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Moto3: Argentina Preview: Martin and Canet set to scrap

Credit: Honda Pro Racing

Moto3 heads to Argentina this weekend and we may well start to see some patterns form – should the race remain dry. Already this season, we have seen that the Honda is once again the bike to be on, Jorge Martin and Aron Canet are the riders to beat and that we may see some new nationalities shine through. In Argentina, we are guaranteed a new winner of the GP, as the four previous winners have moved onto Moto2.

Jorge Martin is the championship favourite – of that, there is no doubt. However, I am not quite sure we will see the domination we saw from the likes of Joan Mir and Brad Binder. Martin was the man to beat in Losail and if he pulls off a win again in Argentina, he will have won the last three races. Martin did not take pole, so like I said, it may not be clear cut at all.

Aron Canet has made the headlines in Moto3 this weekend for all of the wrong reasons. Having taken out Makar Yurchenko in what looked like a deliberate incident, Canet must now prove that he can keep his cool in difficult situations. The Spaniard finished 11th in the race last season and will be hoping to better that in 2018 if he is to stay in the championship chase.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta was on the podium in Qatar and is subsequently 3rd in the championship charge and top Italian. He didn’t finish the race at Termas de Rio Hondo last year and will be hoping to maintain a top 10 finish on race day. Having qualified down on row 5 for the race, Dalla Porta will be looking to try and break into the leading group, which is very possible in Moto3 from down there!

Niccolo Antonelli is back! The Italian started on pole and finished 4th in Losail, a hell of a way to prove that on the right bike, he is still a front runner. Antonelli hasn’t finished three consecutive races since Misano, Aragon and Motegi in 2016 and he hasn’t had back-to-back top-10s since Le Mans and Mugello of the same year. Antonelli could and probably should correct these statistics this weekend.

Gabriel Rodrigo is in a solid 5th place in the championship, following a 5th at Losail. The Argentine rider heads ‘home’ this weekend and may well be a dark horse for a win. The top KTM rider, Rodrigo has never scored points in Argentina but I think, if he stays upright, he could be a spoiler. The last Argentine to win a Grand Prix in any class was Sebastian Porto in the 250cc class at Assen, whilst an Argentine rider has NEVER won in the lightweight class.

Fabio Di Giannantonio had a steady start to 2018, with a 6th in Qatar. The Italian, now in his third season of Moto3 racing, will surely be one to watch on race day, as he continues to chase his first Grand Prix win. Going for his 9th podium, Fabio has never scored points in Argentina – something that he will hope is corrected by the end of play on Sunday.

Other riders to keep your eyes on are Enea Bastianini, who needs to make up for his first round misdemeanour. He has never had back-to-back DNFs. Kaito Toba and Ayumu Sasaki were strong in Losail, as was Adam Norrodin. Marco Bezzecchi has also been flying so far this weekend and starts from 2nd on the grid. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat has likewise been in good form so far in Argentina, so keep your eyes on the Thai.

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