belgian Livio Loi, ninth overall on the 4.8 km of Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.
The Leopard Racing Team started the Grand Prix de la Republica Argentina in the best way possible. The second round of the 2017 season after having come after the triumph in the inaugural race of the season in Qatar two weeks ago, where Joan Mir fought for victory and started his season in the perfect way. The Spanish rider was able to dance on the 4.8 km of the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. At his side in his garage, Leopard Racing teammate Livio Loi, who arrived in Argentina determination to show his potential and be with the first group of the Moto3 class.
The morning opened with 23°C air and 27°C on the asphalt. Joan Mir started pounding the lap times straight away, gradually lowering his reference times without ever leaving the top spot on the timesheet. A 1’51.559 his best morning lap time, recorded ten minutes from the end of FP1; the session turned out to be happy for the Belgian Livio Loi as well, and with the last of his 16 laps, he leapt up to sixth in the session.
The two riders of Team Leopard Racing team were immediately on the pace and found a good feeling with the Argentine track of Rio Hondo, a result confirmed by a good top speed. Behind the Honda of Mir were the three KTMs of Rodigo, Bulega and Guevara.
In FP2 the temperatures raised slightly, but the two standard bearers of the Leopard Racing Team showed off their good feeling on Argentine tarmac. Joan Mir confirmed his excellent form in the last moments available, printing a 1’50.248 lap and leadinghis opponents by more than 0.5s; behind were Italians Fenati and Bulega with Livio Loi able to improve his time and end inside the top ten.
Tomorrow, Saturday, April 8, the protagonists of the Moto3 class will be engaged in the third and final round of free practice, anticipating the show of formal qualifications at 12:35 Local Time.
#36 Joan MIR – 1st (1’50.248):
“I’m very happy today! We have not touched much on the bike compared to Qatar, we are committed everyone giving their best, trying to lower step-by-step the time, although the track was a little dirty. Tomorrow we will continue in this direction and we’ll see if we can improve further.”
#11 Livio LOI – 9th (1’51.857):
“We had a positive first day, we took another step forward. We still have to fix some bits, especially on corner entry, but are pleased with the pace and we can be leaders on this track.”
Moto3™ Combined Free Practice Times:
1 – J. Mir / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 1’50.248
2 – R. Fenati / ITA / Marinelli Rivalcold / Honda / 1’50.812
3 – N. Bulega / ITA / Sky Racing VR46 / KTM / 1’50.931
9 – L. Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / 1’51.857
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT -3):
Saturday, April 8th:
09:00-09:40 – FP3
12:35-13:15 – QP
Sunday, April 9th:
09:40-10:00 – WarmUp
13:00 (21 Laps) – Race
Photo credit: Leopard Racing