It will be a fairly unusual Saturday in Termas de Rio Hondo for MotoGP, following the disruption of the weekend program (with the cancellation of Friday’s free practice) caused by logistical problems linked to the delay in transporting essential materials for the South American stage. of the 2022 World Championship.
The riders of the premier class will in fact have only two free practice sessions available (even if they last 60 minutes each, therefore longer than normal) before diving directly into qualifying with pole position and a good starting position on the grid at stake. tomorrow for the Argentine Grand Prix, third round of the season.
As if that were not enough, the top flight in global motorcycling had to renounce the South American trip in the last two years due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore all the protagonists of the MotoGP will actually present themselves today on the Termas de Rio Hondo track in three years after the last time (March 31, 2019).
All this will inevitably have a strong impact on today’s performance, because there will be less time to bridge the gap from the top of the class if a driver does not find a good feeling from the first laps. In the absence of Marc Marquez, the only multiple winner on this track, the prediction is really uncertain in view of the official tests scheduled from 22.05 Italian time.
The layout of the track is quite complete, with a long straight and several fast wide-radius corners, although there are still some important braking sections where it is possible to make a difference for the lap time. Ducati can play a leading role already today in qualifying with at least 4-5 bikes (the leader of the World Championship Enea Bastianini, Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller, Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco above all), but the competition will not stand by and watch.
The official Yamahas of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, the KTMs of Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, the Aprilia of Aleix Espargarò and the official Honda of his brother Pol can also aspire to the first two rows, while the Suzukis will have to make a big step ahead of Mandalika in the dry to be extremely competitive on the flying lap.