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MotoGP, Argentina: Rossi and Marquez try to stop Viñales

Termas de Rio Hondo is a friendly track for Valentino and Marc, as well as for Ducati. Without forgetting about the unknown weather factor: it could rain

MotoGP: Argentina: Rossi and Marquez try to stop Viñales

Almost 14,000 kilometres separate the Losail circuit from Termas de Rio Hondo. Who knows if that will be enough to change the face of a newly begun championship that has already found a new protagonist.

A little over a week ago, Maverick Viñales laid his cards on the table in Qatar, good enough to earn pole position and to win the opening GP after dominating all the winter tests. The Spanish Top Gun earned all the praise he received in his first real test on the Yamaha super team, giving all his rivals a headache.

As they say, in MotoGP exams are never over and the next one will be in Argentinian, a dialect that both Marquez and Rossi like. In fact, in the three Termas GP editions, two have been won by Marc and one by Valentino.

By the world champion’s own admission, Losail is not the best track for Honda, but this weekend the wind is destined to change. Marquez has always battled for the win in Argentina and he will clearly want to exploit the friendly track to make up lost ground on Maverick before arriving in Austin, another one of his magic circuits.

At the end of the da, in Qatar Marc defended himself as well as possible and now he is ready to return to his role: a pure-blooded attacker.

The same can be said of Valentino who, after a disastrous winter, rediscovered himself and his confidence in the M1 in the best possible moment. The Doctor always turns up at the right time and, after having gone missing for a few months, now he is well aware of which direction to go.

Confirming his progress on a different track will be fundamental for him, as will attempting to stop his teammate’s streak. Anything but simple, but not impossible either.

However, the list of favourites does not end here, because we will need to keep an eye on the Ducatis too. The Desmosedici does well in Argentina and last year the two Andreas, up to the debacle just before the finish, were on their way to a double podium. Dovi will be able to capitalize on the opportunity for redemption, partly because the rider from Forlì got off on the right foot in this 2017 season.

Confident, sure of himself and the bike, determined - all adjectives well-suited for the Dovizioso we saw in action in Qatar. Andrea is riding up to his potential and he will certainly be a tough customer for everyone.

Of course, expectations are also high for his teammate, Lorenzo, keen to soon forget about the Qatari GP. Jorge - along with his teammate - was also able to take advantage of a day of tests in Jerez, useful for familiarizing himself further with the GP17.

As has been said many times, for the Majorcan it is just a matter of time. We shall see if a dozen days will have been enough.

If the attacking team is not enough for you, don’t forget about the possible outsiders. Like Iannone, who was with the leaders until his mistake, or Pedrosa, always unpredictable or even the Aprilia with Aleix Espargaró, ever improving.

And then there is another possible unknown: the weather. At the moment the forecast is calling for a possibility of rain both Saturday and Sunday, so that could change everything once again.

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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